One of the closest Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in history resulted in a program breaking a its long run of futility. For the first time since 1967, Iowa won the annual event, with 125.5 points, just enough to nip runner-up Minnesota (123). Ohio State (109) placed third. The Hawkeyes won three Big Ten titles and also recorded five runner-up finishes on their way to hoisting the conference crown for the first time since in more than four decades.
Ohio State is no stranger to Big Ten success, but its athletic program had never won a Big Ten Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship. That all changed this spring, as the Buckeyes, behind the strength of winning six events, took home their first crown. Ohio State finished with 135 points, topping runner-up Penn State (122) and third-place finisher Indiana (96).
Most people would describe Northwestern designated hitter Michelle Batts as funny and outgoing. But if you think that Michelle has had a big impact on the Northwestern softball team, wait until you meet her sister Michaela. Watch now to learn more about the relationship between the two siblings and how that it has affected the Wildcats.
For a school in a state with two popular NHL teams, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, it was a bit surprising Penn State didn’t have a hockey team. That’s no longer the case, this after the school decided to add hockey as a varsity sport, starting with the 2012-13 season, in March. On April 24, the program hired Guy Gadowsky, the 2008 Inside College Hockey National Coach of the Year, as head coach. Gadowsky, formerly the coach at Princeton, brings 15 years of experience to the Nittany Lions.
Throwing a softball underhand is something few men have attempted. BTN host Mike Hall found out just how difficult the process was when he went to Ann Arbor last spring for some pointers from Michigan ace and All-America Jordan Taylor. As great as Taylor is in the circle, she didn’t stand a chance at helping our host. Hall tried and tried, but his motion was awkward, his delivery was inconsistent, and his fastball featured quite a loop, bringing laughter to Taylor.
Here at BTN, we’re constantly looking for ways to help Big Ten fans better understand which schools comprise the new football divisions and which division, Legends or Leaders, the schools call home. Let’s start with the teams in your school’s division: I like to use the one-division-includes-Iowa-and-all-the-M-and-N-schools approach. That helps break it up, because then you know all the other schools, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin, make up the other division.
With Connecticut’s 53-41 victory over Butler on Monday night, the 2010-11 basketball season is officially complete. Much to my disgust, the Big East won the national crown after I bashed the conference for being highly overrated all season. It looked smart early on in the tournament, as the Big East seemingly suffered an upset or more every day. OK, enough Big East talk. Here are my 12 things to watch in the Big Ten during the 2011-12 season: