October 5, 2023


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where each current league member ranks per Sports Illustrated

If Power 5 conferences started from scratch tomorrow, how desirable would the Iowa Hawkeyes and the rest of the Big Ten’s league members be? That’s precisely what Sports Illustrated set out to determine in their desirability ratings.

In order to compile their full Power 5 desirability ratings, there was a set of five categories used to rank the programs: football ranking, academic ranking, all-sports ranking, football attendance, and broadcast viewership.

For the football ranking, SI used the five-year average Sagarin ratings for each Power 5 team from 2017-21. Academic rankings were listed according to the U.S. News & World Report’s national universities rankings.

The all-sports ranking was according to the Division I standings for the 2021-22 academic year in the Learfield Directors’ Cup which rates performance in 19 sports. Football attendance rankings were based on average home-game attendance (minus the 2020 season) from 2017-21.

Finally, broadcast viewership was based on the total number of football games for each program that drew one million or more viewers from 2017-21. Again, that list excluded the 2020 season due to COVID-19 skewing the results.

From worst-to-first, here’s how each of the Big Ten schools ranked in SI’s desirability ratings based on those five categories among the now 69 Power 5 programs.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights – No. 65

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 65

Football ranking: No. 67

Academic ranking: No. 28 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 46

Football attendance: No. 56

Broadcast viewership: No. 67 (tie)

Illinois Fighting Illini

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 59

Football ranking: No. 66

Academic ranking: No. 18

All-sports ranking: No. 50

Football attendance: No. 59

Broadcast viewership: No. 58 (tie)

Maryland Terrapins

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 52

Football ranking: No. 58

Academic ranking: No. 24 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 44

Football attendance: No. 57

Broadcast viewership: No. 41 (tie)

Indiana Hoosiers

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 49

Football ranking: No. 42

Academic ranking: No. 30 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 57

Football attendance: No. 48

Broadcast viewership: No. 36 (tie)

Purdue Boilermakers

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Desirability rating: No. 41

Football ranking: No. 36

Academic ranking: No. 20 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 51

Football attendance: No. 35

Broadcast viewership: No. 45 (tie)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 38

Football ranking: No. 28

Academic ranking: No. 30 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 27

Football attendance: No. 45

Broadcast viewership: No. 49 (tie)

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Desirability rating: No. 33

Football ranking: No. 46 (tie)

Academic ranking: No. 54

All-sports ranking: No. 47

Football attendance: No. 10

Broadcast viewership: No. 16 (tie)

Northwestern Wildcats

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 29

Football ranking: No. 38

Academic ranking: No. 2 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 35

Football attendance: No. 58

Broadcast viewership: No. 32 (tie)

Iowa Hawkeyes

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Desirability rating: No. 21

Football ranking: No. 9

Academic ranking: No. 38 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 52

Football attendance: No. 20

Broadcast viewership: No. 21 (tie)

Michigan State Spartans

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 20

Football ranking: No. 27

Academic ranking: No. 38 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 39

Football attendance: No. 18

Broadcast viewership: No. 15

UCLA Bruins

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 18

Football ranking: No. 43

Academic ranking: No. 6

All-sports ranking: No. 15

Football attendance: No. 40 (tie)

Broadcast viewership: No. 28 (tie)

Penn State Nittany Lions

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 11

Football ranking: No. 7

Academic ranking: No. 28 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 41

Football attendance: No. 2

Broadcast viewership: No. 10

USC Trojans

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 9

Football ranking: No. 30

Academic ranking: No. 10

All-sports ranking: No. 12

Football attendance: No. 23 (tie)

Broadcast viewership: No. 9

Wisconsin Badgers

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 7

Football ranking: No. 8

Academic ranking: No. 17

All-sports ranking: No. 23

Football attendance: No. 15

Broadcast viewership: No. 12 (tie)

Michigan Wolverines

AP Photo/AJ Mast, File

Desirability rating: No. 2

Football ranking: No. 16

Academic ranking: No. 8

All-sports ranking: No. 3

Football attendance: No. 1

Broadcast viewership: No. 5 (tie)

Ohio State Buckeyes

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Desirability rating: No. 1

Football ranking: No. 2

Academic ranking: No. 20 (tie)

All-sports ranking: No. 4

Football attendance: No. 3

Broadcast viewership: No. 2 (tie)

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