One of the things I enjoy about college football is that you never really know what’s coming. Because there are so few games in a season relative to other sports and because so much needs to be sorted out in those few games, college football lends itself to having multiple “games of the year.” Nebraska-Wisconsin seemed like the Big Ten “game of the year” a few weeks ago. Now Wisconsin-Michigan State is taking on that feel. And, if the Badgers win and, say, Illinois gets back on track, then their meeting in Champaign on Nov. 19 will get that “game of the year” tag. Or, if the Spartans win, their game at Nebraska next week may suddenly earn the spotlight treatment.
On Tuesday night, Mike Hall and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jim Jackson brought you Big Ten Hoops Hysteria, spotlighting all the highlights from last weekend’s Midnight Madness events. We had highlights, interviews and behind-the-scenes looks from Indiana, Michigan State and Minnesota. With the season less than a month away, Brent Yarina decided to unveil his preseason Top 10 Big Ten Players and offer some 2011-12 predictions. Watch Jackson’s top three storylines for the season now and see Brent’s blog in this post.
Find out more about: Hoops Player Rankings
The weekend saw several of the conference’s soccer and volleyball teams in action. The 18th-ranked Indiana men’s soccer team rallied from a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered goals from Eriq Zavaleta, Alec Purdie and Nikita Kotlov in a 4-1 victory at Michigan on Saturday night. Watch the highlights now. Moving to volleyball, Nebraska won a five-set thriller over Minnesota, 3-2, on Saturday night at Williams Arena. Dive inside for highlights of that game, plus much more from around the conference.
Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 7 saw two of the Big Ten’s remaining perfect teams, Illinois and Michigan, fall from the ranks of the unbeaten. 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. See the rankings in this post and watch the well-orchestrated card stunt from Kinnick Stadium now.
Find out more about: Power Rankings
BTN.com has partnered with UPickEm.com to let Big Ten fans rank some of the best plays every week on the gridiron. Click here to rank 10 of the Big Ten’s best plays from Week 7. This feature is fun and simple. Simply watch all 10 plays and rank them, from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Your votes will help determine the week’s best play from here on out. The number of candidates will vary from week to week, depending on how many Big Ten teams are in action. Every week, BTN.com selects one play for each team to enter the contest. Watch our Northwestern-Iowa highlights from Saturday’s shootout on BTN.
Find out more about: Big Ten Blast
(AP) James Vandenberg threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns as Iowa beat Northwestern 41-31 on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats. Marcus Coker added 124 yards rushing and two TDs for the Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who won despite allowing 495 yards and 29 first downs to Northwestern. Iowa blew a 17-0 second-quarter lead, then pulled ahead 24-17 on Coker’s 1-yard TD run with 13:55 left. Vandenberg pushed the lead to 31-17 on a 35-yard TD pass to Marvin McNutt, and Coker’s 1-yard touchdown run with 3:56 to go sealed just Iowa’s second win over Northwestern in seven tries. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and check out our Big Ten scoreboard.
Find out more about: Rapid Recaps
The Big Ten is set to record a first this week – a first that might fly under the radar but one that could play a significant role in determining which two teams square off in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 3. For the first time ever every conference game this weekend is also a divisional game. Remember, the divisional record is the next tie-breaker when a multiple-team tie can’t be broken by head-to-head record. A three-way tie seems eminently possible in the Legends Division where parity may reign (see full tiebreaker rules at BigTen.org).