Can’t wait for Saturday? Me neither. The top storylines for this weekend: Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State all control their destiny in their respective divisions. Can each stay on track? Also, Purdue and Northwestern look to become bowl eligible. Here’s a quickie look at each Big Ten game this weekend.
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.
(BigTen.org) Indiana and Northwestern have earned berths to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, the selection committee announced on Monday. The selections mark the ninth straight year that two or more conference teams have earned bids to the tournament, which begins on Thursday.
(AP) John Shurna scored a 15 points and Luka Mirkovic added 12 to lead Northwestern to a 60-36 season-opening victory over Texas-Pan American on Sunday night. The Wildcats shook off a sluggish start, using an 11-1 run late in the first half to take control. They steadily extended the advantage behind 11 second-half points from Drew Crawford. Brandon Provost and Jared Maree had 12 points each for the Broncs, who are 0-2 in a season-opening Chicago swing. They lost at DePaul on Friday. Northwestern improved to 8-4 in season openers under head coach Bill Carmody and is 7-0 against Texas-Pan American in a series dating back to 1999. See the box score.
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.
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.