Football season is here, and that means it’s time to shift our focus to the Week 1 slate. Every Big Ten school is in action in the opening week, starting with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV on Thursday night and finishing up with Indiana entertaining Ball State on Saturday night. That said, it’s time to kick off my weekly Big Ten Football Previews. Here’s your Week 1 addition:
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There will be plenty of great Big Ten games during the conference season for the Leaders Division. Conference play starts off with a bang on October 1st, with two much-anticipated match-ups: Michigan State at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin. Ohio State hasn’t lost a conference opener since 2004, but that could change when it faces the Spartans. Wisconsin, meanwhile, becomes the first team to take on Nebraska in conference play when the Cornhuskers visit Camp Randall. Things won’t get any easier for Nebraska after that, as they play host to Ohio State the following week. Watch now as Dave Revsine gives you the rundown of all the great Leaders Division match-ups.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. With the season kicking off Thursday — Wisconsin hosts UNLV in the Big Ten’s lone game on opening night — he figured it’s time to unveil his Week 1 edition. As a reminder, these rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet him: @BTNBrentYarina.
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With eleven Big Ten teams earning preseason recognition in the first AVCA coaches’ poll, it’s going to be another competitive season. The Big Ten’s eight top-25 teams is the most for any conference in the country. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State earned the preseason #1 ranking, followed by Nebraska at #5, Illinois at #8, Minnesota at #12, Purdue at #13, Ohio State at #21 and Michigan at #24. Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each also received votes in the preseason poll. Watch now as Kara Lentz takes a look at each Big Ten team heading into the 2011 volleyball season.
Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith visited Illinois practice during the BTN Football Tour in August. The Illini are fresh off a 7-6 season that saw them finish with a bang, destroying Baylor, 38-14, in the Texas Bowl. Ron Zook’s team lost a lot of talent, from Mikel Leshoure to Corey Liuget, but it returns enough proven players to have fans expecting more. It all starts with QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who looks bigger and stronger and hopes to build on a terrific end to his freshman season. The Illini open the season Sept. 3 against Arkansas State. Watch all of our Illinois Preview video inside.
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