This Week in the Big Ten

Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell is one of eight B1G standouts named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.

July 15, 2013

[ONE // a salute to distinguished scholars]
The Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday that 647 student-athletes have been selected recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list includes student-athletes from every institution and 38 different sports who have earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year.  The 2012-13 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes 101 student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term. A complete list of the 2012-13 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award winners can be found by clicking here.

[TWO // nine is fine for big ten football]
The Big Ten announced the conference schedules for the 2016 and 2017 football seasons Thursday, featuring nine-game slates for every Big Ten program for the first time since 1984.  The 2016 season marks the return of a nine-game conference schedule, as teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, while teams from the West Division will host five conference home games during odd-numbered years. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten's schedule rotation, every student-athlete will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.  For a complete look at the future schedules, click here.

[THREE // on the guest list]
The Big Ten announced last Wednesday the 36 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2013 Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon presented by Allstate and BMW, held Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago. The 42nd annual luncheon will feature 19 returning All-Big Ten selections and all 12 head coaches. The Kickoff Luncheon begins on Thursday, July 25, at 10 a.m. CT with the players and coaches autograph and photo session for fans attending the luncheon. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with comments from all 12 coaches and Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient John Urschel of Penn State. The All-Big Ten offensive lineman and Academic All-American will speak on behalf of the players in attendance.  Each school will bring three student-athlete representatives to the KOL, and the complete list of those attendees can be found here.

[FOUR // eight named to thorpe list]
Eight Big Ten standouts were named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list on Friday, which is tied for the lead among all conferences.  The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the best defensive back in college football, given annually since 1986. Big Ten players have claimed five Thorpe Awards--Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997, Antoine Winfield in 1998, Minnesota's Tyrone Carter in 1999, Wisconsin's Jamar Fletcher in 2000 and Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins in 2008.  The list of Big Ten players on the Thorpe Award watch list include Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis, Nebraska’s Ciante Evans, Northwestern’s Ibraheim Campbell, Ohio State’s C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, and Bradley Roby, and Purdue’s Ricardo Allen.

[FIVE // nearly two-dozen on nagurski, outland watch lists]
Twenty-three Big Ten standouts were named to the Nagurski and Outland watch lists, it was announced on Thursday. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year. Big Ten institutions have earned five Nagurski Trophies - Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald in 1995 and 1996, Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997, Ohio State's James Laurinaitis in 2006 and Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.  Presented annually since 1946, the Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football, given to the nation's best interior lineman. Big Ten institutions have claimed 23 Outland Trophies, the most of any conference, including two of the last three recipients, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009 and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi in 2010.  The list of Big Ten players on the Nagurski and Outland watch lists can be found by clicking here.

[SIX // seven shine on groza, guy watch lists]
Seven Big Ten players were named to watch lists for the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Awards, it was announced on Wednesday.  The Lou Groza Award is awarded annually to the nation's top place-kicker. Two conference standouts have earned the Lou Groza Award, Ohio State's Mike Nugent in 2004 and Iowa's Nate Kaeding in 2002.  Indiana’s Mitch Ewald, Iowa’s Mike Meyer, Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons, and Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien are on the watch list for this season.  Since 2000, the Ray Guy Award has been presented annually to the nation's top punter. The Big Ten has claimed three Ray Guy Awards, including Ohio State's B.J. Sander in 2003, Purdue's Travis Dorsch in 2001 and Wisconsin's Kevin Stemke in 2000.  This year’s Ray Guy Award preseason honorees are Illinois’ Justin DuVernois, Michigan State’s Mike Sadler, and Purdue’s Cody Webster.

[SEVEN // several standouts named to rimington, mackey award lists]
Eleven Big Ten student-athletes were named to watch lists for the Rimington Trophy and John Mackey Award, it was announced this past Tuesday.  The Rimington Trophy, named after Nebraska's Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the most outstanding center in college football. Big Ten institutions have claimed six Rimington trophies, the most of any conference, most recently with 2011 honoree David Molk of Michigan. Since 2000, the Mackey Award has been given annually to the most outstanding tight end. Three Big Ten players, Purdue's Tim Stratton (2000), Iowa's Dallas Clark (2002) and Minnesota's Matt Spaeth (2006) have claimed the Mackey Award.  Click here to see the list of Big Ten honorees on both preseason watch lists.

[EIGHT // maxwell, bednarik award watch lists feature 19 conference stars]
Nineteen Big Ten student-athletes have been named to watch lists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards, the Maxwell Football Club announced this past Monday.  The Maxwell Award, named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's most outstanding collegiate football player since 1937. Ohio State's Braxton Miller was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award last season. Twenty student-athletes from Big Ten institutions have earned the Maxwell Award, most recently when the Big Ten was honored three out of four years in 1999 (Wisconsin's Ron Dayne), 2000 (Purdue's Drew Brees) and 2002 (Penn State's Larry Johnson).  The Bednarik Award, named after Chuck Bednarik, has been presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. Eight players from Big Ten institutions have earned Bednarik Awards, including two-time honorees Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern (1995 and 1996) and Paul Posluszny of Penn State (2005 and 2006). Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh is the most recent honoree in 2009.  A full list of the Big Ten’s 19 honorees can be found by clicking here.

[NINE // irish lions]
While the Big Ten announced the 2016 and 2017 football schedules this past week, Penn State announced an important season opener for the 2014 season on Sunday.  In fact, it was Croke Park and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) that announced the 2014 "Croke Park Classic," as Penn State will meet the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the Saturday, August 30, 2014 season opener for both teams. The clash will take place at Croke Park, the headquarters of the GAA, in central Dublin, Ireland. The international contest will be the first in Penn State's 127-year gridiron history. UCF also will be playing outside the United States for the first time in program history. The Croke Park Classic will kick at 1:30 p.m. in Dublin (8:30 a.m. ET) and air on ESPN2. Capacity at Croke (pronounced Crow) Park will be 69,000 for the contest.

[TEN // indiana’s drouin jumps in as bowerman finalist]
Indiana's Derek Drouin, the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, has been named a finalist for The Bowerman Trophy - the highest honor given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in collegiate track & field.  Drouin was named the National Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year after winning both NCAA high jump titles, becoming only the second student-athlete to win both honors in the same season. Drouin has won five NCAA high jump titles, the only five-time champion in the event's history, and seven Big Ten Championships crowns. An Olympic bronze Medalist, the Corunna, Ontario, native becomes the second Big Ten student-athlete in consecutive seasons to be named a finalist for the Bowerman, following Illinois' Andrew Riley in 2012.  To read more about Drouin, click here.

[ELEVEN // new home for new hawkeye coaches]
The University of Iowa welcomed two new head coaches to the Hawkeye family this past week as Rick Heller was named the 20th head coach in UI baseball history, while Andrew Carter was tabbed as the third head coach of the Hawkeye rowing program. Heller takes over the Iowa program after serving as the head coach at Indiana State the last four seasons.  During Carter’s career, he turned Miami into a nationally-ranked program, and led Clemson to its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference title and NCAA Championship appearance.

[TWELVE // brouse bringing in a new boiler]
Finally this week, there is a new golf coach in West Lafayette, but Devon Brouse still remains as the top captain of the Boilermaker golf programs.  Rob Bradley, a former player of Brouse's at North Carolina, has taken the reins as Purdue's head men's golf coach. Brouse remains the Director of Golf Operations and will enter his 16th year as Purdue's head women's golf coach.  Bradley spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach at Alabama, where he helped guide the Crimson Tide to a national championship.