Oct. 16, 2011
[ONE // wisconsin extends undefeated season; rivals end others]
The fourth-ranked Wisconsin football team was one of three Big Ten teams to remain undefeated this past Saturday with a dominant 59-7 victory over Indiana. Suffering its first loss of the season was No. 11 Michigan, which fell 28-14 to No. 23 and rival Michigan State, while Ohio State dropped No. 16 Illinois from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 17-7 decision. In other conference action, Penn State topped Purdue 23-18 and Iowa outlasted Northwestern with a 41-31 victory in Iowa City. The Badgers are now 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Leaders Division, one full game behind 3-0 Penn State, which is 6-1 overall. In the Legends Division, the Spartans are 2-0 in divisional play and 5-1 overall, while Michigan is 2-1 and 6-1, respectively.
[TWO // mobile tour heads to iowa city]
Iowa's Michele Danno took over the Honoring Legends. Building Leaders. Mobile Tour blog, Twitter account and YouTube page this past week while the tour was in Iowa City. Danno followed the Big Ten bus to several locations on campus, including Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Basketball Media Day, Hubbard Park, the I-Club Breakfast and the popular Ped Mall near campus. In addition, Danno managed to get some great pictures of the pre-game festivities prior to the Iowa-Northwestern contest, including an interactive National Anthem, of which the Big Ten Network caught awesome video. Follow this link for more of Danno’s coverage.
[THREE // big ten boys added to bednarik watch list]
Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still were added last Tuesday to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive player. The Big Ten now has nine players on the Bednarik Award watch list, including Iowa's Shaun Prater, Michigan's Mike Martin, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy, the Nebraska trio of Jared Crick (out for the season), Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard and Northwestern's Vince Browne. Eight players from Big Ten institutions have claimed the Bednarik Award, including two-time honorees Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern and Paul Posluszny of Penn State. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh was the last defensive standout from a current Big Ten school to be honored following the 2009 season.
[FOUR // ready to hit the hardwood]
The college basketball season officially began this past Friday with several teams hosting Midnight Madness-like practice events. Michigan State and Minnesota hosted fan events on Friday, while Illinois, Indiana and Iowa welcomed followers in their respective arenas on Saturday. Live streams of the Indiana, Michigan State and Minnesota events were made available on BTN.com, while BTN will compile all footage and air a Hoops Hysteria show on Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. And yes, Michigan State “Maverick” Tom Izzo was at it again…
[FIVE // conference trio named to women’s wooden award list]
Three Big Ten women's basketball players were chosen Monday as part of Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 watch list. Iowa junior Jaime Printy, Ohio State senior Samantha Prahalis and Penn State junior Alex Bentley made the list, which is based on last year's individual performances and team records. The trio each led their respective teams to the NCAA Tournament last season. This is the second preseason honor for Bentley and Printy, who both were named to the Wade Trophy watch list earlier this summer. The Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced the week before the 2012 Women's Final Four in Denver, and the Wooden Award will be presented following the season.
[SIX // illinois, nebraska share big ten volleyball lead]
Another week is in the book for Big Ten volleyball and top-ranked Illinois and No. 5 Nebraska remain undefeated in conference action at 8-0. The week opened with the Illini fighting off No. 20 Michigan by a score of 3-1. On Friday’s slate, No. 9 Penn State topped No. 11 Purdue by the same score, while Nebraska blanked Wisconsin. In other contests, No. 14 Minnesota shut out Iowa, No. 24 Ohio State beat Indiana 3-1 and Michigan State ousted Northwestern, 3-1. The Spartans took Illinois to the brink on Saturday in a five-game thriller, before falling 3-2. Two other contests went five games, as Michigan topped Northwestern and the Huskers defeated the Golden Gophers. Purdue beat Ohio State in a top-25 matchup 3-1, while the Nittany Lions blanked the Hoosiers, 3-0. In the conference’s lone contest on Sunday, the Badgers shut out the Hawkeyes by the same score.
[SEVEN // badgers remain atop men’s soccer standings]
Just four contests took place in Big Ten men’s soccer action this past week, and a 1-0 win over Michigan State helped Wisconsin maintain its conference lead. The Badgers are 3-0 in league play and hold a slight advantage over 2-0-1 Northwestern, which shut out Penn State 1-0 on Sunday. Indiana and Ohio State are tied for third in conference standings at 2-1. The 18th-ranked Hoosiers impressed in a 4-1 victory over Michigan on Saturday, while the Buckeyes went the distance with Valparaiso in non-conference play Sunday, before settling for a double-overtime scoreless tie.
[EIGHT // penn state holds strong lead in women’s soccer]
Big Ten women’s soccer teams were at it again this past week, playing 11 contests over three days. Penn State improved its league-leading record to 7-1-0, with a close 5-4 victory over Nebraska on Friday, followed by a 4-0 shutout against Iowa on Sunday. Illinois, which is second in the Big Ten at 5-2-1, blanked Minnesota on Friday and Wisconsin on Sunday by 1-0 scores. Michigan State holds third place at 5-3-0 after an exciting 2-1 overtime thriller over Indiana. Purdue opened the week with a dominant 8-2 victory over rival Indiana, but the Boilermakers fell 3-1 to Michigan on Sunday. In other action, Iowa topped Ohio State 1-0 and Wisconsin posted a 1-1 tie against Northwestern on Friday, while Minnesota blanked the Wildcats 1-0 and Nebraska topped Ohio State 3-2 on Sunday.
[NINE // sunday showdown splits big ten field hockey standings]
Michigan and Penn State sit atop the Big Ten field hockey standings at 3-1, following a Sunday showdown featuring the conference’s two top-10 teams. The 10th-ranked Wolverines defeated the No. 6 Nittany Lions 2-0 to give PSU its first league loss of the season. No. 13 Iowa sits third overall at 3-2 after a 4-2 victory over No. 18 Indiana on Saturday. Opening the week’s action on Friday was Michigan State against Ohio State. A 2-1 victory over the Buckeyes gave the Spartans their first conference win of the season.
[TEN // northwestern, indiana near the top of windon memorial scoreboard]
Five Big Ten men’s golf teams opened competition on Sunday at the Windon Memorial Classic, hosted by Northwestern in nearby Skokie, Ill. The host Wildcats fired an impressive 6-under par 274 to tie for first after 18 holes with eighth-ranked Arkansas. No. 43 Indiana carded a 283 to sit third, while No. 40 Purdue (283) and Michigan (286) placed sixth and seventh, respectively. Penn State opened with a 297. Round two was suspended due to darkness and will be completed Monday morning. The third and final round will begin soon thereafter. Leading the way individually is Northwestern’s Eric Chun, who opened with a tournament-best 5-under 65.
[ELEVEN // buckeyes pace all big ten teams at lady northern]
Nine of the 12 Big Ten women’s golf teams opened the week at the Lady Northern Invitational, played at the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind. No. 19 Ohio State paced all conference teams with a second-place finish at 892 (293-290-309). No. 45 Michigan finished third at 893 (298-293-302), followed by the remainder of the conference teams in sixth through 12th, including Indiana (300-300-316—916), Illinois (305-311-308—924), Penn State (312-311-302—925), Wisconsin (309-310-306—925), Iowa (307-309-310—926), Nebraska (312-303-316—931), and Minnesota (318-310-311—939). Also in action this past week were Michigan and Wisconsin at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman, Okla. The tournament opened on Sunday with the Badgers finishing sixth at 297, followed by Michigan tied for 13th at 305. Individually, Wisconsin’s Kris Yoo is tied for third with a 2-under 70. Play extends through Tuesday. Also in women’s golf news, Nebraska's Madeleine Sheils was honored this past week as Golf World's Women's College Player of the Week. Sheils took medalist honors at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational en route to Big Ten Women's Golfer of the Week laurels.
[TWELVE // grapplers grab preseason rankings]
Finally this past week, InterMat released its preseason team tournament-strength and individual rankings this past week, with defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion Penn State taking the top spot entering the season. The Big Ten boasts 65 ranked wrestlers, including five ranked at the top of their respective weight classes. In the team standings, Penn State leads the pack, followed by No. 2 Iowa, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Michigan and Illinois and Ohio State tied for ninth. The Big Ten’s five top-ranked wrestlers include Iowa’s Matt McDonough (125), Michigan’s Kellen Russell (141) and Penn State’s Frank Molinaro (149), David Taylor (165) and Quentin Wright (184).