The 2011 season was barely punctuated, and the 2012 football polls were already coming out. LSU looks like a consensus pick for No. 1, but the Big Ten is well represented. In the five polls I found, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all were ranked. And Nebraska appeared in all but one poll. Ohio State, which is ineligible to win the Big Ten title or play in a bowl in 2012 because of probation, is in two polls.
At 5-foot-7, Courtney Boylan is the smallest player on Michigan’s roster, and one of the smallest players in the league. But she’s a big, big reason the Wolverines are 13-3 and coming off one of the biggest wins in the Big Ten this season. Basketball analyst and writer Patricia Babcock McGraw talks to Boylan in her latest Gimme 5 audio segment. Jump down in this post to read and hear more.
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Michigan’s Zack Novak has a knack for making the all-important plays for the Wolverines. Whether it’s taking a charge, throwing his body on the floor for a loose ball or grabbing a rebound, Novak is does all the little things to help Michigan. In Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern, he did all of the usual things, but he also added a not-so-common highlight-reel slam. In transition, Novak saw a hole in the Wildcats’ defense, and he took advantage with a powerful two-handed jam. Watch the big-time dunk now.
Considering the Michigan football team’s struggles the previous three years, no one could have expected a better result from the 2011 season. After all, in Brady Hoke’s first season at the helm, the Wolverines won 11 games, including their first BCS bowl victory since 2000, after going 15-22 the previous three seasons. The Wolverines, of course, beat Virginia Tech, 23-20, in overtime of the Sugar Bowl earlier this month. And during a break in the action of Wednesday’s men’s basketball game against Northwestern, the school honored its Sugar Bowl champions. Watch David Molk and company get honored now.
In the second Super Wednesday doubleheader, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, of the season, No. 13 Michigan held off Northwestern in overtime (recap) and Nebraska picked up its first Big Ten win with a victory over Penn State (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post.
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With an amazing 43-point performance from Brandon Paul, Illinois shocked Ohio State in Champaign. Coming in, this looked like a game that the Illini might hope to keep close with their defense, but it seemed unlikely that Bruce Weber’s struggling offense would be able to scrape together enough points against the nation’s top defense. That analysis went out the window once Paul got rolling.
With every Big Ten basketball team having played anywhere between 15-17 games, we’ve reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-12 season. Pretty soon it will be March, and that means the Big Ten tourney and NCAA tourney aren’t that far off. OK, they’re still two months away, but the first couple of months sure didn’t take long. Find Brent Yarina’s midway Big Ten honors in this post.