Football season is here, and that means it’s time to shift our focus to the Week 1 slate. Every Big Ten school is in action in the opening week, starting with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV on Thursday night and finishing up with Indiana entertaining Ball State on Saturday night. That said, it’s time to kick off my weekly Big Ten Football Previews. Here’s your Week 1 addition:
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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.
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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.
Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith visited Northwestern practice during the BTN Football Tour in August. The Wildcats have played in a school-record three straight bowl games, and while they haven’t won a postseason game since 1948, it’s clear Pat Fitzgerald has raised expectations. Northwestern doesn’t hope to make bowl games any more — it expects to be in one. With Dan Persa back from last year’s Achilles’ injury, Northwestern should play a 13th game again. The Wildcats open the season Sept. 3 at Boston College. Watch our Northwestern Preview video inside.
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Most people would describe Northwestern designated hitter Michelle Batts as funny and outgoing. But if you think that Michelle has had a big impact on the Northwestern softball team, wait until you meet her sister Michaela. Watch now to learn more about the relationship between the two siblings and how that it has affected the Wildcats.
Former Northwestern tennis player Katrina Adams flew under the radar as a high school star. A 16-year-old senior, questions over her young age kept many of the scholarship offers from coming. She wanted to play for Southern Cal or UCLA, among others, but the Chicago product had to settle on staying close to home. Adams isn’t bitter about how her tennis days played out, and for good reason. Adams had a great career at Northwestern and went on to win 20 doubles titles during her 12-year professional career.
Life is good when you are the defending World Series champion. BTN spent some time with current Yankees skipper Joe Girardi and Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher to find out how competing in the Big Ten helped shape their careers as competitors. Watch now as Girardi talks about his time as a Northwestern Wildcat and Swisher recalls his days in Columbus as a Buckeye.
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