December 2011 Archives

Saturday's Schedule

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Eight teams hit the court on Wednesday, continuing conference play to close out the year 2011. Click the links below for each team's game notes.

 

IOWA at #11/11 WISCONSIN, 1 p.m., BTN

#16/17 MICHIGAN STATE at NEBRASKA, 3 p.m., BTN

ILLINOIS (rv/rv) at PURDUE, 4 p.m., ESPN2

#2/2 OHIO STATE at #13/15 INDIANA, 6 p.m., ESPN2

 

All times ET

Friday's Results

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Michigan State 63, Indiana 49
The Michigan State women's basketball team opened the defense of its 2011 Big Ten title with a 63-49 victory at Indiana on Friday night. It was the Spartans ninth-straight win at Assembly Hall. Four Spartans reached double-figures led by 12 points from senior Taylor Alton, who went 4-for-7 from behind the arc, tying a career high in makes. Junior Jasmine Thomas and freshman Jasmine Hines each chipped in 11 points, while senior Lykendra Johnson added 10. Freshman Kiana Johnson dished out a season-high nine assists, while junior Courtney Schiffauer led the team with a career-high tying nine rebounds. RECAP

Michigan 70, Illinois 50
The University of Michigan women's basketball team used a strong first half to upend Illinois in its Big Ten Conference opener, 70-50, on Thursday night (Dec. 30) inside Assembly Hall. For the second time on the season, four Wolverines scored in double figures. Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) led Michigan with a team-high 16 points from 7-of-11 shooting and surpassed 1,000 career points (1,006). Courtney Boylan (Chaska, Minn./Chaska) added 14 points, connecting 6-of-12 from the floor, and Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central) tacked on 12 points, six rebounds and five steals. Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich. /Watervliet) posted a team-high eight rebounds to complement 10 points. RECAP

Iowa 86, Northwestern 55
It's no secret with the University of Iowa women's basketball team that as the long-range shooting goes, so goes the team. This held true Friday night as the Hawkeyes (8-5, 1-0) made 12 3-pointers and defeated Northwestern (10-4, 0-1), 86-55, in the Big Ten opener on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. RECAP

Nebraska 71, Penn State 63
Jordan Hooper scored 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the No. 23 Nebraska women's basketball team to a 71-63 comeback win at No. 16 Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center Friday night. Hooper scored Nebraska's last five points including a huge three-pointer with 16 seconds left to give the Huskers an insurmountable 69-63 lead. The 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., notched her third 30-point effort in the last four games and her third straight double-double to lead the Huskers to their first-ever Big Ten Conference victory. It was Hooper's sixth double-double of the year and ninth of her career, and her fourth career 30-point performance. RECAP

Purdue 57, Minnesota 53
Antionette Howard scored the go-ahead basket and K.K. Houser had 15 points to lead No. 20 Purdue to a 57-53 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten opener for both teams Friday night. The Boilermakers (11-3) shot just 30.4 percent, but tied the game at 50 on a free throw by Sam Ostarello, and then Howard scored on a layup to give Purdue its first lead in the second half at 52-50. RECAP

Ohio State 77, Wisconsin 61
Junior Tayler Hill led four Buckeyes in double-figures with 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds as No. 9/12 Ohio State beat Wisconsin 77-61 Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The win moves the Buckeyes to 14-0 overall on the season, the best in program history, and also gave head coach Jim Foster his 250th win at Ohio State. Samantha Prahalis, first in the Big Ten in assists and fourth in scoring, finished with 12 points and 11 assists for her fourth double-double of the season. RECAP

Weekend Schedule

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December 31
MINNESOTA at Hawai'i - 1 p.m. CT

Weekend Schedule

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December 30
NEBRASKA at San Diego State (Holiday Training Scrimmage) - 2 p.m. CT

December 31
MINNESOTA at Hawai'i - 1 p.m. CT

Friday's Schedule

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The 2011-12 BIg Ten Conference season begins Friday with all 12 teams in action. BTN will carry two games during Friday's conference-openers, including defending conference champion Michigan State visiting Indiana and undefeated Ohio State traveling to Wisconsin. The day's complete schedule, along with links to each team's game notes, can be found below.

Michigan State at Indiana, 6 p.m., BTN
No. 23/rv Nebraska at No. 16/17 Penn State, 7 p.m., BTN.com
Michigan at Illinois, 8 p.m., BTN.com
Northwestern at Iowa, 8 p.m., BTN.com
Minnesota at No. 20/21 Purdue, 7 p.m., BTN.com
No. 9/12 Ohio State at Wisconsin, 8 p.m., BTN

Thursday's Results

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#18/16 MICHIGAN def. PENN STATE, 71-53
Sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 26 points and classmate Evan Smotrycz recorded his third consecutive double-double as the 18th-ranked University of Michigan men's basketball team defeated Penn State, 71-53, in each team's Big Ten Conference lidlifter Thursday night in the Crisler Center. Michigan led by as many as 22 points in winning its sixth straight game. U-M also is off to its best start since the 2006-07 campaign. RECAP & BOX SCORE

Thursday's Schedule

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Michigan hosts Penn State on Thursday evening in both teams' conference openers.

 

PENN STATE at #18/16 MICHIGAN, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN

MSU's Cousins Wins Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

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Michigan State's Kirk Cousins has been selected as the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Cousins is the second Big Ten standout to earn the honor after Ohio State's James Laurinaitis won the first Senior CLASS Award in 2008. Cousins was also named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American, while Northwestern's Dan Persa was tabbed as a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-American.

The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
 
Cousins carries a 3.684 cumulative grade point average and graduated this month with a degree in kinesiology. He is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. The Holland, Mich., native is only the second three-time captain in the 115-year history of Spartan football. One of Michigan State's most involved student-athletes, Cousins has participated in numerous community initiatives. He has volunteered on the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, and he has spoken to countless church and youth organizations. He was also a member of the 2010 Allstate Good Works Team as selected by the American Football Coaches Association and was a two-time finalist for the Wuerrfel Trophy, which honors the college football player who combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.

Cousins holds school records for passing touchdowns (65) and completions (696). He has completed more than 64 percent of his passes for his career - a mark that is No. 1 in Michigan State history and No. 3 in the Big Ten record books. Heading into the Outback Bowl, Cousins had compiled a 26-12 mark as the starting quarterback, including a 21-5 mark his junior and senior seasons.

Weekend Schedule

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DECEMBER 29
#8 MICHIGAN at Mat Town Invitational - All Day
#14 NEBRASKA vs. Boise State - Noon PT [1]
#14 NEBRASKA at Arizona State - 4 p.m. PT [1]

DECEMBER 29-30
#7 ILLINOIS at Midlands Championships - All Day
#1 IOWA at Midlands Championships - All Day
#18 NORTHWESTERN at Midlands Championships - All Day
PURDUE (rv) at Midlands Championships - All Day
WISCONSIN at Midlands Championships - All Day

JANUARY 1-2
INDIANA at Southern Scuffle - All Day
#3 MINNESOTA at Southern Scuffle - All Day
#5 PENN STATE at Southern Scuffle - All Day

Legend
[1] ASU Duals - Tempe, Ariz.

Wednesday's Results

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#2/2 OHIO STATE def. NORTHWESTERN, 87-54
William Buford had career-highs of 28 points and five 3-pointers as No. 2 Ohio State showed off its perimeter shooting in an 87-54 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. RECAP & BOX SCORE

#16/17 MICHIGAN STATE def. #13/15 INDIANA, 80-65
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo loved the fight of his team and knew his 16th-ranked Spartans beat No. 13 Indiana by landing the last knockout punch Wednesday night. RECAP & BOX SCORE

PURDUE def. IOWA, 79-76
Robbie Hummel scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his return to Big Ten play and Purdue opened the conference season with a 79-76 win at Iowa Wednesday night. RECAP & BOX SCORE

Wednesday's Result

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Illinois 83, Alabama A&M 65 | Recap

Wednesday's Schedule

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Six more teams open Big Ten play on Wednesday, including a matchup between two top-25 teams as No. 13/15 Indiana takes on No. 16/17 Michigan State.

 

NORTHWESTERN at #2/2 OHIO STATE, 5:30 p.m., BTN

#13/15 INDIANA at #16/17 MICHIGAN STATE, 7:30 p.m., BTN

PURDUE at IOWA, 9:30 p.m., BTN

 

All times ET

Tuesday's Results

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ILLINOIS (rv/rv) def. MINNESOTA, 81-72 (2OT)
Brandon Paul scored a breakaway dunk that put Illinois ahead in double overtime Tuesday night and Meyers Leonard hit the layup that sealed the 81-72 victory over Minnesota. RECAP & BOX SCORE

#11/11 WISCONSIN def. NEBRASKA, 64-40
Ryan Evans scored a career-high 22 points and No. 11 Wisconsin defeated injury-plagued Nebraska 64-40 in the Cornhuskers' inaugural Big Ten game Tuesday night. RECAP & BOX SCORE

Tuesday's Results

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Indiana 80, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 58 | Recap
Toledo 75, Northwestern 56 | Recap

Tuesday's Schedule

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Big Ten play begins on Tuesday with four teams in action. Click here for the Big Ten weekly release, and click the links below for each team's game notes.

 

MINNESOTA at ILLINOIS (rv/rv), 7:30 p.m., BTN

#11/11 WISCONSIN at NEBRASKA, 9 p.m., ESPN2

 

All times ET

Big Ten in the NFL - Week 16

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Cliff Avril, LB, Detroit (Purdue) - Took an interception back for a touchdown in Detroit's 38-10 win over San Diego.

NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco (Penn State) - Made 12 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss in San Francisco's 19-17 win over Seattle.

Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan) - Passed for 304 yards and a touchdown on 27 of 46 passing and added two rushing touchdowns in New England's 27-24 win over Miami.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Purdue) - Became the NFL's all-time single-season passing yards leader after passing for 307 yards and four touchdowns on 23 of 39 passing in New Orleans' 45-16 win over Atlanta.

Nate Clements, CB, Cincinnati (Ohio State) - Grabbed an interception and made four tackles and a tackle for loss in Cincinnati's 23-16 win over Arizona.

Larry Grant, LB, San Francisco (Ohio State) - Recorded 12 tackles and a sack in San Francisco's 19-17 win over Seattle.

Chad Greenway, LB, Minnesota (Iowa) - Notched 16 tackles in Minnesota's 33-26 win over Washington.

David Harris, LB, New York Jets (Michigan) - Made an interception, along with four tackles and a sack, in the New York Jets' 29-14 loss to the New York Giants.

A.J. Hawk, LB, Green Bay (Ohio State) - Made 12 tackles, including one for loss, in Green Bay's 35-21 win over Chicago.

Chris Kelsay, LB, Buffalo (Nebraska) - Recorded 10 tackles, three sacks and two tackles for loss in Buffalo's 40-14 win over Denver.

James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis (Ohio State) - Racked up 13 tackles in St. Louis' 27-0 loss to Pittsburgh.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh (Illinois) - Rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in Pittsburgh's 27-0 win over St. Louis.

Rob Ninkovich, LB, New England (Purdue) - Posted six tackles and a sack in New England's 27-24 win over Miami.

Kyle Orton, QB, Kansas City (Purdue) - Threw for 300 yards and a touchdown on 21 of 36 passing in Kansas City's 16-13 overtime loss to Oakland.

Evan Royster, RB, Washington (Penn State) - Recorded 19 carries for 132 yards in Washington's 33-26 loss to Minnesota.

Morgan Trent, CB, Jacksonville (Michigan) - Made four tackles and an interception in Jacksonville's 23-17 loss to Tennessee.

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston (Wisconsin) - Made five tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss, in Houston's 19-16 loss to Indianapolis.

Friday's Results

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#13/14 WISCONSIN def. Mississippi Valley State, 79-45

Friday's Results

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Minnesota 71, NJIT 47 | Recap
Green Bay 65, Wisconsin 49 | Recap

Friday's Schedule

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Mississippi Valley State at #13/14 WISCONSIN, 5:30 p.m. ET, BTN

Noting Big Ten Men's Basketball

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Michigan's 77-66 win over Bradley on Thursday night improved the Wolverines' record to 10-2 and gave the Big Ten its ninth 10-win team, which leads the nation.

Iowa's 81-72 victory against Boise State gave the Hawkeyes an 8-5 mark, making the Big Ten the only conference in the country in which every team has eight or more wins.

Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio State each picked up their 12th wins of the season last night and are three of the nine teams in the country with 12 or more wins this year. The Hoosiers are one of six remaining undefeated teams in Division I.

Friday's Schedule

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NJIT at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Green Bay at Wisconsin, 8:30 p.m., BTN.com

Thursday's Results

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#9/8 Missouri def. #24/25 ILLINOIS, 78-74

#17/18 INDIANA def. UMBC, 89-47

IOWA def. Boise State, 81-72

#20/19 MICHIGAN def. Bradley, 77-66

#19/20 MICHIGAN STATE def. Lehigh, 90-81

MINNESOTA def. North Dakota State, 63-59

#23/21 Creighton def. NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv), 87-79

#2/2 OHIO STATE def. Miami (Ohio), 69-40

Thursday's Results

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Iowa 86, Mississippi Valley State 80 | Recap
Michigan 76, Illinois State 59 | Recap
Ohio State 79, Washington State 57 | Recap
Purdue 73, IPFW 36 | Recap

Thursday's Schedule

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Heading into tonight's games, the Big Ten leads the nation with eight 10-win teams. The Big Ten is one of only four conferences in the nation in which every team holds a winning record, and is the only conference in which all teams have seven wins or more. Tonight's schedule is below.

UMBC at #17/18 INDIANA, 6 p.m., ESPN3

Bradley at #20/19 MICHIGAN, 6:30 p.m., BTN

North Dakota State at MINNESOTA, 8 p.m., BTN

NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv) at #23/21 Creighton, 8 p.m., ESPN3

Boise State at IOWA, 8:30 p.m., BTN.com

Miami (Ohio) at #2/2 OHIO STATE, 8:30 p.m. BTN

#9/8 Missouri vs. #25/24 ILLINOIS [16], 9 p.m., ESPN2

Lehigh at #19/20 MICHIGAN STATE, 9 p.m., ESPNU

 

All times ET

 

[16] - St. Louis, Mo.

Thursday's Schedule

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Mississippi Valley St. at Iowa, 6 p.m., BTN.com
Illinois State at Michigan, 1:30 p.m., BTN.com
Washington State at Ohio State, 7 p.m., BTN.com
IPFW at Purdue, 7 p.m., BTN.com

Wednesday's Results

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PENN STATE def. Cornell, 74-67

Wednesday's Results

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Indiana 47, Colorado State 39 | Recap
Pittsburgh 64, Michigan State 54 | Recap
Nebraska 80, North Dakota State 71 | Recap
Penn State 78, Bucknell 54 | Recap

Wednesday's Schedule

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Cornell at PENN STATE, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN

Ranking the Wrestlers

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Sixty-four Big Ten wrestlers have earned top-20 status in their respective weight classes in InterMat's latest Tournament Rankings. The Big Ten again claims four top-ranked grapplers, with Minnesota 125-pounder Zach Sanders, Iowa 141-pounder Montell Marion and Penn State 149-pounder Frank Molinaro and 165-pounder David Taylor remain atop their classes' rankings. The complete breakdown of ranked Big Ten wrestlers and teams can be found below.

Team
1. Iowa (1 last week)
T-3. Minnesota (4)
T-3. Penn State (3)
7. Ohio State (7)
8. Michigan (8)
T-11. Illinois (11)
T-21. Nebraska (T-22)
T-21. Northwestern (T-22)
T-25. Purdue (29)
T-32. Indiana (T-33)
T-39. Michigan State (T-39)
41. Wisconsin (T-39)

125
1. Zach Sanders, MINN (1)
2. Matt McDonough, IOWA (2)
6. Jesse Delgado, ILL (6)
8. Levi Mele, NU (8)
13. Nico Megaludis, PSU (13)
15. Johnni DiJulius, OSU (15)

133
2. Tony Ramos, IOWA (2)
3. Logan Stieber, OSU (3)
5. David Thorn, MINN (6)
6. Cashe Quiroga, PUR (7)
7. B.J. Futrell, ILL (4)
15. Zac Stevens, MICH (15)
17. Ridge Kiley, NEB (17)

141
1. Montell Marion, IOWA (1)
3. Kellen Russell, MICH (3)
6. Hunter Stieber, OSU (6)
10. Nick Dardanes, MINN (10)
11. Jake Sueflohn, NEB (11)

149
1. Frank Molinaro, PSU (1)
4. Eric Grajales, MICH (4)
6. Eric Terrazas, ILL (6)
8. Ivan Lopouchanski, PUR (8)
9. Cole Schmitt, WIS (9)
11. Dylan Ness, MINN (11)
16. Cam Tessari, OSU (16)
19. Dan Osterman, MSU (NR)

157
2. Derek St. John, IOWA (2)
3. Jason Welch, NU (3)
6. Jake Deitchler, MINN (7)
10. Dylan Alton, PSU (10)
13. James Green, NEB (14)
17. Anthony Jones, MSU (NR)

165
1. David Taylor, PSU (1)
5. Robert Kokesh, NEB (5)
10. Cody Yohn, MINN (10)
14. Mike Evans, IOWA (15)
15. Ben Jordan, WIS (16)
17. Dan Yates, MICH (18)

174
2. Ed Ruth, PSU (2)
4. Nick Heflin, OSU (5)
5. Justin Zeerip, MICH (6)
8. Ethen Lofthouse, IOWA (8)
9. Jordan Blanton, ILL (9)
11. Logan Storley, MINN (11)
13. Lee Munster, NU (13)

184
5. Quentin Wright, PSU (5)
8. Kevin Steinhaus, MINN (9)
9. Josh Ihnen, NEB (10)
14. C.J. Magrum, OSU (15)
20. Braden Atwood, PUR (NR)

197
2. Sonny Yohn, MINN (2)
4. Matt Powless, IND (5)
7. Grant Gambrall, IOWA (2 at 184)
11. Morgan McIntosh, PSU (10)
14. Mario Gonzalez, ILL (13)
16. Tyler Dickenson, MSU (15)
17. A.J. Kissel, PUR (16)

285
7. Tony Nelson, MINN (7)
8. Cameron Wade, PSU (8)
9. Bobby Telford, IOWA (9)
10. Tucker Lane, NEB (10)
12. Mike McClure, MSU (12)
16. Peter Capone, OSU (16)
18. Ben Apland, MICH (18)

Wednesday's Schedule

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Colorado State vs. Indiana, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.
South Dakota St. at Nebraska, 8 p.m., BTN.com
Penn State at Bucknell, 7 p.m.

Michigan State's Boss Earns Preseason Honors

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Michigan State third baseman Torsten Boss was named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America third team, Collegiate Baseball newspaper announced on Tuesday. Boss earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition a season ago after helping the Spartans to a share of their first conference title since 1979. COMPLETE RELEASE

Five Receiving Votes in Preseason Poll

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Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue are all receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Poll released on Monday. COMPLETE RELEASE

In the Polls

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In a relatively unchanged NWCA/USA Today Division I Coaches Poll, eight Big Ten wrestling teams appear in the top 20, with six holding spots in the top 10. Iowa again holds the top ranking in the country, receiving seven of the 10 first-place votes. No. 3 Minnesota, No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Illinois and No. 8 Michigan each maintain their top-10 status this week. Nebraska continues its ascent through the rankings, moving up two more spots to No. 14 this week, while Northwestern holds No. 18. Purdue is also receiving votes this week.

Click here to see the complete poll.

Tuesday's Results

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NEBRASKA def. Central Michigan, 72-69

#2/2 OHIO STATE def. Lamar, 70-50

PURDUE def. IPFW, 81-56

Tuesday's Results

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Dayton 80, Illinois 66 | Recap
Pittsburgh 77, Indiana 72 | Recap
Iowa 71, Drake 46 | Recap
Michigan State 72, Colorado State 45 | Recap
Northwestern 68, North Dakota State 55 | Recap
Ohio State 88, Southern Utah 50 | Recap
Purdue 66, Oakland 47 | Recap

Big Ten in the NFL - Week 15

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Pat Angerer, LB, Indianapolis (Iowa) - Made 12 tackles, including two for loss, and an interception in Indianapolis' 27-13 win over Tennessee.

Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan) - Threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns on 23 of 34 passing in New England's 41-23 win over Denver.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Purdue) - Completed 32 of 40 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns in New Orleans' 42-20 win over Minnesota.

Nate Clements, CB, Cincinnati (Ohio State) - Posted seven tackles, including two for loss and a sack in Cincinnati's 20-13 win over St. Louis.

Vontae Davis, CB, Miami (Illinois) - Made five tackles and two interceptions in Miami's 30-23 win over Buffalo.

Chad Greenway, LB, Minnesota (Iowa) - Recorded 10 tackles in Minnesota's 42-20 loss to New Orleans.

Tamba Hali, LB, Kansas City (Penn State) - Made three sacks and four tackles in Kansas City's 19-14 win over Green Bay.

Chris Kelsay, LB, Buffalo (Nebraska) - Made seven tackles and a sack in Buffalo's 30-23 loss to Miami.

Kyle Orton, QB, Kansas City (Purdue) - Threw for 299 yards on 23 of 31 passing in Kansas City's 19-14 win over Green Bay, handing the previously undefeated Packers their first loss of the year.

Shaun Phillips, LB, San Diego (Purdue) - Made six tackles, half a sack, two tackles for loss and an interception in San Diego's 34-14 win over Baltimore.

Chris L. Rucker, CB, Indianapolis (Michigan State) - Posted 11 tackles and recovered a fumble in Indianapolis' 27-13 win over Tennessee.

Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay (Michigan) - Recorded 11 tackles and a tackle for loss in Green Bay's 19-14 loss to Kansas City.

Five Big Ten Standouts Named Consensus All-Americans

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Five Big Ten football players were named consensus All-Americans today, including one unanimous selection, as compiled from All-America teams chosen by the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Walter Camp Foundation. The Big Ten was one of only three conferences with five or more consensus All-Americans, as the SEC led all conferences with nine honorees followed by five picks each for the Big Ten and Big 12.

Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus was one of seven unanimous first-team All-Americans. He was joined by two more Big Ten consensus All-Americans on the defensive line in Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Penn State's Devon Still. On offense, Michigan center David Molk and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball were both named consensus All-Americans.

In the Polls

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The Big Ten leads the country with seven volleyball teams ranked in the final AVCA Division I Coaches Poll of the 2011 season, including three top-10 squads, which also leads the nation. After reaching the NCAA Championship final, Illinois closes the season ranked second in the country. Joining the Fighting Illini in the top 10 are No. 9 Purdue and No. 10 Penn State, who each advanced to the tournament's regional semifinals. Nebraska closes the season at No. 12, while Minnesota ranks 15th. Michigan is tied for 20th in the final poll, while Ohio State rounds out the group of ranked teams at No. 23. Michigan State is also receiving votes in the season's final rankings.

Click here to see the complete poll.

Tuesday's Schedule

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Dayton vs. Illinois, 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Indiana, 1 p.m.
Drake vs. Iowa, 8 p.m., BTN.com
Colorado State vs. Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.
North Dakota St. vs. Northwestern, 8 p.m.
Southern Utah at Ohio State, 2 p.m.
Oakland at Purdue, Noon, BTN.com

Four Teams Appear in Weekly Polls

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Four Big Ten women's basketball teams appeared in the top 25 in one or both polls this week, tied for the second most of any conference in the nation. Ohio State leads the conference contingent in both rankings, checking in at No. 11 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Penn State remains at No. 16 in the AP poll and climbs to No. 16 in the coaches rankings, while Purdue jumps two spots to No. 20 in the AP rankings and one spot to No. 21 in the coaches poll. Nebraska gives the Big Ten its fourth ranked squad, appearing at No. 24 in the AP poll. Michigan and Northwestern are among other squads receiving votes this week.

Delany Joins USA Football Board of Directors

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USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, announced today that Big Ten Commissioner JIM DELANY has joined its board of directors. Delany is in his 23rd year as Big Ten commissioner and has overseen the conference's expansion to 12 teams, helped create the first national conference-owned television network (BTN), spearheaded the development of the first collegiate version of football instant replay, implemented conference-wide sportsmanship initiatives and adopted a multi-phased gender equity program during his tenure.
 
A native of South Orange, N.J., Delany received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of North Carolina in 1970 and juris doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1973. Delany's distinguished career in administering intercollegiate athletics began at the NCAA where he was employed as an enforcement representative from 1975-79. For the next decade, he served as commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference, where he oversaw the growth and enhancement of OVC athletic programs for men and women. Active in the community, Delany has coached several youth teams and has been associated with Special Olympics and YMCA endeavors at various times.

USA Football has educated more than 75,000 youth football coaches through its online courses and single-day coaching clinics since 2006. USA Football, with members in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., conducts more than 80 football events annually across the country. The independent non-profit offers education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players, resources for youth football league commissioners, and manages America's national teams in the sport for international competition. More than 60 countries on six continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to American football.

"We're proud to have Jim join our board of directors," USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. "The Big Ten stands among the NCAA's preeminent conferences, and under his leadership has continued to provide exceptional athletic and academic experiences for young people. His knowledge and commitment to the sport will make him a valuable contributor to USA Football and to our country's football community."

About USA Football: USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 80 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent non-profit is the official football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and provides $1 million annually in equipment grants for youth and high school football programs. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.

Monday's Results

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Ohio State 88, Charlotte 58 | Recap
Illinois 68, Montana State 56 | Recap
Kansas State 64, Northwestern 45 | Recap

Monday's Results

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#25/24 ILLINOIS def. Cornell, 64-60

#17/18 INDIANA def. Howard, 107-50

IOWA def. Central Arkansas, 105-64

#19/20 MICHIGAN STATE def. UMKC, 89-54

Monday's Schedule

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Montana State vs. Illinois, 4 p.m.
Kansas State vs. Northwestern, 9:30 p.m.
Charlotte at Ohio State, 1 p.m., BTN.com

MSU's Ray Named Winner of FWAA Courage Award

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Michigan State's Arthur Ray Jr. has been named the winner of the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award. Ray, a senior offensive lineman from Chicago, returned to football this season, four years after bone cancer derailed his career.
 
"This is a tremendous award for a young man who has conquered all of the odds up against him," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "He's played in games this year and has participated on the practice field daily. It's been a long road. He was on crutches for almost two years, from 2007 to 2009. He's really a living example to our football team on what you can do with a positive attitude and if you just continue to work, how you can conquer all obstacles."
 
Ray signed with Michigan State as a highly recruited lineman from Chicago's Mount Carmel High School in 2007, but was soon diagnosed with cancer in his left leg. Through nine surgeries - including four bone grafts - countless rounds of chemotherapy and several outbreaks of infection, he was unable to practice or play. For almost two years, he was unable to walk without crutches. He had been given a medical disqualification and remained on scholarship with Michigan State. But last April, doctors cleared him to resume football.
 
Still, practicing was one thing; playing quite another. On Sept. 3, when the Spartans opened the season against Youngstown State, starting left guard Joel Foreman - a fifth-year senior and a team co-captain - asked Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio if he could give up his position to his friend. Foreman had started 22 straight games and 36 of 38 in his career. Ray participated in only the first play, but blocked two players. He has since played against Florida Atlantic and Indiana, and continues to practice with the goal of earning more playing time.

For the sixth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl announced a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel determined the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an FWAA member. A select group of FWAA members vote on the recipient each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.

Weekend Roundup

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DECEMBER 16
#18 NORTHWESTERN def. North Central, 40-6

DECEMBER 17
#16 NEBRASKA def. South Dakota State, 37-3

DECEMBER 18
#7 ILLINOIS def. Chattanooga, 30-6
#6 OHIO STATE def. INDIANA, 31-6
MICHIGAN STATE at Reno Tournament of Champions - 5th/28 teams
#16 NEBRASKA def. North Dakota State, 31-6
PURDUE (rv) def. Truman State, 44-3
PURDUE (rv) def. SIU-Edwardsville, 47-3
#5 PENN STATE def. Lock Haven, 50-0

Sunday's Results

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Nebraska 94, Vermont 41 | Recap
Northwestern 79, UNLV 49 | Recap
Penn State 103, Wagner 42 | Recap
Purdue 62, Auburn 54 | Recap

Sunday's Results

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PENN STATE def. Mount St. Mary's, 72-43

NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv) def. Eastern Illinois, 87-72

Sunday's Schedule

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Northwestern at UNLV, 8 p.m.
Vermont at Nebraska, 3 p.m., BTN.com
Wagner at Penn State, 1 p.m., BTN.com
Purdue at Auburn, 3 p.m.

Sunday's Schedule

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Mount St. Mary's at PENN STATE, 4 p.m., BTN

Eastern Illinois at NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv), 6 p.m., BTN

 

All times ET

Saturday's Results

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Texas Tech 70, Illinois 64 | Recap
Northern Illinois 60, Indiana 59 | Recap
Bradley 96, Iowa 88 | Recap
Michigan 72, Indiana State 44 | Recap
Ohio State 77, California 75 | Recap

Saturday's Results

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UNLV (rv/rv) def. No. 19/19 ILLINOIS [15], 64-48

#18/20 INDIANA def. Notre Dame [14], 69-58

IOWA def. Drake, 82-68

#20/18 MICHIGAN def. Alabama A&M, 87-57

#21/23 MICHIGAN STATE def. Bowling Green, 74-60

NEBRASKA def. Alcorn State, 60-46

NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv) def. Central Connecticut, 70-64

#2/2 OHIO STATE def. South Carolina, 74-66

Butler def. PURDUE (-/rv) [14], 67-65

 

[14] - Crossroads Classic (Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis)

[15] - United Center, Chicago

Saturday's Schedule

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Texas Tech at Illinois, 2 p.m., BTN
Northern Illinois at Indiana, 7 p.m., BTN.com
Iowa at Bradley, 8 p.m.
Indiana State at Michigan, 7 p.m., BTN.com
Ohio State at California, 8 p.m.

Saturday's Schedule

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Alabama A&M at #20/18 MICHIGAN, Noon, BTN

#2/2 OHIO STATE at South Carolina, Noon, ESPN

Central Connecticut at NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv), 2 p.m., BTN.com

PURDUE (-/rv) vs. Butler [14], 2 p.m., CBS

#18/20 INDIANA vs. Notre Dame [14], 4:30 p.m., ESPN2

UNLV (rv/rv) vs. #19/19 ILLINOIS [15], 5 p.m., BTN

Bowling Green at #21/23 MICHIGAN STATE, 7 p.m., BTN

Alcorn State at NEBRASKA, 8 p.m., BTN.com

Drake at IOWA, 9 p.m., BTN

 

All times ET

 

[14] - Crossroads Classic (Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis)

[15] - United Center, Chicago

Weekend Schedule

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DECEMBER 16
North Central at #18 NORTHWESTERN - 7 p.m. CT

DECEMBER 17
#16 NEBRASKA at South Dakota State - 7 p.m. CT

DECEMBER 18
MICHIGAN STATE at Reno Tournament of Champions - All Day
Chattanooga at #7 ILLINOIS - 1 p.m. CT
#16 NEBRASKA at North Dakota State - 1 p.m. CT
PURDUE (rv) at SIU-Edwardsville - 1 p.m. CT
INDIANA at #6 OHIO STATE - 2 p.m. ET
#5 PENN STATE at Lock Haven - 2 p.m. ET
PURDUE (rv) vs. Truman State - 4 p.m. CT

Thursday's Schedule

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NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv) def. Texas Southern, 81-51

#14/15 WISCONSIN def. Savannah State, 66-33

Thursday's Schedule

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Texas Southern at NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv), 8 p.m. ET, BTN.com 

Savannah State at #14/15 WISCONSIN, 8 p.m. ET, BTN
Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo and Penn State's Maya Hayes have been named as two of Soccer America's Most Valuable Players, as announced on Thursday.

DiBernardo was named a Second Team MVP after tallying 39 points on 17 goals and five assists on the season.

Hayes earned recognition as a First Team MVP after leading the nation in points (70) and goals (31) this season. Hayes is also a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, which is set to be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

For the complete release, click here.
Michigan State senior Jenilee Rathje and Purdue junior Ariel Turner have earned Capital One Academic All-America honors, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday. Rathje, a kinesiology major, and Turner, a mechanical engineering major, each received spots on the second team. The pair of Academic All-Americans gives the Big Ten the most since 2008, when two players hailing from the conference earned the accolade.

Click here to read more on the Academic All-Americans.

Wednesday's Results

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Denver 72, Minnesota 63 | Recap
Northwestern 87, Morgan State 74 | Recap

Wednesday's Results

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#2/2 OHIO STATE def. USC-Upstate, 82-58

Wednesday's Schedule

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USC-Upstate at #2/2 OHIO STATE, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN

Nine Big Ten Standouts Named AP All-Americans

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Nine Big Ten football players were named to the first, second or third team of the Associated Press (AP) All-America teams, including six first-team selections. Three Big Ten standouts were named first-team All-Americans on offense - Michigan center David Molk and the Wisconsin duo of running back Montee Ball and guard Kevin Zeitler. Three Big Ten student-athletes were tabbed as first-team All-Americans on defense - Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still. AP second-team All-Americans from the Big Ten were Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David and Wisconsin center Peter Konz, while Ohio State defensive tackle John Simon was named to the third team.

Dezse and Wittgren Pick up Preseason Honors

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Ohio State's Josh Dezse and Purdue's Nick Wittgren were named Preseason All-Americans by the NCBWA on Wednesday.

Dezse, a sophomore utility player, was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year last season and earned All-Freshman and second-team All-Big Ten recognition.

Wittgren, a reliever, picked up second-team All-Big Ten accolades a season ago.

FULL STORY

Ranking the Wrestlers

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Sixty-two Big Ten wrestlers appear in the top 20 of their respective weight classes in the latest InterMat Tournament Rankings. The Big Ten is represented in the top two of nine of the 10 weight classes, with four earning No. 1 rankings -- Minnesota 125-pounder Zach Sanders, Iowa 141-pounder Montell Marion, and Penn State 149-pounder Frank Molinaro and 165-pounder David Taylor. The complete breakdown of ranked Big Ten wrestlers and teams can be found below.

Team
1. Iowa (1 last week)
3. Penn State (3)
4. Minnesota (4)
7. Ohio State (7)
8. Michigan (8)
11. Illinois (T-11)
T-22. Nebraska (31)
T-22. Northwestern (T-22)
29. Purdue (28)
T-33. Indiana (T-33)
T-39. Michigan State (T-50)
T-39. Wisconsin (T-41)

125
1. Zach Sanders, MINN (1)
2. Matt McDonough, IOWA (3)
6. Jesse Delgado, ILL (6)
8. Levi Mele, NU (8)
13. Nico Megaludis, PSU (15)
15. Johnni DiJulius, OSU (13)

133
2. Tony Ramos, IOWA (2)
3. Logan Stieber, OSU (3)
4. B.J. Futrell, ILL (4)
6. David Thorn, MINN (6)
7. Cashe Quiroga, PUR (7)
15. Zac Stevens, MICH (12)
17. Ridge Kiley, NEB (18)

141
1. Montell Marion, IOWA (1)
3. Kellen Russell, MICH (4)
6. Hunter Stieber, OSU (6)
10. Nick Dardanes, MINN (10)
11. Jake Sueflohn, NEB (12)

149
1. Frank Molinaro, PSU (1)
4. Eric Grajales, MICH (4)
6. Eric Terrazas, ILL (6)
8. Ivan Lopouchanski, PUR (8)
9. Cole Schmitt, WIS (9)
11. Dylan Ness, MINN (12)
16. Cam Tessari, OSU (15)

157
2. Derek St. John, IOWA (2)
3. Jason Welch, NU (3)
7. Jake Deitchler, MINN (9)
10. Dylan Alton, PSU (10)
14. James Green, NEB (16)
19. Josh Demas, OSU (19)

165
1. David Taylor, PSU (1)
5. Robert Kokesh, NEB (10)
10. Cody Yohn, MINN (8)
15. Mike Evans, IOWA (15)
16. Ben Jordan, WIS (17)
18. Dan Yates, MICH (19)

174
2. Ed Ruth, PSU (2)
5. Nick Heflin, OSU (5)
6. Justin Zeerip, MICH (6)
8. Ethen Lofthouse, IOWA (8)
9. Jordan Blanton, ILL (9)
11. Logan Storley, MINN (10)
13. Lee Munster, NU (12)

184
2. Grant Gambrall, IOWA (2)
5. Quentin Wright, PSU (5)
9. Kevin Steinhaus, MINN (9)
10. Josh Ihnen, NEB (10)
15. C.J. Magrum, OSU (15)

197
2. Sonny Yohn, MINN (2)
5. Matt Powless, IND (5)
10. Morgan McIntosh, PSU (10)
13. Mario Gonzalez, ILL (18)
15. Tyler Dickenson, MSU (NR)
16. A.J. Kissel, PUR (12)

HWT
7. Tony Nelson, MINN (7)
8. Cameron Wade, PSU (8)
9. Bobby Telford, IOWA (9)
10. Tucker Lane, NEB (10)
12. Mike McClure, MSU (13)
16. Peter Capone, OSU (NR)
18. Ben Apland, MICH (18)

In The Polls

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Indiana and Northwestern have earned spots in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire National Rankings, as announced today. The Hoosiers (13-4-5) finish at No. 10, while the Wildcats (11-5-5) clock in at No. 22.

For the complete poll, click here.

Nine Big Ten Players Tabbed AVCA All-Americans

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Nine Big Ten players have been selected as AVCA Division I All-Americans, with four players earning first-team status. Illinois' Colleen Ward, Nebraska's Gina Mancuso, Penn State's Deja McClendon and Purdue's Ariel Turner earned first-team honors, while Minnesota's Ashley Wittman and Penn State's Katie Slay were named to the second team. Illinois' Michelle Bartsch, Michigan State's Jenilee Rathje and Penn State's Ariel Scott earned third-team honors. Seven others received honorable mention -- Minnesota's Tori Dixon, Nebraska's Morgan Broekhuis, Lauren Cook and Hannah Werth, Ohio State's Emily Danks and Mari Hole and Purdue's Tiffany Fisher.

Click here to see the complete AVCA Division I All-America teams.

Wednesday's Schedule

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Minnesota at Denver, 9 p.m.
Morgan State at Northwestern, 1 p.m.

Tuesday's Results

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#20/18 MICHIGAN def. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 63-50

#14/15 WISCONSIN def. Milwaukee, 60-54

MINNESOTA def. Central Michigan, 76-56

Tuesday's Result

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Ohio State 83, Southern 49 | Recap

Tuesday's Schedule

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Arkansas-Pine Bluff at #20/18 MICHIGAN, 7 p.m., ESPNU

#14/15 WISCONSIN at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Central Michigan at MINNESOTA, 9 p.m., ESPNU

 

All times ET

Tuesday's Schedule

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Southern at #12/14 Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN

In the Polls

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Eight Big Ten wrestling teams appear in a relatively unchanged NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll this week, with six teams remaining in the top 10. Iowa stands atop the poll for the fifth consecutive week, earning eight of the 10 first-place votes. No. 3 Minnesota, No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Illinois and No. 8 Michigan also hold the same top-10 spots as last week, giving the Big Ten the most top-10 teams of any conference in the country. Nebraska jumps five spots to No. 16 this week, while Northwestern moves up one to No. 18. Purdue is also receiving votes in the poll.

Click here to see the complete poll.

Big Ten in the NFL - Week 14

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Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit (Purdue) - Posted eight tackles, including three for loss and two sacks, along with a recovered fumble in Detroit's 34-28 win over Minnesota.

Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan) - Threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns on 22 of 37 passing in New England's 34-27 win over Washington.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Purdue) - Completed 36 of 47 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns in New Orleans' 22-17 win over Tennessee.

Kurt Coleman, S, Philadelphia (Ohio State) - Made six tackles and an interception in Philadelphia's 26-10 win over Miami.

Owen Daniels, TE, Houston (Wisconsin) - Caught seven passes for 100 yards in Houston's 20-19 win over Cincinnati.

Larry Grant, LB, San Francisco (Ohio State) - Made 11 tackles in San Francisco's 21-19 loss to Arizona.

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets (Iowa) - Racked up 129 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and added three catches for 58 yards in the New York Jets' 37-10 win over Kansas City.

Roy Helu, RB, Washington (Nebraska) - Rushed for 126 yards on 27 carries in Washington's 34-27 loss to New England.

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, New Orleans (Ohio State) - Made 10 tackles in New Orleans' 22-17 win over Tennessee.

James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis (Ohio State) - Posted 12 tackles, including one for loss, in St. Louis' 30-13 loss to Seattle.

Sean Lee, LB, Dallas (Penn State) - Made nine tackles and an interception in Dallas' 37-34 loss to the New York Giants.

Paul Posluszny, LB, Jacksonville (Penn State) - Posted seven tackles and an interception in Jacksonville's 41-14 win over Tampa Bay.

Bryan Scott, S, Buffalo (Penn State) - Made eight  tackles and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in Buffalo's 37-10 loss to San Diego.

Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay (Michigan) - Recorded six tackles and an interception in Green Bay's 46-16 win over Oakland.

2011 Field Hockey Season in Review

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The Big Ten enjoyed a successful 2011 field hockey season highlighted by four teams earning bids to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship. Penn State earned the conference's automatic berth after winning the Big Ten Tournament. Big Ten Champion Michigan joined Iowa and Ohio State in the 16-team field, marking the 11th-straight season the conference has sent three or more teams to the national tournament and the fourth time in the last 17 seasons the conference has sent four or more teams to the championship.

Where We Rank: All four of the Big Ten's NCAA tournament squads were ranked in the top-15 of the Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Poll at the end of the regular season. Penn State and Michigan were ranked seventh and eighth, respectively. Iowa finished 12th, while Ohio State was 15th. Indiana, Michigan State and Northwestern also received votes. Click here for the complete poll.

B1G Postseason Accolades: The Big Ten Conference announced its 2011 field hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Thursday, Nov. 3, with Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State collecting individual honors. The Wildcats' Chelsea Armstrong was named Offensive Player of the Year, while the Buckeyes' Jenn Sciulli took home Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Nittany Lions' Laura Gebhart was named Freshman of the Year, while the Wolverines' Marcia Pankratz earned Coach of the Year honors. To view the All-Big Ten recipients, click here.

All-Region Honorees: Twenty-four Big Ten student-athletes earned Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Region Team accolades, including 15 first-team honorees. All seven Big Ten field hockey teams are represented on the list of recipients. For the complete list, see below.

Brenna Moeljadi, IND*
Jessica Barnett, IOWA*
Sarah Drake, IOWA*
Kathleen McGraw, IOWA*
Kim Scraper, IOWA
Mallory Albini, MICH
Bryn Bain, MICH*
Aline Fobe, MICH*
Rachel Mack, MICH*
Abby Barker, MSU
Molly Cassidy, MSU
Adele Lever, MSU
Chelsea Armstrong, NU*
Nikki Parsley, NU*
Danica Deckard, OSU
Paula Pastor-Pitarque, OSU*
Berta Queralt, OSU
Jenn Sciulli, OSU*
Lauren Alloway, PSU
Kelsey Amy, PSU*
Laura Gebhart, PSU*
Brittany Grzywacz, PSU*
Ayla Halus, PSU*
Lauren Purvis, PSU

* indicates first-team selection

NFHCA All-American Teams: Eight Big Ten student-athletes were named to the NFHCA All-American Teams. Penn State's Kelsey Amy, Northwestern's Chelsea Armstrong and Ohio State's Jenn Sciulli were tabbed first team All-Americans. Michigan's Bryn Bain and Penn State's Ayla Halus earned second team recognition, while Iowa's Jessica Barnett, Penn State's Laura Gebhart and Michigan's Rachael Mack earned third team consideration.

Kelsey Amy, PSU*
Chelsea Armstrong, NU*
Bryn Bain, MICH
Jessica Barnett, IOWA
Laura Gebhart, PSU
Ayla Halus, PSU
Rachael Mack, MICH
Jenn Sciulli, OSU*

* indicates first team selection

West Region Coach of the Year: Iowa's Tracey Griesbaum has earned the 2011 Dita/NFHCA Division I West Region Coach of the Year, as announced on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Griesbaum led the Hawkeyes to a 15-5 record en route to a Sweet 16 NCAA Championship appearance.

The National Coach of the Year will be announced on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the NFHCA Coaches Recognition Luncheon.

Six Receiving Votes in Latest AP Poll

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Six Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, which was released on Monday afternoon. One of just 12 undefeated teams in the country, Ohio State leads the conference contingent at No. 12. Penn State follows at No. 16, while Purdue checks in at No. 22 this week. Nebraska is making their its appearance in the top 25 this season, rounding out the poll at No. 25. Michigan and Northwestern are among the other squads also receiving votes this week.

Big Ten Men's Cross Country Season in Review

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The 2011 men's cross country season saw the first NCAA Champion hailing from the Big Ten since 2005, as Wisconsin took home its fifth national title at the NCAA Championships. Four of the five Badger scorers earned All-America status to lead Wisconsin to the crown, while all five competing Big Ten teams placed in the top 25 at the season-concluding meet. Indiana followed Wisconsin in the top 10, placing seventh, while Minnesota took 16th, Michigan finished 20th and Ohio State landed in 23rd.

Big Ten Hauls in Regional, National Awards: The Big Ten brought home several national and regional awards, headlined by Wisconsin head coach Mick Byrne's National Coach of the Year award. Indiana's Andy Bayer, Minnesota's Hassan Mead, and Wisconsin's Mohammed Ahmed, Ryan Collins, Reed Connor, Maverick Darling and Elliot Krause were honored as All-Americans based on their NCAA Championships finish, while Mead also collected Midwest Region Athlete of the Year and Byrne collecting Midwest Region Coach of the Year laurels. Additionally, 26 Big Ten runners earned All-Region status by virtue of their top-25 finish at their respective regionals. For complete regional results, click here.

Big Ten Championships Roundup: Wisconsin took home its 13th consecutive Big Ten Championship, posting the second-lowest team score (17) in conference history en route to the team's 45th overall title. Mohammed Ahmed led the Badgers, placing first individually with a Big Ten record 8K time of 23:18. For the full Big Ten Championships recap and a list of All-Big Ten honorees, click here.

Big Ten Postseason Awards: After posting a record-setting time at the Big Ten Championships, Wisconsin's Mohammed Ahmed was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. Badger head coach Mick Byrne collected his fourth straight Coach of the Year honor, while Michigan State's David Madrigal took home Freshman of the Year laurels.

ESPN.com Recognizes Big Ten for Big Wins

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Following Indiana's win over No. 1/1 Kentucky and Michigan State's road victory against No. 23/22 Gonzaga, ESPN.com has named the Hoosiers its Team of the Week and the Spartans' Draymond Green its Player of the Week. FULL STORY

Weekend Roundup

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DECEMBER 8
#1 IOWA def. Northern Iowa, 38-4

DECEMBER 9
PURDUE (rv) def. MICHIGAN STATE, 22-17
#6 OHIO STATE def. #9 Pittsburgh, 22-9
#5 PENN STATE def. #10 Lehigh, 24-12
#3 MINNESOTA def. Iowa State, 34-6

DECEMBER 10
#21 NEBRASKA def. #14 Wyoming, 19-15

DECEMBER 11
#6 OHIO STATE def. #20 Kent State, 22-15
#8 MICHIGAN def. WISCONSIN, 21-12
#5 PENN STATE def. West Virginia, 34-6
#19 NORTHWESTERN def. SIU-Edwardsville, 43-3
#19 NORTHWESTERN def. Indianapolis, 44-3

Seven Big Ten Teams Earn Top-25 Preseason Status

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All eight Big Ten women's gymnastics teams are ranked or receiving votes in the 2012 GymInfo Pre-Season Coaches Poll, with seven appearing in the top 25. Big Ten newcomer Nebraska leads the way at No. 6, while reigning Big Ten Champion Michigan also appears in the top 10 at No. 10. Penn State debuts at No. 13, while Illinois follows at No. 15. Ohio State checks in at No. 18, while No. 22 Minnesota and No. 25 Iowa round out the poll. Michigan State is also receiving votes in the first poll of the season.

Click here to see the complete poll.

Sunday's Results

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#24/22 ILLINOIS def. Coppin State, 80-63

Sunday's Results

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Indiana 65, IUPUI 64 | Recap
Eastern Michigan 77, Michigan 64 | Recap
Minnesota 75, Alcorn State 46 | Recap
Penn State 76, Maryland East. Shore 51 | Recap
Central Michigan 75, Purdue 62 | Recap
Drake 65, Wisconsin 54 | Recap

Sunday's Schedule

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Coppin State at #24/22 ILLINOIS, 8 p.m., ESPNU

 

All times ET

Sunday's Schedule

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Indiana at IUPUI, 2 p.m.
Michigan at Eastern Michigan, 2 p.m.
Alcorn State at Minnesota, 3 p.m., BTN.com
Md.-Eastern Shore at Penn State, 2 p.m., BTN.com
Purdue at Central Michigan, 2 p.m.
Drake at Wisconsin 3 p.m., BTN.com

Saturday's Results

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MINNESOTA def. Saint Peter's 69-47

#14/16 WISCONSIN def. UNLV, 62-51

#13/13 Kansas def. #2/2 OHIO STATE, 78-67

#20/19 MICHIGAN def. Oakland, 90-80

PURDUE (rv/rv) def. Eastern Michigan, 61-36

INDIANA (rv/rv) def. #1/1 Kentucky, 73-72

Duquesne def. PENN STATE, 66-59

NEBRASKA def. TCU, 69-57

MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv) def. #22/23 Gonzaga, 74-67

Saturday's Results

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Minnesota 79, Harvard 53 | Recap
Texas 61, Michigan State 53 | Recap
Nebraska 97, Northern Arizona 88 | Recap
Northwestern 72, Loyola 67 | Recap
Ohio State 84, Canisius 41 | Recap
Notre Dame 66, Purdue 38 | Recap

Four Big Ten Players Named FWAA All-Americans

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Four Big Ten standouts were named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America team, including two each on offense and defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Michigan center David Molk and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball were named FWAA All-Americans. On defense, two of the four defensive line spots were filled by conference players - Illinois' Whitney Mercilus and Penn State's Devon Still.

Saturday's Schedule

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Michigan State at Texas, 3 p.m.
Harvard at Minnesota, 5 p.m., BTN.com
Nebraska at Northern Arizona, 4:30 p.m.
Northwestern at Loyola (Ill.), 3 p.m.
Canisius at Ohio State, Noon, BTN.com
Notre Dame at Purdue, Noon, BTN

Saturday's Schedule

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St. Peter's at MINNESOTA, 1 p.m., BTN.com

UNLV (rv/rv) at #14/16 WISCONSIN, 2 p.m., BTN

#2/2 OHIO STATE at #13/13 Kansas, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Oakland vs. #20/19 MICHIGAN [13], 4 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit

Eastern Michigan at PURDUE (rv/rv), 4 p.m., BTN

#1/1 Kentucky at INDIANA (rv/rv), 5:15 p.m., ESPN

PENN STATE at Duquesne, 7 p.m.

NEBRASKA at TCU, 8 p.m., The Mtn.

MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv) at #22/23 Gonzaga, 9 p.m., ESPN2

 

All times ET

 

[13] - Auburn Hills, Mich.

Saturday's Schedule

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St. Peter's at MINNESOTA, 1 p.m., BTN.com

UNLV (rv/rv) at #14/16 WISCONSIN, 2 p.m., BTN

#2/2 OHIO STATE at #13/13 Kansas, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Oakland vs. #20/19 MICHIGAN [13], 4 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit

Eastern Michigan at PURDUE (rv/rv), 4 p.m., BTN

#1/1 Kentucky at INDIANA (rv/rv), 5:15 p.m., ESPN

PENN STATE at Duquesne, 7 p.m.

NEBRASKA at TCU, 8 p.m., The Mtn.

MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv) at #22/23 Gonzaga, 9 p.m., ESPN2

 

All times ET

 

[13] - Auburn Hills, Mich.

Friday's Results

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Iowa State def. IOWA, 86-76

Friday's Schedule

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IOWA at Iowa State, 8 p.m. ET

Friday's Schedule

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Western Illinois at Iowa, 8 p.m.

Wisconsin's Ball Claims Chicago Tribune Silver Football

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Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is the winner of the 2011 Chicago Tribune Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten's best player since 1924. Ball is the first Badger to claim the Silver Football since fellow running back Ron Dayne was honored in 1999. Ball has tallied a Big Ten record 38 touchdowns this season, just one shy of the NCAA record, and led the conference in rushing and all-purpose yards. He is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and was already named the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.

Weekend Schedule

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December 9
INDIANA at Hoosier Open

Weekend Schedule

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December 9
INDIANA at Hoosier Open
OHIO STATE at Kent State Early Bird

December 10
OHIO STATE at Kent State Early Bird

Weekend Schedule

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December 10
MICHIGAN STATE at Ball State - 1 p.m. ET

Weekend Schedule

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December 9
IOWA at Iowa State - 6 p.m. CT

December 10
MICHIGAN STATE at Ball State - 1 p.m. ET
Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo and Penn State's Maya Hayes and Christine Nairn have been named to the 2011 NCAA Women's Soccer All-American Team, as announced today.

DiBernardo was named Second Team All-America after finishing the season with 39 points on 17 goals and 5 assists en route to an All-Big Ten First Team selection.

Hayes earned First Team honors after leading the nation in points (70) and goals (31) this season. Hayes is also a finalist for the Hermann Trophy.

Nairn joined DiBernardo on the Second Team after tallying 19 points on 13 assists and three goals on the season. This is the second year that Nairn has earned All-America honors.

Penn State's Hayes Tabbed Finalist for Hermann Trophy

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Penn State's Maya Hayes has been named a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, as announced on Friday. The Big Ten Forward of the Year led the nation in points (70) and goals (31) this season. She also tallied nine game-winning goals which ranked second in the nation.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at approximately 7 p.m. ET.

Indiana's Estridge Named to NCAA Men's All-America Team

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Indiana's Chris Estridge has been named to the 2011 NCAA Men's Soccer All-America Team, as announced on Friday. The First Team All-Big Ten selection was part of a Hoosier defense that allowed only 19 goals in 22 contests. Estridge earned First Team All-America recognition.

Estridge will be honored at the annual All-America luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Nine Big Ten student-athletes have been named to the All-Great Lakes Team, as announced on Friday. First Team selections included Indiana's Chris Estridge and Eriq Zavaleta, Northwestern's Oliver Kupe and Ohio State's Matt Lampson. Second Team honorees were Indiana's Nikita Kotlov, Northwestern's Tyler Miller, Ohio State's Chris Hegngi and David Tiemstra and Wisconsin's Tomislav Zadro.

Thursday's Results

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Michigan 61, Detroit 51 | Recap
Nebraska 66, Creighton 55 | Recap
Kansas 73, Wisconsin 44 | Recap

Michigan's Molk Named Rimington Trophy Winner

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Michigan's David Molk was named the winner of the Rimington Trophy, honoring the nation's outstanding center. Molk is the second Wolverine to earn the Rimington Trophy after David Baas was honored in 2004. Six players from current Big Ten schools have now claimed the Rimington Trophy - Nebraska's Dominic Raiola in 2000, Ohio State's LeCharles Bentley in 2001, Baas in 2004, Minnesota's Greg Eslinger in 2005, Penn State's A.Q. Shipley in 2008 and Molk.

Molk, a four-year starter, has opened 41 career games at center for Michigan. A senior captain who started all 12 games in the 2011 regular season, he helped lead the Wolverines to a 10-2 record and the Sugar Bowl. Molk and the offensive line helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers, the first time since 1975 Michigan has had two players eclipse 1,000 rushing yards. The line also allowed only 15 sacks in 2011, while the offense averaged 34.2 points per game, (2nd in the Big Ten), 235.7 rushing yards per game, (2nd in the Big Ten and 12th in the FBS), and 423.1 yards per game (rd-best in the conference).

Seven Big Ten Players Named Walter Camp All-Americans

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Seven Big Ten student-athletes were named to the 2011 Walter Camp All-America teams, including four first-team honorees from four different schools. The Big Ten's first-team Walter Camp All-Americans are Michigan center David Molk and three of the four defensive linemen - Illinois' Whitney Mercilus, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Penn State's Devon Still. Second-team honorees are Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David and the Wisconsin duo of running back Montee Ball and offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler.

Thursday's Schedule

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Michigan at Detroit, 5 p.m.
Creighton at Nebraska, 8 p.m., BTN
Wisconsin at Kansas, 8 p.m.

Weekend Schedule

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DECEMBER 8
Northern Iowa at #1 IOWA - 7 p.m. CT - www.BTN.com

DECEMBER 9
MICHIGAN STATE at PURDUE (rv) - 7 p.m. ET - www.BTN.com
#6 OHIO STATE at #9 Pittsburgh - 7 p.m. ET
#5 PENN STATE at #10 Lehigh - 7 p.m. ET
Iowa State (rv) at #3 MINNESOTA - 7:30 p.m. CT - www.BTN.com

DECEMBER 10
Wyoming at #21 NEBRASKA - 7 p.m. CT - www.BTN.com

DECEMBER 11
#6 OHIO STATE at #20 Kent State - 1 p.m. ET
WISCONSIN at #8 MICHIGAN - 2 p.m. ET - www.BTN.com
West Virginia at #5 PENN STATE - 2 p.m. ET
SIU-Edwardsville at #19 NORTHWESTERN [1] - 3 p.m. CT
Indianapolis at #19 NORTHWESTERN [1] - 5 p.m. CT

Legend
[1] NU Duals - Evanston, Ill.

16 Big Ten Student-Athletes Earn All-Great Lakes Honors

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Sixteen Big Ten women's soccer players were named to the 2011 NCAA Women's Division I All-Great Lakes Team, as announced on Thursday. First Team honorees included Illinois' Jenna Carosio and Vanessa DiBernardo, Michigan State's Laura Heyboer, and Penn State's Maya Hayes and Christine Nairn. The Second Team included Illinois' Marissa Mykines, Nebraska's Morgan Marlborough, Ohio State's Danielle Scoliere and Danica Wu, Penn State's Taylor Schram, and Wisconsin's Michele Dalton and Lindsey Johnson. The Third Team recipients were Iowa's Morgan Showalter, Michigan State's Anne Steinlage, and Penn State's Lexi Marten and Erin McNulty.


Wednesday's Results

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Illinois 66, Illinois State 56 | Recap
St. Bonaventure 65, Indiana 45 | Recap
Iowa State 62, Iowa 54 | Recap
Minnesota 81, Air Force 46 | Recap

Wednesday's Results

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MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv) def. Central Connecticut State, 89-69

Lafayette def. PENN STATE, 61-57

PURDUE (rv/rv) def. Western Carolina, 65-50

NEBRASKA def. Florida Gulf Coast, 51-50

#14/16 WISCONSIN def. Green Bay, 70-42

ILLINOIS (rv/rv) def. St. Bonaventure, 48-43

Wednesday's Schedule

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Central Connecticut State at MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv), 7 p.m., ESPNU

Lafayette at PENN STATE, 7 p.m., BTN.com

Western Carolina at PURDUE (rv/rv), 7:30 p.m., BTN

Florida Gulf Coast at NEBRASKA, 8 p.m., BTN.com

Green Bay at #14/16 WISCONSIN, 8 p.m., ESPN3

St. Bonaventure at #22/24 ILLINOIS, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Wednesday's Schedule

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Illinois at Illinois State, 8 p.m.
Indiana at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m.
Iowa at Iowa State, 8 p.m.
Air Force at Minnesota, 8 p.m., BTN.com

Ranking the Wrestlers

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Sixty Big Ten wrestlers appear in the top 20 of their respective weight classes in the latest InterMat Tournament Rankings. After a weekend that resulted in a shake-up in the individual rankings, four Big Ten wrestlers boast No. 1 rankings. Minnesota's Zach Sanders takes over as the top-ranked 125-pounder, while Iowa's Montell Marion moves up to the top spot at 141. Penn State's Frank Molinaro maintains his top ranking at 149, while teammate David Taylor also ranks No. 1 at 165. The complete breakdown of ranked Big Ten wrestlers and teams can be found below.

Team
1. Iowa (1 last week)
3. Penn State (4)
4. Minnesota (3)
7. Ohio State (10)
8. Michigan (8)
T-11. Illinois (9)
T-22. Northwestern (25)
28. Purdue (29)
31. Nebraska (T-32)
T-33. Indiana (30)
T-41. Wisconsin (T-42)
T-50. Michigan State (T-47)

125
1. Zach Sanders, MINN (2)
3. Matt McDonough, IOWA (1)
6. Jesse Delgado, ILL (15)
8. Levi Mele, NU (14)
13. Johnni DiJulius, OSU (NR)
15. Nico Megaludis, PSU (17)

133
2. Tony Ramos, IOWA (2)
3. Logan Stieber, OSU (4)
4. B.J. Futrell, ILL (3)
6. David Thorn, MINN (6)
7. Cashe Quiroga, PUR (8)
12. Zac Stevens, MICH (11)
18. Ridge Kiley, NEB (17)

141
1. Montell Marion, IOWA (3)
4. Kellen Russell, MICH (1)
6. Hunter Stieber, OSU (15)
10. Nick Dardanes, MINN (13)
12. Jake Sueflohn, NEB (NR)

149
1. Frank Molinaro, PSU (1)
4. Eric Grajales, MICH (6)
6. Eric Terrazas, ILL (8)
8. Ivan Lopouchanski, PUR (10)
9. Cole Schmitt, WIS (11)
12. Dylan Ness, MINN (13)
15. Cam Tessari, OSU (15)

157
2. Derek St. John, IOWA (2)
3. Jason Welch, NU (3)
9. Jake Deitchler, MINN (9)
10. Dylan Alton, PSU (11)
16. James Green, NEB (NR)
19. Josh Demas, OSU (14)

165
1. David Taylor, PSU (1)
8. Cody Yohn, MINN (8)
10. Robert Kokesh, NEB (10)
15. Mike Evans, IOWA (15)
17. Ben Jordan, WIS (16)
19. Dan Yates, MICH (18)

174
2. Ed Ruth, PSU (2)
5. Nick Heflin, OSU (4)
6. Justin Zeerip, MICH (11)
8. Ethen Lofthouse, IOWA (6)
9. Jordan Blanton, ILL (3)
10. Logan Storley, MINN (8)
12. Lee Munster, NU (14)

184
2. Grant Gambrall, IOWA (2)
5. Quentin Wright, PSU (6)
9. Kevin Steinhaus, MINN (5)
10. Josh Ihnen, NEB (10)
15. C.J. Magrum, OSU (NR)

197
2. Sonny Yohn, MINN (3)
5. Matt Powless, IND (5)
10. Morgan McIntosh, PSU (10)
12. A.J. Kissel, PUR (11)
18. Mario Gonzalez, ILL (15)

HWT
7. Tony Nelson, MINN (2)
8. Cameron Wade, PSU (5)
9. Bobby Telford, IOWA (7)
10. Tucker Lane, NEB (11)
13. Mike McClure, MSU (17)
18. Ben Apland, MICH (14)

Iowa's Griesbaum Earns West Region Coach of the Year

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Iowa's Tracey Griesbaum has earned the 2011 Dita/NFHCA Division I West Region Coach of the Year, as announced today. Griesbaum led the Hawkeyes to a 15-5 record en route to a Sweet 16 NCAA Championship appearance.

The National Coach of the Year will be announced on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the NFHCA Coaches Recognition Luncheon.

Big Ten in the NFL - Week 13

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Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan) - Completed 29 of 38 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns in New England's 31-24 win over Indianapolis.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Purdue) - Passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns on 26 of 36 passing in New Orleans' 31-17 win over Detroit.

Kurt Coleman, S, Philadelphia (Ohio State) - Posted 11 tackles in Philadelphia's 31-14 loss to Seattle.

Charles Godfrey, S, Carolina (Iowa) - Recorded 11 tackles in Carolina's 38-19 win over Tampa Bay.

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets (Iowa) - Scored three touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards on 22 carries in the New York Jets' 34-19 win over Washington.

Roy Helu, RB, Washington (Nebraska) - Rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and added four catches for 42 yards in Washington's 34-19 loss to the New York Jets.

Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets (Ohio State) - Caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in the New York Jets' 34-19 win over Washington.

James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis (Ohio State) - Racked up 12 tackles and a sack in St. Louis' 26-0 loss to San Francisco.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh (Illinois) - Rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in Pittsburgh's 35-7 win over Cincinnati.

Tracy Porter, CB, New Orleans (Indiana) - Made seven tackles and an interception in New Orleans' 31-17 win over Detroit.

Paul Posluszny, LB, Jacksonville (Penn State) - Notched 11 tackles in Jacksonville's 38-14 loss to San Diego.

Amari Spievey, S, Detroit (Iowa) - Recorded 10 tackles in Detroit's 31-17 loss to New Orleans.

Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona (Ohio State) - Rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in Arizona's 19-13 overtime win over Dallas.

Illinois' Mercilus Wins Hendricks Award

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The Ted Hendricks Foundation announced that Illinois junior Whitney Mercilus is the 2011 recipient of the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Mercilus leads the nation in sacks, sacks per game and forced fumbles while ranking sixth nationally in tackles for loss per game. He becomes Illinois' first major national award winner since Dana Howard (1994) and Kevin Hardy (1995) won the Butkus Award in back-to-back years. Mercilus is also the second Big Ten standout to win the Hendricks Award since it was first awarded in 2002, joining 2006 honoree LaMarr Woodley of Michigan. Mercilus garnered over 50 percent of the vote from current and former college coaches, former players, media members and pro football personnel professionals. On-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to school and community are some of the criteria used to determine the award winner.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Mercilus is one of college football's breakout players in 2011, as he has 52 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles and six quarterback hurries. Mercilus has already has broken the Illinois and Big Ten single-season records for forced fumbles and is one shy of tying the NCAA record of 10. He also is 1.5 sacks away from tying former two-time All-America Simeon Rice's school season record of 16 sacks. He has had at least one sack in 10 of 12 games this season, including a career-high three against Indiana, and has forced a fumble in four straight games.

Tuesday's Results

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Northern Iowa (rv/rv) def. IOWA, 80-60

MINNESOTA def. Appalachian State, 70-56

Tuesday's Results

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Michigan State 64, Detroit 41 | Recap
Penn State 66, Virginia Tech 28 | Recap

Tuesday's Schedule

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Detroit at Michigan State, 7 p.m., BTN.com
Virginia Tech at Penn State, 7 p.m., BTN.com

In The Polls

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Penn State and Illinois represent the Big Ten in the final NSCAA National rankings poll of the season, as announced today. The Nittany Lions (21-5-0) finish at No. 8, while the Fighting Illini (17-5-2) clock in at No. 19.

Ohio State also received votes.

For the complete list, click here.

Tuesday's Schedule

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IOWA at Northern Iowa (rv/rv), 8 p.m., ESPN3.com

Appalachian State at MINNESOTA, 8 p.m., BTN

 

All times ET

 

In the Polls

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Big Ten wrestling again leads the nation with eight top-25 teams in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, released on Tuesday. Iowa maintains its No. 1 ranking, receiving eight of the 10 first-place votes, while Minnesota moves up one spot to No. 3 this week. Fifth-ranked Penn State, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 7 Illinois remain in the same slots as last week, while Michigan moves up one spot to No. 8. Northwestern checks in at No. 19 this week, while Nebraska holds its No. 21 ranking. Purdue is also receiving votes in the latest poll.

Click here for the complete poll.

Big Ten Reels in AVCA Regional Awards

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Big Ten volleyball standouts collected numerous AVCA Division I Regional Awards on Tuesday, with 12 players earning All-Region honors. Purdue head coach Dave Shondell was named the Mideast Region Coach of the Year, while Penn State newcomer Micha Hancock reeled in Mideast Region Freshman of the Year laurels. Earning All-Mideast Region accolades were Illinois' Michelle Bartsch and Colleen Ward, Michigan State's Jenilee Rathje, Minnesota's Tori Dixon and Ashley Wittman, Nebraska's Gina Mancuso, Ohio State's Mari Hole, Penn State's Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay, and Purdue's Tiffany Fisher and Ariel Turner. Additionally, six players received Honorable Mention status -- Nebraska's Morgan Broekhuis, Lauren Cook and Hannah Werth, Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus, Ohio State's Emily Danks and Purdue's Rachel Davis.

Click here to see the complete list of Regional Award winners.

Wisconsin's Ball Named Finalist for Heisman Trophy

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Following in the footsteps of Wisconsin legends Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne, junior running back Montee Ball is headed to New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Ball was named one of five finalists Monday for the honor bestowed annually upon the top player in college football. That gives Ball an invitation to the 77th Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation, which is set for 7 p.m. (CT) Saturday in New York City and will air live on ESPN.

The Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Ball also was the winner of the Big Ten's inaugural Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year Award this season. He was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association on Monday.

With 38 total touchdowns on the season, Ball stands just one score shy of the NCAA record of 39 set by Oklahoma State running back -- and Heisman Trophy winner -- Barry Sanders in 1988. Ball has scored multiple touchdowns in each game this season -- and three or more TDs in eight of the Badgers' 13 games. Ball leads the nation with 32 rushing touchdowns and 1,759 rushing yards on the season, while his average of 135.3 yards per game ranks No. 4 nationally.

Ball's invitation to the Heisman ceremony comes on the heels of his four-touchdown performance in Saturday's inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, which helped propel the Badgers to a second-straight conference title and Rose Bowl Game berth.

Hoke Named Finalist for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year

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Michigan's Brady Hoke, already a finalist for the FWAA's Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, has been named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. Hoke posted a 10-2 record with the Wolverines to collect the Big Ten's Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Coach of the Year honors. Michigan earned a Bowl Championship Series berth and will face Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Created in 2006, the award recognizes one college football coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II and III), rewarding them for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence.Winners will receive $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association and the Coach of the Year trophy.

Monday's Result

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Wisconsin 48, Saint Louis 46 | Recap

Six Teams Mentioned in AP Poll

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Six Big Ten teams received votes in the latest Associated Press rankings, released on Monday. Purdue leads the conference contingent at No. 12, followed by Ohio State at No. 13 and Penn State at No. 17. Michigan and Nebraska are the first two teams receiving votes outside the top 25, while Northwestern joins the Wolverines and Huskers among other squads also receiving votes from the AP this week.

Molk and Konz Named Finalists for Rimington Trophy

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Michigan's David Molk and Wisconsin's Peter Konz were named two of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the most outstanding center in college football and named after former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington. The winner of the Rimington Trophy will be announced during the ESPNU/Home Depot College Football Awards show, broadcast live on ESPN on December 8. Five players from current Big Ten institutions have claimed the Rimington Trophy, most recently when Penn State's A.Q. Shipley was honored in 2008.

The Football Writers Association of America named Michigan's Brady Hoke one of five finalists for the 2011 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Hoke posted a 10-2 record with the Wolverines to collect the Big Ten's Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Coach of the Year honors. Michigan earned a Bowl Championship Series berth and will face Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The winner of the FWAA's 55th annual coach of the year award will be announced on Dec. 15 after balloting by the entire FWAA membership.

Six Big Ten Standouts Named AFCA All-Americans

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Six Big Ten student-athletes were named to the 2011 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America teams today, including three each on offense and defense. The Big Ten and SEC were the only conferences with six or more All-Americans named to the AFCA team. On offense, three Wisconsin players earned AFCA honors - running back Montee Ball, center Peter Konz and offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler. The three Big Ten standouts on the AFCA All-America team defense were defensive linemen Whitney Mercilus of Illinois and Jerel Worthy of Michigan State and linebacker Lavonte David of Nebraska.

Weekend Roundup

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DECEMBER 1
PURDUE (rv) def. Northern Illinois, 19-15

DECEMBER 2
#1 IOWA def. #7 ILLINOIS, 20-13
#4 MINNESOTA def. #19 Central Michigan, 24-9
INDIANA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - All Day
#9 MICHIGAN at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - All Day
#21 NEBRASKA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
#6 OHIO STATE at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
WISCONSIN (rv) at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day

DECEMBER 3
MICHIGAN STATE def. Lock Haven, 30-6
MICHIGAN STATE def. Bucknell, 27-6
INDIANA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - 12th of 34 teams
#9 MICHIGAN at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - 2nd of 34
#21 NEBRASKA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - 4th of 34
#6 OHIO STATE at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - 1st of 34
WISCONSIN (rv) at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - 26th of 34

DECEMBER 4
#1 IOWA def. Iowa State (rv), 27-9
#2 Oklahoma State def. #4 MINNESOTA, 23-14
#5 PENN STATE at Nittany Lion Open - NTS

Monday's Schedule

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Saint Louis at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. ET, BTN.com
Penn State's Maya Hayes was named to the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Women's Semifinalists list, as announced on Sunday. The Nittany Lion forward led the nation with 31 goals and 70 points in 26 games. She was second in the nation in goals per game (1.19) and game-winning goals (9). Hayes also placed third in the nation with 2.69 points per game.

Three finalists for the award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 9. The winner will be announced at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 6.

A B1G Recap: The Inaugural Big Ten Championship Game

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That was the greatest Big Ten Championship Game I have ever seen. Yes, I know it is also the only Big Ten Championship Game to this point but that sentiment may remain true long into the future. It has been described as an instant classic. A game that featured points early and often. It was back-and-forth until the very end. It may have been an anti-climatic ending to a wild game but it seems almost fitting that the penalty was due to a player giving 110% effort trying to make a big B1G play. The Badgers won and will represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl and face the Oregon Ducks while the Spartans will head to the Outback Bowl to face the SEC runner-up (they are technically the runner-up even though two SEC teams will play in the national championship game, right?) Georgia. Years from now the actual results may be a long lost memory but we will all remember the first Championship Game. 

The entire weekend was one that I (and I'm sure many others) will "tell the grandkids about." If that doesn't mean the Big Ten was successful, I don't know how to define success. It was a game the conference should be proud of. Two teams its fans can be proud of. An atmosphere the city should be proud of. And a weekend we can all be proud of. With these pictures, I will do my best to recap the Inaugural Big Ten Championship: 

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It all started with Fan Fest in the Indianapolis Convention Center which is conveniently located right across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. The Fest had games for fans of all schools and all ages. The Heisman Trophy even made an appearance. If I had my way, they could have just left it in Montee Ball's locker and be done with it. 

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The Stagg Championship Trophy was on display and fans were allowed to get their picture taken with the it. The same exact trophy would be handed to the Badgers later in the evening. 

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There was a lot of red and a lot of green at Fan Fest and I saw a fan from every school in the Big Ten. For what it's worth, I would say it was about a 50/50 split in Indy between the Wisconsin and Michigan State fanbases. 

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In 62 days, Indianpolis will play host to the Super Bowl. If Big Ten Championships, Final Fours, Indy 500s and Big Ten Tournaments aren't enough to assure you that Indianapolis is more than capable of doing an extraordinary job of hosting a Super Bowl, let my personal experience assure you - Indianapolis will be a tremendous Super Bowl host. 

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The chances of going to Fan Fest and not having fun were...wait for it...remote! (Ah, c'mon! Somebody had to)

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It was an outstanding host-city and an incredible venue. Again, if I had my way, I think the Big Ten should keep the championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium far into the future. 

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I had an opportunity to walk around the stadium for a while before kick-off. I found these two young men who, admittedly, had the worst seats in the building. I asked them about this and they quickly refuted, "We're just happy to be here and ready to watch some football." This feeling was shared by nearly all in attendance. I saw a lot of grown men walking around with giddy smiles prior to kickoff. 

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This was the view from my seat in the pressbox. There are 103 seats in the Lucas Oil Stadium pressbox and I was proud owner of number 102. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet the only person who was less important than me!

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This was the view from the MSU student section as the Spartans headed to the locker room with a first-half lead. 

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...and the opposing view from the Badger student section. You better believe they created an impromptu "Jump Around" between the third and fourth quarters. 

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Here's the view from the Quarterback Suite. There were a lot of important people hanging out there...and then there was me. Marvin McNutt and Braxton Miller were among those in attendance. 

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This was my view for the final 3:00 minutes of the game. From my vantage point it appeared as though...well, I can't tell you if it was a penalty or not because I couldn't see it. 

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And just like that, Bucky punched its ticket to the Rose Bowl. This guy seemed to be very popular with the Wisconsin players for whatever reason. 

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Montee Ball and company stop to pose with their rose. What a scene...

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Coach Bielema gets some post-game pub. He just seems like a guy you want to root for. He seemed upbeat and easy to interact with all weekend. Obviously going to the Rose Bowl will put you in a better mood. 

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Montee Ball did Montee Ball things all night. Can someone get this man the Heisman?

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Bucky even got a rose...

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Commissioner Delany and the Stagg Championship Trophy. Russell Wilson was named MVP.
 
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Wisconsin fans know Nick Tooooon has great hands. I guess that makes it easy to trust with with the responsibility of carrying the trophy to the locker room. 

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And finally, Coach Bielema gets to the locker room with his roses. He gets to sleep easy for one night, then its time to prepare for the Quack Attack. 


In all seriousness, I used a lot of pictures because I'm not sure words could do this experience justice. It was a B1G stage and the Big Ten was first class on all accounts. Two teams to be proud of, a game to be proud of and a conference we should all be very proud of. I can't thank the Big Ten enough for letting me be apart of the Mobile Tour. It was an experience I will never forget. It was the Big Ten. 

Thank you. 


Sunday's Results

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INDIANA (-/rv) def. Stetson, 84-50

No. rv/22 Creighton def. NEBRASKA, 76-66

No. 7/8 Baylor def. NORTHWESTERN, 69-41

Mississippi def. PENN STATE, 72-70

MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv) def. Nebraska-Omaha, 110-68

Sunday's Results

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Following eight games of the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge, the series is tied 4-4 with a pair of games scheduled in the coming days. Below are scores and results from those games and others from around the conference.

Oklahoma State 83, Indiana 72 | ">Recap
Michigan 56, Iowa State 49 | Recap
Baylor 89, Minnesota 60 | Recap
Ohio State 69, Oklahoma 63 | Recap
Purdue 60, Texas A&M 51 | Recap
Nebraska 65, Texas Pan-American 27 | Recap

Five Big Ten Teams Among Top 25 in Latest Polls

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Following an exciting inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, five conference teams remained among the top 25 in the final regular season Associated Press (AP) and USA Today coaches polls. After claiming the Stagg Championship Trophy last night, Wisconsin cracked the top-10 in both polls, rating No. 8 by the coaches and No. 9 by the media. Other Big Ten teams among the top 25 include No. 12/12 Michigan State (AP/USA Today), No. 13/13 Michigan, No. 21/20 Nebraska and No. 24/23 Penn State.

Sunday's Schedule

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Oklahoma State at Indiana, Noon, BTN.com
Iowa State at Michigan, 2 p.m., BTN.com
Baylor at Minnesota, 2 p.m., BTN
Texas-Pan America at Nebraska, 3 p.m., BTN.com
Ohio State at Oklahoma, 3 p.m.
Texas A&M at Purdue, Noon, BTN

Sunday's Schedule

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Nebraska-Omaha at MICHIGAN STATE (rv/rv), 2 p.m., ESPN3

#7/8 Baylor at NORTHWESTERN (rv/rv), 4 p.m., BTN

Stetson at INDIANA, (-/rv), 4:30 p.m., BTN.com

Mississippi at PENN STATE, 6 p.m., BTN

NEBRASKA at #rv/22 Creighton, 6 p.m.

Saturday's Results

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#14/15 MICHIGAN def. Iowa State, 76-66

#2/2 OHIO STATE def. Texas-Pan Am, 64-35

MINNESOTA def. USC, 55-40

IOWA def. Brown, 75-54

#11/11 Xavier def. PURDUE (rv/rv), 66-63

ILLINOIS (rv/rv) def. #19/18 Gonzaga, 82-75

#16/16 Marquette def. #9/7 WISCONSIN, 61-54

Saturday's Results

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Kansas State 81, Iowa 78 (OT) | Recap
Michigan State 60, Eastern Michigan 59 | Recap
Northwestern 74, Missouri 70 | Recap
Texas Tech 70, Penn State 66 | Recap

FB: Thoughts on Big Ten Football Championship

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1ST QUARTER
  • 10:04:  WIS 7, MSU 0 | Wisconsin gets on the board first, a 3-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Philip Welch.
  • 6:44:  WIS, 7, MSU 0 | Michigan State's Edwin Baker scores on an 8-yard run.  MSU puts up 244.7 of 383.7 yards through the air, yet 46 of the 59 yards earned on the first possession came on the ground.
  • Kickoffs:  Heading into the game Michigan State's Nick Hill ranked fifth in the Big Ten with an average of 25.6 yards per return, while Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis was eighth at 23.1.  First Wisconsin return,  Abbrederis went 24 yards.  First MSU return, Hill went 39 yards.
  • 3:44:  WIS 14, MSU 7 | Montee Ball scores on a 6-yard rush to the Badgers back on top.  Scoring drive was 7 plays, 60 yards, 3:00.
  • Montee Ball:  Ball has eclipsed the 100-yard mark tonight, but those aren't all rushing yards.  On the recent scoring drive, Ball threw a pass to QB Russell Wilson for 32 yards.  He has 11 carries for 81 yards on the ground.
  • 3:12:  WIS 21, MSU 7 | Ball is at it again.  Back-to-back 6-yard rushing touchdowns for Ball, who is now officially over 100 yards rushing.  (13 car, 105yds).  Scoring drive was just two plays, 24 yards, 28 seconds, and all Ball.
RECAP:  Wisconsin's rushing offense is flexing its muscle, posting 105 of the 165 total yards on the ground.  Montee Ball has 13 carries for 105 yards and a pair of 6-yard scores.  Ball has also passed for 32 yards to Russell Wilson to help set up his first score.  MSU's Kirk Cousins is 3-of-3 passing for 43 yards, while Le'Veon Bell (41) and Edwin Baker (22) have helped the Spartans total 66 yards on the ground, almost half of what they turn in each game and half of what Wisconsin allows each game.

2ND QUARTER
  • 14:55:  WIS 21, MSU 14 | Oh those Spartans and the gutsy 4th down calls.  Kirk Cousins hits BJ Cunningham for a 30-yard TD to pull MSU within a touchdown.  Scoring drive was 7 plays, 80 yards in 3:17.
  • First Punt:  13:03 remains in the 2nd quarter and we just had our first punt of the game.  Michigan State's defense earns its first stop against the Badger D, forcing a 36-yard punt from Brad Nortman.
  • Cousins Yet to Miss:  Following a 18-yard pass to Keshawn Martin with 11:14 left in the quarter, Cousins has yet to miss a receiver tonight.  6-for-6, 104 yards.
  • What Just Happened???:  Well, if the Spartans are going to take the lead, make it interesting, right?  Let's see...  Kirk Cousins completes a 3-yard pass to Keith Nichol, who then before falling out of bounds, laterals the ball to BJ Cunningham, who rushes it in 7 yards.  Then Michigan State fakes the PAT, and Brad Sonntag runs it in to give the Spartans the lead.  Wow.
  • Cousins INT:  With 8:37 remaining in the half, Kirk Cousins just threw an interception for his first miss of the game.  Prior to the pick, Cousins was 8-of-8 for 125 yards and 2 TDs.  That was just the 7th INT of the year for Cousins.
  • 3:26:  MSU 29, WIS 21:  Michigan  State is playing with a purpose.  A 6-yard TD run by Le'Veon Bell makes it 22 unanswered points for the Spartans.
RECAP:  What an impressive first half of the Big Ten Football Championship Game!  Perhaps the most eye-opening stat right now is the production of the MSU offense against the Badgers' defense, one of the best in the country.  Consider this:  Wisconsin entered the Big Ten Championship Game ranked third in the country in pass defense (144.5), fourth in scoring defense (15.2), seventh in total yards allowed (278.2), and 44th in rush defense (133.7).  In just one half tonight, MSU has racked up 29 points, 181 passing yards, 136 rushing yards and 317 total yards.  With exception of one INT, Kirk Cousins has been unstoppable for MSU, throwing for 181 yards and 2 scores on 15-of-17 passing.  Keshawn Martin has five catches for 80 yards, while BJ Cunningham has three receptions for 61 yards and two TDs.  Wisconsin's Montee Ball has 16 carries for 107 yards rushing and two scores, while Russell Wilson is just 5-of-9 passing for 30 yards and a score.  Of those 30 yards, 22 came on a pass early on to Nick Toon.  Wilson has been sacked twice, both by Denicos Allen, who has four tackles at the half, one behind DB Trenton Robinson.  The Badgers' defense is led by Shelton Johnson with four stops.

3RD QUARTER
  • 9:13:  MSU 29, WIS 28:  Welcome back Wisconsin!  After 22 unanswered points by Michigan State, the Badgers storm out of halftime, force a punt, and march 8 plays and 62 yards in 3:30.  TD was a 42-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Jared Abbrederis.
  • A Stat That Stands Out:  With 3:22 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Michigan State has 19 first downs to Wisconsin's 9.  In the regular-season matchup, the Badgers finished the game with a 23-18 edge over the Spartans.
  • 1:41, MSU 36, WIS 28:  The combo continues...  Kirk Cousins has once again found B.J. Cunningham, this time on a 44-yard TD pass to give the Spartans a 36-28 advantage.  Scoring drive was 3 plays, 48 yards, in 1:41. 
RECAP:  This could be another one for the ages.  Michigan State continues to impress both on offense and defense, but Wisconsin is  fighting back hard.  Cousins is now 21-of-25 passing for 270 yards and 3 TDs, all of which have gone to Cunningham, who has 5 receptions for 115 yards.  Cunningham currently shares the receiving lead with teammate Keshawn Martin, who has 115 yards on 9 catches. 

4TH QUARTER

  • 13:25:  MSU 36, WIS 34:  We have a ballgame!  Russell Wilson has found Montee Ball for a 5-yard TD pass to put Wisconsin within two points since the 2-point conversions failed.  Scoring drive was 7 plays, 52 yards in 3:07.
  • What Defense?:  In the previous nine games between Michigan State and Wisconsin, the two squads combined to score 65.6 points per game, with the winning team scoring at least 34 points in eight of those contests.  Tonight?  With 10:34 remaining in the final quarter, the teams have combined for 70 points.
  • 8:28: MSU 39, WIS 34:  We have our first field goal of the game.  Michigan State's Dan Conroy has connected from 25 yards out to give the Spartans a 5-point advantage.  Scoring drive was 10 plays, 52 yards in 4:52.
  • Attendance:  Announced attendance is 64,152.
  • Kept the Drive Alive:  Give all the credit to Russell Wilson.  Faced with a 4th-and-6 with 4:08 remaining, Wilson scrambles to find Jeff Duckworth for a 36-yard completion down to the 7-yard line.  Next play, Montee Ball runs it in for his third score of the night.  The 2-point conversion was good, Wilson to Jacob Pedersen, and the Badgers lead!  Scoring drive was 8 plays, 64 yard in 4:35.
  • Who is the MVP?  Only one person gets the Grange-Griffin Championship Game MVP award.  But who gets it???  WIS-Wilson, 17-24, 187y-3TD, Ball, 24att, 130yds, 3 TD. MSU-Cousins 22-28, 281y-3TD, Cunningham, 5rec, 115yds, 3 TDs.
  • The Answer:  Congratulations to Russell Wilson on earning the Grange-Griffin Championship Game MVP award!  Wilson was 17-of-24 passing for 187 yards and 3 TDs, while rallying his Badgers late in the game for the Big Ten title.
RECAP:  Congratulations to the Wisconsin Badgers, the winners of the 2011 Big Ten Football Championship Game. In a hard-fought Big Ten battle, the Badgers defeated Michigan State 42-39 at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night.  Some wondered if these two teams could repeat the performance they gave Big Ten Country back in October.  Without question, these teams delivered tonight.  Similar to the October meeting, it was back-and-forth all night, with Wisconsin dominant to start and end the game, while Michigan State was the team to beat in the second and third quarters.

FB: Big Ten Football Championship Game Minutes Away!

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BigTen.org is LIVE from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for tonight's inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game featuring Michigan State and Wisconsin. 

Check back with BigTen.org throughout the contest for updates, including full postgame coverage, and follow us on Twitter (@BigTenConf and @B1GMobileTour) as well.
Illinois head coach Janet Rayfield was named the NSCAA/Mondo Regional Coach of the Year for the Great Lakes region, as announced on Saturday. Rayfield led the Fighting Illini to a 17-5-2 record, which included a second-place conference finish and a Big Ten Tournament title.

The national award will be announced on Friday, Jan. 13, at the NSCAA Convention.
Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan was named the NSCAA/Mondo Regional Coach of the Year for the Great Lakes region, as announced on Saturday. Lenahan guided the Wildcats to an 11-5-5 record, which included a Big Ten Championship and Big Ten Tournament crown.

The national award will be announced on Friday, Jan. 13, at the NSCAA Convention.

Saturday's Schedule

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The second challenge for the Big Ten this week begins today with four teams competing on the first day of the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge. Below is today's schedule.

Iowa at Kansas State, 8 p.m.
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State, 3 p.m., BTN.com
Northwestern at Missouri, 5 p.m.
Penn State at Texas Tech, 3 p.m.
Ohio State at Oklahoma, 3 p.m.

Saturday's Schedule

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Iowa State at #14/15 MICHIGAN, Noon, BTN

Texas-Pan Am at #2/2 OHIO STATE, Noon, BTN.com

USC at MINNESOTA, 2:15 p.m., BTN

Brown at IOWA, 3 p.m., BTN.com

PURDUE (rv/rv) at #11/11 Xavier, 3 p.m., ESPNU

#19/18 Gonzaga at ILLINOIS (rv/rv), 3:15 p.m., ESPN2

#16/16 Marquette at #9/7 WISCONSIN, 4:30 p.m., BTN

Mobile Tour: B1G Championship Prediction

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So, here we are. It's gameday for the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game. It's Michigan State and Wisconsin, Spartans and Badgers, Legends and Leaders. If history is any indication, we are in for one heck of a game.

Last year, these two teams shared the title of Big Ten Champion. Without the luxury of a championship game, the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl and the Spartans went to the Capital One Bowl.

If you have forgotten this year's matchup between the Badgers and Wisconsin, shame on you. It was a classic Big Ten battle that came down to the final play and a Hail Mary from the Spartans that proved football really is a game of inches.

Now, they get to play for the Stagg Trophy and a trip to the Rose Bowl. It's not quite "win or go home" but it has that feel. They'll have the national spotlight and a chance to prove they are the Big Ten's best.

For Wisconsin, the story of the season has been on the offensive side of the football. Pick your poison. Try containing junior running back Montee Ball and Russell Wilson will pick you apart. If you're lucky enough to control one or both of those, the Badgers have Nick Toon (or as Badger fans say, "Toooooooooon") to make plays from the receiver position.

Ball (appropriately named) has already broken the Big Ten single-season touchdown record with 34 and is just five behind the national record set by Barry Sanders (you might have heard of him). Meanwhile, Wilson has just been plugging along having one of the most efficient seasons from the quarterback position in the history of NCAA football. With a 192.90 rating, he is on pace to set a new NCAA record for pass efficiency. Oh, and don't forget about Tooooon who has 52 receptions, 788 yards and nine touchdowns.

If there is any team up to the challenge of slowing the Badger offense, it is Michigan State. The Spartans rank third nationally in total defense at 266.67 yards per game, rank sixth in scoring defense at 15.42 points per game, seventh in pass efficiency defense, eighth in pass defense and 11th in rushing defense. Sparty is tough.

Michigan State may lack the star power on the offensive side of the ball that Wisconsin has but they have a leader who just refuses to lose. Fifth-year senior quarterback Kirk Cousins is the winningest quarterback in school history. Cousins has compiled a 26-11 record in his 37 starts and is 21-4 in his last 25 starts. And honestly, it feels like he's been at MSU forever. I can't confirm it but I think he and Earvin "Magic" Johnson were a part of the same recruiting class.

Maybe Sparty's lack of star power is what makes this team special. The collective whole is better than its individual pieces. Coach Dantonio knows how to get the most out of his players and he is not shy about their goal. He mentioned in his press conference that they have placed roses in all the players' lockers. Of course, a not so subtle reference to the Rose Bowl.

So what should we expect out of the game? I don't know, that's a great question. (Yes, I just complemented my own question)

I would expect that Wisconsin is playing with a chip on their shoulder (I would also expect them to play with shoulder pads on their shoulders). They may be an angry football team tonight. Meanwhile, Michigan State wants to prove that they belong at College Football's "Grown Ups Table." There's just something about the Spartans that makes the team special. They didn't have an individual award winner but here they are, ranked ninth in the country and playing for the Big Ten Championship and a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

In the end, I think the Badgers offense is just too good. And I know that's the "easy" pick. Indoors, on turf, I'm expecting a high scoring game but a close one. I wouldn't be shocked if Montee Ball has that "Heisman Moment" that seems to have escaped college football this season. A big game from him and he may shoot up some Heisman ballots which are due Monday. (Why is Ball not getting more consideration for the Heisman? All he has done is score. And to think he hasn't even played in most of his team's fourth quarters!) The final? I'll go 38-35, Badgers win.

More than anything, embrace tonight's game. 100 years from now, they may still be playing a Big Ten Championship Game and we'll get to say we witnessed the first one. It's a special night for not only these student-athletes but the Big Ten as a whole. Be proud. Be Leaders. Be Legends... And be B1G. 

Big Ten Football Awards Gala

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What. A. Night! The Big Ten knows how to throw an event...a B1G event.

The Awards Gala was a night to honor the Big Ten and its student-athlete achievements. Awards were given out and we were all reminded why being apart of the Big Ten is something special. We should take great pride in this conference, its schools, its students, and its student-athletes of the past, present and future.

The Big Ten stars were out on this special night. Appearances included Bob Griese, Archie Griffin, Eddie George, Dick Butkus, Ron Dayne, Dallas Clark and many more.

I caught up with a few of the stars in attendance to see what they thought of the B1G Ten and the Championship Game.

Former Athlete: Ron Dayne           

School: Wisconsin

Achievements: Holds the NCAA record for most rushing yards, Big Ten Player of the Year 1999, All-American in 1996, '98, '99, 1999 Heisman Trophy Winner. (Between Ron Dayne and the endzone is not a place I want to be)

His thoughts on Montee Ball and prediction on the game:

"He's just out there having fun. They're winning and he's breaking records - that's great. Hopefully Wisconsin can win and it doesn't come down to a Hail Mary again. As long as Wisconsin wins, I'll be very happy. Maybe we'll win on a Hail Mary this time."  

Former Athlete: Dallas Clark

School: Iowa

Achievements: 2002 All-Big Ten, Consensus First Team All-American, John Mackey Award Winner

His thoughts on what it means to be a part of the Big Ten:

"It's just one big family especially in the first year for an event like this. With the whole transition of two divisions, I think it's something new and something fresh. Everybody seems to be taking it in stride. Everyone and everything has been so positive and everyone is enjoying themselves."

Former Athlete: Bob Griese

School: Purdue

Achievements: Two-time All-American, Second in Heisman voting in 1966, led Purdue to their first Rose Bowl Appearance

His thoughts on the big game "experience":

"Back in '67 when we took Purdue to the Rose Bowl, it was all about the game. Now, there's a celebration all week. The Super Bowl has turned in to a two-week festival. The games are much bigger. The game is what everything is built around but they want to get the fans more involved. The fans want to come and celebrate and do what they do best - celebrate.

His thoughts on the Griese-Brees winner Russell Wilson:

"I saw Russell when he played for NC State and I was working with ESPN. I knew before he went to Wisconsin how good a player he was. I knew what type of player Wisconsin was getting. I thought Wisconsin would and should be favored to win the Big Ten. He's an outstanding player and I think he's going to be a pretty good NFL player as well."


I am just one of approximately 470,000 students that attend Big Ten universities but I take great pride in that and I was reminded why last night. Two teams will battle tonight to see who is "top dog" in the conference but in the end, I hope everyone realizes how great the conference as a whole is. It's big time, it's the Big Ten. 


Friday's Results

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NORTHWESTERN def. Mississippi Valley State, 92-67

Two Simple Words

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It just takes two words to put a smile on a Spartan's face. Those two same words will bring a grimace to a Badger's face. It's simple: Hail Mary!

It is defined as a very long forward pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half. (And yes, wikipedia is my source. I am a college student after all)

For Michigan State, it was exactly that. With 0:04 seconds on the clock and a tie ball-game, the Spartans had the ball at the 44-yard line. Kirk Cousins dropped back and heaved it deep. The ball was tipped out of the end-zone and eventually caught by Keith Nichol. He was tackled and downed at the 1-yard line...game over. 

Or so we thought. Michigan State thought they had crossed the the goal and won the game. Wisconsin thought they had stopped him short and won the game. And after further review, the officials got it right and the Spartans were victorious. 

For Wisconsin, they were on the wrong end of another long pass in the closing seconds the very next week against Ohio State. Two words and two long passes may have kept Wisconsin out of the National Championship Game but that's why America loves this game. It can turn on a tipped pass, a toss of desperation and a bit of luck - you never know. 

Try it. Ask a Spartan fan about a hail mary and (very politely) ask a badger fan about a hail mary. You'll get responses at the opposite ends of the spectrum. 

So with that, this game has a little extra meaning. The Badgers want to prove that the Spartans got lucky and the Spartans want to prove that they are, in fact, the better team. Expect a very intense game. Expect a very close game. And in the end, don't be surprised if it comes down to a Hail Mary!

Championship Preview: Spartans vs. Badgers

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We all know the clichés. "Games aren't played on paper" or "...and that's why you play the game." Fortunately, there will be a real football game with real players on a kind of real (read: artificial turf) football field. However, it is fun to consider the alternatives. What would happen if you mascots were involved (I'm looking at you state of Ohio)? Who wins? Spartan or Badger?

My first inclination is to go with the human mascot - the Spartan. But in the words of former B1G coach Lee Corso, "not so fast my friend."

Let's take a look at both universities' mascots.

The Spartan - an intimidating character. Michigan State's version, Sparty, has got everything a, uh, female warrior could ever want. He's strong, confident, muscular, intense, did I mention he has a lot of muscles yet? However, he was not MSU's first mascot. That would be an Aggie, which was an ode to the school's agriculture ... roots (pun intended).

Sparty is well decorated. In 2004, he won best Mascot National Championship at the Universal Cheer Association/Universal Dance Association College Nationals. If winning it once wasn't enough, he repeated in 2005 and again in 2007.  He is also featured on the cover of the Nintendo Wii's NCAA Football 2009 video game. These are all great honors but are they enough to outduel the feisty Badger?

Badger... Bucky Badger. Well actually, if we're getting technical his full name is Buckingham U. Badger. Bucky was originally portrayed as a cartoon. Then, the university decided to bring the mascot to life - a decision they would regret. The Badger proved too aggressive for the sidelines and had to be donated to a local zoo. Advantage Badger.

Currently, Bucky roams the sidelines in a cardinal red and white striped sweater. Don't let the sweater fool you. Bucky is one tough badger. One tradition involves push-ups after every score...no questions asked. After the 83-20 drumming of IU last year, that is one Badger I don't want to fight. 

So, after further review and minutes upon minutes of consideration I have to go with Bucky. While it's tough to go against a mascot based off these guys, doesn't Sparty's wardrobe almost resemble a dress?! Plus, can you ever bet against a dancing Badger? I think not.

In the end, I think the Badger pulls the upset. He's angry, ferocious and seeking some revenge.

Disclaimer: No mascots were harmed in the entry of this blog and the Big Ten Mobile Tour in no way condones mascot-on-mascot violence. 

Weekend Schedule

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DECEMBER 1
PURDUE (rv) at Northern Illinois - 6 p.m. CT

DECEMBER 2
INDIANA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - All Day
#9 MICHIGAN at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - All Day
#21 NEBRASKA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
#6 OHIO STATE at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
WISCONSIN (rv) at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
#7 ILLINOIS at #1 IOWA - 7 p.m. CT
#4 MINNESOTA at #19 Central Michigan - 7:30 p.m. ET

DECEMBER 3
INDIANA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational - All Day
#9 MICHIGAN at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
#21 NEBRASKA at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
#6 OHIO STATE at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
WISCONSIN (rv) at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational -All Day
MICHIGAN STATE at Lock Haven - Noon ET
MICHIGAN STATE at Bucknell - 7 p.m. ET

DECEMBER 4
#4 MINNESOTA at #2 Oklahoma State - 1 p.m. CT
#1 IOWA at Iowa State (rv) - 2 p.m. CT
#5 PENN STATE at Nittany Lion Open - All Day

Mobile Tour Arrives in Indy!

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The Big Ten's Honoring Legends. Building Leaders. Mobile Tour makes its final stop this weekend in Indianapolis for the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game.

The Mobile Tour will be at Big Ten Fan Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and the Stagg Championship Trophy will be on site until approximately 2 p.m. before it is taken to Lucas Oil Stadium and presented to the winner of the title game.

Purdue's Jonathan Gandolf will be blogging during weekend, from the coaches press conferences this afternoon through the trophy presentation on Saturday.

Follow @B1GMobileTour on Twitter for more information.

Penn State's Maya Hayes and Wisconsin's Laurie Nosbusch have earned Capital One Academic All-America honors, as announced on Monday.

Maya Hayes, a kinesiology major, holds a 3.35 GPA. The sophomore striker led the nation in points (70) and goals (31) for the Nittany Lions this season.

Nosbusch is a double-major (spanish, biology) and holds a 4.0 GPA. The senior finished second for the Badgers in points (18), goals (6), and led Wisconsin in assists (6).

Thursday's Results

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The BIg Ten and ACC each won six games, ending the 2011 edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in a 6-6 draw. Illinois gave the conference its sixth win of the challenge with a win over Clemson. Below are scores and recaps from Thursday's games.

Illinois 61, Clemson 50 | Recap
Virginia 65, Indiana 49 | Recap
Wake Forest 82, Minnesota 65 | Recap
Miami 76, Michigan State 60 | Recap
Duke 64, Purdue 53 | Recap

Thursday's Schedule

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The Big Ten takes its 5-2 advantage into the second day of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, needing just two wins to claim victory in the annual showdown. Below is tonight's schedule.

Illinois at Clemson, 7 p.m.
Indiana at Virginia, 7 p.m.
Miami (Fla.) at Michigan State, 8 p.m., BTN
Minnesota at Wake Forest, 6:30 p.m.
Purdue at Duke, 7 p.m.

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