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September 1, 2014

[ONE // football is finally here]
The Big Ten kicked off the 2014 season in impressive form this past week as 12 of the 14 conference squads were victorious over a three-day span.  On Thursday, Minnesota defeated Eastern Illinois 42-20 and Rutgers netted a 41-38 result over Washington State in its first official game as a member of the Big Ten.  Michigan State cruised to a 45-7 win against Jacksonville State on Friday, while nine more league teams found the win column on the weekend. Saturday’s winners included Illinois (28-17, Youngstown State), Indiana (28-10, Indiana State), Iowa (31-23, Northern Iowa), Maryland (52-7, James Madison), Michigan (52-14, Appalachian State), Nebraska (55-7, Florida Atlantic), Ohio State (34-17, Navy), Penn State (26-24, Central Florida), and Purdue (43-34, Western Michigan).  Northwestern dropped its opener 31-24 to California, while Wisconsin could not fend off LSU, 28-24.


[TWO // think quick]
The Detroit Lions announced this past week a multiyear agreement with Ford Motor Company’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center designating Quick Lane as title sponsor for the annual bowl game held at Ford Field in Detroit. This year’s game is scheduled for Dec. 26, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. ET, and will air nationally on ESPN.  The Quick Lane Bowl will feature teams from the Big Ten and ACC conferences. At the end of the college football season, officials from both conferences will meet with bowl officials to determine the best possible matchup and choose their team representatives. Tickets for the game will be available for purchase at 10 a.m., Thursday, August 28 at quicklanebowl.com, the Ford Field box office (open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or by calling 877.212.8898.

[THREE // carter smelling the roses]
Penn State All-American running back Ki-Jana Carter has been selected for induction into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014, joining legendary coaches Knute Rockne and Dick Vermeil. Carter was a key member of the 1995 Rose Bowl Championship squad that capped off a perfect 12-0 season with a 38-20 win over Oregon on Jan. 2, 1995.  The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on December 30 at the Pasadena Convention Center, two days before the 101st Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual.  

[FOUR // now serving…]

The Big Ten volleyball season began this weekend, with all 14 conference teams in action, winning a combined 80 percent of the matches play.  The Big Ten registered 32 wins in 40 outings, including a 14-4 record on Friday, which was highlighted by No. 8 Purdue blanking No. 14 San Diego, 3-0.  On Saturday, the conference went 18-3 with the key win coming from No. 11 Illinois in a 3-0 shutout of No. 20 North Carolina.  No. 7 Nebraska fell to third-ranked Stanford 3-0 in Sunday’s lone match.  Eight squads opened with unblemished records, including Michigan State (4-0), Illinois (3-0), Indiana (3-0), Maryland (3-0), Northwestern (3-0), Penn State (3-0), Purdue (3-0) and Wisconsin (2-0).


[FIVE // big ten announces volleyball coverage]
Big Ten volleyball will see extensive coverage of the 2014 season, with more than 100 matches set to air on BTN and BTN Plus, with additional matches on ESPN2 and ESPN3. BTN will televise 27 contests, while at least 82 matches are scheduled to appear on BTN Plus.  BTN’s coverage began this past weekend and will continue to broadcast live matches through the end of November on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Built into the schedule are four wildcard dates, allowing BTN to select matchups near the end of the Big Ten’s regular season. ESPN2 and ESPN3 will carry three Big Ten contests this season.  For a look at the complete broadcast schedule, click here.

[SIX // three men’s teams, standouts recognized by soccer america]
Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State are ranked among the top 25 of the Soccer America men’s soccer preseason poll, released on Wednesday. The Terrapins, who also topped the Big Ten preseason coaches' poll, led the way at No. 5, followed by No. 12 Michigan State and No. 15 Penn State.  In addition, Penn State's Andrew Wolverton and Maryland's Zack Steffan and Dan Metzger gained recognition as Soccer America 2014 Preseason Men's All-Americans.

[SEVEN // men’s soccer makes headlines in opening week]
Big Ten men's soccer posted 11 wins and three ties in 17 matches this past weekend for a combined 11-4-3 record.  Among the highlights, No. 2 Maryland stopped No. 14 Louisville 1-0 on Friday, while unranked Indiana tied No. 9 Georgetown.  On Sunday, the Hoosiers responded to upset No. 12 Marquette.  Four B1G teams – Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers – opened with perfect 2-0-0 records, with Indiana trailing with an unbeaten record of 1-0-1.

[EIGHT // another impressive week for big ten women’s soccer]
Big Ten women’s soccer teams combined for a 17-4-0 record this past weekend, with a 9-2 mark posted on Friday and an 8-2 result turned in on Sunday.  No. 19 Wisconsin sits atop the league standings with a 4-0-0 non-conference record, followed by Iowa, No. 8 Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan State at 3-0-0 each.  Illinois and Indiana both earned overtime victories on Sunday as the Fighting Illini topped Oakland 1-0 and the Hoosiers outlasted UC Irvine 2-1.  The wins in extra time improve the Big Ten’s record to a perfect 4-0 in overtime contests this season.


[NINE // terps field hockey leads big ten contingent in nfhca poll]
The 2014 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Preseason Poll was announced on Tuesday and six Big Ten teams were ranked among the top 20, with Maryland claiming the top spot.  Maryland is coming off its sixth consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance in 2014 and earned 22 first-place votes for the No. 1 preseason ranking. Defending Big Ten regular-season co-champions Penn State and Northwestern are ranked No. 8 and No. 14, respectively.  Michigan State, who claimed the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title, is ranked No. 16.  Michigan checked in at No. 17, while Iowa rounded out the poll at No. 20.

[TEN // field hockey above .500 in tough opening slate]
In the opening weekend of Big Ten field hockey, the conference posted a 9-8 record in a tough slate that featured at least one ranked team in 13 of the 17 contests played.  Among the highlights, top-ranked Maryland defeated No. 10 UMass 3-2 on Friday, No. 20 Iowa got past No. 11 Wake Forest 4-1 on Saturday, and No. 8 Penn State shut out No. 6 Virginia 3-0 on Sunday.  Indiana, Maryland, Penn State and Rutgers all opened 2014 a perfect 2-0, while Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern earned 1-1 splits to start.


[ELEVEN // off and running]
Six Big Ten men’s cross country teams and seven women’s squads opened the 2014 campaign this past weekend, which saw Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue field both teams, while the Maryland women’s programs was also in action.  Among the highlights across the conference, Illinois junior Alyssa Schneider won the Illini Challenge by over 20 seconds with a time of 17:43, just eight seconds off the course record.  Iowa sophomore Ben Anderson won the men's 4,000 meters in 12:30 at Drake’s Bulldog 4K Classic, while the new Kevin Sullivan coaching era got underway in Ann Arbror. A total of three women and five men placed in the top 10 for Michigan State at the 29th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial on Friday morning.  The Ohio State women’s cross country team opened its 2014 season with a dominating performance at the Dayton Flyer 5k Challenge Saturday morning with eight runners in the top 10 for a team score of 19 points.

[TWELVE // an a-maize-ing man]

Finally this week, congrats to University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein on being named as the recipient of the NCAA's Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award for the 2013-14 season.  The Frederick Award, first presented in 2009 to honor the late Kansas and Illinois State athletics director, is awarded annually to an NCAA member institution coach or administrator who exhibits a lifelong commitment to sportsmanship and ethical conduct, leading by example and promoting positive fan involvement in and out of competition.

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