The University of Michigan women’s rowing team found itself in third place in the standings heading into the final two races of the Big Ten Championships on Sunday at Eagle Creek Park, but wins in the first and second varsity eight races earned the Wolverines a conference-best fifth Big Ten title. The championship marked the first league crown since 2004 for Michigan. Read full recap at MGoBlue.com and see the final standings and All-Big Ten teams in this post.
Several Big Ten teams took to the diamond Friday as the Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend. Illinois softball suffered a pair of losses against Northwestern, falling in game one, 3-2, before dropping the second contest, 7-3. Watch highlights of that game now and jump inside for more, including baseball wrap-ups from Seattle University vs. Ohio State where Aaron Craft made a cameo visit.
The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?
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Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars. And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here.
The Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend and Michigan is one of six Big Ten softball teams playing part of BTN’s softball triple-header tonight: Ohio State at Penn State, 4 p.m. ET; Purdue at Michigan, 6 p.m.; Iowa at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Full TV schedule here. Here’s a fun video from our colleagues at MGoBlue.com. So this week Michigan coach Carol Hutchins wanted to take a bit of pressure off her team by throwing batting practice using fruits and vegetables. It’s smash time!
Michigan was one of the nation’s most surprising teams last season under first-year coach Brady Hoke. The Wolverines finished 11-2, capping the remarkable season with a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech. Some of the credit for Hoke’s remarkable debut has to go to offensive coordinator Al Borges.
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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. Good idea? Bad idea? I’ll tell you what I think, then you tell me what you think, but only after you check out my take on Thursday’s selected Big Ten football headlines.