This Week in the Big Ten

Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo was honored by both Top Drawer Soccer and the Senior CLASS Award this past week.

Oct. 21, 2013

[ONE // michigan state, ohio state continue to pace big ten football]
Michigan State scored the fewest points of any conference football winner this past week with a 14-0 shutout over Purdue, but the Spartans remained unbeaten in league play this season, moving to 3-0 in the Big Ten.  In the Leaders Division, No. 4 Ohio State survived a scare from Iowa and held on for a 34-24 victory over the Hawkeyes to also move to 3-0 in conference action.  Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Minnesota edged Northwestern 20-17, Wisconsin stopped Illinois 56-32, while Michigan posted record-setting numbers in a 63-47 victory over Indiana.  Devin Gardner set school records with 584 yards of offense and 503 yards passing and matched a Michigan mark with five touchdowns to help the Wolverines move to 2-1 in league play.

[TWO // big ten trio appears in first bcs standings]
The initial Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings of the 2013 season feature three Big Ten teams - No. 4 Ohio State, No. 22 Michigan and No. 24 Nebraska. The Buckeyes make their 77th appearance in the BCS poll, which ranks seventh among all teams. OSU cracks the BCS standings for the first time since the 2010 campaign, and rate among the top four for the first time since ending the 2007 season rated No. 1 overall. The Wolverines have now appeared in 76 BCS standings, which rates eighth among all schools, after ending last season at No. 18 in the final BCS poll on Dec. 2. The Cornhuskers make their 63rd appearance in the BCS rankings after wrapping up last year at No. 16.

[THREE // five tight ends named to midseason mackey award list]
Indiana's Ted Bolser, Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz, Michigan's Devin Funchess, Penn State's Kyle Carter and Wisconsin's Jacob Pedersen were named this past Tuesday to the midseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the most outstanding tight end in college football. Semifinalists for the Mackey Award will be announced Nov. 18 and finalists will be revealed Nov. 25. Four Big Ten tight ends were named semifinalists for the Mackey Award last season, including Carter and Pederson. Three Big Ten standouts have claimed the Mackey Award - Purdue's Tim Stratton in 2000, Iowa's Dallas Clark in 2002 and Minnesota's Matt Spaeth in 2006.

[FOUR // focused on football future]
The Big Ten announced the conference schedules for the 2018 and 2019 football seasons this past Wednesday, featuring nine-game slates for every Big Ten program. The 2018 season gets underway on Sept. 1 in advance of the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 1. The 2019 season will open on Sept. 7 and conclude with the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 7. The full 2018 and 2019 conference schedules can be found by clicking here.

[FIVE // three standouts nominated for rosy list]
Alan Ameche, Woody Hayes and Bob Jeter have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1950's.  The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the fifth of a series of names that will be unveiled each Sunday throughout the remainder of the college football regular season. In commemoration of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the All-Century Class will highlight and honor great players and coaches throughout the history of The Granddaddy of Them All.   For more information on the honor, click here.

[SIX // notes from around the league]
In Olympic sport action around the league this past week, Penn State men’s soccer remained perfect in conference play, moving to 4-0 with a 2-1 victory over 14th-ranked Michigan State on Sunday.  The Nittany Lions also maintained their first-place standing in field hockey and volleyball.  Penn State’s field hockey team was led to the brink on Saturday, before knocking off Michigan State 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday.  The Spartans and Northwestern currently hold second in the standings at 3-1.  In volleyball, Penn State is 7-1 in the Big Ten, while Michigan State, Minnesota and Nebraska follow at 6-2.  The No. 5 Spartans dropped both conference contests on the week, falling 3-2 to 10th-ranked Minnesota on Thursday and 3-1 to No. 15 Wisconsin on Sunday.  On Saturday, No. 25 Purdue upended No. 8 Nebraska, 3-1.  In women’s soccer, Nebraska (7-1-0) holds a slight advantage over Michigan (6-1-1), but the Huskers were tested mightily this week by Minnesota and Wisconsin.  On Friday, Nebraska edged out the Badgers 2-1 in double overtime, while the 22nd-ranked Huskers scored a 1-0 win over the Golden Gophers on Sunday.

[SEVEN // women’s soccer sees lucky 13 named to top drawer list]
The Big Ten had 13 women's soccer players named to the Top Drawer Soccer midseason National Top 100, it was announced on Friday. Placements in the top 15 included Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo (No. 4) and Penn State's Maya Hayes (No. 6) and Whitney Church (No. 12).  Penn State led the way with five players being recognized, followed by Michigan (3), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Ohio State (1) and Wisconsin (1).  For a complete listing of Big Ten representatives, click here.

[EIGHT // men’s soccer boasts baker’s dozen honored by top drawer]
Top Drawer Soccer revealed its midseason National Top 100 for men's soccer on Friday, which included 13 Big Ten players. Among the top 25 selections were Northwestern's Chris Ritter (No. 10) and Joey Calistri (No. 20) and Wisconsin's AJ Cochran (No. 24). Northwestern had a conference-high four student-athletes recognized, followed by Wisconsin (3), Michigan (2), Michigan State (2), Indiana (1) and Penn State (1).  For a look at the complete listing of Big Ten representatives, click here.

[NINE // six soccer standouts named senior class finalists]
Six Big Ten men's and women's soccer players were selected as finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, it was announced on Wednesday. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award recognizes student-athletes who are successful both on and off the field, excelling in community, classroom, character and competition. The Big Ten's men's soccer honorees included Indiana's A.J. Corrado, Michigan State's Kevin Cope and Northwestern's Chris Ritter. On the women's side, Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo, Michigan's Holly Hein and Penn State's Maya Hayes were named 2013 Senior CLASS Award finalists. 

[TEN // five hoops teams ranked in preseason]
The 2013-14 USA Today Coaches' preseason poll was released this past Thursday, with five Big Ten teams ranked among the top 25, and three being placed in the top 10. Michigan State is ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll, followed by No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Ohio State. Wisconsin checked in at No. 21 while defending Big Ten Champion Indiana is ranked No. 24.

[ELEVEN // a new challenge on the horizon]
Eleven of the country’s most storied college hockey programs are competing in the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge, which includes 13 games between Oct. 18-27.  The conference that records the most points from the 13 games will be declared the winner, with points being awarded as follows: two points for a win, one point for a tie and a bonus point for a road win. Should each conference record the same number of points, the results of the Penn State - Vermont game, played on neutral ice, will serve as the tie-breaker.  The 17 schools that play in these two conferences have compiled an unparalleled record of success on the ice, combining to claim 33 national championships during the 66 seasons that the NCAA has sponsored the sport. Of the 11 schools participating in the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge, five took part in last season’s NCAA Championship.  Through six contests, Hockey East holds a 9-4 advantage.

[TWELVE // hockey stars seeing stars]
Finally this week, a tip of the cap, or perhaps the awarding of a star, to Big Ten hockey’s Three Stars.  Michigan forward Andrew Copp and Minnesota forwards Sam Warning and Kyle Rau were named Tuesday as the Big Ten’s Three Stars for the week ending Oct. 13. Each week throughout the 2013-14 season, the Big Ten will name a first star, second star and third star to honor top individual performers from across the conference, rather than the traditional Player of the Week accolade.