Several Big Ten teams took to the diamond Friday as the Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend. Illinois softball suffered a pair of losses against Northwestern, falling in game one, 3-2, before dropping the second contest, 7-3. Watch highlights of that game now and jump inside for more, including baseball wrap-ups from Seattle University vs. Ohio State where Aaron Craft made a cameo visit.
The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?
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Penn State baseball (24-22, 10-7) clinched its fourth-straight Big Ten series on Saturday evening, defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 5-1 at Target Field. Penn State is a season-high three games over .500 in Big Ten play and two games over .500 overall. Read the full recap at GoPSUsports.com. For all of Saturday’s Big Ten baseball action, we’re posting results and video as it comes in. Also, get the latest Big Ten baseball standings and Big Ten baseball statistics at BigTen.org.
Minnesota and Penn State will be the latest Big Ten baseball teams to play in a MLB stadium when the Gophers and Nittany Lions open a three-game series in Minneapolis. They’ll play indoors at the Metrodome on Friday and Sunday but Saturday’s game airs at 3 p.m. ET on BTN live from Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.Earlier this season, Illinois faced Missouri at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (see video in this post).
Who do you think are the top three candidates to win the Big Ten offensive and defensive player of the year honors? Tell us in the comments below and watch Howard Griffith and Gerry DiNardo give you their nominations on tonight’s “Big Ten Football Report” at 6:30 p.m. ET (and again at 9 and 11:30 p.m. ET). To get ready, watch this Internet-only interview with Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis conducted earlier today.
Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart released his All-Big Ten Spring Offensive Team. Today, it’s time to recognize the best on defense and special teams. Which players shined the most from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa.? Dienhart talked to media, coaches and college officials across Big Ten country to get their views.