Illinois Volleyball Ranked No. 1

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Colleen Ward Talks Illini Volleyball

For the first time in program history, the Illinois volleyball team is ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Poll, released Monday. The Illini, who were No. 3 last week, received 55 of the 60 first-place votes after opening Big Ten play with a pair of wins to move to 13-0 on the season. No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 12 Purdue, No. 17 Michigan and No. 22 Ohio State also made the poll. Get more on the latest volleyball news every Monday on “The Women’s Sports Report.” Watch our interview with Illinois’ Colleen Ward now.

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Handing Out Big Ten Noncon Honors

Iowa's Marvin McNutt

Big Ten Pulse - Sept. 26, 2011

It’s finally that time. Big Ten play kicks off Saturday, starting with a trio of noon ET games, including Michigan (4-0) hosting Minnesota (1-3) on BTN. Now that the full weeks of nonconference action are a thing of the past, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina looks back at the first four weeks and offers his nonconference Big Ten honors. Watch now as “The Big Ten Pulse” also discusses nonconference awards and see all of Brent’s winners in this post.

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Breakdown: How good was Michigan's defense?

Michigan's Troy Woolfolk

Big Ten Breakdown Preview - Sept. 26, 2011

Michigan’s defense has face plenty of criticism over the past few seasons. But tonight at 7 p.m. on Big Ten Breakdown our Mike Hall, Chris Martin and Howard Griffith take a look at how dominating the Wolverines defensive unit was against  San Diego State. Follow all three on Twitter: @BTNMikeHall, @BTN_Cmart16, and @HowardGriffith and jump down in this post to send in your nominees to Martin and Howard for your Big Ten players of the week.

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Big Ten Conference Games Are Back

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Big Ten Blast: Sept. 26th Afternoon Edition

And here we are at the first week of Big Ten Conference games with five Big Ten teams in the Coaches Top 25. A quick look ahead: Northwestern (2-1) at Illinois (4-0) (noon ET/ESPN2), Penn State (3-1) at Indiana (1-3) (noon/ESPNU), Minnesota (1-3) at Michigan (4-0) (noon ET/BTN), Michigan State (3-1) at Ohio State (3-1) (3:30 p.m./ABC), and Nebraska (4-0) at Wisconsin (4-0) (8 p.m./ABC). Iowa (3-1) has a bye and in non-conference games, it’s Notre Dame (2-2) at Purdue (2-1) (8 p.m./ESPN). How will the Legends and Leaders standings change by this time next week? Jump down in this post and vote now on each match-up. Also today, the Big Ten announced the weekly football honors.

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The Pulse: Who Ya Got?

On The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Derek Rackley take a crack at tackling the big stories for the upcoming week. Start the hype machine! It’s Nebraska vs. Wisconsin! How big is this game? Plus, the guys interview Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead and ask him how ready is he for Big Ten Conference play. Also, don’t forget our favorite segment “Who Ya Got?” where Rackley and Doyle square off. What’s your answer to two of our questions? Jump down in the post and vote.

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Big Ten Players of the Week

The Big Ten Conference announced its weekly football honors Monday morning. Co-Offensive Players of the Week: Denard Robinson, Michigan & Matt McGloin, Penn State; Defensive Player of the Week: Tom Nardo, Iowa. Special Teams Player of the Week: Derek Dimke, Illinois; Freshman of the Week: Donovonn Young, Illinois. Read the whole release at BigTen.org.

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Around the Big Ten on the Web

Ohio State's Jordan Hall

Colorado at Ohio State - Football Highlights

The Big Ten went 8-2, including wins by undefeated Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin, in the final full week of nonconference play Saturday. With Week 4 behind us, let’s take a quick look around the Big Ten: Illinois is off to its best start in 60 years; Indiana must recover from a rough loss, Iowa feels it’s getting better; Michigan hopes this perfect start yields better results, and Michigan State turned to a hot running back.

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