The last week of the regular season is upon us. While Ohio State vs. Michigan is always going to be the Big Ten’s biggest rivalry, the biggest game this weekend is in Madison where Penn State and Wisconsin play for the right to represent the Leaders Division in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game.
On a special day and at a special time, we bring you the latest BTN Live at 3:30 p.m. ET today. We’ve reached Week 13, the final week of the regular season, so we’re asking our viewers to vote for their Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to their Week 13 picks. Cast your votes in this post, send your comments to our Twitter account, @BTNLive, or use #BTNLive, and tune in Friday afternoon to watch our show live.
The Indiana men’s soccer team is the lone Big Ten team that remains in the men’s or women’s NCAA Soccer Tournament. Indiana beat Old Dominion, 3-0, to advance to the Round of 16, where a matchup against top-ranked North Carolina awaits. “BTN Soccer Report” host Kevin Egan is joined on the phone by Soccer By Ives writer John Boschini to preview the game and tell us what Indiana needs to do to advance.
Believe it or not, it’s been five years since iconic Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died one day before No. 2 Michigan played at No. 1 Ohio State in the 2006 season finale, a game many called a BCS National Championship Game preview. Saturday’s Michigan-Ohio State game marks the sixth playing of The Game since Schembechler’s passing. Before the Wolverines and Buckeyes kick things off in Ann Arbor (Read the AP preview), watch former Wolverine and current LSU coach Les Miles reflect on his coach.
If you ask most national observers about John Beilein’s coaching style, you’ll hear phrases like “live and die by the three” or “offensive-minded.” In Maui, Michigan used none of the above to get an impressive win over Memphis. The Wolverines took their threes, sure, but they weren’t particularly good from there. Instead, they dominated the Tigers in the paint, making those national observers’ collective heads explode.
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The turnaround has been remarkable. Last year, Michigan finished last in the Big Ten in passing defense (261.9 ypg) and scoring defense (35.2 ppg) and 10th in rushing defense (188.9 ypg). This year, the Wolverine defense is No. 5 (316.0) in the Big Ten overall, vs. the run (131.6) and vs. the pass (184.4). And one of the reasons for the turnaround is end Ryan Van Bergen.
Find out more about: Big Ten Q&A
As we get closer to the Big Ten Football Championship, I’m seeing more and more mail on the end-of-season awards, bowl games and tiebreakers. I even got my first basketball question! I love to get your notes and encourage you to keep them coming. The more mail the better. Now let’s get to this week’s answers …
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag