This Week in the Big Ten

The 2013 Big Ten Hockey Media Day took place this past Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Sept. 23, 2013

[ONE // wisconsin opens conference season with a win]
While the majority of the Big Ten football teams were wrapping up non-conference play on Saturday, Wisconsin opened its league schedule with a 41-10 victory over Purdue.  Elsewhere in the Big Ten, a number of schools scored impressive non-conference wins, including Iowa’s 59-3 result over Western Michigan, Ohio State’s 76-0 blanking of Florida A&M, Penn State’s 34-0 shutout versus Kent State, and Nebraska’s 59-20 victory over South Dakota State.  Other winners included Michigan (24-21, Connecticut), Minnesota (43-24, San Jose State), and Northwestern (35-21, Maine), while Indiana and Michigan State both suffered losses.

[TWO // a century worth of rose bowl memories]
Patty Driscoll, George Halas and Neil Snow have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1900's and 1910's.  The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the first of a series of names who will be unveiled each Sunday throughout the remainder of the college football regular season.  In commemoration of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the All-Century Class will highlight and honor great players and coaches throughout the history of The Granddaddy of Them All.

[THREE // two wildcats, one husker honored with national recognition]
Nebraska's C.J. Zimmerer and Northwestern's Jeff Budzien were two of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes named to the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team this past week. Recognizing the "good works" of a select group of college football players from across the country, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college sports. The award pays tribute to the positive impact these young athletes have had on their communities and the lives of others. With Zimmerer's selection, Nebraska is now tied for the lead among all schools with 14 honorees named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.  In addition, Northwestern's Tony Jones has been added to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to college football's outstanding receiver. Four Big Ten standouts have claimed the Biletnikoff Award - Penn State's Bobby Engram in 1994, Ohio State's Terry Glenn in 1995, Michigan State's Charles Rogers in 2002 and Michigan's Braylon Edwards in 2004.

[FOUR // badgers picked to win first big ten hockey title]
Wisconsin has been chosen as the preseason favorite for the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey as voted on by the coaches, the conference announced this past Thursday at the conference’s first-ever Hockey Media Day. The coaches also selected a Preseason Players to Watch list, highlighted by unanimous selection Kyle Rau of Minnesota.  The Badgers won 22 games last season and advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Gophers, who won a conference-high 26 games last season and also earned a berth in the NCAA Championship, were voted to finish second this season. Michigan was selected to finish third, Michigan State and Ohio State were projected to tie for fourth, with Penn State rounding out the poll.  The Preseason Players to Watch list features 13 student-athletes, with Rau the lone unanimous selection.  For a complete breakdown, click here.

[FIVE // almost time to tune in]
The inaugural season of Big Ten men's hockey will feature a robust slate of television coverage, with at least 70 games featuring Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The lineup includes a national package of 34 games set to air on BTN, ESPNU and ESPNEWS, each of which is available to at least 75 million homes across the country. An additional 36 games will be carried on FOX Sports Regional Networks. Broadcasts of additional games may be announced in the coming weeks.  BTN will air 27 games with the first taking place on Friday, Oct. 11, when Penn State opens Pegula Ice Arena against Army at 8 p.m. ET. A major part of BTN's coverage will be the establishment of Frozen Friday hockey doubleheaders beginning on January 10 and running for eight consecutive weeks. Among these games will be the recently announced 2014 Hockey City Classic on Jan. 17 between Minnesota and Ohio State at TCF Bank Stadium.  For a complete look at the 2013-14 schedule, click here.

[SIX // big ten volleyball takes home tourney titles; osu still unbeaten]
Big Ten volleyball took home several different tournament titles this past weekend as Michigan claimed the Michigan Invitational, Michigan State captured the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational, Minnesota won the Dartmouth Tournament, Ohio State earned the Blue and White Classic, Penn State nabbed the Penn State Classic crown, while Purdue did the same at the Active Ankle Challenge and Wisconsin found success at the N.C. State Invitational.  The Big Ten continues to impress throughout the country as 11 of its 12 teams are each currently winning at a 67 percent clip or better.  Ohio State leads the way as the Buckeyes are 12-0 on the year, followed closely behind by one-loss teams Minnesota, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Penn State.  

[SEVEN // soccer standings spotlight]
Six Big Ten women’s soccer conference matchups were contested this past week as Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin all garnered wins in the league openers.  Illinois and Ohio State shared a 1-1 double-overtime tie on Friday, while the Lady Lions had to rally to score the game-winner in two extra sessions against Northwestern, 3-2.  There is a new Big Ten team atop the men’s soccer standings, albeit unofficially as the conference season has yet to begin.  With a win on Sunday, Northwestern moves to 6-1-0 overall, while Wisconsin, which fell Sunday to Gonzaga, dropped to 5-1-1 overall.  Michigan State sits third at 4-1-0.

[EIGHT // northwestern sophomore soccer standout honored nationally]
Following a four goal performance in two games in the NIU Tournament, Northwestern sophomore forward Joey Calistri was named this past week as the National Player of the Week by College Soccer News.  For the second week in a row, Calistri was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and made the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.  Heading into this past weekend’s action, Calistri also led the Big Ten in points (13) and goals (6).

[NINE // northwestern continues to lead big ten field hockey]
Having yet to start the Big Ten season, Northwestern field hockey continues to pace the other six league squads in non-conference action.  Highlighted by a 3-2 upset over No. 9 Duke on Friday, the 13th-ranked Wildcats moved to 8-2 overall.  Northwestern is followed by Indiana at 5-2, and Iowa and Penn State at 5-3 each.

[TEN // fighting illini dominant in win at wolf run]
In Big Ten men's golf this past weekend, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin competed in the Wolf Run Intercollegiate, while Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue participated in the Windon Invitational.  The Fighting Illini scored a resounding victory at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate, netting a winning score of 8-under-par 844 (282-281-281), while the nearest closest competitor was Auburn (877), 33 strokes back in second.  Minnesota (894) finished fourth, while Indiana (896) was sixth, Wisconsin (906) and was eighth.  In the Windon Memorial, which concludes on Monday, Northwestern leads the Big Ten contingent in second place at 4-under 572.  To view complete results of that event, click here.

[ELEVEN // wisconsin women’s golf wins; others tackle top competition]
The Big Ten women's golf schedule resumed this past weekend with six teams in action, including Iowa and Northwestern at the Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational.  The Wildcats earned a fourth-place finish with an 8-over 884, while the Hawkeyes placed 12th in the 16-team field at 927.  Michigan and Penn State competed at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, where the Wolverines (593) and Nittany Lions (601) finished ninth and 13th, respectively, in the field of 17 squads.  Elsewhere, No. 22 Michigan State placed ninth overall at the Mason Rudolph Championship following a 54-hole score of 896, which was just one shot shy of No. 2 Alabama.  Wisconsin found victory at the 54-hole Lady Paladin Invitational, after firing a 1-over 865, which set a new school 54-hole scoring mark.

[TWELVE // in case you missed it…]
Finally this week, two emotional videos became viral throughout Big Ten Country this past week, involving Ohio State and Wisconsin.  On Saturday in Columbus, students from the Ohio State School for the Blind, participated in the popular Script Ohio by spelling out “Ohio” in Braille.  At Wisconsin, the Badgers helped an Army Captain, Jane Renee, surprise her 13-year-old daughter with an early return from Afghanistan.  What a tremendous job done by the UW staff to not only prepare that meeting, but to also orchestrate it so beautifully.