Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, July 9, 2012

Here's to hoping you had a great Fourth of July week. Now that everyone is back at work, why don't you check out our top 10 stories from the week that was.

10. Former Boiler Plawecki hits clutch pro home run
Former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki is no stranger to hitting clutch home runs. It was only a little more than a month ago, in fact, that the Big Ten Player of the Year smacked this eighth-inning, go-ahead home run against rival Indiana in the Big Ten tourney title game featured here.

9. Cody Zeller made right call staying at Indiana
A year ago at this time, Ohio State?s Jared Sullinger and Baylor?s Perry Jones were projected high lottery picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Injuries, however, saw the two stars drop to No. 21 and No. 28, respectively, in last week?s draft. Using that logic, Anthony Olivieri brought up this interesting question in a recent column: could Cody Zeller, the No. 1 pick in several 2013 mock drafts, regret coming back for his sophomore season?

8. NCFAA to start releasing preseason watch lists July 9
On Monday, members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) began unveiling their preseason watch lists, starting with the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award. In all, 15 of the nation?s top 21 awards will release a watch list through Friday, July 20. See the official lists in this post.

7. Big Ten names land on U.S. squads
Two former Penn State women?s volleyball stars and one former Nebraska star were named to the U.S. Women?s Volleyball Team for the upcoming Olympics. Former Nebraska Husker Jordan Larson was named as were Penn State?s Christa Harmotto and Megan Hodge.

6. The inspiration behind NU's new football uniforms
We?re getting closer and closer to the release of the Northwestern football team?s new uniforms. On Monday, Northwestern athletics posted a fascinating video on its YouTube page (NUAthletics) that explains what inspired the designers as they created the school?s new look across all 19 sports. Watch the video in this post.

5. The results are in: See how Big Ten fans voted
For the Fourth of July, we were feeling patriotic and decided to post 12 polls, half of which were holiday- or political-centric, with the hope of providing Big Ten fans a little holiday enjoyment. The polls have closed, and now it?s time to see how you voted. Which Big Ten coach do fans wish could get a second term? And which Big Ten player?s game is most fireworks-inducing?

4. Big Ten players on NBA Summer League rosters
Longing for some basketball? The 2012 NBA Summer League tips off July 9-13 in Orlando, with eight teams represented, and continues July 13-22 in Las Vegas, with a record 24 teams in action. They?ll be no shortage of Big Ten products involved, including 2012 first-round picks Meyers Leonard and Jared Sullinger.

3. Denard Robinson hangs with MLB star David Wright
What happens when one of the best college football players and one of the best MLB players meet in front of cameras? They swap jerseys and create a photo op, of course. Michigan QB Denard Robinson and New York Mets 3B David Wright donned each other?s jersey in the Mets clubhouse prior to Friday night?s game vs. the Yankees.

2. Steele: Badgers headed to third straight Rose Bowl
Wisconsin is going to its third consecutive Rose Bowl - at least, that?s what Phil Steele foresees. Steele has the Badgers, losers of the past two Rose Bowls, headed to Pasadena, Calif., to play Southern Cal in his updated 2012-13 bowl predictions. In all, Steele predicts nine Big Ten bowl teams.

1. Red, White & Blue: Fun for your Fourth of July
We?re feeling a little patriotic here at Not only is Wednesday the Fourth of July, but 2012 is an election year. So as you?re probably decked out in your favorite Red, White and Blue ensemble, we thought it would be a good time to ask you to hit the voting booth early. Dive inside this post and cast your vote in our 12 polls for 2012. All are Big Ten-centric, of course. Vote away, and have a safe and enjoyable Fourth.