Latest Brent Yarina News

Bret Bielema tweets Danny O'Brien Week 1 starter

Thanks to Twitter, we now know who Wisconsin’s starting quarterback is. Bret Bielema hit the social media site Sunday night to announce Danny O’Brien as his Week 1 starter. The tweet read: “Also had so many questions about our QB situation that want everyone to know we are going to start Danny O’Brien in our opener against UNI.”

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 QBs of BTN era

Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fourth list ranks the top five quarterbacks of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Iowa to experiment with new Riddell 360 helmet in 2012

There’s no such thing as too much safety when it comes to football helmets. Helmet manufacturers work tirelessly on developing the latest technologies to prevent concussions and all forms of head trauma, and Riddell’s newest helmet, The Riddell 360, might be the best yet. One Big Ten team, Iowa, already has invested in the state-of-the-art lid that received a 5-star rating in Virginia Tech’s latest helmet protection study. See a picture of Iowa’s Riddell 360 helmet in this post.

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 Tight Ends of BTN era

BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My third list ranks the top five tight ends of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 running backs of BTN era

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

The Ultimate Montee Ball Highlight Reel

It’s been a fast handful of years, and on Aug. 30, BTN will officially celebrate its fifth anniversary. Crazy to think, huh? To celebrate – not to mention kill time before the season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our existence. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My second list ranks the top five running backs of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Michigan QB Denard Robinson to be SI cover boy

If you subscribe to Sports Illustrated and reside in the Big Ten footprint, chances are, you’ll see Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in you mailbox this week. The popular magazine is releasing five regional covers to preview the season, and Robinson is one of five quarterbacks featured. He joins Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, USC’s Matt Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith as cover boys. @SInow tweeted a picture of the covers, and you can see it in this post.

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Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman gets Tuck-like facemask

Not quite at Justin Tuck’s level yet, Minnesota junior Ra’Shede Hageman’s new facemask is certain to garner its share of attention this season. It won’t be the only thing drawing your eye to the mammoth defensive lineman, though, because he’s a popular breakout candidate. In fact, BTN analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Tom Dienhart gushed about the 6-6, 301-pound talent when they saw him at Minnesota practice last week. See the picture of Hageman’s new facemask in this post.

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SI.com preseason poll features five Big Ten teams

Another preseason top 25 poll was released Wednesday afternoon, but unlike previous ones, it doesn’t have Michigan as the highest-ranked Big Ten team. It has the Wolverines ranked third among Big Ten teams, in fact. Evidently, SI.com is higher on Wisconsin and Michigan State, which it has ranked No. 6 and No. 8, respectively. Michigan comes in at No. 13, while Nebraska (No. 19) and Ohio State (No. 22) round out the Big Ten contingent.

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Did You See This? Young Spartan fan eyes hero

Big Ten football players probably think the autograph requests can get a little out of hand at times. Should they feel this way, they need to take a look at a photo taken Tuesday at the 10th annual “Meet the Spartans.” The Michigan State Athletics Facebook page posted a photo gallery from Tuesday’s event, and one of the pictures features a young Michigan State fan looking on in awe as his football is signed. See the picture in this post and view the entire gallery.

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 wide receivers of BTN era

Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My first list ranks the top five wide receivers of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Sneak peek: First look at Penn State nameplates

As it was announced last week, Penn State is adding nameplates to the back of its jerseys for the first time in program history. The Nittany Lions also will wear a blue ribbon on their uniform to support all victims of child abuse. @PennStateFball tweeted a picture of the road jersey nameplates Tuesday afternoon. See the photo in this post, plus a video of the home nameplates being prepared.

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Did You See This? Gophers go paintballing

Coaches go to great measures trying to build team camaraderie. Second-year Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill recently approved a fun and enjoyable team building activity that could only make the team grow closer. The Gophers went paintballing Sunday. And goldengophergridiron’s YouTube page has a video from the event. See the full feature in this post.

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Wisconsin RB Montee Ball signs the BTN tour bus

The BTN tour bus just became an even bigger fan attraction. On Monday, the tour hit Madison, meaning it was time for 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball to sign his likeness on our bus. If you haven’t seen the bus, either in pictures or on the road, it features one Big Ten player from every team. Ball, of course, represents Wisconsin, the two-time defending Big Ten champs.

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Did You See This? Anthony Adams hits the hardwood

Suffering from a case of the Mondays? You’re in luck, because former Penn State defensive linemen and current NFL free agent Anthony Adams is here to entertain. In a recently uploaded YouTube video, Adams takes his mammoth figure to the basketball court, where he delights with his self-deprecating humor. The video is part of a series called “Stuff NFL Free Agents Say,” and it’s pretty memorable. Watch the entire video in this post.

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Lunardi: 7 Big Ten teams dancing in first Bracketology

It’s the middle of August, the college football season hasn’t started, and ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has released his first Bracketology. All kidding aside, Big Ten fans will like Lunardi’s prognostications, as he has seven Big Ten teams dancing, which ties the Big East for the most in the field.

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Nebraska tradition put on hiatus due to helium shortage

Ever since 1940s, Nebraska has released Big Red balloons into the sky following the Huskers’ first touchdown at Memorial Stadium. The tradition will live to see one more day, in the 2012 opener against Southern Miss, but it will be put on indefinite hiatus until a global helium shortage is solved. According to Huskers.com, the team will release 2,000 to 2,500 balloons – compared to the usual 4,000 to 5,000 – if and when the Huskers score their first touchdown Sept. 1 to give fans one last photo op.

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Illinois product Deron Williams wins gold medal

Make it two-time gold medal winner Deron Williams. The former Illinois and current Brooklyn Net point guard helped Team USA capture the gold medal with a 107-100 victory over Spain on the final day of the 2012 London Olympics. The gold medal marks Team USA and Williams’ second consecutive Olympic championship, and it makes Williams the first Big Ten men’s basketball player ever to win multiple gold medals. See a photo of Williams and his two gold medals in this post.

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Did You See This? Illinois' Tim Beckman takes ice bath

It was a hard days work for Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on Friday. Or perhaps, he really felt like bonding with standout linebacker Jonathan Brown. Either way, the first-year head coach capped Friday’s practice with a plunge in the ice bath. No joke. And from the picture @IllinoisFootball tweeted, it sure seemed as though Beckman enjoyed the cold temperatures. See the photo in this post.

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The next Bob Sanders: Iowa's Nico Law?

Iowa's Nico Law

Nico Law Defense - Iowa Spring Game

Iowa’s Nico Law owns 11 career tackles. Eleven! But with a name like Nico Law and the ability to obliterate opponents, statistics aren’t needed to garner attention. Especially during preseason camp. The sophomore safety has impressed so much this summer, some in the Iowa football program are comparing him to Iowa legend Bob Sanders. Yes, that Bob Sanders, the three-time All-Big Ten first-team honoree. The comparisons may be a bit premature, but there’s no denying he’s a hard-hitting safety.

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New Purdue train logo featured on football jerseys

Not a great photo, by any means, but this is the only look I’ve seen of the much-debated new Purdue train logo on the football jersey. Back in April, the logo change was a hugely popular topic. And let’s just say, not many Boiler fans were happy with the tweaks Nike made. Well, they’re going to have to get used to it, because it’s displayed at the bottom of the collar, just like the old logo, sandwiched in between the new “B1G” patch and the Nike swoosh.

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B1G stars make SI.com's preseason All-America Team

SI.com released its 2012 Preseason All-America Team on Thursday, and a half-dozen Big Ten players made the original cut (Update: Michigan State CB Johnny Adams was added due to the dismissal of LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu). Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, Wisconsin left tackle Ricky Wagner and Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short earned first-team honors to headline the Big Ten representatives.

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Penn State adds #OneTeam sign to sideline

The changes keep coming at Penn State. The latest example is a new sign on the team’s sideline, with the Twitter hash tag #OneTeam. Penn State opens the season Sept. 1 vs. Ohio, and this sign is hardly the only thing that will be different from last season. Earlier this week, Penn State also announced it will have new uniforms for the 2012 season. @KevinOnCFB tweeted a picture of the new sign Thursday morning, and you can see it and other Penn State media day coverage in this post.

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Michigan LB Kenny Demens explains practice shorts

A few days ago, the shorts (short-pants?) Auburn wore at practice, forced me to look at some of the new fashion trends across Big Ten football practices. At the time, I didn’t see anything as old-school as Auburn’s look. Then, on Thursday, MGoVideo posted a YouTube video that featured Michigan linebacker in a pair of shorts that would make John Stockton very proud. See a picture of the shorts and watch the entertaining feature, as well, in this post.

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Did You See This? MLB star Alex Rodriguez visits Michigan

In town playing Detroit, injured New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez toured Michigan’s new basketball Player Development Center on Wednesday. Not exactly sure of the connection, but here’s something we’re pretty confident about: Yankee teammate and Ohio State product Nick Swisher was nowhere near Ann Arbor and will have some choice words for the three-time AL MVP. See Michigan Basketball’s Facebook page’s picture of Rodriguez with the basketball staff in this post.

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