Despite its name, there are eleven teams in the conference:
Member schools participate in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track, rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.
The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten (1895-1939), but left when it decided to deemphasize varsity athletics just before World War II.
The Big Ten was founded in 1895 as the Intercollegiate of Faculty Representatives. It was also called the Western Conference, Big Nine (after Chicago left and before Michigan State joined). It did not formally adopt the name Big Ten until 1984 although the name was first used informally in 1912.