BIG 10 RELEASE
[ONE // big ten scores wins in rose, outback and holiday bowls]
Dwayne Haskins passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns, and Urban Meyer finished his coaching career at Ohio State with a 28-23 victory after the Buckeyes held off Washington’s thrilling fourth-quarter comeback in the 105th Rose Bowlon Tuesday. Earlier in the day, safety Jake Gervase made an interception in the end zone to help preserve a late lead, and ball-hawking Iowa beat No. 18 Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl, 27-22. Late Monday night, Northwestern converted three Utah turnovers into 21 points in a nine-minute stretch in the pouring rain in the third quarter of the Holiday Bowl, including Jared McGee’s 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown, to defeat the Utes, 31-20. Elsewhere, Penn State fell to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl and Michigan State was edged by Oregon in the Redbox Bowl. For a complete look at the Big Ten’s performance in bowl games this year, click here.
[TWO // big ten well represented on nfl playoff teams]
The NFL playoffs began on Saturday, and former Big Ten standouts are all over the rosters, according to BTN.com Senior Editor Brent Yarina. There are 84 in all (not including Maryland, Nebraska and Rutgers players who were in school before entering B1G), paced by an even dozen for both Dallas and New Orleans and 11 for New England. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees are the biggest names. See all of them, broken down by team by clicking here.
[THREE // a mac hermann hoosier]
Indiana men’s soccer’s Andrew Gutman won the most prestigious award in NCAA College Soccer on Friday night, taking home the MAC Hermann Trophy as the best men’s player in NCAA Division I soccer at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. The MAC Hermann Trophy, a 10-pound crystal soccer ball awarded annually since 1967, honors the United Soccer Coaches National Players of the Year in NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer based on voting conducted by NCAA Division I coaches. With his honor, Gutman becomes the seventh Hoosier to be named the top player in NCAA Division I soccer. Prior to his win, the last Indiana player to take home the MAC Hermann Trophy was Danny O’Rourke in 2004.
[FOUR // big ten volleyball boasts two of four finalists for honda award]
Congratulations to Illinois setter Jordyn Poulter and Minnesota setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson on being named with Roni Jones-Perry of Brigham Young and Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer as the four finalists for the Class of 2019 Honda Sport Award for Volleyball. Seliger-Swenson was the 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year and earned Co-Setter of the Year honors with Poulter. The announcement was made Fridayby Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA). The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 43 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2019 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 24, 2019, in downtown Los, Angeles. The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The Honda Sport award winner for volleyball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
[FIVE // state of michigan pacing big ten men’s hoops]
Michigan and Michigan State sit atop the Big Ten men’s basketball standings with perfect 4-0 mark in league play, having both notched top-25 wins this past week. After topping Northwestern 81-55 on Wednesday, the No. 8/7 Spartans defeated No. 14/12 Ohio State 86-77 on Saturday. Following a 68-55 victory over Penn State on Thursday, No. 2/4 Michigan stormed out of the gates early against No. 21/22 Indiana on Sunday and held on for the 74-63 win. Elsewhere in the league, the week opened with Maryland shocking No. 24/23 Nebraska 74-72 on Wednesday and Purdue stunning No. 25/20 Iowa 86-70 on Thursday. The Hawkeyes then got the best of the Huskers, 93-84, in a top-25 battle in Iowa City on Sunday.
[SIX // illini, hoosiers, wildcats post upset wins in women’s basketball action]
Upset wins by Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern highlighted the week in Big Ten women’s basketball action, as the Hoosiers and Wildcats both stunned No. 15/17 Michigan State, while the Fighting Illini shocked No. 12/13 Minnesota on Sunday, 66-62. This past Thursday, Northwestern defended its home court with a 70-62 result over the Spartans, just days before Indiana did the same against MSU in a 68-64 decision on Sunday. With Rutgers’ 74-61 win over Penn State on Sunday, the Scarlet Knights moved into a tie for first place with Indiana at 3-0 in the Big Ten standings, followed by Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Purdue at 2-1.
[SEVEN // michigan hockey claims outdoor victory over rival notre dame]
Big Ten hockey action continued this week with seven contests on the ice, including one outdoors. Michigan scored a 4-2 decision over rival Notre Dame outside in front of 23,422 fans at Notre Dame Stadium. The Wolverines, who scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of action, are tied in the Big Ten standings with the Fighting Irish at 15 points apiece. Elsewhere in the league, Michigan State won in 3-on-3 overtime play after drawing 7-7 with Ohio State on Friday, although the Spartans would be blanked by the Buckeyes on Saturday, 6-0. Minnesota and Penn State scored a series split on the weekend. The Nittany Lions netted a 4-3 road win on Friday before falling to the Golden Gophers 4-1 on Saturday. Outside of conference play, Wisconsin fell twice to Denver.
[EIGHT // northwestern’s rivera named usa wrestling athlete of the week]
One day after being named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, Northwestern 125-pounder Sebastian Rivera was named USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Week. Rivera earned the honor after an impressive performance at the 56th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. The Jackson, New Jersey, native tech-falled his way to the finals, logging four such victories en route to a battle against top-ranked Spencer Lee of Iowa. In the finals, he logged a 7-3 decision over the previously-undefeated Lee, earning his first-ever Midlands championships.
[NINE // big ten opens women’s gymnastics season]
The 2019 Big Ten women’s gymnastics season began this past weekend with nine conference teams competing for the first time. The season opened on Friday evening when Michigan claimed a first-place finish at the Cancun Classic, scoring a 196.050 in the Grand Coral ballroom of the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun Resort. The Wolverines overcame a slow start on balance beam to finish strong and take the victory over Iowa State (194.325), West Virginia (194.150) and Rutgers (189.750). Michigan captured its third Cancun Classic, having also won in 2013 and 2016. Minnesota (194.150) placed third in a quad-meet with Missouri (195.450), Arizona State (195.000), and UIC (193.925). Iowa opened at No.14 Auburn, falling 194.825-193.225. Nebraska dropped its opener to reigning NCAA Champions UCLA, 197.250-195.700. Michigan State started its season with a 193.750-191.700 setback to North Carolina State. Ohio State fell 196.600-194.900 at No. 7 Georgia. Penn State dropped a 197.175-194.450 decision at No. 5 Utah. Illinois (192.850) opened the season Sunday with a third-place finish quad-meet against Arizona, Bridgeport and Central Michigan. Maryland will begin its 2019 campaign on Jan. 13 with a home quad against Cortland State, Penn and West Chester.
[TEN // remembering tyler trent]
Finally this week, the Big Ten joined the entire country in the mourning of the passing of Purdue “superfan” Tyler Trent. The 20-year-old passed away Tuesday after a battle with bone cancer. BTN’s Mike Hall poignantly stated that “2019 begins with an end of perhaps the best thing 2018 gave us – the life of Tyler Trent.”