Big Ten Weekly Football Release - Nov. 4
Nov. 4, 2013
B1G MOMENTS IN ROSE BOWL HISTORY - Jan. 1, 1998 - Michigan 21, Washington State 16: Michigan capped an undefeated season and clinched the national championship with a victory over Washington State. Wolverine quarterback Brian Griese, who was named the game's most valuable player, accounted for all three scores, throwing two touchdowns to Tai Streets and another to Jerame Tuman.
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Ohio State's John Frank: Winner of the 1984 Medal of Honor, Frank set school records for receptions and yards by a tight end during his career. Finishing with 121 receptions and 1,481 yards, he was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, earning the distinction as a junior in 1982 and a senior in 1983, and was named team MVP his final season. Frank's success extended beyond the field as he was named an Academic All-Big Ten selection and an Academic All-American his junior and senior seasons and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. After two Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers, Frank returned to Ohio State and received his doctorate in June, 1992.
A Look at the Legends Division: Michigan State stands atop the Legends Division with a 5-0 conference record, including two victories within the division. Three other teams are within two losses of the Spartans, with Nebraska second with a 3-1 mark, Minnesota third at 3-2 and Michigan fourth at 2-2. Iowa is fifth at 2-3 in the Big Ten. The Spartans have a bye this weekend, then finish the season with three straight division foes. Nebraska and Michigan face off this weekend in each teams' third divisional contest of the year, Minnesota carries a 2-2 division mark and Iowa is 2-1 in the Legends Division.
Breaking Down the Leaders Division: Ohio State continues to hold the top spot in the Leaders Division, carrying a 5-0 Big Ten record and a 3-0 division mark. Wisconsin is second in the standings at 4-1 in the conference, Penn State is third at 2-2 and Indiana is fourth at 1-3. The Buckeyes, Badgers and Nittany Lions enter the week having played three divisional contests thus far, and each will have two intra-division matchups during the last three weeks of the regular season. Ohio State has a bye this weekend, Wisconsin completes the non-conference portion of its schedule against BYU and Penn State travels to Minnesota on Saturday.
It's Been a While: With its victory over Purdue last Saturday, Ohio State extended its winning streak to 21 games, which is the longest active streak in the nation. It is the longest Big Ten streak in more than 40 years, when the Buckeyes reeled off 22 consecutive victories from 1967-69. Ohio State's 21-game winning streak is tied for sixth all-time in conference annals with the 1933-36 Minnesota squads. The 1901-03 Michigan teams hold the conference record of 29 consecutive victories. The Buckeyes are one of just two teams in the nation boasting 9-0 records and one of only seven squads with unblemished records. The Buckeyes improved to 9-0 for the seventh time since 1990.
BCS Trio: Three Big Ten teams appear among the top 25 in the latest Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings. Ohio State improved to 9-0 on the year to hold steady at No. 4 in the latest BCS poll. Michigan State knocked off Michigan to move to 8-1 and jumped five spots to No. 17 in the BCS standings, the Spartans' first top-20 appearance since ranking No. 17 in the final BCS poll of the 2011 campaign. Wisconsin defeated Iowa and stands at 6-2 overall to remain at No. 24 in the BCS rankings.
Division Matchups: Of the four Big Ten matchups this weekend, two will be divisional games. Michigan hosts Nebraska in a Legends Division showdown, while Indiana welcomes Illinois in a Leaders Division clash. As part of divisional play, the Big Ten has 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.
Back to the Bowl Scene: Two more Big Ten teams joined the bowl-eligible ranks following victories last Saturday. With its win over Iowa last weekend, Wisconsin reached the six-win mark and secured bowl eligibility for the 25th time in program history. The Badgers have advanced to postseason play in each of the past 11 seasons, the longest active streak in the conference, and were the conference representatives in the Rose Bowl Game the last three years. After its dramatic last-second victory against Northwestern, Nebraska notched its sixth triumph of the season to become bowl eligible. The Huskers are looking to advance to postseason play for the 50th time in program history and the seventh consecutive season. The Badgers and Huskers are the fifth and sixth Big Ten teams to become bowl eligible, joining Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State. With five wins, Iowa has a chance to become bowl eligible on Saturday.
Complete Scholar-Athlete: The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame named 16 recipients of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, including four Big Ten honorees - Iowa's James Morris, Michigan State's Max Bullough, Nebraska's Spencer Long and Penn State's John Urschel. The Big Ten quartet was selected from a nationwide pool of 171 student-athletes, representing all NCAA divisions as well as the NAIA. The four Big Ten student-athletes are now finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. Two Big Ten standouts have won the Campbell Trophy - Ohio State's Bobby Hoying in 1995 and Craig Krenzel in 2003.
Trophy Time: In a conference that features 16 rivalry trophies, Penn State and Minnesota will compete for one of the traveling keepsakes this weekend. The two programs take the field with the Governor's Victory Bell at stake, which was first contested in 1993. The Nittany Lions' first Big Ten game came against the Golden Gophers on Sept. 4, 1993, and the Governors from each state instituted the traveling trophy prior to the debut meeting between the programs.
Getting in on the Act: Scoring is up throughout the Big Ten this season and conference defensive and special teams units are playing a part in that success. With two interceptions returned for touchdown last Saturday, conference defenses and special teams have combined for 34 touchdowns this season, already surpassing last year's total of 33. Minnesota leads all Big Ten teams with six non-offensive touchdowns, while Iowa and Michigan State have five defensive or special teams scores. Nebraska and Northwestern each have four such touchdowns, followed by Michigan and Ohio State with three each and Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin with one apiece.