This Week in the Big Ten

Sept. 27, 2009

[ONE // week one of big ten football season in the books]
The first week of conference football play concluded with Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin picking up wins.  Iowa upset No. 5 Penn State, 21-10, for the second straight season, while 13th-ranked Ohio State blanked rival Illinois, 30-0.  Michigan avoided an upset against Indiana with a 38-35 victory over the Hoosiers; Minnesota claimed a 35-24 win over Northwestern, and Wisconsin bested Michigan State, 38-30.  Purdue nearly upset Notre Dame in West Lafayette, falling 24-21 Saturday night.

[TWO // iowa and wisconsin standouts earn weekly football honors]
Fresh off its second straight upset over Penn State, Iowa had two players earn Big Ten weekly honors Sunday night.  Senior linebacker Pat Angerer was named Defensive Player of the Week after posting a game-high 14 tackles while producing a pair of key turnovers to help the Iowa defense limit Penn State to only 10 points in a road triumph.  Angerer also blocked a punt and recorded an interception in the win.  His teammate, junior defensive end Adrian Clayborn, earned Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a Nittany Lions’ punt and returning it 53 yards for a TD.  Wisconsin junior QB Scott Tolzien set career highs with 19 completions, 31 attempts and four touchdown passes to earn Offensive Player of the Week honors.

[THREE // let’s go bowling]
The Big Ten is giving a few lucky fans the opportunity to win the ultimate fan experience, a trip for two to the 2010 Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., and other bowl game prize packages. The contests are inspired by scenes from the recent Big Ten public service announcements.  At, fans have the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test by taking the Big Ten Football trivia quiz and enter for a chance to win a trip for two to the 2010 Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl package includes two tickets, airfare, four-night hotel accommodations, and a $150 travel voucher for ground transportation.  Learn more about this great sweepstakes by clicking here!

[FOUR // getting “sirius” about satellite radio]
Big Ten football fans were also treated to some good news this past Friday as Learfield Sports announced an agreement with SIRIUS XM Radio to broadcast conference  football and men's basketball games to listeners nationwide.  SIRIUS XM begin airing live play-by-play of every Big Ten football game on Saturday and will continue to do so through the end of the regular season.  A schedule of Big Ten men's basketball games on SIRIUS XM will be announced at a later date.

[FIVE // serving as hoops host]
The NCAA has announced that the Big Ten will host the first and second rounds of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the United Center in Chicago. First- and second-round games at the United Center will be played on March 18 and 20, 2011. The conference first hosted the event in 1998, the week after the first Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament was held at the same facility. The Big Ten also hosted first and second round contests in 2002 and 2007.

[SIX // big ten finest represent in wnba finals]
Four former Big Ten women’s basketball standouts will vie this upcoming week for the WNBA Championship.  The Indiana Fever, which advanced to its first WNBA Finals, will face the Phoenix Mercury, both of which boast former Big Ten Player Year honorees on its roster.  Purdue’s Katie Douglas earned the conference’s top award in 2001, while Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport was the Big Ten’s first-ever three-time Player of the Year.  The Mercury is led by former Penn State star and the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader Kelly Mazzante and 1998 Big Ten Player of the Year Tangela Smith of Iowa.  The WNBA Finals begin Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

[SEVEN // conference soccer season begins]
Both the men’s and women’s soccer conference seasons got underway this past week with six of the seven men’s squads and all 11 women’s teams in action.  On the men’s side, No. 13 Indiana topped Wisconsin, 1-0, on Friday, while No. 21 Michigan State scored a 1-0 victory over Ohio State and Penn State upset No. 22 Michigan 2-0 on Sunday.  Northwestern was the lone team idle this week.  Michigan State and Ohio State have opened the women’s schedule 1-0, while Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin are tied for third at 1-0-1.  Tied for sixth is Illinois (0-0-1) and Northwestern (1-1-0), followed by Indiana (0-2-0), Iowa (0-1-0), Michigan (0-1-0) and Penn State (0-1-0).

[EIGHT // field hockey gets its start too]
The Big Ten field hockey squads opened conference play this past weekend with four conference matchups highlighting the slate of games.  Defending Big Ten Tournament Champion Iowa defeated rival Michigan 3-2 on Friday, while No. 8 Michigan State notched a 5-2 victory over 18th-ranked Northwestern.  On Sunday, No. 17 Indiana lost a 3-2 heartbreaker at Ohio State and Michigan shut out Penn State, 2-0.  Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State all own 1-0 marks in the league, followed by Michigan (1-1), Indiana (0-1), Northwestern (0-1) and Penn State (0-1).

[NINE // big ten volleyball opens league play]
The Big Ten volleyball season also opened conference play this week and just three of the nine matches stretched to four games.  Top-ranked Penn State earned 3-0 wins over Northwestern and Illinois, while No. 9 Minnesota also earned shutouts over Wisconsin and Iowa.  Purdue captured its lone league contest on Friday with a 3-1 upset over 16th-ranked Michigan State.  The Spartans then fell 3-1 to Indiana on Saturday, while Northwestern also dropped to 0-2 in league play following a 3-0 blanking against Ohio State.  Both the Hoosiers and Buckeyes fell in their conference opener, losing 3-0 to Michigan and 3-1 to Illinois, respectively.

[TEN // another great golden gopher griak]
For the 24th time Saturday, the Minnesota cross country teams hosted the Roy Griak Invitational – an event several teams circle on their calendar every season.  On the men’s side, Hassan Mead became Minnesota's first Griak Invitational men's champion with a winning 8K time of 24:38.  The Golden Gophers finished fourth in the event with 101 points, while Michigan State was sixth with 147.  On the women’s side, Minnesota also boasted the individual champion as Megan Duwell claimed the 6K title in 21:01.  The Gophers scored 48 points to finish second, while Northwestern (293) was 12th.

[ELEVEN // women’s golfers continue to compete at lady northern]
Finally this week, all 11 Big Ten women’s golf teams are competing in Madison, Wis., at the Lady Northern, which is often referred to as the Big Ten Fall Preview.  Unfortunately, the event has been delayed during the second of two rounds on the opening day. Severe weather threatened the Madison area and the golfers were called from the course on Sunday. After a half-hour delay, play was called for the day.  The Lady Northern will resume and conclude on Monday.  Currently, Ohio State leads the event after a first-round, 5-under-par 283, followed by Purdue (291), Michigan State (292), Iowa State (296) and Northwestern (297).  Illinois and Wisconsin are tired for sixth after rounds of 300, while Indiana (303), Minnesota (304) and Michigan (308) round out the top 10.  Iowa and Penn State are tied for 13th at 314.  Individually, Ohio State’s Allie White and Purdue’s Maude-Aimee LeBlanc are tied for medalist honors after a 4-under 68.