This Week in the Big Ten

Ohio State's Cassie Dickerson was one of two Big Ten standouts named this past week as finalists for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Ohio State's Cassie Dickerson was one of two Big Ten standouts named this past week as finalists for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Aug. 14, 2011

[ONE // look who’s talking]
The BTN revealed this past Wednesday its game broadcast teams and studio talent for the 2011 football season. The network’s football schedule will feature more than 40 games, extensive pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage on Saturdays and new studio shows every weeknight at 7 p.m. ET.  BTN’s weekly broadcast teams for football telecasts include Eric Collins (play-by-play), Chris Martin (analyst) and Dionne Miller (sidelines); Tom Hart (play-by-play), Derek Rackley (analyst) and Lisa Byington (sidelines); Matt Devlin (play-by-play), Glen Mason (analyst) and Rebecca Haarlow (sidelines).  For the fifth straight year, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will anchor the network’s game-day studio coverage on Big Ten Football Saturday, and will contribute to additional studio shows during the week.  Former Michigan offensive lineman Jon Jansen, former Michigan State quarterback Tony Banks, former Nebraska running back Ahman Green and former Purdue coach Joe Tiller will make their BTN debuts this fall.  For more on the BTN’s football talent, click here.

[TWO // pick six…of the big ten’s best end]
Six Big Ten student-athletes were named to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive end. The Big Ten and ACC were the only conferences to feature more than four standouts among the honorees. Big Ten players on the watch list are Iowa's Broderick Binns, Michigan's Ryan Van Bergen, Nebraska's Cameron Meredith, Northwestern Vince Browne, Ohio State's Nathan Williams and Penn State's Jack Crawford. The Hendricks Award has honored the country's top defensive end since 2002 and Michigan's LaMarr Woodley earned the trophy in 2006.

[THREE // an honor to be versatile]
In addition to the Hendricks Award, three Big Ten standouts were named this past week to the Paul Hornung Award watch list, which was first awarded last season to honor the most versatile players in college football. Big Ten student-athletes on the Hornung Award watch list are Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, Michigan State wide receiver KeShawn Martin and Minnesota cornerback Troy Stoudermire. Robinson is the lone quarterback on the watch list.

[FOUR // the challenge is set]
This past week ESPN finalized the network and time assignments for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods to be played Nov. 29-30. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges because of the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference.  This year's event will be highlighted by four traditional power programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2011-12 season: Duke at Ohio State (Tue, Nov. 29, at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and and Wisconsin at North Carolina (Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN and  The Big Ten won the Commissioner's Cup for the second consecutive year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges.

[FIVE // bring on gameday]
It was announced this past week that Ohio State will play at Michigan on Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. ET as part of ESPN's College GameDay Driven by State Farm. The eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball program originating from the site of ESPN's Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast will return for its eight season this year.

[SIX // five in twenty-five]
Five Big Ten men's soccer teams have earned top-25 rankings in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason poll, released this past Tuesday. Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State each appear in the top 25, tying the Big Ten with the ACC for the most teams in the poll with five. After capping a 2010 season with a Big Ten Tournament title and its first NCAA College Cup appearance, Michigan leads the way for conference teams at No. 9. Ohio State follows at No. 15 in the poll, while reigning Big Ten Champion Indiana checks in at No. 17, Penn State holds No. 18 and Michigan State opens the season at No. 19.

[SEVEN // the big ten’s trio]
Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio State have each earned top-25 consideration in the preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA women's soccer rankings, it was announced this past Tuesday. After earning a share of their first Big Ten Championship and advancing to the NCAA College Cup last season, the Buckeyes lead the way for the conference contingent, standing at No. 8 in the country entering the 2011 campaign. The Golden Gophers check in at No. 22, while the Fighting Illini hold No. 24 in the first poll of 2011. After taking a share of the Big Ten title last season, Penn State is receiving votes in the poll.

[EIGHT // big ten duo tabbed for woman of the year]
Ohio State women's soccer player Cassie Dickerson and Wisconsin swimmer Maggie Meyer have been nominated for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Dickerson and Meyer represent the Big Ten among more than 140 nominees for the honor, which will be awarded in Indianapolis on Oct. 16.  The Woman of the Year Award, now in its 21st year, honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership.

[NINE // head of the class]
This past Wednesday the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced four Big Ten programs earned Division I All-Academic Track & Field Teams honors for the 2010-11 season. A total of 90 institutions earned the distinction as a result of a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better.  Congratulations to Illinois (3.06 GPA), Minnesota (3.22), Nebraska (3.18) and Penn State (3.00).  On the women’s side, nine conference squads were honored as All-Academic Track & Field teams for the past school year.  Congratulations to Illinois (3.18), Indiana (3.22), Iowa (3.19), Michigan State (3.00), Nebraska (3.43), Ohio State (3.02), Penn State (3.07), Purdue (3.12), and Wisconsin (3.14).

[TEN // keene on the hall of fame]
Congratulations to former Michigan men's track and field coach Keene Fitzpatrick (1896-1910), as it was announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association that he is to be enshrined in the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame later this year.  As the first head coach in U-M track and field history and a pioneer of the sport, Keene will be one of six members of this year's induction class.  During Fitzpatrick's tenure, Michigan captured six Western Conference team championships (no national meets until 1921) and was 24-2-1 in dual-meet competition. (Note: Michigan first recognized men's track and field as a varsity sport in 1901.) Fitzpatrick tutored multiple Olympic gold medalists during his time at Michigan, including fellow U-M Track and Field Hall of Famers Archie Hahn, Ralph Rose, Ralph Craig, Charles Dvorak and Fred Schule.  Fitzpatrick was also the first president of the Association of College Track Coaches of America, taking over as leader of the organization in 1918.  The 2011 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Dec. 14 at the USTFCCCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Joining Fitzpatrick in the 2011 induction class are Phil Esten (Wisconsin-La Crosse), Ken Foreman (Seattle Pacific), Craig Poole (BYU), LaVerne Sweat (Norfolk State/Hampton) and Bill Webb (Tennessee/Cal State Northridge).

[ELEVEN // mike and mike in illinois]
Finally this week, two big headliners out of the University of Illinois!  First, congratulations to Mike Thomas, who was named as the Illini’s new athletic director on Wednesday.  Thomas joins the Illini family following a stint as athletic director at the University of Cincinnati since 2005.  Thomas, 51, has led a vibrant and successful Bearcats athletic program since he took the helm, winning five Big East team titles, an NCAA individual championship and producing 12 All-Americans in a wide range of sports and earning multiple Big East academic excellence awards.  Also this week, Illinois head men’s golf coach Mike Small was honored on Sunday as the low club professional at the PGA Championship held in Atlanta, Ga.  Small tied for 69th overall with a 72-hole total of 12-over-par 292 (73-71-70-78).  Congratulations to both!