Michigan is coming to Purdue to play a big football game (4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go). Saturdays like this aren’t commonplace in West Lafayette, Ind. Big basketball games? They happen almost every winter in this hamlet tucked just off I-65 an hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago. But big football games? They have been sparse in the last, oh, generation. So, pardon the natives if they aren’t accustomed to the fuss of a big football Saturday.
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Week 2 of Big Ten competition saw three hard-fought games that needed more than 90 minutes of play to be decided. It showed that there is not much separating each team in the conference and that many games are going to come down to one shot, one save, or one executed set piece. So, no matter the records, easy games are few and far between in the Big Ten with only two games having been decided by more than one goal so far.
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The Minnesota Volleyball team improves to 4-1 in the Big Ten conference after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in four sets 25-13, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, after Michigan claimed the third set. The Gophers now also hold a record of 13-3 in the overall regular season. Michigan now stands at 2-3 in the Big Ten, and 14-5 overall. Read the full recap at GopherSports.com. Watch the Minnesota and Michigan volleyball game highlights now.
You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
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In many respects, Michigan’s season starts now. The 2-2 non-conference record? The ugly losses to Alabama and Notre Dame? Forget about them.
In the opening episode of “The Journey 2012″ on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, learn what’s at stake for Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson during his senior year, and we also go back and find out more about his talents as a sprinter in high school. Also in the debut, meet Ohio State’s John Simon and see how his work ethic and toughness defines the Buckeyes defense and represents the values of his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. We also follow Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti and learn how this leader has kept the Penn State team focused and together.
As the Big Ten is the deepest volleyball conference in the nation, it always has a number of teams in the weekly AVCA poll. Through two weekends of conference play, the depth is apparent in the number of close sets and five-set matches that have been played. But while parity brings upsets, the higher-ranked teams have been relatively unscathed so far.
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