Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 11 saw Penn State, the Big Ten’s last undefeated team in conference play, suffer its first Big Ten defeat. As for the power rankings, they 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 @BTNBrentYarina.
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(AP) Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 192 yards and a touchdown and backup quarterback Devin Gardner threw a key TD pass to lead No. 22 Michigan past Illinois 31-14 on Saturday. Denard Robinson didn’t play after a big third-quarter hit. Details about his injury weren’t available. In relief Gardner hit Martavious Odoms for a fourth quarter touchdown that gave Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) a 24-7 lead after Illinois scored. The Illini (6-4, 2-4) finished with 214 yards of offense but had just 30 at halftime. For the fourth week in a row they didn’t score in the first half and they’ve lost four straight. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view the Big Ten scoreboard.
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Illinois won its second Big Ten tourney title in program history with a 2-1 overtime victory against Penn State on Sunday. In the latest “BTN Soccer Report,” host Kevin Egan and analyst Aron Hyde recap the tournament and are joined by Illinois sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, who scored the game-winning goal in the championship game. Analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin also calls in to give her take on the tournament. Illinois, along with Ohio State and Penn State, will compete in the NCAA Tournament that kicks off later this week.
The Iowa running has surged to the top of my Big Ten player rankings. The star sophomore has rattled off four straight 100-yard, two-touchdown rushing games (121, 2 vs. Northwestern; 138, 2 vs. Indiana; 252, 2 vs. Minnesota; 132, 2 vs. Michigan). He literally carried Iowa to victory on Saturday over Michigan, pushing him to a Big Ten-leading 1,101 yards rushing (122.3 ypg). The 230-pound Marcus Coker just may carry the Hawkeyes all the way to the Legends Division title. See Tom’s full top 25 list in this post.
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Lots of interesting storylines and angles to watch in Week 11, as the divisional chases firm up—at least a little. Two games will go a long way toward determining who wins each division: Michigan State at Iowa is a big Legends clash, while Nebraska at Penn State is a major Leaders encounter. But there also are other intriguing matchups this Saturday.
Every Big Ten basketball court will have a different look for the 2011-12 season, whether it be the new B1G logo, the addition of the semi-circle under the basket or the elimination of the women’s 3-point line, but at least a handful have undergone other makeovers. The floors at Illinois’ Assembly Hall, Carver-Haweye Arena, Crisler Arena, Welsh-Ryan Arena and Mackey Arena will feature new looks when the season tips Friday. Watch a feature on Illinois’ new court now and see all the new designs in this post.