It was yet another busy week of Big Ten sports, with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game and the Penn State women’s soccer team playing in its first NCAA title game. Come check out the top 10 most-read stories from the week that was.
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The announcement last week that Nebraska and Oklahoma were renewing their rivalry was great news. The teams will meet on Sept. 18, 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2022.
There is no rest for Penn State coaches, who in addition to recruiting prep players also must fight to retain their current players, who can transfer to other schools without penalty up until the start of training camp next August. Read about that and other Big Ten grid news in my daily links.
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Purdue isn’t used to this. Under Matt Painter, only once have we seen the Boilermakers struggle, and that was in Painter’s understandably rebuidling 2005-06 season, which managed only a 9-19 record in the wake of Carl Landry’s knee injury that kept him off the court for the majority of the season. Since then, Purdue has won no fewer than 22 games a season. It didn’t matter if the team was relying on freshmen, whether it was short, or whether key players were lost to injuries. Painter somehow kept the whole thing going.
The bowl matchups are set as the Big Ten filled seven of its eight bowl slots. Four of the matchups are rematches of previous bowls. Here is a quick take on each bowl, with more analysis in coming days.
Wisconsin used first-half runs of 14-0 and 12-0 to take control and put together an 11-0 run early in the second half as it cruised past previously unbeaten California 81-56 on Sunday. Four Wisconsin players scored in double digits. Ben Brust led the Badgers (5-3) with a season-high 22 points. Jared Berggren had 18 points, Ryan Evans 13, and Sam Dekker added 10 points for the home team.