This Week in the Big Ten

Aug. 6, 2017

[ONE // four football teams ranked in preseason top 10]
The preseason Amway Coaches Poll came out Thursday, and four Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10, according to BTN.com. No. 2 Ohio State leads the way, while reigning Big Ten champ Penn State comes in at No. 6. No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Wisconsin, the defending Big Ten West winner, round out the top 10. Alabama tops the poll, while Florida State, USC and Clemson land at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.  Northwestern and Nebraska are receiving the most votes among unranked Big Ten teams.

[TWO // get on the btn bus]
Speaking of BTN, the 2017 BTN bus tour is underway, with stops made this past week at Indiana and Ohio State. The 14-stop trek across the Big Ten footprint will span 20 days, and include countless hours on the bus and at practice. The bus will head to Maryland on Monday, Rutgers on Tuesday, Penn State on Wednesday, and then spend Friday and Saturday at Michigan and Michigan, respectively. Be sure to check out BTN’s coverage here.

[THREE // college gameday heading to bloomington]
ESPN's College GameDay Built by the Home Depot will broadcast live from inside Memorial Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 31, from 6-8 p.m. ET, leading into Indiana's season opener against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and ESPN will broadcast the game. The Hoosiers will open a campaign against the Buckeyes for the fifth time (1938, 1952-54) and for the first time in Bloomington.

[FOUR // breaking down men’s basketball opponents]
The Big Ten revealed a breakdown of all 14 schools’ opponents for the 2017-18 Big Ten men’s basketball season this past Monday. Conference teams will compete in an 18-game conference schedule, playing five teams both home and away and eight teams once. Each team will play four of its single-play opponents at home and four on the road. Below is the breakdown of each team’s single play opponents. Dates, times and television information will be announced at a later date.

[FIVE // watching the women’s basketball breakdown too]
The Big Ten unveiled this past week a full breakdown of conference opponents for all 14 schools for the 2017-18 women’s basketball season. Each school will play a 16-game conference schedule, facing three schools both home and away and playing the 10 remaining schools once. Of the single-play opponents, schools will play five at home and five on the road. The complete list of Big Ten single-play and repeat opponents can be found here, while dates, times and television coverage will be announced at a later date.

[SIX // summer fun on the hardwood]
The 2017-18 Big Ten women’s basketball season is on the horizon, and several conference programs have gotten an early start on their seasons with overseas competition this summer. Representatives from Big Ten members Maryland and Michigan State will join forces to represent the United States at the 2017 World University Games, scheduled for Aug. 19-30 in Taipei, Taiwan. Indiana is currently competing in Italy, while Michigan is planning for a trip to both Italy and Greece later this month. Speaking of Italy, Michigan incoming freshman Hailey Brown and Wisconsin sophomore Kendra Van Leeuwen earned bronze medals with the Canada Under-19 National Team at the FIBA U19 World Cup, which concluded July 30 in Italy. Five standouts are also at the USA Basketball Women’s Under-23 National Team Training Camp, attempting to make a 12-member roster for the inaugural U23 Four Nations Tournament Aug. 12-15 in Tokyo. For a look at where other current and former Big Ten players are competing, click here.

[SEVEN // big ten boasts two ncaa woman of the year nominees]
Maryland lacrosse student Zoe Stukenberg and Penn State soccer student Raquel Rodriguez have been selected as the Big Ten Conference nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award, the NCAA announced Tuesday. The pair is among 145 candidates across all three NCAA divisions (including 58 NCAA Division I students) nominated for this year's honor, which has been presented annually since 1991 and recognizes the nation's top senior female student-athlete who has excelled in the award's four pillars of academics, athletics, service and leadership. Nebraska volleyball standout Billie Winsett-Fletcher is the only student from a current Big Ten school to have been chosen as NCAA Woman of the Year, receiving the award in 1996.

[EIGHT // pair of big ten standouts selected for avca hall of fame]
Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook has been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2017, the AVCA announced on Monday. The induction ceremony will be held at the 2017 AVCA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri in December. Cook will enter the hall with fellow coaches Debbie Brown, Cecile Reynaud and Roseanne Wegrich. Cook finished his 17th season as the Huskers' head coach in 2016 and led the Huskers to their 11th conference title in his tenure and seventh NCAA semifinals appearance. Cook has won three national titles at Nebraska (2000, 2006 and 2015) and has 660 career wins in 24 years as a head coach, including 499 at Nebraska. His winning percentage in his 17 years at Nebraska (.885) is the best in the nation in that time, and he has been honored as a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year. Wegrich, a former coach at Minnesota, started a four-decade coaching career in Minneapolis as just the Gophers’ third ever coach. From 1975-76, Wegrich recorded 71 victories in just two seasons and finished her Gopher coaching career with a 71-30-1 record. Wegrich is the third coach with Gopher ties to be inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame. She joins Mike Hebert (inducted in 2006) and Stephanie Schleuder (inducted in 2015).  

[NINE // big ten trio selected for 2018 olympic team]
USA Hockey named the management and coaching staff for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team this past week, which has a distinct Big Ten flavor. USA Hockey named Tony Granato, head coach of the Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team, as head coach of Team USA. Former UW defenseman, NHL award-winner and Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios heads a group of assistants that also includes Scott Young, an Olympic teammate and road roommate of Granato's in 1988, Ron Rolston and Keith Allain. On the management side, Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, has been named general manager. The long-time general manager for Team USA is Jim Johannson, who played with Granato at Wisconsin as well as on the American squad that competed in the '88 Games in Calgary, Alberta.

[TEN // the loss of a legend]
Finally this week, Ara Parseghian, a titan of collegiate athletics and an eight-year head coach of Northwestern's football team, passed away early Wednesday morning. He was 94. After going 6-0 to open the 1962 slate, his Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll. Parseghian's .507 career winning percentage was the best of any Northwestern head football coach from 1947 to 2005. After Northwestern, Parseghian spent 11 years as the head coach at Notre Dame, where he revitalized the Fighting Irish football program following much the same pattern as Miami and Northwestern.