Aug. 22, 2010
[ONE // big ten network to conclude fall practice on monday]
The Big Ten Network is just one day away from concluding its conference campus visits to all Big Ten football teams' fall practices. Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith, along with several BTN producers and staffers, have been traveling across the Midwest over the past two weeks to give Big Ten football fans a glimpse into their favorite team's practices. This past week the Big Ten ICONS bus made stops at Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa and Minnesota. Footage of all these stops will be produced into an in-depth one-hour preview show to air in the coming week. Preview shows that aired this past week and are currently being replayed throughout the day on the Big Ten Network feature Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. The BTN concludes its fall previews on Monday when the crew rolls into Madison to scout the Wisconsin Badgers.
[TWO // four gridiron squads lands in ap top 25]
Less than two weeks away from the beginning of the college football season, four Big Ten squads ranked among the top 25 of the preseason Associated Press (AP) Poll released on Saturday. The Big Ten and the Big 12 are the only conferences with three teams ranked among the top 12, while the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC all feature multiple squads in the top 10. Each of the Big Ten's four ranked teams won bowl games last season over opponents ranked in the AP preseason poll. Ohio State enters the season ranked No. 2, followed by No. 9 Iowa, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 19 Penn State.
[THREE // six football stars named to inaugural hornung award watch list]
The Louisville Sports Commission, with football legend Paul Hornung, announced Tuesday the Watch List for the inaugural Paul Hornung Award that will be given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Six Big Ten football standouts were among the 48 players named to the Watch List, compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2009 statistics and expectations heading into the 2010 season. The list will be updated during the course of the season based on players' performances. Congratulations to Indiana's Tandon Doss, Iowa's Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Michigan State's Keshawn Martin, Ohio State's DeVier Posey and Terrelle Pryor, and Wisconsin's David Gilreath.
[FOUR // seven standouts named to butkus award watch list]
Candidates for the 26th annual Butkus Award were released on Monday and seven conference standouts have been named to the Watch List. Congratulations to Illinois' Martez Wilson, Michigan's Jonas Mouton, Michigan State's Greg Jones, Northwestern's Quentin Davie, Ohio State's Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, and Wisconsin's Chris Borland. The award is named after the two-time unanimous All-American Dick Butkus, who shined at Illinois as a center and linebacker. He was presented the Chicago Tribune Silver Football in 1963 as the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player.
[FIVE // nittany lions picked to claim big ten women's soccer title]
After winning its 12th Big Ten Championship in as many years in 2009, Penn State has been named the preseason favorite for the 2010 season by the conference's head coaches, the Big Ten office announced on Tuesday. Selected as favorites for the eighth consecutive season, the Nittany Lions are followed by Ohio State at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No. 3. Additionally, the Big Ten announced a "Players to Watch" list for the first time, highlighting three student-athletes from each team entering the 2010 season. The complete team poll and watch list can be found by clicking here.
[SIX // big ten women's soccer open 2010 season]
Big Ten women's soccer opened the 2010 season with a winning record this past week, with 10 of the 11 schools competing. Wisconsin was scheduled to compete, but its Friday match at Green Bay was postponed due to field conditions. Winning their lone games of the weekend were Illinois (2-0, Loyola-Chicago), Indiana (3-0, Evansville), Northwestern (2-1, DePaul) and No. 13 Penn State (2-1 OT, No. 24 West Virginia). Earning two-game splits were Michigan State (1-0, St. John's / 0-3, No. 1 North Carolina) and Purdue (0-1 OT, Toledo / 4-0, Morehead State). Ohio State dropped its first contest against Milwaukee 2-1 and came back Sunday to tie Marquette 1-1, while Michigan defeated Detroit Mercy 3-1 on Friday and settled for a 1-1 tie against Eastern Michigan. In their lone action of the week, Iowa dropped a 2-0 decision to DePaul and Minnesota fell 1-0 to No. 4 Notre Dame.
[SEVEN // ahead of the class]
A total of five Big Ten soccer players - four men and one woman - were named this past week as candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Michigan's Alex Wood, Northwestern's Matt Eliason, Ohio State's Matt Gold and Penn State's Andres Casais were honored on the men's side, combining to make the Big Ten's four candidates the second most of any conference, behind the Big East's five selections. On the women's side, Penn State defender Danielle Toney, who was also named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, is one of 30 candidates for the same honor. CLASS, an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, recognizes student-athletes who excel in the community as well as on the field. The winner will exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates on both sides will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season. The finalists will be voted on by a nationwide panel of media, coaches and fans, with the winner being announced during the NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup events, respectively, in December.
[EIGHT // psu leads four volleyball squads ranked in avca poll]
Four Big Ten teams appeared in the top 25 of the AVCA Preseason Poll, which was released on Tuesday afternoon. Each of the conference's ranked teams checked in the top 12, while three appeared in the top seven - the most of any conference. Receiving 40 out of a possible 60 first-place votes, Penn State topped the 2010 preseason poll, the third year in a row the Nittany Lions are ranked No. 1 to start the season. The three-time defending NCAA champions have won 102-consecutive matches and last week were selected as the preseason favorite by the conference coaches to win the 2010 Big Ten title. Illinois and Minnesota tied for sixth in the preseason poll, a week after having been voted to finish second and third, respectively, in the conference this season. Michigan was the fourth conference team to earn a spot in the rankings, checking in at No. 12. Three other conference teams received votes in the preseason poll, including Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
[NINE // a true classic for the crossroads]
In the midst of preparing for the Big Ten football season, an intriguing announcement came out of Indianapolis on Monday as four major college basketball programs, including Indiana and Purdue, joined together to create the Crossroads Classic. The event will feature the four most-storied college basketball programs in the state of Indiana at Conseco Fieldhouse during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Hoosiers and Notre Dame will meet first on Dec. 17, 2011, with the Boilermakers and 2010 NCAA Finalist Butler squaring off in the nightcap. The order and opponents will be reversed for the event's second rendition on Dec. 15, 2012.
[TEN // wildcats earn hosting rights for 2011 big ten wrestling championships]
Northwestern and the Big Ten announced on Thursday that the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, previously scheduled to be held at Purdue, have been moved to Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern. The tournament is set for Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6, 2011. Northwestern, which has hosted the Big Ten Wrestling Championships on 13 prior occasions, last held the event in its home arena in 2001. Welsh-Ryan Arena now will be the site of two of college wrestling's premier events in 2010-11, with NU also set to host the 48th annual Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30, 2010.
[ELEVEN // four men's golf teams earn academic honors]
Finally this week, a tip of the cap to four men's golf teams who were honored this past week as All-Academic Teams by the by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). Congratulations to Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern on cumulating GPAs of 3.0 or higher over the 2009-10 season. A total of 113 teams across all NCAA and NAIA divisions picked up the award, including 64 in NCAA Division I.