Jan. 2, 2011
[ONE // iowa had the insight against missouri]
Iowa freshman running back Marcus Coker set a Hawkeyes bowl record with 219 rushing yards and defensive back Micah Hyde returned an interception 72 yards for the game-winning score in the fourth quarter for a 27-24 victory over No. 12 Missouri on Tuesday in the Insight Bowl. Iowa won a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history, after winning the Orange Bowl last season and the Outback Bowl the year before. Head coach Kirk Ferentz improved to 6-3 in bowl games to match Hayden Fry for the program record for bowl wins. For a full recap of the Hawkeyes' Insight Bowl victory, click on this link.
[TWO // illini run over baylor in texas bowl]
Mikel Leshoure ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns as Illinois earned its first bowl victory since 1999, beating Baylor 38-14 Wednesday night in the Texas Bowl. The Illini improved to 7-9 all-time in bowl games and 1-1 under head coach Ron Zook with their first postseason triumph since defeating Virginia in the Micronpc.com Bowl after the 1999 season. For a full recap of the Illinois victory, click on this link.
[THREE // big ten bowling on new year’s day]
In other Big Ten bowl action, the conference participated in five games on New Year’s Day. In the Rose Bowl Game, No. 5 Wisconsin fell 21-19 to No. 3 TCU, which ended the season a perfect 13-0. Alabama got the best of Michigan State, 49-7, in the Capital One Bowl, while Florida fought off Penn State for a 37-24 victory in the Outback Bowl. Mississippi State topped Michigan in the Progressive Gator Bowl, 52-14, while Texas Tech denied a rallying Northwestern squad in the TicketCity Bowl, winning 45-38.
[FOUR // nine conference standouts selected to nfl pro bowl]
Nine former Big Ten student-athletes were named to the National Football League Pro Bowl teams earlier this week, including seven starters. The Big Ten ranked second among all conferences with seven Pro Bowl starters, trailing only the ACC's 11 starters and followed by the Pac-10 and SEC with five starters each. The Big Ten was one of only four conferences with nine or more Pro Bowl selections, including the ACC (18), SEC (12) and Pac-10 (11). Seven Big Ten standouts were named to the AFC Pro Bowl team, including six starters. The six starters for the AFC include San Diego offensive guard Kris Dielman (Indiana), New England quarterback Tom Brady (Michigan), Miami offensive tackle Jake Long (Michigan), New York center Nick Mangold (Ohio State), Miami linebacker Cameron Wake (Penn State) and Cleveland offensive tackle Joe Thomas (Wisconsin). Denver wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (Illinois) was also selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. The NFL Pro Bowl team will feature two former Big Ten standouts in starting cornerback Charles Woodson (Michigan) of Green Bay and backup quarterback Drew Brees (Purdue) of New Orleans.
[FIVE // illini and boilermakers out of the gate early in men’s hoops race]
This past week marked the beginning of the 2010-11 Big Ten men’s basketball conference race and Illinois and Purdue finished the week with 2-0 marks in league play. Purdue topped Michigan 80-57 on Tuesday and ousted Northwestern on Friday by an 82-69 count. The Illini dropped Iowa 87-77 on Wednesday and stopped Wisconsin 69-61 on Sunday. Michigan State and Ohio State each won their lone conference contest this week to begin 1-0 on the year. The 19th-ranked Spartans defeated No. 13 Minnesota 71-62 on Friday, while Ohio State bested Indiana, 85-67. Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin split their two Big Ten games this week and each sit at 1-1, while Iowa and Northwestern are 0-1 and Indiana and Minnesota are 0-2.
[SIX // surprise, surprise… indiana, michigan, wisconsin take early women’s basketball lead]
Week one of the 2010-11 Big Ten women’s basketball season is in the books and there are quite the surprises at both the top and bottom of the standings. Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin all opened with 2-0 records, while Michigan State began the week 1-0. Illinois, Northwestern and Penn State recorded 1-1 marks this week, while Ohio State was 0-1, and Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue were 0-2. Quite a number of games this week had interesting storylines. For Wisconsin, the Badgers ended a 22-game losing streak at Purdue with a 66-64 win over the Boilermakers on Thursday, and then opened 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2001-02 after a 77-62 victory over Penn State. The Lady Lions earned their first Big Ten opening win since 2004-05 with a 68-59 upset over No. 13 Iowa on Thursday. Michigan snapped a 14-game skid against rival Ohio State with a 64-51 win over the No. 13 Buckeyes on Thursday, and then followed that up with a 60-53 victory over the 13th-ranked Hawkeyes on Sunday, which marked Kevin Borseth’s 500th career win. With a thrilling 80-79 overtime victory at Minnesota on Sunday, Indiana earned its first win in Williams Arena in 10 years. Finally, No. 16 Michigan State used a 70-57 result over Illinois to extend its best start in school history to 13-1.
[SEVEN // badgers, hawkeyes earn top-five finishes at midlands]
Competing at the Midlands Wrestling Championships this past week at Northwestern, a pair of Big Ten teams earned top-five finishes, while three placed in the top 10. Falling just shy of champion Missouri (103.5 points) was Wisconsin (95.5) in second and Iowa (91.0) in fourth. Future Big Ten school Nebraska (63.0) finished ninth, followed by Illinois (60.5) in 10th. Northwestern (48.5) tied for 13th, while Michigan State (22.0) was 23rd and Purdue (8.5) was 27th. Three Big Ten grapplers earned individual titles, including Northwestern’s Brandon Precin (125 pounds), and Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff (133) and Travis Rutt (184).
[EIGHT // several other wrestling squads compete at southern scuffle]
Congratulations to the Penn State wrestling team on tying for first out of 33 teams at the Southern Scuffle at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., this past week. The Nittany Lions scored 147.5 points to tie with Cornell for top honors. Michigan (132) and Minnesota (126.5) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Indiana (54.5) placed 13th. Kellen Russell of Michigan scored the individual title at 141 pounds, while Penn State’s David Taylor, Edward Ruth and Cameron Wade took first at 157, 174 and 285, respectively.
[NINE // more great games on the way]
The Big Ten Network announced on Monday that more epic rivalries, stunning upsets, down-to-the-wire finishes and jaw-dropping performances are on the way in its fourth installment of The Big Ten’s Greatest Games. The series premiered this past Tuesday with Penn State’s thrilling 2006 victory over sixth-ranked Illinois. The fourth season of incredible basketball games continues Jan. 5, with future episodes scheduled to air Monday nights at 5 p.m. ET for nine straight weeks through March. The list of classics features Big Ten fans’ most commonly requested games over the past year. The network is in the planning stages for a fifth football season of The Big Ten’s Greatest Games. Fans are encouraged to nominate their favorite historical contests by visiting www.bigtennetwork.com/greatest.
[TEN // let the iconic countdown resume]
Purdue’s Rick Mount was named Sunday night as Big Ten Icon No. 9 on the Big Ten Network's Big Ten Icons top 50 countdown. Mount played for the Boilermakers from 1966-70 and posted the Big Ten single-game record of 61 points, without the benefit of the 3-point line, in a 108-107 loss to conference champ Iowa as a senior. To read an essay and watch a video feature on Mount, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at www.BigTenIcons.com. The Big Ten Icons countdown, presented by Discover, continues at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 9, with a profile of the legendary Boilermaker basketball star.
[ELEVEN // a not-so-new spartan field hockey leader]
Finally this week, we congratulate Michigan State’s Helen Knull, who was promoted Monday to head field hockey coach by Spartans’ athletics director Mark Hollis. Knull, who has served on the MSU staff the last five years, replaces Rolf van de Kerkhof, who recently accepted the head coaching position at Delaware. In her five years in East Lansing, she has helped the Spartans compile a 74-34 overall record, including a 33-10 mark in the last two seasons combined. In 2009, the Spartans won the Big Ten regular-season and Tournament titles, becoming only the second school in Big Ten history to finish the regular season and tournament play unbeaten. The Green and White have also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons.