This Week in the Big Ten

Penn State was one of a Big Ten-record eight teams selected this past week to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.

Nov. 18, 2013

[ONE // hoosiers back on top of big ten soccer]
The fifth-seeded Indiana men’s soccer team won its 12th Big Ten Tournament Championship in school history after defeating Michigan State 1-0 in Sunday’s championship game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Earning the Big Ten’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, the Hoosiers will look to defend their 2012 NCAA Championship.  Jamie Vollmer scored the game’s lone goal in the 66th minute, while goalkeeper Colin Webb made six saves to secure the shutout. This is Indiana’s first Big Ten Tournament title since 2006. In addition, 11 players were named All-Tournament, including Indiana’s Jacob Bushue and Tommy Thompson, Michigan’s Tyler Arnone, Michigan State’s Fatai Alashe and Brent McIntosh, Northwestern’s Cole Missimo and Eric Weberman, Ohio State’s Ben Killian, Penn State’s Martin Seiler and Grant Warming, and Wisconsin’s Chris Prince.  Indiana’s Vollmer and Webb were named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Tournament, respectively.

[TWO // and the awards go to…]
The Big Ten announced the 2013 men’s soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual honors Thursday, with four Big Ten teams earning accolades. Wisconsin’s Tomislav Zadro claimed Big Ten Offensive Player of the year honors, while teammate AJ Cochran was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Tyler Arnone of Michigan was named Midfielder of the Year, and Indiana’s Tommy Thompson was selected as Freshman of the Year. Penn State’s Andrew Wolverton claimed Goalkeeper of the Year accolades, while Nittany Lion head coach Bob Warming was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.  In addition, All-Conference recipients, an All-Freshman Team, and All-Sportsmanship Award honorees were also announced and can be found by clicking here.

[THREE // spartans earn share of legends title]
With a 41-28 road victory at Nebraska this past Saturday, Michigan State secured at least a share of the Legends Division title. The Spartans improved to 6-0 in the Big Ten and 9-1 overall and registered their second division crown in the last three seasons.  The Cornhuskers and Minnesota both stand at 4-2 in conference and maintain hopes for a share of the division crown. The Legends Division representative to the Big Ten Football Championship Game is not yet determined, as the Gophers hold the tiebreaker over Nebraska based on their head-to-head victory on Oct. 26 and conclude the regular season at MSU.  In the Leaders Division, both Ohio State and Wisconsin earned wins Saturday and remain in contention for the division title and Big Ten Football Championship Game berth.  Ohio State was a 60-35 winner over Illinois, while Wisconsin defeated Indiana, 51-3.  Elsewhere, Michigan outlasted Northwestern 27-19 in three overtimes and Penn State beat Purdue, 45-21.

[FOUR // four ranked in latest bcs standings]
Four Big Ten teams appear in the latest Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings, with three teams moving up in the poll and Minnesota making its first appearance since the 2008 season. Ohio State maintained its perfect record at 10-0 with a win at Illinois and held steady at No. 3 in the BCS rankings, the Buckeyes' highest placement since ending the 2007 campaign at No. 1 overall. Michigan State earned a road win at Nebraska to improve to 9-1 overall and rose three spots to No. 13 in the BCS poll, the Spartans' highest ranking since being slotted at No. 13 on Nov. 27, 2011. Wisconsin defeated Indiana to move to 8-2 overall and also climbed three slots to No. 19 in the BCS standings, the Badgers' first top-20 rating since ending the 2011 season at No. 10 overall. Minnesota stands at 8-2 after a bye on Saturday but moved into the BCS poll at No. 25, the Gophers first appearance since being ranked No. 17 on Oct. 26, 2008.

[FIVE // football standouts honored by several national committees]
This past week a number of Big Ten football standouts were honored by national committee and watch lists for their efforts so far this season.  Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon were named semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was picked as a “Player to Watch” for the Walter Camp Award, Nebraska’s Randy Gregory was selected to the Hendricks Award Midseason Watch List, while three players each were named semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy.

[SIX // walk this way]
Speaking of national football honors, four Big Ten players are among the nominees for the 2013 Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded annually to the country's outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on, it was announced this past Tuesday afternoon. Iowa's Mike Meyer, Nebraska's Spencer Long, Ohio State's Craig Cataline and Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis are in the running for the award, with the winner announced on Dec. 9. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin was the Big Ten's first recipient of the honor, earning the distinction last season.

[SEVEN // hoops news]
Big Ten men’s basketball is off to a 35-4 start to begin the year, led by nine undefeated teams, including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa at 4-0 each.  This past week’s action was highlighted by No. 2 Michigan State defeating top-ranked Kentucky 78-74 in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, Ill.  On the women’s side, the Big Ten has opened the season 32-7 and boasts six unbeaten squads, including 4-0 Iowa.  The week’s featured action occurred on Sunday as Illinois shattered the school record for largest margin of victory with a 112-28 victory over Alcorn State, No. 19/20 Michigan State defeated No. 23/21 Dayton 96-89 in overtime, No. 18/22 Purdue outlasted Toledo 81-79, while No. 13/15 Penn State bowed to top-ranked Connecticut, 71-52.  Additionally, the first day of the early signing period, also known as National Signing Day, was this past Wednesday.  For complete coverage on the new signees, follow these links for men’s and women’s basketball.

[EIGHT // one-fifth of the wooden watch]
Ten Big Ten men's basketball players representing six different schools were named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list this past Tuesday. The Big Ten's representation led all conferences.  The Big Ten's preseason honorees were as follows: Indiana's Noah Vonleh, Michigan's Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III, Michigan State's Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, Minnesota's Andre Hollins, Ohio State's Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker.  The organization will also release a midseason list, and the official voting ballot will consist of approximately 20 players. The Wooden All-American Team, consisting of the nations' top 10 players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.  The 38th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams. The event will take place the weekend of April 11-12, 2014.

[NINE // running right to nationals]
Six Big Ten women’s cross country teams, three men’s cross country squads and six individual participants earned bids to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, to be held Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.  The No. 14 Michigan women’s team won its third consecutive Great Lakes Regional title on Friday, earning an automatic berth to the women’s championships, while No. 16 Minnesota claimed a bid following its second-place finish at the Midwest Regional. Earning at-large bids to the championships were Indiana, No. 6 Michigan State, No. 30 Penn State and Wisconsin. Illinois’ Alyssa Schneider and Ohio State’s Katie Borchers also qualified for the meet.  On the men’s side, No. 16 Michigan and No. 19 Wisconsin finished first and second, respectively, at the Great Lakes Regional on Friday, securing bids to the men’s championships, while No. 11 Indiana received an at-large bid. Illinois’ Jannis Toepfer, Michigan State’s Caleb Rhynard, Penn State’s Matt Fischer and Purdue’s Matthew McClintock also qualified for the championships.  The NCAA Championships will be held at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23. The men’s 10K race will begin at Noon ET, followed by the women’s 6K race at 1:15 p.m. ET.

[TEN // big ten’s great eight in soccer tournament]
A conference record eight Big Ten women’s soccer teams were selected this past Monday to compete in the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State all earned berths to the national tournament, which began on Friday. The previous record of six Big Ten teams occurred in 1998, 2002 and 2010.  Of those eight squads, five – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, No. 2 Nebraska and No. 4 Penn State – advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, while Iowa fell 4-1 to Notre Dame, Kentucky beat Ohio State 3-1 and Texas Tech stopped Minnesota, 3-0 in first-round action.  For complete coverage of the Big Ten’s performance in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, click here.

[ELEVEN // big ten concludes play in ncaa field hockey tournament]
Two Big Ten teams were picked to compete in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, it was announced late last Sunday night. Michigan State and Penn State earned berths to the 16-team tournament, but unfortunately have been eliminated from action.  Michigan State stunned No. 2 seed Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon, defeating the regional host 2-1. MSU traveled to take on Syracuse at its home field where it was 9-0 this season and had won 45 in a row.  The Spartans then fell to Connecticut 3-1 in the NCAA quarterfinals Sunday afternoon to end its season as Big Ten Tournament Champions with a 4-2 conference record and 14-10 overall mark.  Penn State's season ended in heartbreaking fashion in the first round on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions came up just short of Princeton by a score of 5-4.  PSU finished the year with a record of 13-6.

[TWELVE // “tiebreak” under further review]
Finally this week, if you did not get a chance to see the BTN Originals Tiebreaker, the network’s first feature-length documentary, this past Saturday night, you owe it to yourself to program the DVR.  The 60-minute show painted an indelible portrait of college football’s most storied rivalry and examined the aftermath of the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan game that ended in a 10-10 tie. With both teams tied atop the standings, Big Ten Athletic Directors voted to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl.  It was a decision that Michigan’s Bo Schembechler called the “the lowest day of my athletic career.”  For more on Tiebreaker, and when it will be replayed on BTN, visit BTNTIEBREAKER.COM.