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Athletic Department Power Index: Big Ten Conference

The AthleticDirectorU Athletic Department Power Index, powered by Athlete Viewpoint, continues with a look at the Big Ten Conference. The Athletic Department Power Index will evaluate the desirability of Athletic Director jobs in every Division I conference across the country.

It’s imperative to note the Athletic Department Power Index is not intended or developed to analyze the performance or potential of the current Athletic Director at the respective institutions. Rather, it is an assessment of the opportunity generally through the eyes of both peers and aspirants to the position were it to become available.

Dozens of sitting Athletic Directors or executive-level administrators who currently work in the Big Ten or are intimately familiar with the league were invited to share feedback on each AD job in the conference. The data was used to provide detailed insights about the potential for success at each school.

The eight variables independently measured and utilized to determine the rankings include:

  • Athletics facilities relative to Big Ten peers
  • Perceptions about the ability to generate donor & corporate support for the athletics program
  • Perceptions about institutional leadership (e.g. President, Trustees, C-Suite) in support of the athletic program
  • Perceptions about the quality of the institution’s brand
  • Potential for Football success relative to Big Ten peers
  • Potential for Men’s Basketball success relative to Big Ten peers
  • Potential for success in non-revenue sports relative to Big Ten peers
  • Quality of Life (cost of living, schools, culture, geography) if all other factors were equal


To view full results for every survey question, please visit the Athlete Viewpoint portal or scroll down for a recap.

Overall rankings for Big Ten AD jobs, graded on a scale of seven as ‘much better likelihood of success as compared to peers’ & one as ‘much worse likelihood of success as compared to peers’:

Full Big Ten category-by-category ranking results:

A Big Ten football program has made the College Football Playoff in six out of its eight years in existence. Ohio State has four appearances with Michigan and Michigan State each laying claim to one appearance. A Big Ten squad last won a national title during the 2014 campaign when the Buckeyes defeated Oregon. Here’s how executive leaders perceive the ability to succeed in football compared to the peer group.

The Big Ten placed eight teams in the 2022 Men’s Basketball Tournament field, the most for any league. Two squads, Michigan and Purdue, advanced to the Sweet 16. Michigan State in 2000 is the most recent men’s basketball national title for the Big Ten. Below is a look at how executive leaders perceive the ability to succeed in men’s basketball compared to the peer group.

The Athletic Department Power Index intends to continue reviewing all Division I conferences in the coming months. As was the case with previous conferences covered, selected individuals will be invited to participate and share their views about specific conferences and the subsequent data will be shared in a similar manner. The technical expertise, survey development, survey distribution and data visualization are provided by Athlete Viewpoint.