Sept. 7, 2008
by Jeff Smith
[ONE // week two is in the books after a perfect sweep]
All 11 Big Ten football squads found the win column this past Saturday, giving the conference a perfect 11-0 sweep for the weekend. Illinois defeated Eastern Illinois 44-21, Indiana bested Murray State 45-3, Iowa blanked Florida International 42-0 and Michigan was a 16-6 victor over Miami (Ohio). Michigan State took out Eastern Michigan 42-10, Minnesota moved to 2-0 on the season with a 42-17 decision over Bowling Green, while Northwestern got revenge at Duke with a 24-20 win. Ohio State downed Ohio 26-14, Penn State dominated Oregon State 45-14, Purdue took its season opener with a 42-10 result over Northern Colorado and Wisconsin scored 51 unanswered points to get past Marshall in a 51-14 rout.
[TWO // news and notes from the gridiron]
Big Ten football teams made several headlines this past week in addition to posting an 11-0 sweep in non-conference action. On the field, quarterbacks Juice Williams of Illinois and Purdue's Curtis Painter were very impressive as Williams set a school record for quarterback rushing with 174 yards and passed for 124 yards as well. Painter opened his senior season with 286 yards passing and two touchdowns. In his first collegiate start, Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi threw for three touchdowns, as did Minnesota sophomore signal caller Adam Weber. On the ground, Indiana's Marcus Thigpen scored on his first two touches, Penn State's Evan Royster rushed for 141 yards and three scores, Iowa's Shon Greene scampered for 130 yards, and Michigan State's Javon Ringer tallied 135 yards rushing and a career-high five touchdowns. On the sidelines, Michigan's Rich Rodriguez earned his first victory with the Wolverines, Ohio State's Jim Tressel helped the Buckeyes to their 800th overall win, Penn State's Joe Paterno extended his NCAA record to 374 career wins, and Purdue's Joe Tiller tied Jack Mollenkopf for the most wins in school history with 84.
[THREE // illini football begins the journey]
This past Tuesday marked the beginning of a new journey in the Big Ten. The Illinois football team is the focus of the Big Ten Network's original program, The Journey, this season, and the first edition of the show aired this past week. Extensive coverage of the Illini and the show can be found here. This is the second season of the popular series, as the Minnesota men's basketball team was featured last winter. The show airs each Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.
[FOUR // big ten releases men's basketball schedule]
It's time to plan for Big Ten men's basketball and now we have a schedule to help us make those plans. The conference office released the composite and television schedule this past week and for the second consecutive year, every conference regular-season and tournament game will be nationally televised. The league slate begins Tuesday, Dec. 30, with Purdue hosting Illinois on ESPN2, one of over 100 games appearing nationally on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. For a look at the complete release, click here.
[FIVE // schedule set for women's hoops too]
A day after the release of the Big Ten men's basketball schedule, the conference office released the blueprint for the 2008-09 women's basketball season. The regular-season slate includes 41 games set to air on national television, with 36 contests on the Big Ten Network, four on ESPN2 and one on CBS. League games begin on Saturday, Dec. 20, with Indiana hosting Northwestern. In addition, each Big Ten team will make at least four national television appearances during the conference season, including two on their home court. Click here to view the complete release.
[SIX // illinois volleyball standout tabbed nation's best]
Congratulations to Illinois sophomore Laura DeBruler as she was named this past Tuesday as both the Sports Imports/AVCA and CVU.com National Player of the Week. The outside hitter earned State Farm Illini Classic honors after averaging a .302 hitting percentage, 5.40 kills, 3.2 digs, nearly one block and 6.10 points per set. Her national accolade is the first for the Illini program since Jessica Belter was honored on Oct. 20, 2003.
[SEVEN // speaking of national honors...]
Michigan junior Peri Marosevic was named to the Soccer America National Team of the Week last Tuesday. Marosevic helped the Wolverines to a 2-0 start to the season by scoring three goals in wins over Wisconsin-Green Bay and Oregon State. Marosevic, who is fourth all-time at Michigan with 14 career goals, earned his first national weekly award.
[EIGHT // changes on the track in ann arbor]
Last year Ron Warhurst coached the Michigan men's outdoor track and field team to its first Big Ten title since 1983. He was named the conference's Coach of the Year and was poised for a repeat this season. But in a surprise move Wednesday, Warhurst stepped down as the Wolverines' head coach and swapped positions with his associate head coach Fred LaPlante, who has served that role since 1996. Warhurst is beginning his 35th season at Michigan and will remain as the men's cross country coach. LaPlante, who has been a head coach at San Diego State, Southern California and Lehigh, was named the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Assistant Coach of Year and saw his sprinters win six conference titles in 2008.
[NINE // a buckeye olympian returns home]
Former Ohio State basketball standout and Columbus, Ohio, native Michael Redd returned home this past Saturday and received a warm welcome in front of 105,002 Buckeye faithful at the OSU/Ohio football game. Fresh off his Olympic gold-medal winning performance with USA Basketball, Redd was honored at halftime of Saturday's game for his accomplishments in Beijing. In addition to Redd, fellow Buckeye Katie Smith also earned a gold medal competing on the U.S. women's team.
[TEN // because golf can't wait until spring]
While the Big Ten men's and women's golf seasons don't officially begin until the spring, the majority of the conference squads spent this week opening their fall campaign and a few Big Ten teams will enter the 2008-09 ranked nationally. The Indiana men's team is tied for 20th with Wake Forest in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Preseason Coaches' Poll, while Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue received votes outside the poll. The Purdue women, who placed fourth at the NCAA Championships last year, enter the preseason ranked seventh overall in the Golf World/NGCA Division I Preseason Coaches' Poll, while Michigan State is 24th. Ohio State is also receiving votes outside the poll. In addition, two Big Ten golfers were ranked among Golf World's top 10 "Players to Watch." Indiana's Jorge Campillo is ranked fifth on the men's side, while Purdue's Maria Hernandez is seventh.
[ELEVEN // welcome to the big leagues young man]
Congratulations to former Ohio State pitcher Scott Lewis, who will make his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday at Baltimore. The former Buckeye was called up this past week after going 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts with the Double-A Akron Aeros. Best of luck on Wednesday Scott!