Known as the oldest Division I athletic conference in the United States, the Big 10 Conference formerly Big Nine Conference and Western Conference actually consists of 14 members. It’s members compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) which is formerly known as Division I-A and is the highest level of NCAA competition in the sport of football.
The Big 10 Conference was established quite some time ago in 1895 when president James H. Smart and representatives from the universities of Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin gathered at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago to create policies geared towards regulating intercollegiate athletics. In 1905, the conference was incorporated officially.
Big 10 members are mostly major flagship research universities with strong academic and large financial edowment reputations.