The 2012 Big Ten softball season is set to begin this week with 10 teams taking to the diamond on the opening weekend of play. Nebraska opens the season on Thursday, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State begin on Friday, and Minnesota opens its season on Saturday. Wisconsin begins the new year on Feb. 17, and Purdue opens its season on Feb. 18.
This is a nice week of action with five matchups that will go a long way toward determining the Big Ten title chase—and possible NCAA bids. The steak vs. lobster match between the first-place Buckeyes and second-place Spartans is a five-star affair. Don’t miss it.
Find out more about: Ranking the Games
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 plays from the past week?
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
(AP) Samantha Prahalis scored a career-high 34 points and No. 10 Ohio State made the most of an eight-day layoff to beat Wisconsin 72-58 on Monday night, the Buckeyes’ 20th consecutive victory over the Badgers. Tayler Hill, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, added 18 points for the Buckeyes (21-2, 8-2), who had lots of time to mull a disappointing 76-65 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 29. Ohio State broke the game open with a 16-3 second-half run.
With the Super Bowl behind us, college basketball now becomes the center of the sports universe. And the Big Ten will get a lot of that attention this week with a collection of nice games headlined by Michigan State’s titanic visit to Ohio State on Saturday in a showdown between the top two teams in the Big Ten. In this week’s Big Ten Whiteboard, I draw up my game of the week, a sleeper matchup, the head-to-head battle between players you need to see, plus a few more items.
Find out more about: Big Ten Whiteboard
Former Michigan State star linebacker Greg Jones won a ring and handed one out Sunday night in Indianapolis. That’s right, the New York Giants’ rookie proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, as confetti fell from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium following Super Bowl XLVI. Evidently, Jones had practice squad tight end Christian Hopkins hold the ring during the game and give it to him after the final play. Piechowski said yes, of course (see pictures of the proposal!). And here’s a picture of the proud groom-to-be, courtesy of teammate Mark Herzlich’s Twitter account.
Find out more about: Big Ten Pros
Got the “Super Bowl hangover blues” today? Have no fear. Here are some Big Ten links to perk you up after over indulging on the Rotel dip and Yoo-Hoo.