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Big Ten links: On Maryland hire, Rutgers' prospects & more

With D.J. Durkin off to coach Maryland, Michigan needs a defensive coordinator. Mlive.com has some names. Hey, Greg Mattison is still on staff. He was DC under Brady Hoke and did a nice job. Jim Leavitt? I like it. He was on Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the 49ers. An intense and smart coach who oozes passion. On the subject of Durkin, who was introduced has head coach on Thursday in College Park, was his hire a risk? Sure it was. All hires are. They guy never has been a head coach. And he has no ties to the east. A lot

BTN LiveBIG: Purdue professors have 'grape' expectations for start-up

With water shortages in California and other western states threatening the viability of wineries there, it was probably just a matter of time before an enterprising team devised a system to better manage grape-growing operations amid those changing conditions. And indeed, a group recently established VinSense LLC to do exactly that. But what’s surprising is where it’s based — on the campus of Purdue University, right in the middle of corn country. Why Purdue? The answer begins with David Ebert, Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the university and co-founder and chief technology officer at VinSense. An

Watch 10 memorable plays from previous Big Ten title games

Ahead of Saturday's Big Ten Football Championship between Iowa and Michigan State (8:17 p.m. ET on Fox), we dug into our archives and pulled some amazing plays from the previous four Big Ten championship games. Watch them all in this post and then tell us what you think.

@BTNStatsGuys: 5 stat facts for the Big Ten Championship

With history on the line and the tension palpable, here are five facts to keep in mind when you tune in for the Big Ten Championship Game this weekend at 8:17 p.m. ET on Fox. Our pregame show starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go before switching to FOX at 7:30 p.m. for the remainder of the pregame and the game broadcast. Then come back to BTN for extensive postgame coverage.

Top Big Ten football, basketball coach, athletic director trios

December is here, which means the college football season is coming to a close and basketball is in full swing. [ MORE: Track all of our 2015 Big Ten Championship coverage ] The Big Ten is set to crown a conference champion in football this weekend as Iowa takes on Michigan State in the fifth annual Big Ten title game. The winner of that game will likely punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff. In basketball, three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 11 in the country, as two of them (Michigan State and Purdue) remain unbeaten.

Count 'em up: Our look at the Iowa vs. Michigan State numbers

What's Iowa QB C.J. Beathard's record as a starter? What is Kirk Ferentz's record against Michigan State? What's Mark Dantonio's record against Iowa? And what was the final score the last time these two teams met? Bonus number: They last played in 2013, and we've got the highlight video to prove it.

Big Ten Championship Previews: Iowa's three defining games

Ahead of Saturday’s big game, I look back at what I believe were Iowa’s three defining games. See the games and relive the highlights in the post below.   Remember: Big Ten West champ Iowa and Big Ten East champ Michigan State will meet in the 2015 Big Ten Football Championship Game at 8:17 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. BTN coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with extensive postgame coverage after the game. 1. Sept. 19. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi tried to ice Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn, but it didn’t work. Koehn

Big Ten Championship Previews: Michigan State's three defining games

Michigan State pulled together another strong football season. As the Spartans head into Saturday’s big game, I lay out what I believe are Michigan State’s three defining games in 2015. See the games and relive the highlights in the post below. Remember: Big Ten West champ Iowa and Big Ten East champ Michigan State will meet in the 2015 Big Ten Football Championship Game at 8:17 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. BTN coverage starts at 6:30 p.m. ET with extensive postgame coverage after the game. 1. Sept. 12. Michigan State waited a