Wednesday was a busy night for Big Ten volleyball. Several of the conference’s top teams were in action including top-ranked Illinois who faced Northwestern. The Illini’s perfect season is still in tact following a straight set win over the Wildcats (25-19, 25-23, 25-19). Watch a Student U wrap-up of the action now and jump inside for more coverage of No. 4 Nebraska facing Iowa, Indiana’s visit to Purdue and much more.
A day ago, Brent Yarina released his Preseason Top 10 Player Rankings and Preview in preparation for Tuesday night’s Hoops Hysteria show. Today, it’s time for the preseason power rankings. Every week during the hoops season, Brent posts his latest rankings. As a reminder, the 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 at the end of each week. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina. Watch Tom Izzo’s entertaining Midnight Madness entrance now and check out Brent’s rankings in this post.
Last month, everyone was talking about how the Nebraska-Wisconsin game might be the Big Ten’s biggest game of the year. Three weeks later, it’s the Wisconsin-Michigan State game getting that treatment, and rightfully so. The game at Spartan Stadium highlights the Week 8 slate, which also includes Indiana–Iowa (noon ET) and Penn State–Northwestern (7) on BTN. Use our GameFinder to find your BTN game and track all of the action on our Big Ten scoreboard. Watch former Big Ten players talk about how the Big Ten prepared them for the NFL now and check out Brent Yarina’s Week 8 Preview in this post.
On Tuesday night’s “The Next Level,” Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Jon Jansen interviewed Iowa star defensive back Shaun Prater. Prater, who has one interception and two forced fumbles on the year, is getting the star treatment this season, meaning quarterbacks aren’t throwing his way often. How does he handle it? “Yeah, this year, most of the season, they haven’t been going my way as much,” Prater told our crew. “But I just try to make the best of those plays I get.” That he has. Watch our interview with Prater now and also check out The Next Level’s feature on how the Big Ten prepared several current pros for the NFL in this post.
One of the things I enjoy about college football is that you never really know what’s coming. Because there are so few games in a season relative to other sports and because so much needs to be sorted out in those few games, college football lends itself to having multiple “games of the year.” Nebraska-Wisconsin seemed like the Big Ten “game of the year” a few weeks ago. Now Wisconsin-Michigan State is taking on that feel. And, if the Badgers win and, say, Illinois gets back on track, then their meeting in Champaign on Nov. 19 will get that “game of the year” tag. Or, if the Spartans win, their game at Nebraska next week may suddenly earn the spotlight treatment.
On Tuesday night, Mike Hall and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jim Jackson brought you Big Ten Hoops Hysteria, spotlighting all the highlights from last weekend’s Midnight Madness events. We had highlights, interviews and behind-the-scenes looks from Indiana, Michigan State and Minnesota. With the season less than a month away, Brent Yarina decided to unveil his preseason Top 10 Big Ten Players and offer some 2011-12 predictions. Watch Jackson’s top three storylines for the season now and see Brent’s blog in this post.
The weekend saw several of the conference’s soccer and volleyball teams in action. The 18th-ranked Indiana men’s soccer team rallied from a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered goals from Eriq Zavaleta, Alec Purdie and Nikita Kotlov in a 4-1 victory at Michigan on Saturday night. Watch the highlights now. Moving to volleyball, Nebraska won a five-set thriller over Minnesota, 3-2, on Saturday night at Williams Arena. Dive inside for highlights of that game, plus much more from around the conference.