Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. With the season kicking off Thursday — Wisconsin hosts UNLV in the Big Ten’s lone game on opening night — he figured it’s time to unveil his Week 1 edition. As a reminder, these 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 after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet him: @BTNBrentYarina.
In a match-up between the #1 and #2 ranked volleyball teams in the nation, top-ranked Penn State found themselves down two sets to second-ranked USC before rallying to defeat the visiting Trojans in five sets (21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-8). In the other game of the night, Minnesota rebounded from a Friday loss to USC by defeating Oregon in five sets, giving the Big Ten a pair of victories over their Pac-12 opponents. Watch now for a recap and highlights of the action.
With eleven Big Ten teams earning preseason recognition in the first AVCA coaches’ poll, it’s going to be another competitive season. The Big Ten’s eight top-25 teams is the most for any conference in the country. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State earned the preseason #1 ranking, followed by Nebraska at #5, Illinois at #8, Minnesota at #12, Purdue at #13, Ohio State at #21 and Michigan at #24. Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each also received votes in the preseason poll. Watch now as Kara Lentz takes a look at each Big Ten team heading into the 2011 volleyball season.
The No. 12 University of Minnesota volleyball team opened the 2011 season against tough competition, at State College, Pa. as the Golden Gophers faced No. 2 Southern California in the AVCA Showcase. The Gophers started the match strong but ultimately fell to USC in five sets, (25-23, 26-24, 13-25, 21-25, 7-15). In the second game of the AVCA Showcase, the four-time defending national champion, Penn State women’s volleyball team opened the 2011 season against Oregon on their home court. Oregon upset top-ranked Penn State, three sets to one, to end the Nittany Lions home winning streak.
Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith took in Minnesota practice during our BTN Football Tour in August. The Gophers open a new chapter in their program, with former Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill taking over for Tim Brewster. It’s no secret that Minnesota struggled under Brewster, compiling a 15-30 record in his four seasons, but now it’s Kill’s turn to try to turn the program around. Minnesota opens the season Sept. 3 at USC. See all of our Minnesota Preview video inside.
Luke Rasmussen’s baseball career at the University of Minnesota may be over, but the left-handed pitcher certainly went out on a high note. If you didn’t catch his hilarious lineup introductions during the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament on BTN, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, here’s the video of it. Pretty classic, huh? Clearly, Rasmussen has a bright future beyond the baseball diamond.