We here at OTE love football, or, more accurately, love not watching football, as you all know--but we've been trying to expand our coverage of other great sports as well. Given last week's warm reception of the Big Ten volleyball rundown and the conference's phenomenal ability in this area, we've decided to bring you more regular coverage of what our talented women are up to every week. Thanks for reading!
- The big story this week was Penn State--specifically, Penn State losing two in a row. Granted, the matches were to (then) #2 Wisconsin and #4 Minnesota, so there wasn't a great deal of shame in the losses, but it's still unusual to see PSU on the wrong side of these things, especially twice in one weekend. Notably, PSU won only one set the entire weekend (against Wisconsin). The Nittany Lions are still a very good team, but this may not be another championship year--and it also speaks to the strength and depth of the Big Ten.
- Seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 25 nationally: Nebraska (#1 unanimously), Minnesota (#2), Wisconsin (#3), Penn State (#11), Michigan State (#16), Michigan (#17), and Ohio State (#22). Illinois, Iowa (!), and Purdue all received votes.
- If you didn't notice when you read that last bullet point, the Big Ten is home to the three top teams in the country. That's incredible!
- The Big Ten has seven of the nation's top ten teams in average attendance (figures via Big Ten Conference):
--Nebraska (#1) - 8,206
--Wisconsin (#3) - 5,960
--Minnesota (#4) - 4,333
--Penn State (#5) - 3,554
--Michigan State (#6) - 2,800
--Illinois (#7) - 2,622
--Purdue (#8) - 2,596
Friday, October 28:
- MSU 3, Indiana 0
- Nebraska 3, Illinois 0
- OSU 3, Maryland 0: Apparently, 3-0 was the score of the night.
- Purdue 3, Michigan 1: Michigan had a surprisingly bad weekend trip to the Hoosier State, and this was just the beginning.
- Iowa 3, Northwestern 1
- Minnesota 3, Rutgers 0
- Wisconsin 3, Penn State 1: As noted above, this was the start of a not-so-hot weekend for PSU in the upper Midwest.
Saturday, October 29:
- Indiana 3, Michigan 1: This was a pretty surprising result, as Michigan was then-#13 and Indiana one of the worst teams in the conference.
- Minnesota 3, PSU 0: Minnesota took revenge for a five-set loss earlier in October in front of a sold-out crowd.
- MSU 3, Purdue 1
- Iowa 3, Illinois 2: Another gritty performance for this year's most surprising team, the Iowa Hawkeyes. Though Illinois is unranked, they're still a solid team and this is a worthy win for Iowa.
- Nebraska 3, Northwestern 0
Sunday, October 30:
- Wisconsin 3, Rutgers 0
Wednesday, November 2
- Minnesota 3, Indiana 0
- Purdue 3, Maryland 1
- Wisconsin 3, OSU 0
Unfortunately, most of this weekend's games are only on BTN Plus (save the big one Friday night), but if you've got access to that, you can watch pretty much any of the matches.