BIG TEN Championship Game: Wisconsin – Michigan State

On Friday we drove down to Indianapolis for the inaugural BIG TEN Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium between Wisconsin and Michigan State. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen a Football game indoors. That stadium was great, though I would prefer an outdoor game. We had decent seats in the upper level and I don’t believe there’s a bad seat in the house.

The crowd was evenly split between Michigan State and Wisconsin fans and there were a good portion of other BIG TEN fans throughout the stadium. To start the game they had both bands merge and play the National Anthem which was a nice touch. I’ve never been to a bowl game so this was a unique experience to see this many fans from different teams at one game. With the game going back and forth throughout, the momentum of the crowd would shift accordingly. I liked how they set the bands up near the corner of opposite end zones.

Wisconsin took an early lead and then Michigan State rallied by way of going for the two point conversion and carried the lead until late in the game. Wisconsin converted a 4th and 7 and then went ahead for good. Michigan State attempted a late rally but took the penalty you can’t take just as they were about to get the ball back. Wisconsin held on for the won 42-39 comeback win.

The inaugural BIG TEN Championship game had an attendance of 64,152.  The other championship games had the following attendance:

ACC – 73,675
PAC 12 – 59,376
Conference USA – 32,413
BIG 12 – 58,141 (defacto title game between Oklahoma State – Oklahoma)

Considering Wisconsin and Michigan State aren’t quite the ‘marquee‘ teams in the BIG TEN I thought it was a great showing and an amazing game atmosphere. I can only imagine what an Ohio State – Michigan Title game would be like.

Side Notes:

* The View From My Seat.

** BIG TEN 2011 award winners: Marvin McNutt – Iowa, David Milk – Michigan, Brett Maher – Northwestern, Braxton Miller – Ohio State and Devon Still – Penn State.

*** Gatorade Shower, Coaches Handshake, and Trophy Presentation.

**** This was the scene before the game in the Men’s Room.  Clearly this Wisconsin fan was a little concerned about the badgers chances.

***** This young man just finished punching the blue plaque behind his seat approximately 20 times after Michigan State was flagged for ‘running into the kicker’ to effectively end the game.

***** The complete set of my photographs from the game can be found on Flickr.