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:
There will be plenty of great Big Ten games during the conference season for the Leaders Division. Conference play starts off with a bang on October 1st, with two much-anticipated match-ups: Michigan State at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin. Ohio State hasn’t lost a conference opener since 2004, but that could change when it faces the Spartans. Wisconsin, meanwhile, becomes the first team to take on Nebraska in conference play when the Cornhuskers visit Camp Randall. Things won’t get any easier for Nebraska after that, as they play host to Ohio State the following week. Watch now as Dave Revsine gives you the rundown of all the great Leaders Division match-ups.
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.
Michigan Stadium isn’t the only iconic Big Ten football stadium introducing new features for the 2011 football season. Penn State’s Beaver Stadium added several significant upgrades, including a new entry gate (Gate F) and eight new restroom facilities. The improvements began immediately following the 2010 season and were completed in two phases, according to the school. Watch a tour of the new additions here.
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.