This Week in the Big Ten

Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus was named Sports Imports/AVCA Division I Women's Player of the Week this past Tuesday.

Sept. 29, 2013

[ONE // conference football games feature top-25 battle and a pig]
Just four Big Ten football games were on the docket this past week, but two of them featured a top-25 conference matchup and a B1G rivalry game.  Braxton Miller was 17-for-25 for 199 yards and four touchdowns in his return to lead No. 4 Ohio State to a 31-24 win over No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday night, while Iowa captured the Floyd of Rosedale with a 23-7 victory over Minnesota.  In non-conference action, Illinois routed Miami (Ohio) 50-14, while Purdue fell 55-24 to Northern Illinois.  For a complete recap of Saturday's games, click here.

[TWO // look who's coming to evanston]
One of the most popular TV shows in all of sports is heading to Evanston. The producers of ESPN College GameDay announced late Saturday night plans for Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and the rest of the crew to broadcast live from the campus of Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 5. Later that night, the undefeated and 17th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats (4-0) will host No. 4 Ohio State (5-0) in the 'Cats' 2013 Big Ten opener at Ryan Field. The game will air live on ABC (7 p.m. CT) and will cap off Northwestern's annual Homecoming festivities.

[THREE // pair of big ten standouts honored nationally]
Two Big Ten football standouts were honored this past week with national accolades.  Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton was selected as The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week for the fourth week of the college football season after he set a school record with six touchdown passes - all in the first half - in a win over Florida A&M, 76-0.  The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.  Iowa defensive back B.J. Lowery was named Wednesday as the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week following his performance in Iowa's 59-3 win over Western Michigan.  He recorded two interceptions returned for touchdowns in addition to his four total tackles on the day.

[FOUR // big ten slate opens for volleyball, field hockey and men's soccer]
Recapping news from around the Big Ten Olympic sports world, volleyball opened its conference slate this past week with Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin going a perfect 2-0.  Among the notables missing is top-ranked Penn State, which suffered a 3-2 loss to Michigan State on Friday.  MSU hadn't won in State College since 2001, having previously lost 18 matches the Nittany Lions.  Elsewhere on Friday, No. 13 Ohio State topped No. 10 Michigan 3-1, but the Spartans got the best of the Buckeyes on Sunday, winning 3-0.  The Big Ten men's soccer league schedule also commenced over the weekend with Indiana, Northwestern and Penn State earning victories.  The Nittany Lions and Nebraska stayed perfect in women's soccer conference play, moving to 3-0-0 in the second week of league action.  No. 12 Northwestern began Big Ten action a perfect 2-0 in field hockey with a 4-3 overtime win against No. 14 Iowa on Friday and a 4-1 victory over 19th-ranked Michigan on Sunday.  In cross country, Minnesota hosted several Big Ten teams at its prestigious Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday.  Michigan State paced the Big Ten contingent on the men's side with a sixth-place finish and turned in a runner-up result in the women's race.  The Minnesota men's golf team finished eighth at the New Mexico-hosted William H. Tucker Intercollegiate, while Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin conclude play on Monday and Tuesday.  In women's golf, Penn State shot a final round 296 Sunday to finish its own Nittany Lion Invitational with an 887 (293-298-296). The third-place result was the highest for Penn State this season.

[FIVE // iowa, michigan open big ten men's swimming and diving season]
The 104th season of Big Ten men's swimming and diving got underway this past Friday with Michigan winning 15 of 16 events in a 182-110 victory over Iowa.  Last season, Michigan won its 37th Big Ten title and was crowned national champions for the 12th time.  The rest of the Big Ten swimming and diving teams will begin their seasons next month. On Friday, Oct. 4, Wisconsin will start its season at Georgia, while Minnesota will host Arizona State on Oct. 5. Indiana will travel to California on Oct. 11 and Ohio State will compete at Kentucky.  On Oct. 18, Northwestern will welcome Eastern Michigan, Penn State will host West Virginia and the Purdue diving team will travel to Miami (Ohio). Michigan State will begin its season on Nov. 8 against Grand Valley State.

[SIX // hawkeyes, wolverines are first to hit the pool]
The 33rd Big Ten women's swimming and diving season opened this past Friday with Michigan taking 13 of 16 events in a 185-111 dual-meet victory over Iowa.  It was the first dual meet between the two schools since the 2000-01 season.  The remaining Big Ten schools will open their seasons next month. On Friday, Oct. 4, Wisconsin will travel to Georgia. Minnesota, which won its second consecutive Big Ten title in 2013, will challenge Arizona State on Oct. 5. Ohio State will visit Kentucky, while Indiana will begin its season at Notre Dame on Friday, Oct. 11.  On Saturday, Oct. 12, Nebraska will entertain Iowa State. On Oct. 18, Iowa and Michigan State will compete in a tri-meet in Iowa City, Iowa. Northwestern will also host Illinois, while Penn State will entertain West Virginia and Purdue will travel to Miami (Ohio). 

[SEVEN // big ten duo honored nationally by top drawer soccer]
Northwestern midfielder Chris Ritter and Penn State forward Mark Wadid were selected to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week, released this past Tuesday. Both Ritter and Wadid earned the accolade after scoring game-winning goals last week.  Ritter was named Most Valuable Player after tallying two game-winning goals, propelling the Wildcats to the Northwestern Lakeside Classic championship in Evanston, Ill., from Sept. 20-22. Ritter's two goals helped shut out Saint Mary's, 3-0, and defeat Fairleigh Dickinson, 2-1.  Wadid scored the lone goals in a pair of 1-0 wins over Robert Morris (Sept. 17) and Duquesne (Sept. 22). Ritter and Wadid were also named Big Ten Co-Offensive Players of the Week this past Monday.

[EIGHT // wildcat wins national accolade from avca]
Northwestern women's volleyball player Stephanie Holthus was named Sports Imports/AVCA Division I Women's Player of the Week, it was announced on Tuesday. The senior outside hitter recorded double-doubles in all three Wildcat victories last week to lead Northwestern to the Wildcat Classic title. She started the weekend smashing 27 kills on .368 hitting while registering a career-high 24 digs in a 3-2 win over South Florida. She followed that performance by breaking a Northwestern record, recording 24 kills, in a three-set victory over Miami of Ohio. In the tournament championship against IUPUI, the Illinois native nailed another 17 kills with 11 more digs. The three-time Big Ten Player of the Week was named MVP of the Wildcat Classic - her second Most Valuable Player honor this season and ninth of her career. Holthus is the second Big Ten student-athlete to be named National Player of the Week this season, joining Ohio State's Kaitlyn Leary (Sept. 10).

[NINE // almost time to drop the puck]
Big Ten teams claimed three of the top 10 spots in the preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, announced this past week.  Leading the way at No. 3 is Wisconsin, which also earned a first-place vote. Following Wisconsin were Minnesota at No. 5 and Michigan at No. 10. The 2013-14 season begins on Oct. 10 while Big Ten play will open Nov. 29 with each team taking part in a 20-game slate.

[TEN // preseason all-america honors rolling in for men's basketball]
The 2013-14 men's college basketball season is just six weeks away, and several preseason honors have been released by various media outlets across the country.  Michigan's Mitch McGary, Michigan State's Gary Harris and Adreian Payne and Ohio State's Aaron Craft have all been recognized as preseason All-Americans by at least one outlet.  For a complete breakdown of number of All-America honors earned, click here.

[ELEVEN // spartans to serve as host for annual classic]
The 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic men's basketball field was announced by the NABC this past Tuesday, with Big Ten member Michigan State serving as one of the four regional round hosts. The event will begin at campus sites on Saturday, Nov. 9 - the Spartans will open the event against visiting Columbia on Friday, Nov. 15. The ensuing championship rounds will be held from Nov. 22-23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  Michigan State will take on Virginia Tech in the back end of the semifinal doubleheader on Friday, Nov. 22, and face either Oklahoma or Seton Hall in the championship or consolation game on Saturday, Nov. 23.

[TWELVE // packing up, moving out]
Finally this week, the Big Ten has packed up and moved out of its headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill., to its new home nearby in Rosemont.  Commissioner Jim Delany recently spoke with Crain's Chicago Business in a video segment that was posted on their website on Friday.  In the video, which can be seen here, the new Big Ten offices can be seen looking out on to Interstate 294 in northwest Chicago, featuring several new elements, including larger meeting rooms, a future fan-experience museum, and a start-of-the-art digital command center.