Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Sept. 23

Running back Mark Weisman will lead the Hawkeyes into conference play at Minnesota on Saturday.

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Sept. 23, 2013

B1G MOMENTS IN ROSE BOWL HISTORY - Jan. 1, 1997 - Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17: Trailing by three with 1:40 to play at its own 35, Ohio State turned to quarterback Joe Germaine to lead them down the field. Three completions to Dimitrious Stanley, and two ASU pass interference calls, led the Buckeyes to the Sun Devil five-yard line with 24 seconds left. Germaine connected with a wide open David Boston for the game-winning touchdown with 19 seconds remaining..

BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Minnesota's Tony Dungy: Dungy was Minnesota's recipient of the 1977 Big Ten Medal of Honor, following a standout career as the Gophers' starting quarterback. He ended his career as the school's leader in pass attempts, completions, touchdown passes and passing yards. He was twice named the team's Most Valuable Player before moving on to a successful career as a player and coach in the National Football League. Dungy's life has been marked by many community service initiatives. He also supports numerous non-profit organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, Prison Crusade Ministry and Family First, leading to his name gracing the conference's annual Humanitarian Award.

Where We Rank:  Seven Big Ten teams are receiving at least one vote in the latest Associated Press (AP) or USA Today coaches polls. Four Big Ten schools are ranked among the top 25 in both polls, led by Ohio State at No. 4 in the AP vote and No. 3 in the coaches tally. Northwestern is rated No. 17 by the media and No. 16 by the coaches, while Michigan also appears among the top 20 at No. 18 in the AP and No. 17 in USA Today. Wisconsin rounds out the conference's top-25 teams at No. 23 in the media vote and No. 24 in the coaches poll. Nebraska and Michigan State are receiving votes in both polls, while Minnesota received a vote in the USA Today coaches poll for the first time since Sept. 23, 2012.

In the Division:  Big Ten divisional matchups continue this weekend, including the first Legends Division contest of the season. Minnesota hosts Iowa in the opening Legends Division matchup of 2013. In the Leaders Division, the last two division winners will meet when 2012 division champion Ohio State hosts 2011 division winner Wisconsin. It will be the second division matchup of the season for the Badgers, while the Hawkeyes, Gophers and Buckeyes will each take part in their first conference and division contest of the season. As part of divisional play, the Big Ten instituted a tiebreaker to determine the Big Ten Football Championship Game participants, if necessary. After head-to-head matchups, the next tiebreaker is records within the division, which makes winning divisional games an important part of the Big Ten title chase. See Page 9 of this release for the full tiebreaker.

Still Undefeated:  Only eight teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision have started the season with 4-0 marks, four of which compete in the Big Ten. Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State have each opened the season with four consecutive wins, marking the third time in four years the conference has had four or more teams open the year with perfect 4-0 marks. Minnesota and Ohio State can each open the season with five straight wins this weekend, while Michigan and Northwestern are two of six Big Ten programs who have a bye on Saturday.

History of the 4-0 Teams:  Michigan defeated Connecticut last Saturday to improve to 4-0 for the fourth time in five seasons, having won four straight in 2009, five consecutive to open 2010 and six consecutive to begin the 2011 campaign. With its home win over San Jose State last Saturday, Minnesota improved its record to 4-0 for the second consecutive season. With a win this weekend over Iowa, Minnesota can run its streak to five wins to start the year for the first time since 2004. Northwestern improved to 4-0 for the fourth time in six seasons following its home win over Maine last Saturday. In each of those previous seasons, the Wildcats began the year with 5-0 marks. Ohio State's victory over Florida A&M last Saturday completed the Buckeyes' spotless non-conference slate and marked the second straight season with a 4-0 record through four weeks.

Serious Streaks:  After completing their non-conference slates with unblemished marks, two conference programs boast some of the nation's longest winning streaks heading into Big Ten play. With 16 straight victories, Ohio State holds the nation's longest active winning streak. The Buckeyes' current streak ranks as the program's fifth-longest and is behind the record of 22 straight victories from 1967-69. Boasting seven consecutive triumphs, Northwestern holds the nation's third-longest active winning streak, tied with Alabama and Baylor. The Wildcats last won seven straight games during their Big Ten Championship season of 1996.

Return to the Record Book:  Iowa's Kevonte Martin-Manley secured a place within the Big Ten records book last weekend after returning two punts to the end zone. Only two other conference players, Wisconsin's Earl Girard in 1947 and Ohio State's Garcia Lane in 1983, have returned two punts for a touchdown in the same game. On Saturday against Western Michigan, Martin-Manley took a punt from his own 17-yard line and returned it 83 yards for a score. On his next attempt, he scored on a 63-yard return to give Iowa a 24-0 lead.

Rush, Rush, Rush:  With six conference teams among the nation's top 25 in rushing offense, it should come as no surprise that Big Ten rushers have combined for 35 100-yard efforts this season. There have been nine instances this season where two or more teammates have rushed for 100 or more yards in the same game, including two games in which three Wisconsin backs have surpassed the century mark. Minnesota has had two players rush for more than 100 yards in the same game twice this season, while Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern and Penn State have achieved the feat once. A breakdown can be found in the PDF.

Trophy Time:  On Saturday, Iowa visits Minnesota in the annual battle for the Floyd of Rosedale. It will be the 79th time since 1935 the Gophers and Hawkeyes will square off for the trophy, with Minnesota holding a 41-35-2 advantage with the trophy at stake. Iowa won last year's matchup after Minnesota won back-to-back contests in 2010 and 2011.

Good Works:  Nebraska's C.J. Zimmerer and Northwestern's Jeff Budzien were two of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes named to the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Recognizing the "good works" of a select group of college football players from across the country, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college sports. The award pays tribute to the positive impact these young athletes have had on their communities and the lives of others. With Zimmerer's selection, Nebraska is now tied for the lead among all schools with 14 honorees named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

For a Good Cause:  The AFCA will hold its sixth annual Coach to Cure MD effort with the games of September 28. More than 110 FBS schools, including Big Ten programs, will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.