Oct. 11, 2009
[ONE // big ten football highlighted by iowa/michigan thriller]
No. 12 Iowa extended the nation’s second-longest winning streak to 10 games and earned its best start since 1985 with a 30-28 thriller over Michigan. Ohio State handed Wisconsin its first loss of the season with a 31-13 defeat in Columbus. In other conference action, Michigan State topped Illinois 24-14 and Minnesota earned a 35-20 victory over Purdue. In non-conference play, Northwestern captured a 16-6 win over Miami (Ohio), while Indiana fell at Virginia, 47-7.
[TWO // football players of the week announced]
Congratulations to the new Big Ten football Players of the Week, which were announced late Sunday night by the conference office and Big Ten Network. Earning Offensive Player of the Week was Iowa senior tight end Tony Moeaki, who hauled in six passes for 105 yards, including two key touchdowns to help Iowa hold off Michigan. Ohio State junior linebacker Ross Homan racked up a career-high 15 tackles while adding two sacks, a pass breakup and a forced fumble against Wisconsin to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors. On special teams, Michigan senior punter Zoltan Mesko recorded his best game as a Wolverine by averaging 53.8 yards on five punts at Iowa, including one inside the 20-yard line and a long of 61 yards. The senior standout boomed five punts for 269 yards, including kicks of 52, 53, 55 and 61 yards. His 53.8-yard average marked the second-best single-game effort in school history.
[THREE // looking back and ahead on big ten football]
This past week the Big Ten Network announced plans for two special football programs that will air in the upcoming week. One looks back at the Big Ten's past and another that looks at its future. Following the Big Ten’s announcement this upcoming Tuesday of its new post-season bowl lineups for the 2010-13 seasons, the Big Ten Network will present a half-hour Football Special at 11 p.m. ET that evening after Big Ten Football: Breakdown. Hosted by Dave Revsine, the show takes a look at the new bowl lineups and their impact on the conference. Guests will include Commissioner Jim Delany and selected Big Ten coaches, athletic directors and bowl representatives. At 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, the Big Ten Network will look back at one of the most incredible football seasons in the conference's 114-year history with The Greatest Seasons: 1995 Football. The year is most remembered for Northwestern's amazing unblemished run through the conference, to earn its first Rose Bowl bid in nearly 50 years.
[FOUR // big ten network posts highest ratings ever]
Other positive news came out of the Big Ten Network camp this past week as the BTN on Oct. 3 had the most-watched college football games of the day across the nine metered markets within the Big Ten area. The network also broke its own local viewing records in five of those markets, including Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Detroit. In addition, based on Nielsen metered market data, the network had the highest total number of viewers of any day in the network's history.
[FIVE // top-ranked matchup and upsets highlight volleyball weekend]
Big Ten volleyball continued conference action this week and the weekly slate was highlighted by a top-ranked matchup and two notable upsets. On Sunday, No. 1 Penn State remained undefeated at 18-0 and 6-0 in league play with a 3-0 sweep over fifth-ranked Minnesota. With the victory, Penn State's NCAA-record winning streak improved to 82 consecutive matches. Also on Sunday, Iowa upset No. 18 Michigan State with a clean 3-0 sweep. The Hawkeyes attacked at a season-best .356 clip to pick up their first home win of the season and end their four-game conference losing streak. Wisconsin notched an upset of its own on Saturday with a four-game win over No. 8 Michigan. The Wolverines were the highest ranked team that Wisconsin has beaten since defeating No. 2 Penn State on Oct. 27, 2006.
[SIX // gophers upset purdue on the soccer pitch]
Upsets were not limited to the volleyball court this past week as the Minnesota women’s soccer team defeated ninth-ranked Purdue 1-0 in West Lafayette. The win marked the second time in school history and the first occasion on the road that the Golden Gophers ousted a top-10 opponent. Minnesota’s Molly Rouse earned the contest’s lone goal. The win was the third straight for the Gophers and kept them unbeaten in their last seven matches. The last time Minnesota beat a top-10 team was just two seasons ago, when a team that includes 10 current Gophers knocked off No. 7 Penn State 1-0 in double overtime in Minneapolis.
[SEVEN // former big ten hoops standouts shine in wnba finals]
Former Iowa standout Tangela Smith recorded six points, eight rebounds and two assists to help the Phoenix Mercury claim the 2009 WNBA Championship over the Indiana Fever on Friday. Katie Douglas (Purdue) had 14 points, nine assists and four boards, while Jessica Davenport (Ohio State) tallied a career-high 18 points, two rebounds and an assist for the Fever. Former Penn State Kelly Mazzante – the Big Ten’s all-time scoring leader – also earned a championship ring with the Mercury.
[EIGHT // women’s swimming opens 2009-2010 season]
The 2009-10 season of Big Ten women's swimming and diving got underway on Friday with five conference teams in action. Purdue won the Indiana Intercollegiates title for the eighth consecutive season, while Wisconsin earned a 157-85 win over Milwaukee in a non-conference dual meet. Iowa defeated Truman State 182-78, Illinois won at Nebraska, 165-135, and Michigan posted a 165-133 victory at Notre Dame. The Big Ten welcomes back 11 members from last year's All-Big Ten team. Minnesota leads the conference, returning four first-team selections, including NCAA runner-up Jillian Tyler (100-yard breaststroke) and Big Ten individual champion Megan Braun (200-yard butterfly). Indiana and Wisconsin restore three first-team honorees apiece while Purdue returns one first-team member in 2009 Big Ten one-meter diving champion Ashley Karnes.
[NINE // men hit the pool as well]
The 2009-10 season of Big Ten men's swimming and diving also began Friday with four conference teams in action. Purdue scored 928 points to win the Indiana Intercollegiates at home, while Wisconsin earned a 177.5-64.5 win over in-state rival Milwaukee at the UW Natatorium. Iowa defeated Truman State and Michigan won the first eight events and had the fastest times in all 10 swimming events in winning the Dennis Stark Relays at Notre Dame.
[TEN // usa diving honors ohio state’s panzano and indiana’s huber]
Speaking of swimming and diving, we want to tip our cap to men's and women's diving coaches Jeff Huber of Indiana and Vince Panzano of Ohio State, as they were recently presented with the Coach Award of Excellence from USA Diving. Both mentors were honored for their efforts at the AT&T National Diving Championships, which occurred in August.
[ELEVEN // always a ‘cat]
Prior to this weekend’s football contest between Northwestern and Miami (Ohio), Dave Revsine of the Big Ten Network took a closer look at the special relationship between the two teams when it comes to the late Randy Walker. The former head coach of both teams lost his life in 2006 to an apparent heart attack, yet his wife Tammy has remained an integral part of the Northwestern athletics community. Learn more about her involvement and her memories of the two schools by clicking here.