Open main menu

Big Ten Universities is a Division 1-A college rugby conference founded in summer 2012 by ten of the twelve schools that then made up the Big Ten Conference (which has since expanded to 14 members). The Big Ten Universities was formed to improve rugby among the Big Ten schools by capitalizing on traditional Big Ten rivalries, increasing the number of fans, attracting talented high school rugby players, and playing other regional schools, which would create more competitive matchups with traditional rivals.

Big Ten Universities
SportRugby Union
Founded2012 (2012)
Inaugural season2012
CommissionerTom Rooney
No. of teams9
CountryUnited States

Prior to 2012, most of these schools had played in the now defunct Division 1-AA Midwest conference (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin) and the Division 1-AA Mid-Eastern conference (Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue).[1] Ohio State had played in Division 1-A in the East conference.

Organization of college rugby has been evolving since 2009, with many schools organizing into conferences similar to the traditional NCAA conferences. In November 2010, USA Rugby's college management committee set out a plan for transitioning universities to NCAA-style conferences.[2] The purpose of the realignment is for college rugby to capitalize on the marketability of major college conference rivalries.[3]


Institution Location Enrollment Nickname Colors Rugby
Head coach
Eastern Division
Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 56,064[4] Buckeyes           Scarlet & Gray 1966 Ron Bowers
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 43,159[5] Spartans           Green & White 1964 Ben Mateialona
Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 42,464[6] Hoosiers           Cream & Crimson 1962 Sarasopa Enari
Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana 39,637[7] Boilermakers           Old Gold & Black 1970 Mark Behrens
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 37,197[8] Wolverines           Maize & Blue 1959 (1890) Brandon Sparks
Western Division
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota 51,853[9] Golden Gophers           Maroon & Gold 1890 Rob Holder
University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin 42,595[10] Badgers           Cardinal & White 1962 Nic Tyson
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 41,918[11] Fighting Illini           Orange & Navy 1963 Dave Petty
University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa 30,893[12] Hawkeyes           Black & Gold 1970 Jim Lloyd
University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska 24,593[13] Cornhuskers           Scarlet & Cream 1973 Matt Ramirez



Season BTU Champion Score Runner Up East Champ West Champ Player of the Year Top Try Scorer Top Points Scorer
2012–13 Wisconsin 30–10 Ohio State Ohio State Wisconsin ?? Martin Gianetti (Ill.) (12) Lewis Shaw (Indiana) (83)
2013 Indiana 58–38 Michigan Indiana Michigan Isaac Hall (Indiana) Isaac Hall (Indiana) (7) J. Heginbottom (Wisc.) (64)
2014 Wisconsin 34-20 Ohio State Ohio State Wisconsin

Regular seasonEdit

Big Ten 7sEdit

The Big Ten schools have formed the Big Ten 7s tournament. The Big Ten tournament features a round of pool play, followed by knockout play. The winner of the Big Ten 7s earns an automatic berth to the USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships and to the Collegiate Rugby Championship.

The inaugural Big Ten tournament was held August 2011, and hosted by Wisconsin.[15] Wisconsin and Penn State dominated, each winning its respective pool and advancing in knockout play to the finals, where Wisconsin defeated Penn State 21-14.[15] Wisconsin's victory at the 2011 Big Ten 7s earned it the right to compete for the national championship at the 2011 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.[16]

Year Location Champion Final Score Runner Up Third Tournament MVP Leading Try Scorer
Aug 27, 2011 Madison, WI Wisconsin 21-14 Penn State Iowa Ben Knight (Wisconsin) --
Nov 10, 2012 Columbus, OH Wisconsin 33-14 Penn State Ohio State Tom Hemmings (Wisconsin) Blaze Feury (Penn St) &
John Ryberg (Iowa) (7)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ This Is American Rugby, Tracking College Rugby Changes, July 26, 2012,
  2. ^, Cal superleague exit spurs conference gains, Dec. 31, 2011,
  3. ^, ACC launch unveiled, national league gains steam, March 17, 2010,
  4. ^ The Ohio State University - Statistical Summary
  5. ^ "Michigan State University – Office of the Registrar: Full-Time Students". Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  6. ^ Campus Profile: Student Life: Office of Admissions: Indiana University Bloomington
  7. ^ Purdue University - Student_Enrollment Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "University of Michigan—Total Enrollment Overview" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  9. ^ "OIR: Enrollment Headcount Data: All Data". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  10. ^ Facts: : University of Wisconsin–Madison
  11. ^ U of I Admissions: Essential Illinois Facts
  12. ^ "Enrollment Statistics - Facts at a Glance - The University of Iowa". Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  13. ^ UNL | News Release | UNL enrollment flat in fall 2011; gains in graduates, international undergrads
  14. ^ Solomon, Alex. "Indiana penalized for eligibility misconduct". D1A College Rugby. D1A College Rugby.
  15. ^ a b Midwest Rugby, Big 10 Sevens Championship, August 28, 2011, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-09-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Midwest Rugby, Collegiate Sevens Championships Officially Announced, Sep. 1, 2011, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-09-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit