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Northwestern dreaming big after commanding win over Minnesota

Where were you the night of Oct. 6, 2013? Northwestern knows exactly where it was back then. Why shouldn’t it? The program hasn’t been the same since that infamous night—the night the music died for the Northwestern program as it slipped from relevancy.

Big Ten Football: Tom Dienhart's hot takes heading into Week 5

Big Ten action is finally here on a full-scale. And there are three interesting clashes involving West Division squads that will help set up an early pecking order in what looks like a wide-open race: Iowa at Wisconsin; Minnesota at Northwestern; Nebraska at Illinois. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats are looking to remain perfect, while the Fighting Illini are looking for a signature victory and the Huskers for some credibility.

Big Ten links: 5 teams in the Big Ten West title chase

The race to win the Big Ten West shapes up as a wild and wooly one, with five teams seemingly in the hunt (sorry, Illinois and Purdue). And the opening Saturday of full-blown Big Ten action will give us an early taste of what’s to come with three key West Division tilts: Iowa at Wisconsin; Minnesota at Northwestern; Nebraska at Illinois. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a nice breakdown of the contenders. My pick? I went with the Gophers to win the West back in August. And, I’m going to stick with them! Meanwhile, the legendary Loren Tate

Best of Week 5: All eyes will be on two Big Ten West tilts

Conference play begins in earnest, with six Big Ten games. And all eyes will be on two Big Ten West tilts that will go a long way in shaping what looks like a wide-open race: Iowa at Wisconsin and Minnesota at Northwestern. [ MORE: Week 5 scoreboard | Week 5 previews | Polls: Pick Week 5 winners | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Big Ten Mailbag | Q&A: Nate Sudfeld | Latest polls | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Best of non-conference play ] The perfect Hawkeyes are an early-season surprise, while the Badgers look to

Big Ten links: Take a spin around Thursday's notable football stories

In Thursday's spin around the headlines for Big Ten football, we look at a story that points out how Michigan's loss to Utah is looking better and better. Plus, who's running the offense at Ohio State? How serious is Wisconsin running back Corey Clement's injury? Look - great old pictures from the 1973 Penn State-Army game! Read these stories and more in our daily digest of Big Ten news.

Week 5 Big Ten Previews: Get excited, Big Ten play is here!

The first full week of Big Ten action awaits in Week 5. And all eyes will be on two Big Ten West clashes. Iowa’s trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota’s journey to Northwestern will help set a framework for what looks like a wide-open Big Ten West clash. And Nebraska goes to Illinois in a battle between two West teams looking to get a foothold in the division.

Big Ten links: Spartans' OL, Carl Nassib's breakout & more

The injuries on the Michigan State offensive line are mounting. And, it’s not a good thing, says Mike Griffith of Mlive.com. When the Spartans line up vs. Purdue, they will be missing two starters. That hasn’t happened since a 7-6 season in 2012. Tackles Jack Conklin, a flat-out stud, and Kodi Kieler will be MIA. Sophomore Dennis Finley will man left tackle with Conklin out. Donavon Clark is the right tackle with Benny McGown at right guard, typically Clark’s spot. O-line coach Mark Staten will have these guys ready. Trust me. *** I had a reader remind me this week

Big Ten Mailbag: Tom Dienhart answers your Big Ten questions

You send me emails. I answer emails—if they are good ones. Pretty simple. So, let’s enjoy another round of Big Ten Mailbag, the best part of every week. As a bonus: There even is a Vinnie Barbarino reference in this week’s bag ‘o’ mail. How lucky are you?

Nate Sudfeld: 'I think this is the most balanced team I’ve been on'

The Big Ten is filled with some surprising storylines. And one of the best is Indiana, which is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1990 as it aims for the program’s first bowl since 2007 and just its second since 1993.