<
>

A look back at the Big Ten annual stat leaders

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The first set of official Big Ten statistics from the 2009 season will be recorded a week from tonight, when Indiana opens the season against Eastern Kentucky. While we still have zeroes across the board for all 11 teams, let's take a look back at the annual team statistical leaders from the last five years. It's interesting to see which teams have thrived in certain major categories and seen increases or drop-offs.

These statistics are for all games (conference and nonconference) from 2004 through 2008.

Rushing offense: Wisconsin (2008), Illinois (2007), Illinois (2006), Minnesota (2005), Minnesota (2004)

Passing offense: Illinois (2008), Northwestern (2007), Purdue (2006), Northwestern (2005), Purdue (2004)

Total offense: Penn State (2008), Purdue (2007), Purdue (2006), Northwestern (2005), Michigan State (2004)

Total defense: Penn State (2008), Ohio State (2007), Wisconsin (2006), Ohio State (2005), Wisconsin (2004)

Scoring offense: Penn State (2008), Purdue (2007), Ohio State (2006), Minnesota (2005), Purdue (2004)

Scoring defense: Iowa (2008), Ohio State (2007), Wisconsin (2006), Ohio State (2005), Penn State (2004)

Turnover margin: Ohio State (2008), Iowa (2007), Minnesota (2006), Wisconsin (2005), Iowa (2004)

Pass efficiency: Penn State (2008), Ohio State (2007), Ohio State (2006), Ohio State (2005), Purdue (2004)

Pass defense efficiency: Iowa (2008), Ohio State (2007), Wisconsin (2006), Penn State (2005), Penn State (2004)

Some interesting things to digest here. Two quick observations:

It's kind of amazing that Minnesota has been so mediocre despite leading the Big Ten in several statistical categories.Notice which team didn't appear once? Michigan. That's a real surprise. Indiana was the only other Big Ten team absent.