This Week in the Big Ten

Aug. 6, 2018

[ONE // big ten shows up in a big way in amway football poll]
The preseason Amway Coaches Poll came out this past Thursday with five Big Ten teams ranked in the top 15. No. 3 Ohio State leads the way, followed by No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State, No. 12 Michigan State, and No. 14 Michigan, while Northwestern is receiving votes outside the top 25. Alabama tops the poll, while Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma are No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

[TWO // btn ready to hit the road]
The 2018 BTN Bus Tour is underway as Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are on the road to cover each Big Ten football team as they begin fall practice. The #BTNBusTour makes a stop at Indiana on Monday (Aug. 6), and then hits Ohio State (Aug. 7), Rutgers (Aug. 9) and Maryland (Aug. 10) to close out the opening week. The second week features stops at Penn State (Aug. 13), Michigan (Aug. 13), Michigan State (Aug. 14), Wisconsin (Aug. 15) and Minnesota (Aug. 16). The Tour concludes its third and final week at Nebraska (Aug. 20), Iowa (Aug. 20), Illinois (Aug. 21), Purdue (Aug. 22) and Northwestern (Aug. 23). For all the news that you need to know about your favorite Big Ten football team, follow along at BTN.com.

[THREE // btn set to debut new purdue football series]
After winning seven games to jump start a new era of Purdue Football, Coach Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers will allow BTN behind-the-scenes for Gold and Black Days: Inside Purdue Training Camp. Gold and Black Days will debut on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. ET, and episodes two and three will also air at 7 p.m. ET on Aug. 23 and Sept. 4. Fresh off a win over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl, one that saw the Purdue score 31 points in the first half en route to its first bowl win since 2011, the Boilermakers will go to work this fall looking for back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2006-2007. BTN’s cameras will go on the field and inside the locker room to preview year two for Coach Brohm and company as the Boilermakers build on an innovative offense and look to replace several key contributors on the defensive side of the ball.

[FOUR // btn announces fall sports broadcast schedule]
The Big Ten will be featured prominently on the airwaves during the 2018 fall season, with at least 81 games across four sports scheduled to be televised by the conference’s television partners on the Big Ten Network and FS1. Additional games could be selected for broadcast by another Big Ten television partner, ESPN, with that announcement to come at a later date. The Big Ten volleyball television schedule features at least 33 matches televised live on BTN. No fewer than 37 Big Ten soccer games will be televised this season (19 men and 18 women), with 36 on BTN and the conference’s first men’s soccer appearance on FS1 on Aug. 31, when Stanford visits Maryland. There will also be 11 Big Ten field hockey games slated for television in 2018, with all 11 contests broadcast on BTN.

[FIVE // big ten hoops heads overseas]
Big Ten basketball has a little international flavor this summer as the Ohio State men’s team is currently on an 11-day stint in Spain, while Maryland’s men’s program has arrived in Rome to start a 10-day training tour in Italy. On the women’s side, the Penn State Lady Lions will begin their 2018-19 season with a nine-day tour of Spain, August 9-18. The Lady Lions will visit three of Spain's most popular cities and play three games while abroad.

[SIX // spartans earn abca team academic excellence award]
Michigan State baseball has been recognized with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award for the second-straight year. Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were honored with the award, which recognizes teams coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2017-18 academic year. In total, 287 college and high school programs received this year’s award, including 93 high school programs and 76 teams from NCAA Div. III. Michigan State had a 3.21 GPA this year, which is the second-highest in program history, only behind last year’s 3.22. The Spartans were the only Big Ten team on the 46-team list for NCAA Division I teams.

[SEVEN // flippin’ over academic success]
Sixty-six Big Ten students were honored with Scholastic All-America honors from the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) for the 2017-18 academic year. The WCGA is the advocate for women’s collegiate gymnastics. Until this month, the coaches’ association was known as the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women. To be recognized for this honor, student-athletes must carry a grade point average of 3.50 or better. Congratulations to Illinois’ Bridget Hodan, Haylee Roe, Jordyn Givens, Kasey Meeks, Kylie Noonan, Mary Jane Horth, Nicole Biondi, Rebecca Cuppy, Sarah Lyons, and Tessa Phillips; Iowa’s Ashley Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Misty-Jade Carlson, and Nicole Youd; Maryland’s Amanda Bertorello, Deanna Magro and Megan McClelland; Michigan’s Brianna Brown, Lauren Farley and Paige Zaziski; Michigan State’s Anna Gamelo, Ashley Beatty, Gabriella Douglas, Jessica Ling, Lea Mitchell, Madison McHale, Mary Hoerner-O'Malley, and Victoria Huehn; Minnesota’s Abigail Demuse, Alexyss Ramler, Hannah Hitchcock, Ivy Ying Lu, Julia Huebert, Ona Loper, Rachel Cutler, Rachel Rowland, and Rebecca Taylor; Nebraska’s Abbie Epperson, Danielle Breen, Grace Williams, Kynsee Roby, and Sierra Hassel; Ohio State’s Amanda Huang, Janelle McClelland, Megan Feltham, Morgan Love, Nevin Adamski, and Stefanie Merkle; Penn State’s Briannah Tsang, Chanen Raygoza, Jessica Jones, Kourtney Chinnery, Kristen Politz, Mason Hosek, Peyton Schuller, Sabrina Garcia, and Tess McCracken; Rutgers’ Belle Huang, Elizabeth Groden, Eriel Santagado, Erin McLachlan, Hannah Prieto, Makenzey Shank, Polina Poliakova, Riahanah Ali, and Sophia Atienza.

[EIGHT // ita honors 47 students, 11 women’s tennis teams with all-academic honors]
The Big Ten learned this past week that 47 students from 13 women’s tennis programs have been recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as ITA Scholar-Athletes. In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: be a varsity letter winner, have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters. In addition, 11 conference women’s teams were honored as All-Academic Teams for achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.20 or above. Congratulations to Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers. 

[NINE // ita all-academic awards handed out to 37 students, seven men’s tennis teams]
Thirty-seven men’s tennis standouts from nine Big Ten programs were recognized this past week by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as ITA Scholar-Athletes. In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: be a varsity letter winner, have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters. In addition, seven conference men’s teams were honored as All-Academic Teams for achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.20 or above. Congratulations to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State. 

[TEN // hail to the visitor]
Finally this week, after two Big Ten football teams were featured in the 2017 season opener of ESPN’s College GameDay, another league member will be showcased on the program in the 2018 opener. One year after Ohio State kicked off the season at Indiana, it was announced this past week that Michigan will be the featured visiting team as the Wolverines head to South Bend to battle Notre Dame on Sept. 1 in a non-conference rivalry that has been idle since 2014.