The only exception to the mantra of "win the Big 10 and then we'll see what happens next" was of course 1976, when everyone knew that anything less than finishing undefeated and with a national championship was indeed failure, having been 32-1 the year before and returning everyone but Lazkowski and Green
I know it was pre-internet and everything, but that team played with a TON of pressure and enormous expectations. It was so bad that even as a fan, winning it all was not only a joy, but also somewhat of a relief. It sounds strange, but I remember the "Yeah... Wow! But it should have been two!" feeling even as a kid.