Sept. 2, 2012
[ONE // football posts 10 wins in opening week]
The Big Ten opened the 2012 football season with a 10-2 mark this past week, boasting wins on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Minnesota opened the Big Ten campaign Thursday with an exciting 30-27 three-overtime thriller over UNLV, while No. 13 Michigan State stopped No. 24 Boise State 17-13 on Friday. In that game, MSU’s Le'Veon Bell ran for a career-high 210 yards and two touchdowns. On Saturday, winners included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The lone teams to suffer defeats this past week were Michigan and Penn State. For a closer look at all the recaps from the opening week, click here.
[TWO // win a trip to indy]
Do you have a clever or unique way of remembering which teams are in the Legends and Leaders Divisions? If so, the Big Ten wants to hear from you! Send us whatever trick you use to remember the Big Ten's football division alignments, and you could win a trip for two to the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game. Whether it's a video, song, poem, or something else, upload it to the Big Ten's Facebook page at facebook.com/BigTenConference. Every entrant will receive a football schedule poster, and five finalists will receive a special Big Ten prize pack. For more information on this exciting and creative contest, click here.
[THREE // ready for hoops, part one]
The Big Ten announced on Thursday the 2012-13 conference men’s basketball schedule. The conference season begins on New Year’s Eve and culminates in March with the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at the United Center in Chicago. The 2012-13 Big Ten men’s basketball season begins as the 2012 calendar year ends, as Iowa hosts Indiana, and Minnesota welcomes Michigan State on Monday, Dec. 31. Games continue on Wednesday, Jan. 2, as Illinois travels to Purdue, and Nebraska heads to Ohio State. The remaining four teams open their conference slates on Thursday, Jan. 3, as Northwestern hosts Michigan, and Wisconsin welcomes Penn State.
[FOUR // ready for hoops, part two]
The Big Ten announced on Friday the 2013 conference women’s basketball schedule. The season will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and conclude at the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, held March 7-10 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The season begins with a pair of games on Jan. 2, with Nebraska hosting Wisconsin and Illinois welcoming Purdue. The remaining eight conference teams open the conference season on Thursday, Jan. 3. Michigan hosts Indiana, Iowa entertains Ohio State, Michigan State takes on Minnesota and Penn State welcomes Northwestern.
[FIVE // four big ten men’s teams ranked in preseason cross country polls]
Four Big Ten men's cross country teams earned spots in the preseason USTFCCCA national coaches' top 30 poll, it was announced on Tuesday. Defending national and Big Ten Champion Wisconsin tops the poll at No 1. Indiana checks in as the next conference team ranked, coming in at No. 13. Minnesota and Michigan also appear in the top 20, as the Golden Gophers stand at No. 18 and the Wolverines open the season at No. 19. Other conference squads receiving votes were Ohio State and Michigan State. Additionally, the USTFCCCA released its Division I regional rankings on Monday. In the Great Lakes Region, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan ranked 1-3, while Michigan State is fifth, Ohio State is sixth, and Purdue is 13th. Penn State is fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa rank fourth, eighth and ninth, respectively, in the Midwest Region.
[SIX // women’s teams ranked as well]
Four Big Ten women's cross country teams garnered rankings in the preseason USTFCCCA national coaches' top 30 poll, released on Tuesday. Michigan tops the list of ranked conference teams, standing at No. 12. Michigan State joins Michigan in the top 20, checking in at No. 17. Minnesota holds No. 27, followed by Wisconsin at No. 29. Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State all received votes to begin the campaign. Monday’s preseason regional rankings included Michigan (1st), Michigan State (2nd), Wisconsin (5th), Indiana (6th) and Ohio State (8th) in the Great Lakes Region, Penn State (6th) in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Minnesota (3rd), Northwestern (4th), Iowa (5th) and Illinois (8th) in the Midwest Region.
[SEVEN // cross country seasons commence]
Big Ten men's and women's cross country officially began this past weekend with six men’s and women’s conference teams taking to the course for the first time on Friday. Illinois and Michigan each hosted meets to open competition on Friday. Illinois won the Illini Challenge, while the Wolverines turned in first and second-place individual finishes at the Michigan Open. Michigan State’s Josh McAlary won the Jeff Drenth Memorial in Mount Pleasant, Mich., while the Purdue men’s and women’s cross country teams started off with first-place showings in the season-opening Crusader Open. Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State were also in action this past week. Redshirt freshman Robby Creese and junior Rebekka Simko led the way with individual titles, pacing the Nittany Lion cross country squads to a pair of team victories at the annual Dolan Duals at Lock Haven University. Iowa’s men's and women's cross country teams grabbed the title at the Western Illinois Early Bird Open Friday and Nebraska’s men’s and women’s teams finished second behind South Dakota at the UNO/Creighton Classic in Omaha, Neb. In addition, Ohio State began the 2012 season by winning the Flyer 5K Challenge Saturday.
[EIGHT // olympic sport roundup]
Big Ten volleyball, field hockey, and men’s and women’s soccer seasons were in full effect this past weekend. Several conference squads competed in and took home tournament titles. Six volleyball squads – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Penn State – remain unbeaten, while Indiana (3-0) and Iowa (6-0-0) are the only undefeated teams left in field hockey and women’s soccer, respectively. In men’s soccer, Indiana sits atop the standings with a 3-0-1 mark. Follow these links for a look at all the week’s results from the sports of volleyball, field hockey, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer.
[NINE // hoosier soccer player named nation’s best]
Indiana men's soccer player, Eriq Zavaleta, was named Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week, it was announced on Wednesday. The sophomore forward scored three goals last weekend en route to two wins and a team title at the Billiken Classic. Zavaleta, A MAC-Hermann Trophy Watch List player, was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
[TEN // hoosier olympian one of nation’s top women]
Speaking of Indiana standouts, Hoosier women's swimming star Margaux Farrell was tabbed this past week as a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, which celebrates outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. Farrell is an 11-time All-American and two-time captain for Indiana. The Hoosier recently won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of France's 4x200 freestyle relay team. In September, three finalists will be chosen from each NCAA division to form nine finalists and the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced Oct. 14.
[ELEVEN // already five years?]
Congratulations to the Big Ten Network as it celebrated its five-year anniversary of being on the air this past week. On Thursday, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo hosted a one-hour “BTN 5th Anniversary Special) to look back on a few of the memorable moments that have been brought into living rooms all over Big Ten Country. Click here for more information on the show.
[TWELVE // they have had their fun too]
Finally this week, while the BTN has been able to chronicle some of the best Big Ten features over the past five years, the Network has been able to have some fun too. As part of the “BTN 5th Anniversary Special,” a four-minute blooper reel, or perhaps just a “fun” reel, was included to show the lighter side of the BTN crew. It’s definitely worth a look, so click here and enjoy.