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Drew Brees passes Dan Marino on NFL passing touchdowns list

Another week of NFL action, another opportunity for a former Big Ten quarterback to pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino on the all-time passing touchdowns list. One week after Tom Brady (Michigan) surpassed Marino’s 420 career scoring strikes vs. Philadelphia, Drew Brees (New Orleans) did the same Sunday afternoon in a win at Tampa Bay. Brees tossed a pair of touchdowns in the 24-17 victory to give him 421 in his brilliant career. The total trails just Peyton Manning (539), Brett Favre (508) and the aforementioned Brady (425) in NFL annals. Kind of cool that two of the four all-time

Big Ten links: Spartans honor 2000 champs, football hires & more

It was neat to see Michigan State recognize the program’s 1999-2000 national title team. It’s difficult to believe this is the last time the Big Ten has won a national championship. “The memories, they take you back to a special place,” Mateen Cleaves said. “As you get older, it gets better and better. The more and more I think back, I’m just happy to be part of something that was very special.” The group came back as Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in the country, with realistic hopes of becoming the next Spartans team to win a title. ***

BTN LiveBIG: Big Ten student-athletes shine in the classroom

If you look at the NCAA Division I rankings for any collegiate sport, chances are you’re going to see multiple Big Ten universities in the mix. They’re also well-represented in another ranking: the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American awards. The list, which came out earlier this month, measures student-athletes across all sports, as of June 2015. Eight Big Ten universities made the top 25 for all-time honorees, more than any other conference, with Nebraska coming in at No. 1. Here are the Big Ten universities that made the list: 1. Nebraska (320 all-time Academic All-Americans) 5. Penn State (189) 14. University

Best of the first month of the Big Ten men's basketball season

We’re officially one month into the 2015-16 college basketball season. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] The first month saw a lot of good, from Michigan State and Purdue’s perfect starts to Spartans star Denzel Valentine’s across-the-board individual performances. But what has been the best of the best of the opening month? BTN.com writer Sean Merriman and BTN analyst Jess Settles break down the best teams, players, coaches and more from an entertaining first month. Best team: Michigan State (11-0) The Spartans are ranked No. 1 in the

Seventeen Big Ten football stars earn 2015 AP All-America honors

The Big Ten placed 17 standouts on the 2015 AP All-America Team, released Sunday. First-teamers Taylor Decker (Ohio State), Jack Allen (Michigan State), Carl Nassib (Penn State), Desmond King (Iowa) and Vonn Bell (Ohio State) pace the Big Ten representatives. Eight Big Ten schools had at least one player recognized, headlined by Ohio State (5) and Michigan State (3). Indiana, Michigan and Iowa all had two players receive laurels. See all 17 honorees, plus the full AP All-America Team, below: FIRST TEAM Offense Quarterback — Deshaun Watson, sophomore, Clemson. Running backs — Derrick Henry, junior, Alabama; Leonard Fournette, sophomore, LSU.

Photo: Eddie George photobombs Heisman Trophy finalists

Eddie George won the 1995 Heisman Trophy, one year before Stanford do-it-all star and 2015 Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey was born. [ MORE: View the complete 2015-16 bowl schedule | Get all of our bowl coverage ] That doesn’t mean the former Ohio State and NFL standout doesn’t know how to have some fun with today’s current stars. George photobombed McCaffrey, Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson as three Heisman finalists were getting ready to board a plane to New York City for Saturday night’s announcement. @StanfordFBall captured the moment, which you can see at the top of this

Minnesota, Nebraska advance to NCAA volleyball Final Four

Minnesota and three-time NCAA champion Nebraska both recorded regional final victories Saturday to advance to next week's national semifinals at Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

BTN LiveBIG: Northwestern alum digs in on 'vetrepreneurship'

During football and basketball games, BTN LiveBIG will spotlight notable examples of research, innovation and community service from around the conference. In-Game stories will provide more background on these features, and the opportunity to view the videos again. The common stereotype on military veterans who find adjusting to civilian life difficult is they’ve seen terrible things while serving their country that the rest of us couldn’t imagine. But that’s often not the case. Many times, these vets simply can’t establish the kinds of close, reliable bonds with civilian counterparts that they had in the armed forces. “It’s one thing I

Minnesota volleyball tops Hawaii, moves on to Final Four

Minnesota’s women’s volleyball team is headed to the Final Four! [ MORE: Nebraska advances to national semifinals ] The Gophers topped Hawaii 3-1 (25-18, 25-13, 24-26, 25-21) on Saturday night to advance to its fourth Final Four since 2003, the fifth most of any team in the nation. Minnesota improves to 30-3 on the season and will face Texas in the national semifinals Thursday night in Omaha, Nebraska. Big Ten rival Nebraska joins Minnesota in the national semis, giving the Big Ten multiple teams in the Final Four for the third time in the last four years. Read more at

#BTNStandout: Watch Troy Williams' latest highlight putback

Advice for Indiana opponents: If the Hoosiers miss a long shot, make sure to get a body on Troy Williams. [ MORE: Catch up on all of Saturday’s action on our Big Ten scoreboard ] If you fail to do so, the Indiana high-flyer will do what he did vs. McNeese State on Saturday night, and what he has done so many times in his career. Williams’ latest highlight-reel putback came off a James Blackmon Jr. missed 3-pointer from the top of the arc. Williams, who was just to the right of Blackmon Jr. when the shot went up, read