Jan. 10, 2010
[ONE // hawkeyes give big ten two bcs victories]
Congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes for capturing the Orange Bowl title on Tuesday – their first Bowl Championship Series win and second straight postseason victory. Iowa topped ACC Champion Georgia Tech 24-14 in Miami by stopping one of the nation’s top offenses with one of the nation’s best defenses. The Yellow Jacket offense averaged 307 rushing yards and 35 points entering the game, but was held to just 143 yards on the ground and just one offensive score. UI defensive end Adrian Clayborn was named Most Outstanding Performer after compiling nine tackles and two quarterback sacks. The Iowa outcome concluded the bowl season for the Big Ten, which compiled a 4-3 record, including two BCS wins (Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl).
[TWO // four football teams finish in nation’s top 25]
With bowl season now complete, the Big Ten led all conferences with four teams ranked among the top 16 and three teams among the top 10 in the final Associated Press (AP) poll. The Big Ten had twice as many top-16 programs as any other conference, as the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Mountain West and SEC each had two top-16 teams. The SEC was the only other conference with multiple teams in the final top 10. Leading the conference contingent was Rose Bowl Champion Ohio State at No. 5, followed by Orange Bowl Champion Iowa at No. 7, Capital One Bowl Champion Penn State at No. 9, and Champs Sports Bowl Champion Wisconsin at No. 16.
[THREE // badgers beat boilers to highlight men’s basketball week]
This past week in Big Ten men’s basketball, No. 17 Wisconsin protected its home court by dropping previously-unbeaten and fourth-ranked Purdue, 73-66. Jordan Taylor scored a career-high 23 points and Jason Bohannon matched a personal best with 20 to lead the Badgers. UW avenged a loss earlier in the week by No. 10 Michigan State 54-47. The Spartans defeated Iowa 71-53 on Saturday to maintain its 3-0 lead in Big Ten play. Also sitting at 3-0 is Illinois, a 59-42 winner over the Hawkeyes on Tuesday and a 66-60 victor at Indiana Saturday night.
[FOUR // players to watch]
Several Big Ten men's basketball players were nominated this past week for two of the most prestigious awards in college basketball. On Monday, Michigan guard Manny Harris, Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas and Purdue forward Robbie Hummel were named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 30. The John R. Wooden Award goes to the nation's top college basketball player with the winner announced in late March. Lucas and Harris also joined Penn State’s Talor Battle and Wisconsin’s Trevon Hughes as finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nation's top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy. The list will be cut down to 10 by Feb. 1 and then five by March 1.
[FIVE // buckeyes hold on against spartans to keep the lead in women’s hoops]
In women’s basketball, No. 6 Ohio State escaped a scare from No. 21 Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, defeating the Spartans 65-62. Samantha Prahalis scored 32 points and Jantel Lavender had 20 points and 13 rebounds to extend the Buckeyes’ perfect conference mark to 5-0. Minnesota fell 64-62 at Illinois on Sunday to fall to 3-2 in conference play with the Illini and Penn State, a 77-71 overtime winner against Indiana Sunday. Purdue also shares second in the conference after a 53-42 win over Northwestern Sunday.
[SIX // men’s gymnastics season underway]
The Penn State Nittany Lions opened the Big Ten men’s gymnastics season this past Saturday, taking the top three spots in every event in downing visiting Army, 341.000-314.350. Freshman Felix Aronovich led the way with titles in the pommel horse (14.200) and the parallel bars (14.300) and a fourth place finish (tie, 13.750) in the still rings. The conference’s remaining squads beginning action next weekend.
[SEVEN // big ten women take to the beam as well]
Unlike the men, all seven of the Big Ten’s women’s gymnastics squads began the 2010 season this past weekend. No. 24 Michigan State opened with a perfect 3-0 mark at home by defeating No. 11 and Big Ten preseason favorite Penn State, No. 21 West Virginia and Western Michigan with a score of 193.925. The win over Penn State marked the first time MSU has defeated PSU since 2006. Penn State finished in second with a score of 193.900. No. 12 Michigan (194.875) opened 2010 by defeating Iowa (193.200) and Bowling Green (189.925), with the win over Hawkeyes marking U-M's 29th straight Big Ten victory. No. 13 Illinois (192.850) finished second behind host and 10th-ranked Oregon State (195.625) in a quad meet, while No. 18 Ohio State fell 194.725-190.65 at No. 16 Missouri. And despite Minnesota senior Alexis Russell winning the all around, the No. 22 Golden Gophers dropped their opener at home to Denver, 195.575-193.375.
[EIGHT // eight conference men’s squads open indoor track and field season]
The 2010 season of Big Ten men’s indoor track and field began this past weekend with eight conference squads in action. Iowa edged Illinois, 80.5-79.5, in a conference dual meet in Champaign, while Michigan’s Carl Buchanon won the 60-meter hurdles and David St. Amant placed first in the 400-meter dash at the non-scoring EMU Invitational. Indiana (Indiana Open), Minnesota (Northwest Open), Ohio State (Buckeye Classic), Penn State (Penn State Indoor Relays) and Purdue (Purdue Invitational) all hosted non-scoring events on their own respective campuses.
[NINE // women’s teams hit the track, too]
The women’s 2010 track and field season also begin this weekend with six conference teams in action. Michigan used wins from Danielle Tauro, Julian Purvis, Shana Vinson, Jillian Smith, Rebecca Addison and the 4x400m relay to capture first at the season-opening Akron Opener. Indiana and Ohio State both shined in their respective home openers, as Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue.
[TEN // now serving…]
In addition, three Big Ten men’s tennis teams kicked off the 2010 spring tennis season this past weekend as Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State were in action. No. 48 Indiana competed in Las Vegas along with No. 18 Alabama, No. 20 Louisville and the 73rd-ranked and host Rebels of UNLV in non-scoring competition. No. 33 Michigan joined Denver, LSU and Texas in Key Biscayne, Fla., for the three-day Key Biscayne Individuals event. Four-time Big Ten Champion and 2009 national runner-up Ohio State traveled south to Plantation, Fla., for a USTA Futures event on Saturday.
[ELEVEN // pizza man set to deliver in ann arbor]
Finally this week, congratulations to Domino's Pizza Chairman and CEO David Brandon as he was named this past Tuesday as Michigan’s new athletics director. The 57-year-old Brandon was a former football player under Bo Schembechler and will spend the next five years in Ann Arbor as the Wolverines’ top chief. Brandon will replace Bill Martin, who announced last year he was stepping down. Martin will serve as a special adviser to university President Mary Sue Coleman until his retirement in September.