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Fighting Illini

Russell Wilson

Which former B1G player would make a good owner?

Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson, a former star at Wisconsin, recently told The Wall Street Journal that he would like to be an owner of a professional sports team one day, whether it’s baseball, football, or maybe even both. “For me, I’d love to get around to as many people as I can,” Wilson said. “Because at the end of the day, I want to learn as much as I can so that way, in my future — down the road after playing 20 years hopefully for the Seahawks — I can do that.” Here he is doing that

Video: Illini's Austin Teitsma appears on The Ellen Show

The Ellen Show was on the Illinois campus for a segment Monday, and Illini defensive lineman Austin Teitsma made a cameo in the episode, which aired Wednesday afternoon. Ellen had asked Illinois students to dress up as their favorite movie character. Teitsma chose Will Ferrell’s Buddy The Elf, while a couple of the others selected “Wilson,” the volleyball from Cast Away, and The Joker, who won the contest. Watch the whole segment in this post. [ MORE: Video: Go directly to Austin Teitsma’s costume, impression ] “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear,”

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night football? There are 'lots of possibilities'

Talk about night football games continues to churn to the point where Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is soliciting input about playing Friday night games. Hey, it’s all about the almighty TV dollar, in case you didn’t know. We have seen some schools in recent years play season-opening games on Friday nights, including Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan State. ESPN currently airs games on Friday nights, but they typically are unappealing contests from lesser leagues. San Jose State vs. Utah State doesn’t really move the needle, if you know what I mean. The Big Ten could step in and own Friday

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Gerry DiNardo sounds off on unionization efforts

There is a movement afoot to unionize Northwestern football players, with on-going hearings taking place on the subject in Chicago. The NU players are being supported by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA). And former Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter is spearheading the cause, having already testified before the National Labor Relations Board. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald testified today. I talked to BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo—a former head coach at Vanderbilt, LSU and Indiana–about the unionization effort. [ MORE: Dienhart: Football player union case worth watching ] Here is DiNardo in his own words (read more on his Twitter timeline, @gerrydinardo):


Tonight: Big Ten commits appear on #BTNLive

We have a number of special guests in the studio for tonight’s “#BTNLive” and Big Ten football fans will want to get to know them. On tonight’s show hosted by Rick Pizzo, Glen Mason, and Howard Griffith, we talk to nine Chicago area high school football players who have committed to play for Big Ten football teams next fall. Here’s the list of players on tonight’s show at 6 p.m. ET: TE Ian Bunting – Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, IL) Michigan RB Matt Domer – Mount Carmel (Chicago, IL) Illinois OL Jamarco Jones – De La Salle (Chicago, IL) Ohio State

Connor Cook

Big Ten coaches critique proposed rule change

The college football world is abuzz with the recent NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal to recommend a change that will allow defensive units to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, with the exception of the final two minutes of each half, starting with the 2014 season. Some think the rule is horrible, that it is intended to slow down these exciting spread/no-huddle offenses that work at a fast pace. Schools like Oregon and Texas A&M are among the best at running such offenses. In the Big Ten, Kevin Wilson has made Indiana competitive with a

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

36 Big Ten prospects competing at NFL Combine

It’s February, and the Super Bowl is over. But that doesn’t mean the NFL is finished. Up next is the Combine, which will take place in Indianapolis from February 22-25. The official invite list is out, which includes 85 underclassmen. As for schools, Ohio State and Wisconsin lead the way for the Big Ten with six invites each. Check it all out here. [ MORE: Big Ten to lose just four stars early to NFL Draft ] Here is’s complete list of players invited to the combine. Illinois Jonathan Brown Indiana Cody Latimer Iowa: 5 Conor Boffeli C.J. Fiedorowicz

Ranking Big Ten schools on recruiting appeal

I was on a radio show in Omaha today and was asked to rank the top five Big Ten schools on their recruiting appeal. That got me thinking about how I would rank the schools 1-12 based on what they have to offer from a recruiting standpoint. Here is a fun, interesting exercise with Signing Day in our rear-view mirror. [ MORE: What’s the success rate of Big Ten recruits ] 1. Ohio State. Urban Meyer has the complete package to sell to prospects: incredible facilities, great fans, bottomless resources fueled by a vault of money, boffo tradition, massive recruiting

Urban Meyer

Big Ten links: Signing Day reviews rolling in

The dust has settled on National Signing Day. Have you recovered from the frenzy? Ohio State was the big winner. No surprise. Urban Meyer has loads of momentum and mojo. In fact, he’s three for three when it comes to winning Big Ten recruiting titles. Now, he just needs to win his first on-field championship. That may be coming this fall. The cool thing about Meyer: He admits recruiting rankings matter to him. Kinda nice to see a coach publicly say that. And know this: No one finishes like the “Urbanator.” He’s the ultimate deal-closer. [ MORE: Read all of

Shilique Calhoun

What's the success rate of Big Ten recruits?

National Singing Day was Wednesday, and that means we now know where the nation’s top players will be playing college football. The Big Ten has secured plenty of big-name recruits over the years, but have they all lived up to the hype? Here is a breakdown of every top-ranked recruit from each Big Ten school over the past three seasons, as well as a recruit from each school who wasn’t ranked as a highly-touted recruit, but played like one on the field. [ MORE: Dienhart: All of the best from 2014 signing day ] Iowa Who was a top recruit: