1997 Big Ten Conference football season

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1997 Big Ten Conference football season
LeagueNCAA Division I-A
SportFootball
Number of teams11
Top draft pickCharles Woodson
ChampionMichigan
Runners-upOhio State
Season MVPCharles Woodson
Top scorerCurtis Enis
Football seasons
← 1996
1998 →
1997 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 1 Michigan $   8 0         12 0  
No. 12 Ohio State   6 2         10 3  
No. 16 Penn State   6 2         9 3  
No. 15 Purdue   6 2         9 3  
Wisconsin   5 3         8 5  
Iowa   4 4         7 5  
Michigan State   4 4         7 5  
Northwestern   3 5         5 7  
Minnesota   1 7         3 9  
Indiana   1 7         2 9  
Illinois   0 8         0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1997 Big Ten Conference football season was the 102nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season.

The 1997 Big Ten champion was Michigan. Led by head coach Lloyd Carr, Michigan compiled a perfect 12–0 record, defeated Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl, and was declared the national champion in the AP Poll. Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson became the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy.

Ohio State finished in a tie for second place with a 10–3 record and lost to Florida State in the 1998 Sugar Bowl. Ohio State's defense was led by consensus All-American linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer.

Penn State also tied for second place and was led by Curtis Enis who rushed for 1,363 yards and led the conference with 120 points scored. The Nittany Lions began the 1997 season ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and ended it with a loss to Florida in the 1998 Florida Citrus Bowl.

Purdue also tied for second place under first-year head coach Joe Tiller who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken led the conference with 3,136 passing yards, and wide receiver Brian Alford led the conference with 1,228 receiving yards.

Iowa was ranked as high as No. 4 in the AP Poll during the season and fielded the conference's most potent offensive with an average of 34.3 points scored per game. Iowa running back Tavian Banks led the conference with 1,639 rushing yards.

Season overview[edit]

Results and team statistics[edit]

Conf. Rank Team Head coach AP final AP high Overall record Conf. record PPG PAG
1 Michigan Lloyd Carr #1 #1 12–0 8–0 26.8 9.5
2 (tie) Ohio State John Cooper #12 #4 10–3 6–2 30.3 13.1
2 (tie) Penn State Joe Paterno #16 #1 9–3 6–2 30.5 21.2
2 (tie) Purdue Joe Tiller #15 #15 9–3 6–2 33.0 22.3
5 Wisconsin Barry Alvarez NR #23 8–5 5–3 22.4 23.5
6 (tie) Iowa Hayden Fry #14 #4 7–5 4–4 34.3 13.3
6 (tie) Michigan State Nick Saban NR #11 7–5 4–4 28.5 19.8
8 Northwestern Gary Barnett NR #21 5–7 3–5 20.3 24.0
9 (tie) Minnesota Glen Mason NR NR 3–9 1–7 19.8 27.8
9 (tie) Indiana Cam Cameron NR NR 2–9 1–7 10.9 32.6
11 Illinois Ron Turner NR NR 0–11 0–8 10.8 33.5

Key
AP final = Team's rank in the final AP Poll of the 1997 season[1]
AP high = Team's highest rank in the AP Poll throughout the 1997 season[1]
PPG = Average of points scored per game[1]
PAG = Average of points allowed per game[1]

Pre-season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Bowl games[edit]

Seven Big Ten teams played in bowl games as follows:

Statistical leaders[edit]

The Big Ten's individual statistical leaders include the following:[1]

Passing yards[edit]

1. Billy Dicken, Purdue (3,136)
2. Mike McQueary, Penn State (2,211)
3. Jay Rodgers, Indiana (2,156)
4. Brian Griese, Michigan 2042
5. Todd Schultz, Michigan State (2,003)

Pass efficiency rating[edit]

1. Joe Germaine, Ohio State (151.9)
2. Mike McQueary, Penn State (145.0)
3. Brian Griese, Michigan (138.2)
4. Billy Dicken, Purdue (128.9)
5. Todd Schultz, Michigan State (124.0)

Rushing yards[edit]

1. Tavian Banks, Iowa (1,639)
2. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (1,457)
3. Curtis Enis, Penn State (1,363)
4. Sedrick Irvin, Michigan State (1,270)
5. Robert Holcombe, Illinois (1,253)

Rushing yards per attempt[edit]

1. Kendall Matthews, Purdue (7.1)
2. Tavian Banks, Iowa (6.7)
3. Curtis Enis, Penn State (6.0)
4. Michael Wiley, Ohio State (5.6)
5. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (5.5)

Receiving yards[edit]

1. Brian Alford, Purdue (1,228)
2. Dee Miller, Ohio State (981)
3. David Boston, Ohio State (970)
4. Tutu Atwell, Minnesota (924)
5. Brian Musso, Northwestern (865)

Receiving yards per reception[edit]

1. Damon Gibson, Iowa (22.4)
2. Joe Jurevicius, Penn State (20.9)
3. Tony Simmons, Wisconsin (19.8)
4. Brian Alford, Purdue (19.5)
5. O. J. Conner, Indiana (18.6)

Total yards[edit]

1. Billy Dicken, Purdue (3,487)
2. Mike McQueary, Penn State (2,184)
3. Mike Samuel, Wisconsin (2,138)
4. Brian Griese, Michigan (2,049)
5. Jay Rodgers, Indiana (2,035)

Scoring[edit]

1. Curtis Enis, Penn State (120)
2. Tavian Banks, Iowa (114)
3. Dan Stultz, Ohio State (92)
4. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (90)
5. David Boston, Ohio State (84)
5. Sedrick Irvin, Michigan State (84)

All-conference players[edit]

Seventeen players were selected as first-team All-Big Ten players by both the coaches and the media:

All-Americans[edit]

Four Big Ten players were selected as consensus All-Americans:

  • Curtis Enis, running back, Penn State (Associated Press [AP], Football Writers Association of America [FWAA], Walter Camp Football Foundation [WC])
  • Andy Katzenmoyer, linebacker, Ohio State (AP, American Football Coaches Association [AFCA], FWAA, WC, Football News [FN])
  • Charles Woodson, Michigan (AP, AFCA, FWAA, WC, The Sporting News [TSN], FN)
  • Tim Dwight, all-purpose player, Iowa (AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN)

Other Big Ten players receiving first-team honors were:

1998 NFL Draft[edit]

The 1998 NFL Draft was held in April 1998. The following Big Ten players were selected in the first four rounds of the draft:[2]

Name Position Team Round Overall pick
Charles Woodson Defensive back Michigan 1 4
Curtis Enis Running back Penn State 1 5
Robert Holcombe Fullback Illinois 2 37
Flozell Adams Offensive tackle Michigan State 2 38
Tony Simmons Wide receiver Wisconsin 2 52
Joe Jurevicius Wide receiver Penn State 2 55
Brian Alford Wide receiver Purdue 3 70
Mike Goff Offensive tackle Iowa 3 78
Chris Floyd Fullback Michigan 3 81
Brian Griese Quarterback Michigan 3 91
Tavian Banks Running back Iowa 4 101
Glen Steele Defensive tackle Michigan 4 105
Donald Hayes Wide receiver Wisconsin 4 106
Tim Dwight Wide receiver Iowa 4 114

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "1997 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "1998 NFL Draft: Full Draft". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved December 22, 2016.