It’s finally that time. Big Ten play kicks off Saturday, starting with a trio of noon ET games, including Michigan (4-0) hosting Minnesota (1-3) on BTN. Now that the full weeks of nonconference action are a thing of the past, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina looks back at the first four weeks and offers his nonconference Big Ten honors. Watch now as “The Big Ten Pulse” also discusses nonconference awards and see all of Brent’s winners in this post.
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After trailing in the first set, the No. 9 Minnesota recovered and went on to earn a 3-1 win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers (8-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) earned their first conference victory of the 2011 campaign. Northwestern dropped to 9-4 overall and 0-2 in conference action. Ashley Wittman, who had 20 kills and 14 digs, led Minnesota in the win. Watch now a video recap from the match below and read the full game story in this post.
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Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 4 saw the Big Ten go 8-2, including wins from Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin, all of which will bring perfect records into the first week of conference play. 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.
Find out more about: Power Rankings
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa talked to The Big Ten Pulse crew on Friday and told the guys he’s feeling good about playing next week against Illinois. Persa, who continues his recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon, benefits from the Wildcats’ bye this weekend. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday, Persa said, “At this point, I’m ready to go and don’t consider myself injured anymore. ” The quarterback added, ‘‘I have the same percentage of getting injured as anybody else because I’m [medically] cleared, and the more I think like that, the better off I’ll be.’’
Tonight on The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET with Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Tim Doyle, we discuss the new QB in Columbus. How will Braxton Miller fare in his first start? Also, Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa claims he’s #PersaStrong enough to play against Illinois on Oct. 1 and he joins us for an interview. And we roll out a feature called “The B1G Screen” where we ask the question: What if three of this weekend’s games were movies?
Tonight on BTN Live: What’s the reaction to Luke Fickell’s move to Braxton Miller? We’ll assess the Big Ten’s overall performance thru three weeks and play your “ReJoice Mail.” Also, should the Wolverines and Huskers be concerned this week? Which one-loss team will still be standing as a contender at season’s end? Come vote in our polls, tweet to our show @BTNLive, comment on the post, and send us an email.
I said at the beginning of last week’s Numbers that the Illinois game excited me the most of any one on the Week 3 slate, and the Illini did not disappoint. Their 17-14 win over then-No. 18 Arizona State turned the nation on to something Howard, Gerry and I believed when we saw them in the pre-season: The Illini are for real. The numbers I gave last week were related to their offense, but the real story of the game was the “D.” So that’s where we’ll begin this week.