This Week in the Big Ten

Ohio State's Braxton Miller was one of three players named this past week as finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award.

Ohio State's Braxton Miller was one of three players named this past week as finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award.

Nov. 25, 2012

[ONE // a monday meant for maryland]
The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval Monday for the University of Maryland to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2014, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year. The University of Maryland also looks forward to joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.  For a closer look at the University of Maryland, including what others are saying about the move to the Big Ten, click here.

[TWO // two for tuesday; hello rutgers]
As the Big Ten expanded to 13 members on Monday, the conference officially reached 14 members on Tuesday as the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval for Rutgers University to join the Big Ten Conference, with competition to begin in all sports at a date to be determined. Rutgers University also looks forward to joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.  For a closer look at Rutgers University, including what others are saying about the move to the Big Ten, click here.

[THREE // hoosiers advanced in men's soccer tourney, nittany lions advance in women's]
No. 16 Indiana defeated top-seeded Notre Dame, 2-1, in double overtime in the third round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Irish got on the board first early in the second half, but the Hoosiers responded with a Nikita Kotlov goal 56 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1. After a scoreless overtime period, Eriq Zavalata found the back of the net in the second extra frame to give Indiana the 2-1 win. The Hoosiers advance to the quarterfinal round where they will face No. 9 North Carolina next weekend.  In other action, Northwestern fell 2-1 to No. 10 Louisville on Sunday.  The Cardinals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third minute, however the Wildcats rebounded quickly as Jarrett Baughman tallied a goal off of a corner kick in the fifth minute to tie the score. After over 80 minutes of scoreless action, Louisville found the back of the net with just over three minutes to play to take a 2-1 lead. Northwestern ends its season with a 13-6-4 record. On the women's pitch, Penn State earned its first trip to the Women's College Cup since 2005 with a 1-0 victory over Duke on Friday night. Senior midfielder Christine Nairn scored the game winning goal on a penalty kick in the 13th minute in the lone score of the contest. Senior goalkeeper Erin McNulty earned the shutout to preserve the win. The Nittany Lions continue their quest for a national championship when they face Florida State in the semifinals on Friday at San Diego's Torero Stadium.

[FOUR // seven squads selected to ncaa volleyball tournament]
The Big Ten will be well-represented at the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Championship, as seven conference teams were selected Sunday night to the tournament's field of 64. The total of seven chosen squads is tied for first among all conferences and marks the third time in the last four years that the Big Ten has sent seven or more teams to the national tournament.  Big Ten Champion Penn State enters the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, while No. 4 Nebraska and No. 8 Minnesota have earned top-16 seeds. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue also received bids to round out the Big Ten contingent in the tournament.

[FIVE // badgers, huskers to meet for big ten football title]
Nebraska and Wisconsin will take part in the second annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In their second year in the conference, the Cornhuskers will represent the Legends Division, while the two-time Big Ten Champion Badgers will represent the Leaders Division. The winner will earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game.  The Cornhuskers and Badgers will meet for the second time this season after squaring off in the Big Ten opener back on Sept. 29. During the regular season meeting, Nebraska rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to knot the score at 27-27 entering the fourth quarter, then tallied a field goal and held on for the 30-27 victory.

[SIX // football concludes regular season]
The Big Ten football regular season concluded this past week with games played on both Friday and Saturday.  The day after Thanksgiving, Nebraska held on to defeat Iowa 13-7 in Iowa City to clinch a berth in next Saturday's Big Ten Championship contest.  On Saturday, Ohio State concluded its season 12-0 with a 26-21 home victory over rival Michigan, while Purdue earned the Old Oaken Bucket and a postseason bowl bid with a 56-35 win over in-state rival Indiana.  Elsewhere, Northwestern claimed the Land of Lincoln Trophy with a 50-14 result over Illinois, Penn State shocked Wisconsin 24-21 in overtime, and Michigan State dropped Minnesota 26-10 in Minneapolis.

[SEVEN // a buckeye for the o'brien]
State's Braxton Miller was named this past week as one of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, presented annually to the nation's best quarterback.  Entering the regular-season finale, Miller had combined for more than 3,000 yards of total offense and 27 touchdowns, with 1,850 yards passing with 14 scores and 1,214 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. Six standouts who have played for current Big Ten programs have won the award, with Ohio State's Troy Smith the latest conference QB to win the honor in 2006.

[EIGHT // michigan's gardner garners manning award accolade]
For the second consecutive week, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner won the Manning Award Player of the Week after collecting more fan votes than seven other Manning Award Starts of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.  Gardner accounted for six touchdowns in Michigan's 42-17 victory over Iowa. He threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for three scores to become the first Michigan player to account for six touchdowns since Steve Smith in 1983.

[NINE // big ten postcollegiate honor recipients announced]
Michigan's Jon Runyan was honored with the Big Ten's Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award, while Ohio State's Chris Spielman was named the recipient of the Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award, the conference announced on Wednesday. The awards recognize Big Ten football players that have achieved success in the areas of humanitarianism and leadership after their college careers have ended.  A first-team All-Big Ten offensive lineman, Runyan sits on the U.S. House of Representatives (R-N.J.) and currently serves on the Tactical Air and Land, and Readiness subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.  The Buckeyes' all-time leader in solo tackles, Spielman, along with his late wife Stefanie, formed The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research in 1999, which has raised more than $11 million for cancer research. Spielman, along with his wife, also established Stefanie's Champions to recognize one of the most critical factors in surviving cancer - loving, unwavering support.

[TEN // a winning start for men's basketball]
Eleven B1G men's basketball programs continue to boast records above .500, including five teams that remain undefeated on the season.  Illinois leads all schools with a 7-0 record, while top-ranked Indiana and Northwestern are 6-0, Michigan stands 5-0, and Ohio State is 4-0.  Among the notables this past week, the Hoosiers bested Georgetown 82-72 for the Legends Classic crown on Tuesday, Illinois topped Butler 78-61 for the Maui Invitational title on Wednesday, and Minnesota upset No. 19/17 Memphis 84-75 on Friday.

[ELEVEN // women's basketball's winning ways]
Every Big Ten women's basketball team currently hovers above the .500 mark, while three teams remain undefeated in the 2012-13 campaign.  Michigan State and Northwestern both won on Sunday to move to 6-0 on the year, while Penn State sits 5-0 overall.  Speaking of unblemished marks, the Big Ten earned a perfect 5-0 record on Sunday to close out the week

[TWELVE // field hockey standouts earn all-america accolades]
Finally this week, nine Big Ten field hockey players were tabbed 2012 Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans, it was announced on Tuesday. Big Ten Champion Penn State led the way with three honorees, followed by Iowa and Northwestern with two recipients each. The list of Longstreth/NFHCA All-Americans include Iowa's Jessica Barnett and Kathleen McGraw, Michigan's Rachael Mack, Michigan State's Abby Barker, Northwestern's Chelsea Armstrong and Tara Puffenberger, and Penn State's Kelsey Amy, Laura Gebhart, and Brittany Grzywacz.