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An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Posted on: September 5, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 7:25 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

The SEC has, perhaps rightfully so, taken flak over the years for their non-conference scheduling philosophy. Yes, the league is tough but there are only so many directional schools a team can play. That's what makes this week's match up between Penn State and Alabama so rare. Two power conference teams playing each other and, perhaps most notably, the SEC team traveling to Big Ten country.

This will be the 15th meeting between the two schools but the first time ever the Crimson Tide will travel to Happy Valley when Penn State is a member of the Big Ten conference, previous trips north were when the Nittany Lions were a football independent. Even more interesting due is the fact that this is the first time Alabama has played at a Big Ten team while a member of the SEC. Yes, the first time ever.

That got me to thinking (and researching), when was the last time the rest of the SEC teams played at a Big Ten opponent? Turns out, only Kentucky and Vanderbilt have been willing to play up north during the regular season. The pair are actually the only SEC teams to play at a Big Ten school in the last 23 years until the Tide take the field on Saturday.

Here's the full list of when every current SEC team last played at a Big Ten team during the regular season:


at Wisconsin, Nov. 3, 1928, lost 15-0. (Alabama did not join the SEC until 1932)


at Iowa, Oct. 3, 1925, lost 28-0. (Arkansas did not join the SEC until 1991)


at Wisconsin, Oct. 10, 1931, tied 7-7.  (Auburn did not join the SEC until 1932)


at Northwestern, Sep. 18, 1965, won 24-14.


at Michigan, Oct. 2, 1965, won 15-7.


at Indiana, Sep. 19, 2005, lost 38-14.


at Ohio State, Sep. 24, 1988, lost 36-33.

Ole Miss

at Minnesota, Nov. 5, 1932, lost 26-0. (Ole Miss did not join the SEC until 1932)

Mississippi State

at Illinois, Oct. 4, 1980, won 28-21.

South Carolina

at Michigan, Sep. 27, 1980, won 17-4 (South Carolina did not join the SEC until 1991)


Never played at a Big Ten school.


at Michigan, Sep. 2, 2006, lost 27-7.


Since: Mar 21, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:11 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Are you kidding?  It gets hot and humid in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Champaign too.  Temps over 100, heat index upwards of 110.  It jus so happens that it gets damned cold in B1G land as well, temps under 20 in November, wind chill sub-zero.

Face it, history shows that southern teams rarely head north to play, even in the early non-con schedule.

Since: Aug 17, 2011
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:16 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Whoa, take it down a notch there, Cueball. Them's big words coming from the defending bowl winners...

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:34 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Thats a lot trash talk to come from a Iowa fan.  Nice win over Tennessee Tech. 

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:43 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

I bet Georgia wishes that a team from above the Mason Dixon line would not have found their way to Atlanta last Saturday. I do agree with many of your points, such as the shifting population and greater opportunity to practice in a hot envoriment. However, Saturday next Ohio State will be playing in Miami. They also had a home and home with LSU a few years back and have scheduled The Vols for a home and home in eight years. No one in their right mind can dispute the SEC's dominance. In a bit of reverse logic, you never see a southern team up north in November for a non conference game.

Since: Sep 7, 2011
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:30 am

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

What is rare is to see the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, or Wisconsin coming down south in September.  And they never will.  Why?  They couldn't handle the heat and humidity.  The kids on those teams would die of heat stroke.  Why does the SEC dominate college football?  Our kids are in better condition because we grow up our entire lives in this hot, humid environment.  That doesn't mean every team in the south is going to dominate, or that there aren't quality athletes from northern environments.  However, the top SEC programs are just getting better kids, hiring better coaches, and playing better football than the top programs from anywhere else in the country.  And it's proven on the FIELD every year.  Get used to it; more and more people are moving to the south for a variety of reasons.  Our programs will continue to get better.

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:52 am

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

numNuttz: get a clue before you start posting this crap... yes, the sec did well last year. is that the only year of existence? how's the suck-east conference against Iowa? here's a hint: they suck! florida needed a crooked ref to beat us the second time otherwise we'd be 4-0 over the last 4. how's that taste with your gerber??? not to mention that these games are all played in the south and in the sec's backyard. what? forgot about that too? or too stupid to realize it? five crystal balls by teams on probation for cheating or dealing with felon's on the roster... great conference you got there sparky... keep it up. How'd your last national champion do against UTAH STATE????? AT HOME!!!! oh.... it's so tough to play in the SeC!!!! whatever! alabama! 4 picks to KENT STATE!!!! Missy State losers to the MORMONS!!!!!!! WEAKKKKKK!!!!!!!! oh, and let's not forget how good georgia will be this year!!!! OHHHHHH another loss to some kids from I-DA-HO!!!!! (that's why she can't be in the miss american pagent...)  get over yourself and go up north and the winter and play football the way it was meant to be played! like a real man!!!

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:43 am

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

And this is the 11th consecutive year that Tennessee has played an out of conference BCS opponent. What are the stats on that for the BCS schools? Yes I know there are schools that play ND (technically a BCS team) every year.

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 12:34 am

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Iowa-Tennessee was played in the Meadowlands, NJ.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:41 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

I don't think Big 10 teams have set Interstates 55, 65, 75, 77 or 81 on fire getting down South either!!

Tennessee does just fine scheduling big time out of conference opponents; the next 8 years they have:

2012 North Carolina State; 2013 @ Oregon; 2014 @ Oklahoma; 2015 Oklahoma; @ Connecticut; 2016 Connecticut, @ Nebraska; 2017 Nebraska; 2018 @ Ohio State, 2019 Ohio State

Go Vols!

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: September 6, 2011 7:08 pm

An SEC team in Big 10 country is pretty rare

Unfortunately, all power rankings during the regular season are worthless if members of the power conferences continue to dodge each other during the regular season, .... then again, how valid are they if one team has a large home field advantage in the bowl game?

I will give credit to Tenessee, though, they do play other teams from other power conferences, to bad the rest of the that conference thinks playing Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Kentucky shows what a tough conference they think they are.  Oh well, the powers of that conference always have to get by a couple of tough games against a Sun Belt team and and FCS team every year, too.

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