Sept. 25, 2011
[ONE // football concludes last full week of non-conference play]
In the final full week of non-conference play, the Big Ten went 8-2 on the weekend. Denard Robinson rushed for a season-high 200 yards and three scores in Michigan’s 28-7 victory over San Diego State, while Michigan State’s Le'Veon Bell ran for 81 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans’ 45-7 win over Central Michigan. James Vandenberg threw for 270 yards and three scores in Iowa’s 45-17 outcome over Lousiana-Monroe, and Wisconsin’s Nick Toon hauled in a career-high 155 yards receiving and two TDs in the Badgers’ 59-10 win over South Dakota. Joe Paterno returned to the sidelines to see Penn State top Eastern Michigan 34-6. Illinois’ Troy Pollard carried the ball for a career-high 133 yards to lead the Illini to a 23-20 victory over Western Michigan, Braxton Miller tossed two TDs in his first start to help Ohio State to a 37-17 win, and Nebraska remained perfect heading into Big Ten play with a 28-14 road win at Wyoming. In other action, North Dakota State topped Minnesota, 37-24, and Indiana fell 27-24 at North Texas.
[TWO // on the road to o-h-i-o]
The Big Ten Mobile Tour traveled to Columbus this past week, with Ohio State's Jake Demyan taking over the Honoring Legends. Building Leaders. Mobile Tour blog, Twitter account and YouTube page. Throughout the week, Demyan informed the Big Ten followers about the Buckeyes beginning school this past week, introduced us to some OSU legends, and visited venues such as the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, St. John Arena, and the Schottenstein Center. To learn more about Jake’s account of the Mobile Tour in Columbus, click here.
[THREE // good additions to good works team]
Congratulations to Nebraska's Jared Crick and Northwestern's Al Netter, who were named this past week to the 2011 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team in recognition of their dedication to community service and off-the-field accomplishments. The Big Ten was one of only three conferences to produce two or more Football Bowl Subdivision honorees, after earning a conference-best four of the 11 honorees in 2010. Crick, a two-time first-team all-conference selection on the field, is being recognized is a two-time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship team. During his time as a Husker, Crick has made several hospital visits, read at elementary schools, visited with World War II veterans and spoke at churches. Netter, a team captain and member of Northwestern's Leadership Council for the last two years, is a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten performer. In 2010, Netter traveled to Guatemala on an alternative spring break trip during which he helped cultivate farmland for local residents as well as teach English and prepare meals at an orphanage.
[FOUR // watch out for iowa’s davis]
Iowa's Keenan Davis was added this past week to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top wide receiver in college football. Davis, one of 20 players to be added to the watch list after three weeks of play, joins nine Big Ten players who were preseason selections for the list. Davis, Illinois' A.J. Jenkins, Indiana's Damarlo Belcher, Iowa's Marvin McNutt, Michigan's Roy Roundtree, Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham, Minnesota's Da'Jon McKnight, Northwestern's Jeremy Ebert, Ohio State's DeVier Posey and Penn State's Derek Moye represent the conference on the watch list.
[FIVE // going digital]
The Big Ten Digital Network, your home for live and on-demand video coverage of all Big Ten Conference Athletics, will stream over 140 live men's & women's soccer, volleyball and field hockey contests this fall, it was announced this past week. The BTDN combines streaming audio and video content from all 12 Big Ten member institutions to offer the most online video coverage of Big Ten athletics anywhere in the world. The Big Ten Digital Network features live game broadcasts, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, game highlights, original programming and press conferences from 25 men's and women's sports across the Big Ten Conference, with additional coverage from conference postseason tournaments and events. Fans can access this comprehensive content with a monthly, renewing subscription available for $14.95 each month. Fans looking for greater value can purchase an Annual renewing package for $119.95, for a total savings of $59.
[SIX // at the net, on the tube]
It was also announced this past week that Big Ten volleyball will be featured extensively on national television this season, as 29 matches have been or will be broadcast nationally. BTN's broadcast schedule features 26 matches throughout the season, while ESPN will televise three on tape delay on ESPN2 and live on ESPN3. Conference teams will also receive coverage through live streaming on www.BTN.com, with 65 matches being shown online. Many of the streamed matches will be rebroadcast on BTN through the network's "Student U" initiative. The first live BTN broadcast of the conference season took place on Wednesday with defending national champion Penn State falling 3-2 to Big Ten newcomer Nebraska. BTN's broadcast schedule typically features two or more games per week, including a Wednesday night match and a Saturday night contest. The network's streaming schedule features more than four contests per week.
[SEVEN // conference play underway, illini and boilermakers remain undefeated]
Speaking of Big Ten volleyball, the conference season got underway this past week with the No. 10 Nebraska shocking No. 5 Penn State 3-2 in the league opener. The remaining 10 teams were in action Friday, with No. 13 Purdue (Michigan State), No. 18 Michigan (Indiana), and Wisconsin (Northwestern) earning 3-0 shutouts. In a top-10 thriller, No. 3 Illinois claimed a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Minnesota, while No. 24 Ohio State ousted Iowa 3-1. On Saturday, Purdue went to 2-0 in league play with another ranked victory, this one coming in a 3-0 shutout over the Wolverines. Nebraska earned a 3-1 decision over the Buckeyes, while Penn State rebounded to earn a 3-0 blanking over Iowa. Michigan State took home its first conference win with a 3-1 win over Indiana. On Sunday, the Golden Gophers captured a 3-1 victory over Northwestern, while No. 3 Illinois cruised past Wisconsin for its fifth sweep of the season and joined No. 13 Purdue as the only undefeated team remaining in the NCAA at 13-0 overall.
[EIGHT // conference season opens in field hockey]
Big Ten field hockey opened its conference season this past week, with Indiana and Ohio State earning wins in their lone league matchups. The Hoosiers topped Northwestern 4-1 on Friday, while the Buckeyes ousted rival Michigan 2-1. In other Big Ten action, Iowa defeated Michigan State 2-0 on Friday, but was blanked 3-0 by Penn State on Sunday. In non-conference action, the Spartans earned 2-1 wins over Central Michigan and Kent State this past week, while Penn State shut out Temple 4-0, Michigan beat Miami (Ohio) 5-1 and Northwestern captured a 5-4 shootout over New Hampshire.
[NINE // soccer competes in conference play]
Big Ten men and women’s soccer teams were in action this past weekend, with conference season opening for the men. No. 7 Indiana topped No. 16 Penn State 1-0 on Friday, while Michigan State and Northwestern earned a double-overtime 1-1 tie on Saturday. In Sunday’s slate, Ohio State bested Michigan 3-2 in overtime and Wisconsin took out Loyola Marymount in non-conference action, 2-1. On the women’s side, all 12 teams hit the pitch this past week with Ohio State and Penn State earning wins in both contests. The Buckeyes defeated No. 22 Illinois 2-1 on Friday and Northwestern 2-0 on Saturday. The Nittany Lions blanked the Wildcats 4-0 on Friday and shut out the Illini 1-0 Sunday. Iowa topped Indiana 1-0 and settled for a 1-1 double-overtime tie with Purdue, while Michigan bested Minnesota, 3-2, and earned a scoreless tie with Wisconsin on Sunday. Michigan State fell to the Badgers 2-1 on Friday, but rebounded to beat Minnesota, 3-0. Finally, Nebraska shut out Purdue 3-0 on Friday and fell 2-1 on Sunday to Indiana.
[TEN // several big ten cross country teams in action at minnesota’s griak]
It’s a weekend that several cross country teams from across the country circle on their calendar… Minneosta’s Roy Griak Invitaitonal. On the men’s side, the host Golden Gophers recorded a third-place finish with 153 points, followed by Penn State in fifth (195), Michigan State in eighth (246), and Iowa in 18th (482). The Big Ten’s first male finisher was Minnesota’s Hassan Mead, who finished third overall with a time of 23:48.7. On the women’s side, Michigan State placed fourth with 148 points, followed by Minnesota in fifth (182), Penn State in eighth (250), Wisconsin in 12th (295) and Northwestern in 16th (427). Leading the way was Minnesota senior Stephanie Price, who finished fifth with a time of 20:50.6. In other action, the Michigan men captured the team and individual titles at the Florida Mountain Dew Invitational on Saturday. Michigan topped the host school, No. 28 Florida, and No. 30 North Carolina, along with 14 other teams, in the 8,000-meter race. It was the first time the Maize and Blue beat a ranked team this season. Fifth-year senior Craig Forys led the field across the finish line in his season debut with a time of 24:35.55. The Ohio State women's team finished seventh at the 4k Toledo Inter-Regional Bubble Buster Friday evening. The Buckeyes utilized 10 newcomers in their lineup with their top 5 runners scoring 152 points.
[ELEVEN // hitting the links]
In golf action this past week, the Iowa Hawkeyes were the lone men’s team competing, as they opened play at the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sunday. Iowa scored a 5-under-par round of 283, led by Chris Brant, who is tied for sixth after a 3-under 69. On the women’s side, Purdue was put to the test at the 2011 Mason Rudolph Fall Preview, facing 17 teams ranked in the top 25, including the nation's top-13 spot holders. The Boilermakers finished the 54-hole tournament with a score of 315 for a three-round total of 930 (313-302-315). At the Dick McGuire Invitational, which began on Sunday and finishes up Monday, Northwestern opened with a 2-over 586 (290-296), while Iowa sits 33-over at 617 (306-311). Wisconsin ended rain-shortened play leading the Badger Invitational by two strokes over SMU. The defending tournament champion Badgers shot their third best 18-hole score in school history to open the invitational, scoring a 4-over 292. SMU trailed Wisconsin after the first round by 12 shots, turning in a 304. UW’s Lindsay Danielson led all golfers after one round with a 3-under 69.
[TWELVE // and the blue ribbon goes to…]
Finally this week, congratulations to Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, who were named first-team preseason All-Americans by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. The Big Ten is the only conference with multiple first-team honorees.