Jan. 31, 2010
[ONE // big ten represented big time in super bowl]
The Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Sunday, Feb. 7, in Super Bowl XLIV with 20 former student-athletes and 13 coaches with previous conference connections on the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. The Big Ten leads all conferences with 20 players on the two Super Bowl squads, followed by the SEC (19 players), Big 12 (18), ACC (15) and Pac-10 (13). All 11 Big Ten schools will be represented on the field or on the sidelines on Super Bowl Sunday, including former players from nine different programs and both head coaches.
[TWO // four wolverines headline five big ten standouts on all-decade team]
In the midst of all the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl festivities, the NFL announced Sunday that five Big Ten players were among the 53 members named to the NFL's All-Decade team. Four of the five standouts hail from Michigan, including quarterback Tom Brady, offensive tackle Steve Hutchinson and Ty Law and Charles Woodson in the secondary. Ohio State’s Orlando Pace was selected to the offensive line.
[THREE // michigan’s graham earns defensive honors in senior bowl]
Congratulations to Michigan’s Brandon Graham on being named the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl Most Valuable Player Saturday, as he helped his North squad to a 31-13 victory over the South at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Graham, who collected five tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble in the win, became the first Wolverine and eighth Big Ten player to ever win the MVP award at the Senior Bowl. Other Big Ten standouts competing in the game included Illinois tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, Iowa linebacker A.J. Edds, Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko, Michigan State kicker Brett Swenson, Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman, Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick and Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal.
[FOUR // all eyes on the eyeglasses]
Quite simply, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has seen more on the gridiron in his lifetime than most coaches do in the blink of an eye. Well, in a charitable effort to help Penn State Public Broadcasting, Paterno has autographed and donated a pair of his trademark, thick-rimmed glasses for auction that begins Monday through Feb. 20. Think about how many great moments and victories have been seen through those lenses!
[FIVE // michigan state extends lead in men’s basketball]
With a one-point 57-56 victory over in-state rival Michigan and a 79-70 result over Northwestern, Michigan State extended its conference lead in the men’s basketball race by three games. The Spartans have opened the Big Ten season 8-0 for the first time in program history and now own a three-game advantage over four teams -- Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin – that are tied for second at 6-3. Other highlights on the hardwood included No. 10 Purdue beating No. 16 Wisconsin 60-57 and Illinois’ buzzer-beating 72-70 win over Indiana.
[SIX // 2010 buckeyes honor 1960 buckeyes]
It’s been 50 years since the likes of Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and some substitute named Bob Knight brought Ohio State’s lone national championship to Columbus. On Sunday, members of the 1960 championship squad were invited back for an emotional celebration. Knight led a moving halftime ceremony where Ohio State unveiled a banner for the 1960 team and the late Fred Taylor, whose 18 seasons as head coach included seven Big Ten titles, four trips to the Final Four and one national title.
[SEVEN // gameday coming to champaign]
Illinois basketball fans were pleased to learn this past week that ESPN College GameDay Driven by State Farm will broadcast live from Assembly Hall on Feb. 6 prior to the prime-time basketball matchup between the Fighting Illini and Michigan State. The show, which is the college basketball version of ESPN's popular College GameDay football series, will originate from Assembly Hall at 11 a.m. ET. The College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps will be on hand, breaking down the day's college basketball action and previewing the Illinois-Michigan State matchup.
[EIGHT // buckeyes slip, maintain lead in women’s basketball race]
We are 10 games into the women’s basketball conference season and a pair of Big Ten losses by No. 4 Ohio State didn’t seem to hurt the Buckeyes’ chances of earning yet another conference championship. Yes, it was a good week for the state of Indiana as Purdue topped Ohio State 63-61 on Monday, while Indiana captured a 67-62 win over the Buckeyes in Bloomington on Sunday. Clearly there are several games to play, but despite OSU opening the door for other teams, such as second-place Penn State and third-place Purdue and Wisconsin, those three teams all dropped games on Sunday. Penn State fell 66-62 to Michigan, Purdue lost 70-50 to Iowa and Northwestern topped Wisconsin 68-62. The 9-2 Buckeyes still hold a two-game lead in the conference over 7-4 Penn State.
[NINE // lady lions claw their way back into top 25]
Despite the two losses to front-runner Ohio State this past week, second-place Penn State lost a chance to close ground on Sunday as the Lady Lions gave up a 15-point lead and were upset 66-62 at Michigan. The beginning of the week was much brighter for Penn State, however, as the squad found itself in the Associated Press poll for the first time since finishing the 2004-05 season. The Lady Lions were tagged at No. 23, while Ohio State was the other conference team ranked at No. 4.
[TEN // walkin’ for hoops]
The Indiana Sports Corporation, in line with the 2010 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, will be hosting Big Ten Hoops Day 5K on Sunday, March 14, it was announced this past Friday. The 5K run/walk starts at 11 a.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse and finishes at the same location prior to the Big Ten Championship Game that afternoon. The event, which costs $20 for pre-registered entrants and $25 for those who register on the day of the event, is open to all. After shooting hoops in front of Conseco Fieldhouse prior to the start, entrants will race through the streets of Indianapolis. There will also be a 1.2-mile Youth Run, which begins at 11:15 a.m.
[ELEVEN // ready to celebrate]
In a continued effort to commemorate the achievements of African-Americans on Big Ten campuses, the conference office is prepared to announce the 22 student-athletes to be recognized on the Big Ten's Black History Month website on Monday. Throughout February, the website will feature stories on current and former student-athletes from each institution and can be accessed by clicking here.