Illinois: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

This is the best time of the year. This is the time of year when every team has a shot to win the Big Ten. The possibilities seem limitless, right? The games have yet to begin—heck, practices haven’t started—but great expectations loom from Minneapolis to Bloomington, and from Lincoln to State College. As a way to fuel the aforementioned enthusiasm on each campus, I will offer 10 reasons–in no particular order–to be excited for each Big Ten school. First up: Illinois.

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Retweet this: Top 7/16 tweets

Like many of us, Big Ten products are all over Twitter. They let us into their lives and put their personalities on display in 140 characters or less, and they often delight and enlighten in the process. Our goal is to present these tweets to our Big Ten fans, whether they’re on Twitter or not. See some of our favorite Big Ten-centric tweets from Monday in this post.

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Michigan, Berenson agree to 3-year extension

Michigan and ice hockey head coach Red Berenson have agreed to a three-year contract extension, director of athletics Dave Brandon announced Monday. Berenson is in the final season of his current contract, and the extension will keep him at Michigan through the 2015-16 campaign.

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Tracking Monday's top Big Ten web links

Start your week off right with some of the latest Big Ten football stories. I post my daily links every weekday morning, and you can see the complete archive here. Have a worthy link? Send it to me in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). Enjoy Monday’s sampling!

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Michigan products land on SI's Fortunate 50

A year from now, former Purdue QB Drew Brees will find his name high atop SI’s annual Fortunate 50, a list that ranks the year’s highest-earning American athletes. For this year’s list, though, former Michigan QB Tom Brady and ex-Michigan CB Charles Woodson represent the Big Ten. Brady came in at No. 26, making $22,250,000, and Woodson No. 50, earning $15,812,500.

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