Aug. 4, 2013
[ONE // big ten football heads to bristol]
All 12 Big Ten football head coaches visited ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters this past week to discuss topics in the news, the upcoming season, their teams, players and more. Each coach participated in a "Car Wash" in which they will appear across multiple ESPN platforms in a few hours. Outlets included College Football Live, SportsCenter, First Take and Highly Questionable on television; ESPN Radio's SVP & Russillo, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Coach and Company and SportsCenter tonight; and chats, podcasts and more across ESPN.com.
[TWO // five big ten teams among usa today’s preseason picks]
Five Big Ten teams were ranked among the top 25 of the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll released this past Thursday. The Big Ten is one of three conferences to feature at least five teams in the top 25 and is tied for second among all conferences. Ohio State leads the way for the Big Ten and is ranked second overall after completing a perfect 12-0 season last year. Michigan and Nebraska also cracked the top 20, ranking No. 17 and No. 18, respectively. Northwestern is slotted at No. 22 and three-time defending Big Ten Champion Wisconsin rounds out the conference's ranked contingent at No. 23. Michigan State received votes in the first USA Today poll of 2013.
[THREE // three men for manning]
Three Big Ten signal callers were named Friday to the watch list for the Manning Award, which honors the nation's top quarterback. Conference standouts on the watch list are Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Northwestern's Kain Colter and Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
[FOUR // watch for the btn bus]
The BTN is set to kick off its annual fall bus tour across Big Ten country! This year, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Tom Dienhart get started Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Indiana and finish up Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Iowa. Throughout the tour, track all the action with the BTN guys on Twitter (@BTNDaveRevsine, @gerrydinardo, @howardgriffith and @BTNTomDienhart). You can also follow all the action on Instagram. See the complete tour schedule and find out when to catch your team’s Preview Show on BTN/BTN2Go by clicking here.
[FIVE // osu’s carter, psu’s robinson enter hall of fame]
Congratulations to Ohio State wide receiver Cris Carter, who starred for the Buckeyes from 1984-86 and then played 16 years in the National Football League, on his enshrinement Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Carter, who played with the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins, recorded 1,101 catches for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns during his NFL career. His receptions and touchdown totals each ranked second in NFL history when he retired from the game. He is the seventh Ohio State player and the 10th individual with Ohio State ties to become an NFL Hall of Famer. Also enshrined Saturday was Penn State’s All-America end Dave Robinson, who became the sixth member of the Penn State Football family to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Robinson was a first-team All-American for the Nittany Lions in 1962 and a three-year letterwinner under Coach Rip Engle. The Green Bay Packers and Coach Vince Lombardi selected Robinson in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft (14th overall selection) and he played linebacker 12 years in the NFL. He played with the Packers from 1963-72 and the Washington Redskins in 1973-74.
[SIX // badgers’ akinniyi named big ten’s honoree for top ncaa honor]
Wisconsin senior Dorcas Akinniyi was selected this past week as the Big Ten’s honoree for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Akinniyi, a Carrollton, Texas, native, graduated from Wisconsin in May with philosophy and sociology degrees. She was named UW Student-Athlete of the Year twice and was a team captain for four years. A five-time Big Ten champion in the multi-events, Akinniyi qualified for the NCAA championships in each of her eight seasons of competition for the Cardinal and White. She is one 146 female student-athletes representing various sports across NCAA Divisions I, II and III that have been selected as 2013 Woman of the Year honorees by their conferences and by independent schools. The Woman of the Year selection committee will select the top 10 honorees in each division from that pool to be recognized in August. The selection committee will announce in September the top nine finalists (three from each division), and the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from amongst those finalists to determine the 2013 Woman of the Year. The NCAA will announce the 2013 Woman of the Year and will honor the top 30 nominees on Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.
[SEVEN // get a jump on online voting for indiana’s drouin]
The Big Ten is in position to earn its first-ever The Bowerman award winner, which is the nation's top award for collegiate track and field student-athletes. Fans of collegiate track and field can now have their voices heard in the next two weeks as online voting for The Bowerman got underway this past Monday. Voting will take place at TheBowerman.org through Tuesday, August 13, to help narrow the three male and three female finalists down to a men's and women's winner who will take home the iconic The Bowerman trophy. The results of the online fan vote will account for one full vote in the overall balloting process. Voters will choose between Indiana's Drouin, Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Julian Wruck of UCLA for the men's award. The three women's finalists are Arizona's Brigetta Barrett, Stanford's Kori Carter and Clemson's Brianna Rollins.
[EIGHT // iowa’s edwards, purdue’s dunn set to enter hall of fame]
While two Big Ten representatives were enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past weekend, two Big Ten women’s basketball standouts were selected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Class of 2014 members Michelle Edwards of Iowa and former Purdue head coach Lin Dunn, who will join fellow inductees Mimi Griffin (contributor), Yolanda Griffith (player), Jasmina Perazic (player), and Charlotte West (contributor). Edwards is one of the most decorated players in Iowa women's basketball history. The 5-9 guard, nicknamed "Ice," amassed a career record of 102-22 from 1984-1988. During her four years, Edwards led the Hawkeyes to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Big Ten titles. Dunn, who now coaches WNBA Champion Indiana Fever, was head coach of the Purdue women's basketball team from 1988 to 1996, leading the Boilermakers to three Big Ten titles, two NCAA Sweet 16's, the 1995 Elite Eight and the 1994 Final Four. She is the winningest women's basketball coach in school history with 206 victories, ranks second with a .752 winning percentage and is the only Purdue coach to never lose to intrastate rival Indiana (going 18-0). The Class of 2014 will be formally inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 14, 2014 in Knoxville, Tenn.
[NINE // hawkeye basketball starts with tropical feel]
Not only was Michelle Edwards’ selection to the Hall of Fame good news for the Iowa women’s basketball program, but the Hawkeyes also announced their return to Cancun for their season opener this fall. Iowa will face USC, Boston College, and UNC Wilmington in the 2013 Cancun Challenge at the all-inclusive Aventura Palace Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, tournament officials announced on Tuesday. Iowa is one of eight teams that will each play three games at the resort on Nov. 28-30. The Cancun Challenge Riviera Tournament features Arizona State, Arkansas State, fellow Big Ten foe Illinois, and North Carolina. The Cancun Challenge Mayan Tournament features Boston College, Iowa, UNC Wilmington, and USC. The teams each play one game per day in a true classic format. In addition, Iowa’s men’s basketball team will open the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis holiday tournament against Xavier on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28. The game will be televised in primetime beginning at 6 p.m. (CT) on NBC Sports Network. The Hawkeyes' second-round contest will be against either UTEP or Tennessee, pending the outcome of first round games. Along with Iowa, the eight-team field features Kansas, Tennessee, Villanova, USC, Wake Forest, UTEP, and Xavier. The tournament will be held, Nov. 28-30, at the Atlantis Royal Towers Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
[TEN // the return to the rec]
Penn State Director of Athletics David Joyner and men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers announced on Wednesday Penn State basketball's return to competition in venerable Rec Hall when the Nittany Lions host Princeton on Saturday, Dec. 14. Tip time and television arrangements will be announced at a later date. Penn State basketball will "Return To Rec" for the first time since defeating Wisconsin, 79-50, in the building on Jan. 7, 1996. The Lions moved to their current home in the 15,261-seat Bryce Jordan Center the following game on Jan. 11, 1996 and posted a 76-51 victory over Minnesota. Penn State has played 281 home games since the Lions' last contest in Rec Hall 17 1/2 seasons ago. Rec Hall gained a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in the nation when it served as the home for Penn State basketball from 1929 to 1996. The current home of Penn State's men's and women's volleyball and gymnastics teams and the wrestling team, will be configured to seat 6,300 fans for the "Return To Rec" basketball contest.
[ELEVEN // seven golf squads earn academic honors from gcaa]
Seven Big Ten men’s golf teams were among 143 squads across all NCAA Divisions that were honored this past week as Golf Coaches Association of America All-Academic Team honorees. These seven B1G squads submitted GPAs of 3.00 or higher to earn All-Academic Team recognition. Congratulations to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Purdue for their efforts in the classroom. To be eligible for GCAA All-Academic Team honors a college or university must submit the GPAs for each player on its official squad list for the academic year.
[TWELVE // another big ten great ready for space]
Finally this week, we all know that Purdue has a storied history of producing astronauts, but now there is another Big Ten school that is producing the next visitor to space. After fulfilling his dream of becoming a NASA astronaut in 2009, former Illini football captain Michael (Mike) Hopkins is getting his first chance in space only four years after being named an astronaut. Hopkins is the first from his 2009 class of 14 members to be invited on a mission. Expedition 37/38 is scheduled to fly out of Russia in September to the International Space Center and returns in March 2014.