Only two weeks remain for players to make a run at one of the Big Ten’s inaugural postseason trophies, and the races for the various hardware continue to scramble from week to week with many players still in contention. Who are the leaders? Check it out in my latest Trophy Tracker. And don’t forget to watch our interview with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, whose name might just be in contention for some of the hardware in this post.
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In Big Ten play, Minnesota was better than Michigan State last season. Seriously. And the season started out so well. Through 20 games, the Gophers had 16 wins, including victories over UNC, West Virginia, Michigan, and Purdue. But in January, Minnesota lost Al Nolen and Devoe Joseph, and the backcourt play crumbled. It’s a remarkable feat to finish dead last in the Big Ten in three-point percentage even while carrying Blake Hoffarber on the roster. With defenses focusing on guarding The Hoff, and no other outside threats to speak of, Minnesota finished the year on a 1-10 skid.
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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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The races in each division came into sharper focus on Saturday with some big individual performances, headlined by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball setting the Big Ten single-season touchdown record. Michigan State’s domination of Iowa makes the Spartans the clear leader in the Legends as the only team still in control of its destiny. In the Leaders, Penn State and Wisconsin control their destiny, but each seems to be going in opposite directions (see the Big Ten standings). See what Tom learned this weekend in this post.
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BTN.com has a new staple every Saturday night. It’s called “United States Marine Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s a feature designed to honor the best from every weekend of Big Ten action. Find the top performances, quotes and tweets from Week 11 in this post.
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Following the action every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down what every game, every result means for the teams involved and the Big Ten itself. See Tom’s Week 11 Snap Reactions in this post.
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Saturday’s annual Wisconsin-Minnesota game was decided rather early – the Badgers won 42-13 – but there was plenty of late action worth watching on BTN. For example, Goldy the Gopher and Bucky the Badger did a little WWE stunt that delighted the crowd. Oh, and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball set the Big Ten record for touchdowns in a season. Watch the mascots get after it here and see Ball put his name atop the Big Ten record book in this post.