Sept. 23, 2012
[ONE // football preps for conference action]
This season’s final full week of non-conference football concluded this past week with Big Ten teams posting a 7-3 record. Nebraska rolled Idaho State 73-7, Northwestern ousted South Dakota State 38-7, Michigan State defeated Eastern Michigan 23-7, Penn State beat Temple 24-13, Ohio State topped UAB 29-15, Wisconsin bested UTEP 37-26, and Minnesota improved to 4-0 with a 14-3 result over Syracuse. Elsewhere, Notre Dame stopped Michigan 13-6, Illinois fell 52-17 to Louisiana Tech, and Iowa lost on a last-second field goal to Central Michigan, 32-31.
[TWO // and they’re coming….to east lansing]
ESPN College GameDay, celebrating its 26th season, will make its sixth appearance in East Lansing, Mich., for Saturday's Michigan State-Ohio State game. ESPN College GameDay - featuring Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Samantha Steele - airs Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPNU and from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay returns to the Michigan State campus for the second year in a row, as the broadcast crew witnessed from the sidelines Kirk Cousins' 44-yard Hail Mary pass to Keith Nichol on the final play of regulation to give the 15th-ranked Spartans a 37-31 victory over No. 4 Wisconsin.
[THREE // four classy football guys]
Indiana's Adam Replogle, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Ohio State's John Simon and Wisconsin's Montee Ball were selected this past week as candidates for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. Michigan State's Kirk Cousins was named the 2011 FBS Senior CLASS Award winner. Cousins became the second Big Ten standout to earn the honor after Ohio State's James Laurinaitis won the first Senior CLASS Award in 2008.
[FOUR // football pair named to good works team]
Michigan's Patrick Omameh and Nebraska's Rex Burkhead were two of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, it was announced this past week. One of the sport's premier service honors, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team shines a spotlight on the positive, off-the-field impact that a select group of student-athletes has on their communities. The Big Ten also had two members of last year's Allstate AFCA Good Works Team in Nebraska's Jared Crick and Northwestern's Al Netter. This summer, the program received 117 nominations from colleges and universities hailing from 35 states. From the nominations, a prestigious voting panel comprised of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and college football media selected the honorees. Fans can vote for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain by clicking on this link.
[FIVE // mr. robinson named one to watch]
Penn State's Allen Robinson was added to the watch list this past week for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top wide receiver. Based on the first three games this season, Robinson led the Big Ten and ranked 10th in the nation with eight receptions and 107.33 receiving yards per game. Robinson is now the fifth Big Ten player on the Biletnikoff Award watch list, joining Iowa's Keenan Davis, Michigan's Roy Roundtree, Ohio State's Corey Brown and Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis. Four Big Ten wideouts have claimed the Biletnikoff Award, most recently when Michigan's Braylon Edwards was honored in 2004.
[SIX // ‘cat gets his kicks]
Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien was named one of the "Stars of the Week" by the Lou Groza Award this past week. Budzien went a perfect five-for-five on field goals to match a school record in the Wildcats' 22-13 victory over Boston College on Saturday in Evanston. The junior from Hartland, Wis. connected from 42, 41, 34, 20 and 19 yards to help his team improve to 3-0 and score its third straight victory. Budzien has begun the season a perfect eight-for-eight on field goal tries, which is already more than his entire output for last season (six). He converted his lone extra point try and has now converted on all 60 of his PAT attempts which is also a school record.
[SEVEN // elsewhere around the league]
Several other highlights were witnessed around the league this week. In a battle of two of the top-four volleyball teams in the country, No. 4 Penn State defeated No. 3 Nebraska 3-1 on Wednesday to help the Nittany Lions earn a three-way tie for the league lead with Minnesota and Purdue at 2-0. Penn State also joined Indiana and Northwestern atop the men’s soccer standings at 1-0, following wins over Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan, respectively. The Wolverines and Nittany Lions pace the women’s soccer standings at 3-0 after Penn State took four-goal games over Northwestern and Illinois, and Michigan blanked Minnesota and No. 14 Wisconsin. PSU also stakes claim to the field hockey standings as the 2-0 Nittany Lions hold a one-game advantage over Iowa and Ohio State at 1-0. Sixth-ranked Penn State opened the week on Friday with a 7-1 result over No. 24 Indiana and closed it out Sunday with a 4-3 thriller over No. 17 Michigan. On the golf course, the Illinois (1st), Nebraska (T-7th) and Wisconsin (5th) men’s teams competed at the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate, while Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State opened play Sunday at the Windon Memorial Classic. As for the women, Michigan State finished third at the Mason Rudolph Championship, Illinois (T-3rd) and Michigan (1st) concluded the Wolverine Invitational, and Penn State placed second at the Yale Intercollegiate. In cross country, Iowa ran at the Toledo Bubble Buster Invitational and Michigan finished fourth at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invite.
[EIGHT // volleyball duo name class candidates]
Nebraska's Gina Mancuso and Purdue's Ariel Turner were selected as candidates for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball, it was announced this past week. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
[NINE // a leader on and off the pitch]
Michigan women's soccer player Clare Stachel was named a candidate for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award, announced on Tuesday. The list includes thirty women's soccer senior student-athletes who excel both on and off the field, with notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. For more on Stachel and the award, click here.
[TEN // big ten gets five on the women’s wade watch]
This past Tuesday five Big Ten women's basketball standouts were named to the Wade Trophy Watch List, awarded annually to the nation's most outstanding player. Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore, Ohio State's Tayler Hill and Penn State's Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas were named to the list, which is composed of 25 of the nation's premier players. Nebraska and Penn State are among six schools to have two or more players named to the list, making the Big Ten one of only two conferences to have two programs with multiple standouts selected. The five Big Ten players named to the watch list are tied with the Big 12 for second among all conferences, behind only the Big East.
[ELEVEN // ready to report on women’s sports]
This past Friday, Dara McIntosh, Kara Lentz, and Michelle McMahon hit the BTN studio for the season debut of “The Big Ten Women’s Sports Report.” The season’s first show included an overview of the volleyball season, including highlights from Wednesday’s big match between Nebraska and Penn State. Also featured was field hockey highlights from the past week, a look at the 40th anniversary of Title IX, women’s soccer highlights, and BTN’s Bold Predictions for next week. For more information on the Big Ten Women’s Sports Report, click here.
[TWELVE // finalists selected for legends and leaders contest]
Finally this week, after sorting through hundreds of entries, the five finalists for the Big Ten's Legends and Leaders Contest have been decided! Visit bit.ly/B1Gcontest and click "Vote Now" to choose your favorite. Whoever you think has the most unique way of remembering which teams are in the Legends and Leaders Divisions will win a trip for two to the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game!