Oct. 25, 2009
[ONE // iowa and northwestern provide thrillers in big ten country]
The Big Ten’s first football game Saturday was thought to be the most exciting one. Then the Big Ten went prime time. The Iowa Hawkeyes waited until the last second to find the end zone, but it was the perfect time to come back on Michigan State, shocking all of Spartan land with a 15-13 thriller to remain undefeated. Earlier in the day, Northwestern fell behind at home to Indiana 28-3, but responded with 26 unanswered points to shock the Hoosiers in Evanston, 29-28. The other three conference contests were not as close. Purdue won its second-consecutive game with a 24-14 victory over Illinois, Ohio State routed Minnesota 38-7, and Penn State topped Michigan in Ann Arbor, 35-10.
[TWO // football players of the week announced]
Four players from three schools were recognized Sunday as Big Ten football Players of the Week. Penn State’s Daryll Clark earned Offensive honors as the Nittany Lion quarterback connected on 16-of-27 attempts for 230 yards and matched a career high with four touchdown passes in a 35-10 victory at Michigan. Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn and Ohio State’s Thaddeus Gibson shared Defensive accolades. Clayborn racked up three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks, and forced a fumble to help Iowa remain unbeaten in a 15-13 victory at Michigan State, while Gibson recorded a career-best three sacks and recovered a fumble to help Ohio State hold Minnesota to only a late touchdown in a 38-7 triumph. Northwestern kicker Stefan Demos earned the Special Teams award after he booted his second game-winning field goal of the season, connecting from 19 yards with 21 seconds remaining to cap a 29-28 victory over Indiana – the biggest comeback in Northwestern history.
[THREE // spartans clinch big ten field hockey title]
On the field hockey turf, Michigan State clinched their first outright Big Ten Championship Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over Michigan. The Spartans remain perfect in Big Ten play with a 5-0 mark and a 14-3 record overall. The Big Ten Network will televise Sunday’s match in tape delay at 8 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon. With the victory, the Spartans earned the conference’s No. 1 overall seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament.
[FOUR // seven seniors invited to field hockey all-star game]
Seven Big Ten student-athletes have been selected to play in this year's NFHCA Division I Senior All-Star Game, the association announced Wednesday. Indiana's Lucy Ireland and Meg O'Connell, Iowa's Meghan Beamesderfer and Tricia Dean, Michigan State's Jeamie Deacon and Floor Rijpma and Northwestern's Courtney Plaster-Strange all earned invitations to this year's event, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET, Nov. 21 on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. More information about the All-Star game can be found at nfhca.org, and clicking on the '09-'10 Honors and Awards tab at the left.
[FIVE // btn to showcase more wrestling this season]
The Big Ten Network announced this past Tuesday it will double its coverage of wrestling this season by airing the Big Ten Championships, the Midlands Classic and nine duals. In addition, the network will stream 15 more duals on www.BigTenNetwork.com. Coverage begins on Dec. 10 with an in-state battle between Iowa and Northern Iowa. The action heats up in January with the Midlands Classic in Evanston, which will be televised at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 3. The network will also televise a dual match on several Friday and Sunday nights in January and February, culminating with live coverage of the Big Ten Championships at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 7, from the campus of the University of Michigan.
[SIX // airing the best big ten games]
Speaking of the Big Ten Network, a positive review of the conference-owned network appeared in the Chicago Sun Times on Saturday by writer Kyle Koster. In his post, which can be read in full by clicking here, Koster points out that as of late, the Big Ten’s best football games this season have appeared on the Big Ten Network. In the last few weeks, the BTN has aired the Michigan-Michigan State battle, Purdue’s upset over Ohio State, and Saturday’s thriller in East Lansing between Iowa and the Spartans. Koster also talks with BTN President Mark Silverman and lead anchor Dave Revsine and gets their thoughts about how far the successful network has come.
[SEVEN // preseason men’s gymnastics poll released]
This past week the 2010 GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll was released and the Big Ten showed its dominance once again. All six conference squads are ranked in the top 10, led by Michigan at No. 4. The Wolverines received one first-place vote and rank behind Stanford, California and Oklahoma. Illinois ranks fifth, followed by Penn State, Ohio State and Minnesota in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, while Iowa is 10th. Click here for a complete look at the preseason poll.
[EIGHT // boilers and spartans among nation’s best at ncaa fall preview]
On the links this week the No. 3 Purdue and No. 6 Michigan State women’s golf teams competed at the NCAA Fall Preview in Wilmington, N.C. The 18-team tournament, which featured 15 teams in the top 25 of the Golfweek rankings, was played at the par 72, 6,325-yard Pete Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall, host of the 2010 NCAA Championships in May. The Boilermakers finished 11 strokes off the lead in sixth place with a score of 892 (302-291-299). Michigan State was 10th at 904 (301-305-298). Purdue’s Numa Gulyanamitta was the conference’s top individual, finishing tied for seventh at 218 (72-72-74).
[NINE // women’s tennis battles at ita midwest regionals]
Northwestern is in the midst of serving as the host institution for one of the premier fall tournaments, the 2009 ITA Midwest Regional Championships, where several Big Ten women’s tennis standouts are still in the hunt for the singles title. Quarterfinal matches will be played at NU's Combe Tennis Center at noon on Monday, followed by the semifinals at 3 p.m. and the title match at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Top-seeded Maria Mosolova of Northwestern will face Iowa’s Sonja Molnar, while Northwestern’s Lauren Lui will take on Michigan’s Denise Muresan. In the other half of the bracket, NU’s Samantha Murray and Ohio State’s Kirsten Flower will battle non-conference foes.
[TEN // cook in the community]
The NBA announced this past Thursday that former Ohio State standout and current Miami Heat guard Daequan Cook has been named the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award. The former Buckeye was honored for his 2009 offseason efforts in recognition of his outstanding work in the community and for his ongoing philanthropic and charitable contributions. Cook was honored, in part, for the support that he provided to an Ohio family who lost their son in a tragic accident last summer. Cooks’ efforts should be applauded and the Big Ten is proud of his support in the community!
[ELEVEN // big ten to miss michigan’s martin]
Finally this week, University of Michigan athletic director Bill Martin announced Wednesday he will retire fro his post next September. Martin, who became the Michigan AD in 2000 and served as a former president of the United States Sailing Association, will end his tenure in Ann Arbor on Sept. 4, 2010. Since 2000-01, Martin's first full academic year as director of athletics, Michigan teams have won 72 conference regular-season or tournament championships, with a high of 11 titles in 2003-04 and eight apiece in 2004-05 and 2007-08. The Wolverines recorded 35 top-five national finishes during that same span, highlighted by eight top-fives in 2003-04. During Martin's tenure, U-M claimed two national championships, with field hockey in 2001 earning the school's first national title in a women's team sport and softball winning the 2005 NCAA Women's College World Series.