‘Around the Big Ten’: Football National Championship, men’s basketball honors, and a hockey update

SiriusXM host Pete Pistone weighs in on the College Football Football Championship Game, basketball player honors, and the hockey season.

Pete Pistone
January 7, 2021

Ohio State’s win over Clemson puts them up against Alabama for this year’s title. (Photo: Big Ten)

In this edition of the Around the Big Ten series, SiriusXM host Pete Pistone previews the College Football Football Championship Game, shares this week’s men’s basketball player honors, and provides an update on the hockey season.

For even more news and analysis about the conference, start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SiriusXM app now.


The Ohio State Buckeyes advanced to their second College Football Playoff National Championship game with a 49-28 victory over the No. 2 Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last Friday evening in New Orleans. Justin Fields tied the school record for touchdown passes with six scores for 385 yards, while running back Trey Sermon also had another monster game, registering 252 total yards, including 191 on the ground. With the win, the Buckeyes (7-0) face No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game set for Monday, January 11, at 8pm ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL.


Minnesota’s Liam Robbins was named men’s basketball Player of the Week. The Junior center from Davenport, Iowa averaged 19.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 block per game in three contests against then-ranked No. 17/No. 18 Michigan State, then-ranked No. 6/No. 7 Wisconsin, and then-ranked No. 25/No. 20 Ohio State. In the Gophers’ 77-60 win over then-ranked No. 25/No. 20 Ohio State, Robbins led all players with 27 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while adding five blocked shots, four assists, and two steals. It was Robbins’ first time being named Player of the Week, but he was the second straight Golden Gopher to be recognized as teammate Marcus Carr took the award the week prior.

Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson earned Rookie of the Week honors after his stellar play. The 7’1” center kept the Wolverines unbeaten, averaging 22.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in wins over Maryland and then-ranked No. 19/No. 22 Northwestern to help Michigan improve to 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in conference play. He registered his third double-double of the season in the team’s 84-73 win at Maryland and led Michigan with a career-high 26 points and 11 total rebounds. Dickinson shot 10-for-11 from the field (.909 pct.) and 6-for-7 from the free throw line (.857 pct.). It was his fourth Freshman of the Week honor.


Three members of the Michigan State hockey team were recognized as last week’s trio of stars. Goalie Drew DeRidder was outstanding, making 89 saves, posting a 1.91 GAA, and a .957 save percentage to help the Spartans go 1-0-1 at No. 16 Notre Dame. He made 47 stops in a 1-1 tie on Saturday, including 19 saves in the third period, before stopping 42 shots in the Spartans’ 4-3 OT win on Sunday

Senior defensemen Tommy Miller recorded two points over the weekend to help the Spartans go 1-0-1 at Notre Dame. He scored the game-winning overtime goal on Sunday and added an assist on the tying goal with 22.9 seconds to play in the third period.

Forward Tommy Apap found the back of the net in both games to help Michigan State go 1-0-1 at No. 16 Notre Dame. He also cored the Spartans’ lone goal in the 1-1 tie on Saturday, before tying the game off a deflection with 22.9 seconds to play in the third period on Sunday.