This Week in the Big Ten

Sept. 10, 2017

[ONE // eight football teams remain unbeaten]
Eight Big Ten football teams remain unbeaten on the season after the conference turned in a combined 10-4 mark on the gridiron this past weekend. Moving to 2-0 on the season were Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin. Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards to help Michigan past Cincinnati 36-14, and Iowa rallied to knock off Iowa State 44-41 in overtime. Maryland opened the season with two straight 50-point games for the first time in school history after a 63-17 win over Towson, and Wisconsin freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 223 yards and three scores to help the Badgers over Florida Atlantic, 31-14. Michigan State doubled-up Western Michigan 28-14, Penn State rolled in-state rival Pittsburgh, 33-14, and Illinois topped Western Kentucky, 20-7. It was also a solid week for the league’s new coaches as P.J. Fleck guided his Minnesota team to a 2-0 start following a 48-14 victory over Oregon State, Indiana’s Tom Allen picked up his first win as the Hoosiers’ head coach in a 34-17 road win at Virginia, and Jeff Brohm earned his first “W” at Purdue with a 44-21 result over Ohio on Friday.

[TWO // big ten volleyball nets 25 wins, five top-25 victories, and two top-five thrillers]
Big Ten volleyball teams combined for another successful week in non-conference action, turning in a 25-8 record for the league, which included five top-25 victories and two impressive top-five wins. Among the highlights, No. 1 Minnesota bested No. 5 Texas 3-1 on Friday, while No. 17 Purdue defeated No. 9 Creighton 3-1 and No. 12 Nebraska blanked No. 11 UCLA 3-0 that same day. On Saturday, No. 3 Penn State outlasted No. 4 Stanford in five sets, 3-2, while the Huskers once again shut out UCLA.

[THREE // washington tabbed national player of the week]
Penn State’s senior middle blocker Haleigh Washington was named as the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week, announced Tuesday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Her efforts helped lead Penn State past then-No. 1 Stanford on Sept. 1. This is the 11th time in program history a student-athlete has garnered Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors, and the first since Sept. 20, 2014 when Micha Hancock took home the award. 

[FOUR // top-five men’s soccer battle ends in scoreless draw]
All eyes seemed to be on College Park, Maryland Friday night as No. 4 Indiana and No. 5 Maryland squared off in Big Ten men’s soccer action. At the end of extra time, 6,981 fans in attendance and a nationally-televised audience watching on BTN saw the two powerhouses put forth an impressive defensive effort and battle to a scoreless draw. Elsewhere in Big Ten action, Michigan defeated Wisconsin 2-1, No. 13 Michigan State topped Rutgers 2-1, and Ohio State blanked Northwestern, 1-0. Playing outside league competition this week was Penn State, which earned a 1-0 home win over Saint Francis (PA).

[FIVE // indiana, ohio state, penn state earn key women’s soccer victories]
Big Ten women’s soccer compiled an 11-9-3 record this past weekend, highlighted by No. 5/4 Penn State defeating No. 6/10 North Carolina 1-0 on Thursday. Among other notables involving ranked teams, No. 16/13 Wisconsin blanked Drake 3-0, No. 14/16 Rutgers shut out George Mason 2-0, Ohio State stunned No. RV/21 Notre Dame 2-1 in double-overtime, and Indiana shocked No. 23 SMU, 1-0. Two of the three ties this past week involved ranked competition as well. No. 14/16 Rutgers held No. 15/15 Georgetown to a scoreless draw on Sunday while Michigan did the same against No. 17/7 Wake Forest.  

[SIX // big ten field hockey continues successful play]
Big Ten field hockey programs combined for an 11-6 record this past week, which included three significant wins against ranked competition on Sunday. Michigan State upset No. 10 Virginia 6-1, No. 11 Maryland held off No. 9 Louisville 1-0, and No. 3 Penn State blanked No. 12 Princeton, 2-0.

[SEVEN // times and television designations announced for men’s basketball]
The Big Ten announced the start times and television designations for the 2017-18 men’s basketball conference schedule on Thursday, which includes all 126 contests set to be broadcast nationally for the 11th consecutive season. In addition, the conference revealed tip times and network assignments for select non-conference games. For the first time in conference history, the Big Ten will feature four major media partners: BTN, CBS Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports. National television coverage for the conference schedule will begin on Friday, Dec. 1, with a doubleheader set to air on BTN. Maryland will host reigning Big Ten champion Purdue, while Illinois will visit Northwestern.

[EIGHT // women’s basketball continues to garner wall-to-wall coverage]
For the fourth consecutive year, every Big Ten women’s basketball conference game will be produced and distributed by BTN, BTN Plus or an ESPN network, highlighting the 2017-18 Big Ten women’s basketball television package that was announced Thursday by the Big Ten and its television partners. Big Ten women’s basketball teams will be featured on national television at least 63 times during the 2017-18 season. BTN will televise at least 54 games and the ESPN family of networks will carry nine contests, with all remaining conference games airing live on BTN Plus. All BTN on-air games can be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices on BTN2Go, BTN’s digital extension. More than 100 additional games also will be streamed on BTN Plus on BTN2Go, and many of those will air on delay on BTN as part of the Student U initiative.

[NINE // mannie and mcginnis head to the hall]
Congratulations to Illinois basketball legend Mannie Jackson and Indiana standout George McGinnis on being officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night. One of the first African-Americans to letter in basketball at Illinois, Jackson finished his Illini career ranked fifth on the school's all-time scoring list with 922 points. He then went on to pursue several professional opportunities within the game of basketball, including playing three years for, and later owning, the Harlem Globetrotters. In his lone season at Indiana in 1970-71, McGinnis led the Big Ten by averaging 29.9 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. Also part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class was Kansas' Bill Self, who previously spent three seasons as head coach in Champaign, leading the Fighting Illini to a combined 78-24 record and back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 2001 and 2002. Several of Self's Illini players were on hand for the enshrinement. 

[TEN // illini’s anderson makes record-breaking run at u.s. open]
Finally this week, congratulations to former Illinois All-American Kevin Anderson, who became the first men’s tennis player in school history to appear in a Grand Slam final, which he dropped 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open on Sunday. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native is the first player with college ties to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Todd Martin (Northwestern 1989-90) in the 1999 US Open.