Big Ten Network Legends and Leaders Simulation by From image

Big Ten Legends and Leaders Simulation

What if Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 1996?

By Ryan Fowler,
August 8th, 2011

With the 2011 Big Ten football season right around the corner, teamed up with the Big Ten Network to launch our latest simulation project, "Big Ten Legends and Leaders: 1996-2010."

Using our college football simulation engine, we simulated 15 hypothetical Big Ten seasons and schedules. We wanted to know how the conference would have looked had the Legends and Leaders divisions existed and had Nebraska been part of the mix since 1996.

Over the next two weeks, Big Ten Network will unveil one Legends and Leaders simulation season per day on their website.

Each season synopsis includes simulation scores for EVERY game, a simulation box score with play-by-play and Narrative Science game recap for the Big Ten Sim Game of the Week. Users can also view the simulation box score with play-by-play for all 15 Big Ten Conference Championship games.

Here is an example from the 1996 simulation season:


Michigan 33, Minnesota 14 Northwestern 33, Illinois 17 Ohio State 30, Michigan State 10 Nebraska 27, Wisconsin 14



Fourth quarter keys Penn State to 23-13 victory over Hoosiers

In the first week of our simulated 1996 Big Ten football season, Penn State visited Leaders Division foe Indiana. The Nittany Lions took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 23-13 victory over the Hoosiers.

With 6:52 to go, Wally Richardson hit Keith Olsommer in the endzone from five yards out to give Penn State a 20-13 lead.

The Nittany Lions' Richardson was good for 201 yards during the game, completing 17 of 28 passes. Richardson tossed one touchdown while throwing no interceptions. Joe Jurevicius was the player Richardson targeted most often. He hauled in five catches for 70 yards.

Penn State's explosive offense used big plays to take down Indiana. The Nittany Lions had four plays of 20 yards or more on their way to victory. With 34 seconds to go in the second quarter, Richardson ran 31 yards for Penn State's biggest gain of the game. Despite the highlight, the Nittany Lions failed to score on that drive, which stalled at Penn State's own 31-yard line.

Chris Dittoe threw for 138 yards while completing 11 of 25 passes for the Hoosiers. He threw one touchdown and one interception.

Indiana's offense finished the game having gained 296 yards. In addition to Dittoe's efforts through the air, the Hoosiers also rushed 38 times for 158 yards.

Eric Sturdifen terrorized Indiana's line with two sacks. His biggest play came on a critical drive in the second quarter, when he sacked Dittoe on second-and-4 for a six-yard loss.

The Nittany Lions racked up 364 total yards. Penn State complemented Richardson's passing attack with 163 yards rushing on 60 attempts.

- Narrative Science

For more on the Legends and Leaders: 1996-2010 Simulation Project, be sure to check out

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for He can be reached at

Gridiron Dynasty

Coach, recruit, and run your own college football program.

Every DIA, DIAA, DII, & DIII College Awaits

SimLeague Baseball

Compete in a full season with your dream team from MLB past and present. Lineups, player settings, trades, prizes, and more.

Try It For Free

Hardball Dynasty

Run your own baseball franchise in this in-depth, multi-player baseball game.

Try It at a Discount

What is WhatIfSports? is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

New Terms of Use Customer Support New Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

© 1999-2017, Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. WhatIfSports is a trademark of, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.