Ferentz names Phil Parker DC, rearranges staff

Phil Parker, defensive backfield coach at Iowa the past 13 seasons, has been named defensive coordinator. In addition, Darrell Wilson and Reese Morgan will take over new assignments on the Hawkeye coaching staff. The announcement was made Tuesday by head football coach Kirk Ferentz.

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Ohio State fan? Check out Candy Painted Tees

More than likely, Ohio State football fans can rattle off the number their favorite Buckeyes wore during their college career. But what about, say, Donte Whitner’s high school number? Probably not. Well, there’s a place for that: Candy Painted Tees. A company comprised of “two longtime friends crafting original Midwest inspired designs,” according to their Twitter bio, it makes vintage shirts that feature the high school and high school number of select former Buckeyes. They’re pretty sweet. Take a look at Whitner’s shirt. And Eddie George’s.

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Dienhart: Get your Big Ten player rankings

Jared Sullinger, Draymond Green. Draymond Green, Jared Sullinger. The player on top of my weekly player rankings seemingly changes each week. And it may continue to flip-flop the rest of the month, too. For now, I have to go with Sullinger, given his sterling effort in Ohio State’s first win at Wisconsin since 2000 and the fact Green hurt his knee in a loss at Illinois.

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Dienhart: Pros & Cons of Latest Playoff Idea

News that the Big Ten is offering structure ideas for a college football playoff is good news for those who dislike a BCS system that has been in place for 14 seasons. Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported this on Monday. I take a look at the benefits and problems with this idea, but you tell me what you think in the comments box below.

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Let's Take A Quick Spin Around the Big Ten

A national playoff? Proposed by the Big Ten? Maybe the Mayans are right—the world will come to an end in 2012. Until then, enjoy all the Big Ten news that’s fit to be linked to. Isn’t life great? My, my, how the times are changing: The Big Ten is mulling the idea for national four-team grid playoff, writes Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. So here’s my take on that.

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‘Icons’ Continues with Illinois’ Lou Henson

Illinois Fighting Illini former head coach Lou Henson

Big Ten Icons: Lou Henson

Illinois’ legendary Lou Henson, who won 423 games in 21 seasons as the Illini head basketball coach, is profiled Thursday in a new episode of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover. Hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson, the show airs at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET, following the Illinois-Indiana men’s basketball game.

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Big Ten softball season opens Thursday

The 2012 Big Ten softball season is set to begin this week with 10 teams taking to the diamond on the opening weekend of play. Nebraska opens the season on Thursday, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State begin on Friday, and Minnesota opens its season on Saturday. Wisconsin begins the new year on Feb. 17, and Purdue opens its season on Feb. 18.

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