This Week in the Big Ten

Nov. 12, 2017

[ONE // badgers clinch spot in big ten championship game]
With a 38-14 victory over Iowa on Saturday, Wisconsin secured a berth in the 2017 Big Ten Football Championship Game presented by Discover and at least a share of the Big Ten West Division title. The East Division title and participant in the Big Ten Football Championship Game will be decided over the final two weeks of the season. The Badgers secured at least a share of their fourth division title and second in as many years after improving to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, No. 8 Wisconsin rolled No. 20 Iowa 38-14, No. 13 Ohio State topped No. 12 Michigan State 48-3, No. 14 Penn State defeated Rutgers 35-6, No. 25 Northwestern stopped Purdue 23-13, Minnesota beat Nebraska 54-21, Indiana bested Illinois 24-14, and Michigan ousted Maryland, 35-10. Also in football news, Iowa’s Josey Jewell, and Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Billy Price are among 10 finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award in college football, it was announced Wednesday.

[TWO // badgers crowned best in the big ten]
The fifth-seeded Wisconsin men’s soccer team won the Big Ten Tournament Championship after defeating Indiana with a 4-2 penalty kick decision, in Sunday’s championship game at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.  With the win, the Badgers earned their first Big Ten Tournament title since 1995 and the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013, and seventh trip in program history. After a scoreless double-overtime match, the Badgers netted four penalty kicks to Indiana’s two. Isaac Schlenker, Tom Barlow and Phillipp Schilling each scored a ball from the stripe, while Mark Segbers sealed the win with the fourth shot. Schilling ended the game with eight saves. Wisconsin’s Barlow and Schilling were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Tournament, and joined nine other standouts on the All-Tournament Team.

[THREE // five selected, four women’s soccer teams remain in ncaa play]
Five Big Ten women’s soccer programs opened NCAA Tournament play this past weekend, with all five playing at home. The Big Ten has seen at least five current conference schools compete in 22 of the past 23 NCAA Tournaments, sending schools to the College Cup nine times, most recently in 2015 when Penn State won its first national championship and Rutgers reached the College Cup semifinals for the first time in school history. No. 9/9 Penn State, the No. 3 overall seed, dominated Stony Brook 7-0 on Friday, while No. RV/17 Wisconsin shut out Toledo, 5-0. On Saturday, No. 22/21 Rutgers advanced after a 3-1 victory over La Salle, and Northwestern advanced 3-2 on penalty kicks following a double-overtime draw with Butler. On Friday, No. 14/16 Ohio State was stunned at home by Vanderbilt, 2-1.

[FOUR // eighteen soccer students named academic all-district]
Eighteen Big Ten men’s and women’s soccer students earned Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), it was announced Thursday. Of those students selected, 14 are women’s soccer standouts, while the other four are men’s soccer honorees. Nine of the 18 standouts earned first-team Academic All-District honors, and are now eligible for Academic All-America consideration, with the national honorees selected later this month. In order to be considered for Academic All-America and Academic All-District status, students must not only maintain a minimum 3.30 GPA, but must also be a starter or key reserve, competing in at least 50 percent of their school’s contests.

[FIVE // maryland, michigan, field hockey to meet in national semifinals]
After an all-Big Ten national quarterfinal Sunday in the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament, there will be an all-Big Ten national semifinal, which means the Big Ten will be vying for the NCAA Championship in two weeks. Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State opened play this past week in the 16-team NCAA Field Hockey Tournament. All four teams made it through the second round on Saturday, as Penn State topped Delaware 2-1, Maryland shut out Wake Forest 2-0, Michigan blanked Syracuse 1-0, and Northwestern outlasted Louisville, 3-2. In Sunday’s national quarterfinals, the Wolverines blanked the Wildcats 3-0, the Terrapins got past Duke 3-2, and the Nittany Lions fell at UConn, 4-3. Maryland and Michigan will meet in the national semifinals on Nov. 17 in Louisville, Kentucky.

[SIX // eight big ten squads qualify for ncaa cross country championships]
The NCAA announced on Saturday the team and individual qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships, to be held next Saturday, Nov. 18, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. Six Big Ten women’s teams and two men’s squads earned automatic or at-large berths to the championships. Eleven individuals from conference institutions will also compete for national titles. On the women’s side, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, while Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin were at-large selections. On the men’s side, Michigan and Michigan State claimed automatic berths to the NCAA Championships. University of Louisville will host the championships, Saturday, November 18, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park located in Louisville, Kentucky. The women’s race will begin at 10:45 a.m. ET, followed by the men’s race at 11:45 a.m. Coverage of the championships will be available starting at 10:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the awards ceremony, and can be accessed at www.FloTrack.com.

[SEVEN // men’s basketball snags 22 of first 23 games in opening week]
The Big Ten tipped off its 113th season of competition with all 14 teams in action this past week. With half the league receiving national recognition in the Associated Press (AP) or USA Today Coaches' preseason top 25 polls, Big Ten squads took care of business in the opening week, nearly going undefeated. In fact, outside of Indiana’s season-opening loss on Friday, the Big Ten captured 22 of its 23 games. Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin all opened with 2-0 starts, while Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern are 1-0. Also in men’s basketball news, Miles Bridges of Michigan State and Ethan Happ of Wisconsin have been named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Preseason Watch List as presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio. 

[EIGHT // women’s basketball near perfect in opening weekend]
Big Ten women’s basketball tipped off for the 36th season this weekend with all 14 schools in action. The Conference stormed out of the gates winning 17 of its first 19 contests, before dropping the final two games on Sunday. Among the highlights on the week, No. 5/8 Ohio State defeated No. 10/9 Stanford 85-64 on Friday in the Countdown to Columbus, while Michigan captured two wins in the Preseason WNIT. In addition to Michigan, Iowa and Penn State are also out to a 2-0 start, while Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin are 1-0.

[NINE // boilers boast two volleyball upset wins; penn state, nebraska still tied for first]
With exception of No. 21 Purdue’s 3-1 upset over No. 5 Minnesota on Friday and its 3-0 shutout over No. 10 Wisconsin on Friday, higher-ranked teams took care of business this past week in Big Ten volleyball action. Following Sunday’s lone contest, a No. 6 Nebraska’s 3-0 blanking of Rutgers, the Huskers remain tied atop the league standings with Penn State at 15-1. The top-ranked Nittany Lions shut out Iowa on Wednesday and Maryland on Saturday. Minnesota, which is two matches back in third at 13-3, responded to the loss against Purdue and blanked Indiana 3-0 on Saturday.  No. 8 Michigan State served up a few shutouts of its own, sweeping Illinois and Northwestern in straight sets to sit fourth in the standings at 12-4.

[TEN // discover named official credit card of big ten conference]
Finally this week, Discover, the Big Ten and the Big Ten Network announced Wednesday Discover as the official credit card of the 14-school conference. The agreement, executed in conjunction with FOX Sports, includes the first-ever presenting sponsorship of the Big Ten Football Championship Game televised on the FOX broadcast network. The multi-year agreement enables Discover to engage with one of the nation’s largest fan bases, student populations and alumni networks across a multitude of platforms, including nationally televised Big Ten sporting events on FOX, FS1 and the Big Ten Network (BTN), as well as on digital and streaming platforms such as FOX Sports GO and BTN2Go apps. Discover will also have a physical presence through on-site activities at select Big Ten events, including the Big Ten Football Championship Game Presented by Discover.