This Week in the Big Ten

July 24, 2011

[ONE // look who's talking]
The Big Ten Conference announced this past Tuesday that Dave Revsine, BTN's lead studio host, will serve as emcee for the 2011 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held Friday, July 29, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The 40th annual event will mark the University of Nebraska's first official appearance as a member of the Big Ten Conference and serves as the beginning to the 2011 football season, which will lead in to the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, held Dec. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The event begins at 10 a.m. CT with the players and coaches autograph session, open to fans attending the luncheon. The luncheon itself begins at 11:30 a.m. CT. Revsine has served as BTN's lead studio host for a wide array of programming since the network's inception and was its first on-air hire. He is the primary anchor for Big Ten Football Saturday and the Big Ten Tip-Off Show. He also co-hosts studio shows such as Big Ten Football Breakdown, Big Ten Football and Beyond, Behind the Schemes and Big Ten Basketball and Beyond.

[TWO // time for camp]
Five Big Ten standouts have been named players to watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, given annually to the top player in the country. The 40-player watch list features Michigan's Denard Robinson, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Nebraska's Jared Crick, Northwestern's Dan Persa and Wisconsin's James White. Eighteen Big Ten players have received recognition as the nation's top player since the award's inception in 1937, with Ohio State's Troy Smith earning the conference's most recent honor in 2006.

[THREE // working good on and off the gridiron]
Seven Big Ten student-athletes highlight the record 132-nominee field for the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team as announced this past Tuesday. The seven nominees tie the Big Ten with the Big 12 and the Big East for the most of any conference. The award recognizes the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation. To meet the criteria for the award, the student-athletes must be involved in a charity and maintain good academic standing.  The Big Ten players appearing among the 56 FBS nominees are Indiana's Leon Beckum, Iowa's Eric Guthrie, Michigan's Patrick Omameh, Minnesota's Donald Wilhite, Nebraska's Jared Crick, Northwestern's Al Netter and Purdue's Rob Henry.  Four Big Ten student-athletes earned the honor in 2010 as Indiana's Ben Chappell, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Northwestern's Corbin Bryant and Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski each were selected to the 11-player team.

[FOUR // playing dress up]
Three Big Ten football teams announced this past week that they will be wearing some special uniforms for the upcoming 2011 season.  Michigan State and Ohio State are among nine of the top college football programs that will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike Pro Combat uniforms for at least one game this year. While each school's uniform delivers the same superior lightweight performance and protection, each will tell a different story through its design. Nike worked closely with each university to bring relevant elements of the school's rich heritage into a distinguished, modern uniform design. The uniforms capture each team's unique character.  In addition, Indiana announced Tuesday afternoon that Hoosiers' football uniforms will be returning to a more traditional look for both the basic uniform design and the helmet. Stripes have been removed from the helmet and the jersey sleeves, and a classic white face mask will replace the red face mask that has been featured on IU helmets since 2005. The new jerseys will be traditional IU red and white in color and will feature adidas' state-of-the-art TECHFIT compression technology. IU has also replaced last year's PowerWEB pants with a more traditional design.

[FIVE // leaders at the net]
The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday that Northwestern and Ohio State were among 92 Division I teams that earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2010-11 season. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

[SIX // a scholar on the links]
Eleven Big Ten men's golfers were named this past week as Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the GCAA.  Congratulations to Illinois' Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley, Indiana's David Erdy, Iowa's Chris Brant, Brad Hopfinger and Vince India, Michigan State's Christopher Mory, Northwestern's Josh Dupont, Ohio State's Michael Cress and Brad Smith, and Purdue's Tyler Duncan.  A total of 138 players in Division I golfers earned the honor. To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70-percent of his team's competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, have a stroke-average under 76.0 in Division I, 78.0 in Division II and NAIA and 79.0 in Division III, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 in Division I, II and III and 3.5 in NAIA. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.

[SEVEN // doing flips]
Six Big Ten men's gymnastics squads were honored this past week as National All-Academic Teams, it was announced by the College Gymnastics Association.  Following Temple's national-best cumulative grade point average of 3.519, Minnesota (3.335) placed second, Michigan (3.203) was fifth, and Penn State (3.161) and Illinois (3.118) were sixth and seventh, respectively.  Nebraska ended the year 13th, while Iowa was 15th. The College Gymnastics Association also honored 69 individual gymnasts as 2011 first team All-America Scholar-Athletes for attaining at least a 3.50 grade point average and 63 second team All-American Scholar-Athletes for attaining a grade point average between 3.2 and 3.499.  Of the 69 first-team honorees, 23 hailed from the Big Ten, including Michigan's Ian Makowske and Penn State's Miguel Pineda, who both earned perfect 4.0 GPAs this past year.  For a complete look at the 2010-11 honorees, click here.

[EIGHT // men's scholars in the pool]
Congratulations to five Big Ten men's swimming and diving teams, as well as 15 conference competitors named this past week as Scholar All-Americans by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).  Michigan (3.04 GPA), Michigan State (3.1), Minnesota (3.28), Ohio State (3.1) and Purdue (3.03) were all honored as All-America squads for the 2010-11 season.  As for the individuals, congrats to Michigan's Hassaan Abdel Khalik (3.53), Neal Kennedy (3.51), Jan Konarzcwski (3.76), Dan Madwed (3.61) and James Ridgeway (3.5), Michigan State's Jacob Jarzen (3.75), Minnesota's Kevin Baseheart (3.62), Ivan Gutesa (3.89) and Nadav Kochavi (3.69), and Ohio State's Andrew Elliott (3.5), Justin Farra (3.5), Zachary Holmes (3.5), Elliott Keefer (3.5), Tim Phillips (3.5) and Markus Sievers (3.5).

[NINE // women's leaders in swimming and diving]
In addition, eight women's swimming and diving programs and 24 competitors were named as Scholar All-Americans by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).  Congratulations to Illinois (3.55), Iowa (3.22), Michigan (3.23), Michigan State (3.3), Minnesota (3.28), Northwestern (3.48), Ohio State (3.33) and Purdue (3.4) on their impressive seasons.  Individually, All-America accolades went to Iowa's Deidre Freeman and Veronica Rydze; Michigan's Deirdre Jones, Alexa Mehesan and Caitlin Dauw; Minnesota's Kaylee Jamison, Molly Belk, Ashley Steenvoorden, Lissa Tommerdahl, Meagan Radecke, Alison Eggers, Loren Brandon, Marissa Davies, Lauren Weis, Jillian Tyler and Margaret Keefer; Ohio State's Sam Cheverton, Emily Creran, Megan Detro, Alex Norris, Angela Severn and Rachel Heim; and Purdue's Lauren Gustafson and Kelly Marquenie.

[TEN // big ten men names ita scholar athletes]
Congratulations to six Big Ten men's tennis teams and 26 student-athletes, who were named this past week as Scholar All-Americans by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).  A tip of the cap goes to Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue, while individual honors went to Illinois' Bruno Abdelnour, Connor Roth, Karunuday Singh and Abe Souza; Iowa's Mitchell Beckert, Garret Dunn and Chase Tomlins; Michigan State's Aaron Pfister, William Clark Richardson, Christian Roehmer and John Stratton; Minnesota's Rok Bonin, Derek Peterson and Tobias Wernet; Northwestern's Joshua Graves, Tobias Reitz and Eric Spector; Ohio State's Blaz Rola and Nelson Vick; Purdue's Aaron Dujovne, Jan-Frans Engelbrecht, Mark Kovacs, Krisztian Krocsko and Szymon Tatarczyk; and Wisconsin's Willaim Bertha and Marek Michalicka.

[ELEVEN // tennis women also earn honors]
Congratulation to the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin women's tennis teams on earning All-America laurels for the 2010-11 season.  Individually, 32 standouts were tabbed as All-Americans, including Illinois' Amy Allin, Leigh Finnegan, and Anne McCarthy; Indiana's Kayla Fujimoto, Leslie Hureau, Diana Kyllmann and Evgeniya Vertesheva; Iowa's Allison Majercik and Lynne Poggenseei-Wei; Michigan State's Marina Bohrer and Dana Guentert; Minnesota's Elianna Kantar, Natalia Pintasava, Mariana Spilca and Magdalena Wiecha; Nebraska's Abby Buxton, Chelsea Finnegan, Patricia Verezova, Mary Weatherholt, Stephanie Weinstein and Maike Zeppernick; Ohio State's Tiffany Dittmer; Penn State's Marie-Frederique Bedard, Sarah Henderson, Fernanda Perrotta, Kristen Roth and Amy Simidian; Purdue's Gisella Pere, Imogen Golder and Mara Schmidt; and Wisconsin's Lauren Gruber and Alaina Trgovich.

[TWELVE // get on the boat]
Finally this week, the Navy has given final approval for the Morale Entertainment Foundation to stage the Carrier Classic basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day.  The game will take place on Nov. 11, 2011 on San Diego Bay, and will be the first NCAA basketball game on an active flat top.  The Carl Vinson and its sailors have attracted considerable attention since early May, when the carrier was used to bury Osama bin Laden at sea after he was killed by Navy SEALs.  Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are expected to be the honorary team captains.