This Week in the Big Ten

Ohio State's Peter Kobelt advanced to the 2012 ITA All-American Championships singles final on Sunday.

Oct. 7, 2012

[ONE // buckeyes take primetime thriller]
No. 12 Ohio State shined in Saturday’s primetime matchup against No. 21/20 Nebraska, topping the Huskers 63-38 in Columbus.  Carlos Hyde has 140 rushing yards in the win.  Penn State rallied from 11 points down in fourth quarter to beat No. 24 Northwestern 39-28, while Michigan’s Denard Robinson racked up 235 rushing yards to help the Wolverines top Purdue, 44-13.  Elsewhere, Wisconsin scored a 31-14 home victory over Illinois, while Michigan State survived a scare at Indiana by rallying to win 31-27.

[TWO // osu’s miller honored for efforts under center]
Ohio State's Braxton Miller was named an honorable mention selection for the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week award last Monday. Miller led the Buckeyes to a 17-16 road victory against nationally ranked Michigan State two weeks ago, totaling 315 yards of total offense. He completed 16 of 23 passing for 179 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith for the game-winning score in the third quarter. Miller also rushed for 136 yards on 23 carries to keep Ohio State perfect this season at 5-0.

[THREE // huskers’ abdullah named to hornung honor roll]
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah was one of three standouts named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll last Monday. The weekly honor recognizes some of the most versatile, single-game performances throughout the season by FBS football players nationwide. Abdullah finished the day with 252 all-purpose yards, helping the Huskers to a victory over Wisconsin. He recorded 70 yards on the ground, 22 receiving yards, 18 punt return yards and 142 kickoff returns yards as the Huskers rallied from 17 points down in the second half for the victory.

[FOUR // getting their kicks]
Nebraska's Brett Maher and Northwestern's Jeff Budzien were named Stars of the Week by the Lou Groza Award last Monday. Each week during the season, the award recognizes three of the nation's top kickers. Two weeks ago, Maher booted the game-tying and game-winning field goals to cap a come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin. He connected on field goals from 26, 38 and 41 yards, while converting on all three extra point tries. Budzien was perfect on his kicking attempts against Indiana last Saturday, connecting from 29, 34 and 44 yards. He was successful on all five extra points, running his consecutive PAT streak to 70.

[FIVE // olympic sports report]
Penn State used a pair of wins over Northwestern (3-0) and No. 21 Illinois (3-2) to improve its undefeated conference mark to 6-0 in the Big Ten volleyball standings this past week.  The highlight of the week, however, was Iowa’s 3-0 upset over No. 12 Purdue on Saturday.  Penn State also moved to 6-0 on the women’s soccer pitch to keep its lead in the conference standings.  In its lone contest of the week, the Nittany Lions stopped Indiana 5-2 on Sunday.  In men’s soccer, Indiana improved to 3-0 in league play with a 2-0 blanking of Wisconsin, while Northwestern remains one game back at 2-0.  In field hockey, Iowa sits 3-0 atop the standings, one game ahead of Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State at 2-1.  The 11th-ranked Hawkeyes knocked off Indiana 2-1 in overtime on Friday before falling in non-conference action to Louisville, 2-1, on Sunday.

[SIX // leaving an impression]
The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game was honored with a 2012 SportsTravel Award for "Best New Sports Event" at the SportsTravel Awards Luncheon, held this past Thursday in Detroit. The inaugural game was held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 3, 2011, with more than 64,000 fans in attendance. The weekend also included the Big Ten Fan Fest presented by Dr Pepper, the Georgia Street Tailgate Party and several youth initiatives. Indianapolis will continue to host the event through at least 2015. The City of Indianapolis was also honored for hosting Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012, which won the "Best Professional Single-Sport Event" category.

[SEVEN // big ten coming up B1G]
Five Big Ten teams are ranked in Sporting News' preseason top 25, including three in the top five. Indiana is this year's preseason No. 1, followed by No. 3 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan. Wisconsin comes in at No. 17, followed by No. 22 Michigan State.

[EIGHT // four to watch in the preseason]
Indiana's Cody Zeller and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas were named last Monday to Sporting News' preseason All-America first team, while Michigan's Trey Burke received third-team honors. In addition, the Hoosiers' Yogi Ferrell was named to the publication's preseason All-Freshman Team.

[NINE // new to the btn]
The Big Ten Network (BTN) announced this past week it will debut two new original programs this upcoming week, one that will honor teams of the past and a second that will document the stars of the future.  The two programs join an extensive slate of BTN fall programming that offers fans more Big Ten football and fall sports coverage than any other network.  Wednesday, BTN fans will have the chance to follow the backstories of the Big Ten’s football programs with the 7:30 p.m. ET debut of The Journey: Big Ten Football, presented by Best Buy.  Big Ten Elite, which debuts at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, will give viewers the complete story behind seven great football and basketball squads, and why they are among the conference’s elite teams of all time.  Other new shows this fall include #BTNLive, a nightly radio show at 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday available via FOX Sports Radio in select markets and simulcast on BTN on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hosts Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo rotate throughout the week with analysis from Howard, Griffith, Gerry DiNardo, Glen Mason and others.

[TEN // causing a racket]
Congratulations to Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt, who advanced to the singles final of the 2012 ITA All-American Championships Sunday at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., before falling 7-5, 6-1 to No. 6 seed Alex Domijan of Virginia.  The Buckeye junior won five consecutive matches, including a pair of wins over two seeded players, in the main draw en route to the final.

[ELEVEN // starting out on top]
The reigning national champion Illinois men's gymnastics team has been ranked No. 1 in the 2013 GymInfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Sunday evening. The Orange and Blue received six first-place votes to take the top spot in the national rankings.  Michigan received two first-place votes, checking in at No. 2, followed by Oklahoma in third with two first-place votes, Penn State in fourth with three first-place votes and Stanford in fifth with two first-place votes. Seven Big Ten squads cracked the top 10. In addition to Illinois, Michigan and Penn State, Minnesota came in at No. 7, Ohio State at No. 8, Nebraska at No. 9 and Iowa at No. 10.

[TWELVE // nebraska’s new man]
Finally this week, the Big Ten extends its warm welcome to Shawn Eichorst, the new athletic director at the University of Nebraska, as appointed by Chancellor Harvey Perlman on Thursday.  Eichorst, who has served as director of athletics at the University of Miami since April 2011, will join the Huskers Oct. 9 as a special assistant to the chancellor, and will succeed Tom Osborne as director of intercollegiate athletics when Osborne becomes athletic director emeritus on Jan. 1.