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How Cold are Big Ten Football Games?

Big Ten football fans are used to hearing about cold weather. Television announcers and sports commentators often use words such as frigid, tundra, cold, and frozen as descriptive terms for Big Ten football. Even within the Big Ten, some fan bases will proclaim rival schools to be far colder than their own. While there is no doubt that Big Ten football will be played in cooler weather than most games in the SEC, claims that certain Big Ten stadiums will be drastically colder than others are extreme exaggerations at best.

Game day average temperatures for Big Ten home games were as follows for the 2009 season:


All teams in the Big Ten had average home game temperatures between 51 and 59 degrees. There was only an average difference of seven degrees between the coldest and warmest schools in the conference. Iowa and Minnesota often suffer the most damage from unfounded statements of weather defamation. Those schools were tied for the dubious title of coldest average temperature for Big Ten football games in 2009 but Michigan, Penn State and Illinois were all within one degree.

The words "freezing" and "frozen" were completely inappropriate for describing Big Ten football in 2009. Only one game was played in weather that was below the freezing point, and that game was played by Illinois on December 5th when most teams no longer had regular season games on the schedule.

Only 6 games out of 77 were played in weather below 40 degrees. There's a 92% chance that any given Big Ten game will be played in the 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s. That's perfect football weather.