Morning State Sports Briefs: Big Ten officially approves new football divisions
CHICAGO - As expected, the Big Ten officially announced a thorough overhaul of the league's divisions on Sunday, splitting the conference along geographic lines into brand-new East and West divisions in the wake of its 2012 expansion with Maryland and Rutgers.
In another expected move, the league also announced it would be moving to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. The East will be made up of traditional Big Ten powers Ohio State and Michigan -- now in the same division after a separation in the Legends/Leaders format -- along with the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins, Penn State, Michigan State and Indiana. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue make up the Big Ten West.
The University of Wisconsin football team's September 28th matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus will be played in prime time on either on ABC or ESPN. It will mark the fourth time in the last six seasons the two teams have played a night game, and the fifth time since 2003. It also marks the 9th straight year that Wisconsin has played at least one night game. Overall, Wisconsin owns a 37-25 record in night games. Dating back to 1995, the Badgers are 31-6 in their last 37 night games. Against Ohio State, Wisconsin is 2-2 in night games.
The UW-Whitewater baseball team has moved into the national Top-Five. The Warhawks jumped three places to Number-Four in this week's Division-Three poll from D3baseball.com. Whitewater is 28-5 overall, with a 10-game winning streak after going 4-0 against La Crosse during the weekend. UW-Stevens Point returned to the Top-25 this week. The Pointers are at Number-23 with a record of 24-7. Oshkosh also received votes. Linfield of Oregon remains at No. 1
Sam Koenig of UW-Milwaukee was named the baseball co-hitter-of-the-week in the Horizon League. Koenig, a junior third baseman, went 7-for-14 at the plate last week with six RBI's, five runs scored, three doubles, two walks, and a pair of stolen bases. Koenig went 4-for-4 in a win over Illinois-Chicago last Saturday. He shares the weekly league batting honors with John Loeffler of Valparaiso. Chris DeBoo of Valpo is the pitcher-of-the-week.
Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman is a candidate for the GM position with the Phoenix Suns. Weltman was considered in 2010 when the job went to the now-fired Lance Blanks. Weltman has worked alongside Bucks general manager John Hammond both in Milwaukee and in Detroit.
The Green Bay Packers continue to sign undrafted rookies after this past weekend's draft. So far, Green Bay has come to terms with:
Lane Taylor, OL, Oklahoma State
Angelo Pease, RB, Kansas State
Matt Brown, QB, Illinois State
Ben Ericksen, S, Illinois State
Gilbert Pena, DT, Mississippi
Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State
Patrick Lewis, C, Texas A&M
Miles White, WR, Louisiana Tech
Andy Mulumba, OLB/DE, Eastern Michigan
Ryan Robertson, FB, Texas
Jeremy Vujnovich, T, Louisiana College
The Packers will continue to invite undrafted players the rookie orientation camp to be held the weekend of May 10-12.
2013 Green Bay Packers Draft:
1 (26th overall) Datone Jones DE, UCLA 6-4, 283
2 (61th overall) Eddie Lacy RB, Alabama 5-11, 231
4 (109th overall) David Bakhtiari OT, Colorado 6-4 299
4 (122th overall) J.C. Tretter OG, Cornell 6-4 307
4 (125th overall) Johnathan Franklin RB, UCLA 5-10 205
5 (159th overall) Micah Hyde CB, Iowa 6-0 197
5 (167th overall) Josh Boyd DT, Mississippi State 6-3 310
6 (193th overall) Nate Palmer OLB Illinois State 6-2 248
7 (216th overall) Charles Johnson WR, Grand Valley State 6-2 215
7 (224th overall) Kevin Dorsey WR, Maryland 6-2 207
7 (232th overall) Sam Barrington ILB, South Florida 6-1 246
In the Midwest League...
Beloit 6, West Michigan 1
South Bend 6, Wisconsin 5
Lake County 7, Kane County 6 in Game-One
Lake County 4, Kane County 2 in Game-Two
Quad Cities 6, Great Lakes 1
Dayton 6, Burlington 5
Clinton 6, Fort Wayne 2
Cedar Rapids 9, Lansing 1
Bowling Green 4, Peoria 3 in 11 innings