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Big Ten football beat writers pick players to watch in 2016

With the 2015 college football regular season complete and the start of Big Ten bowl season less than a week away, it’s time to relive the season from the perspective of Big Ten beat writers. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] BTN.com recently asked a beat writer for every team to answer the same four questions, as part of our annual beat writers’ season recap. Today’s final topic: Players to watch

Big Ten Mailbag: C.J. Beathard, OSU defense, Purdue hoops & more

It’s that time of the week when I reach into my Big Ten Mailbag. And with basketball season heating up, hoops emails have started to hit my inbox. Can anyone catch Michigan State? Is Purdue OK? There are football questions, too. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] You say that Iowa QB C.J. Beathard did not “wow.” What? He did pretty darn well. He was second in completion percentage. And he

Ex-Badgers QB Russell Wilson in thick of historic five-game run

No NFL quarterback, past or present, has had a five-game span more impressive than former Wisconsin star and current Seattle Seahawks stud Russell Wilson. [ MORE: ‘You like that’ chants growing louder for Kirk Cousins ] Look at these numbers: 74 percent (110-of-148), 1,420 yards, 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions. That’s an average of 284 yards and 3.8 touchdowns through the air, once again, all without a single interception. He’s also made an impact on the ground during the last handful of games (147 yards, 1 TD). Wilson is no stranger to compiling ridiculous numbers; in fact, in 2011, his

Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson to retire

Charles Woodson's return to Oakland began with hundreds of fans gathering at the team's facility urging him to come back. The second stint will come to an end following an emotional farewell at the Oakland Coliseum.

Cotton Bowl preview: Spartans, Tide play for title game berth

This is an interesting playoff matchup pitting former Michigan State coach Nick Saban vs. Mark Dantonio, a one-time Saban aide in East Lansing. When these teams line up, it will be like looking in a mirror. Both have tough, physical offenses built on punching defenses in the nose with the running game. And the defenses for each team are anchored by two of the best lines in the nation. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of

Dienhart: Here's a look back at Northwestern's 2015 season

When 2015 dawned, questions loomed over Northwestern. The Wildcats went 10-3 in 2012, winning their first bowl since the 1948 season. But consecutive 5-7 seasons followed. Could Pat Fitzgerald get a program seemingly rocked by a highly-publicized effort to unionize back on track? On the field, had Northwestern gone soft? All is well now in the wake of a 10-win season and a New Year’s Day bowl trip as one of the most surprising teams not just in the Big Ten—but in the nation. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls |

Big Ten links: Purdue football complex, Michigan's new DC & more

Good news at Purdue, where the Board of Trustees approved funds for a much-needed football performance complex. The state-of-the-art football performance complex will significantly enhance the football student-athlete experience. In addition to the first-class amenities, having all of them located in one facility will result in more efficient use of the student-athletes’ time. Currently, football-related facilities are housed in multiple buildings. *** Never thought I’d look to the Minnesota punter for holiday inspiration. But Peter Mortell sets quite a standard. Last December, all Minnesota players received a $452 Best Buy gift card for playing Missouri in the Citrus Bowl. Mortell

Power Rankings: Ohio State ascends four spots after UK win

It’s the final week of non-conference play. That’s right, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Big Ten conference season tips off. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Big Ten award winners | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] Before the games really start to count, and before you check out for the holiday break, it’s time to share my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Editor’s note: All records are through Sunday, Dec. 20 action. See my latest list below: 1. Michigan State (12-0). Tom Izzo is still working

Big Ten football beat writers pick most valuable players

With the 2015 college football regular season complete and the start of Big Ten bowl season less than a week away, it’s time to relive the season from the perspective of Big Ten beat writers. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] BTN.com recently asked a beat writer for every team to answer the same four questions, as part of our annual beat writers’ season recap. Today’s topic: Most valuable players. Previously,