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3:05 PMW. Michigan at Michigan St.Watch
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Illinois adds Juice Williams to football staff

Tim Beckman announced Wednesday that former Illini quarterback Juice Williams is joining his staff as director of alumni and former player relations. Williams broke Illinois records for career and single-season total offense, career starts by a quarterback and career and single-season rushing yards by a quarterback while leading the Fighting Illini to the 2008 Rose Bowl. “We are extremely excited to bring Juice Williams back to the Fighting Illini football family in Champaign,” Beckman said. “Obviously, Juice’s record as a very special player here at Illinois speaks for itself, but he will now be in a position to help continue

BTN experts discuss early signing day idea

On Tuesday’s #BTNLive show Mike Hall, Gerry DiNardo and Stanley Jackson had a length discussion examining the positives and negatives of an early signing period in college football. Right now, prospects can’t sign a letter of intent with any school until the first Wednesday in February, a day when football offices are busy and fans track every announcement. If an early signing period were to be established, high school players wouldn’t have to wait until February and could make their verbal commitments official at an earlier date. Watch DiNardo, a former coach, and Jackson, a former player, discuss the ramifications

Sorry, Coach Saban: 10-second rule is tabled

Thank goodness the 10-second rule proposal was tabled. You see: Alabama’s Nick Saban doesn’t always get his way. The proposed change—made in the name of player safety and trumpeted by Saban–would have put the brakes on those fun, fast-paced offenses that have become the rage in college football. Instead, the NCAA Football Rules Committee has tabled the directive one day before the NCAA’s 11-member playing rules oversight panel was slated to vote to make the proposal a rule for 2014. The Big Ten school that would have been impacted the most by this change would have been Indiana, where Kevin

Dienhart: Watch QB & defense at Illinois this spring

Year Three of the Tim Beckman era is about to dawn. And the picture in Champaign is still fuzzy. Is Illinois a program on the rise? The good news: Illinois ended a dubious 20-game Big Ten losing streak last season. The bad news: Progress has made glacial tangible progress under Beckman, who is 6-18 overall in two years and 1-15 in the Big Ten. Last year offered some glimmers of hope with the offense showing life under new coordinator Bill Cubit, whose attack ranked No. 5 in the Big Ten (426.7 ypg). But overall, the first two seasons have been

#BTNLive crew debates Friday night football games

Earlier this week, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart wrote a piece about Big Ten football games being played on Friday nights. The idea generated plenty of feedback from Big Ten fans across the country. Some fans were in favor of the idea, but the majority were against it, which can be seen by reading Dienhart’s weekly mailbag. [ MORE: Friday night football? There are ‘lots of possibilities ] On Thursday’s edition of #BTNLive, Rick Pizzo, Glen Mason and Gerry DiNardo sounded off on the idea in a roundtable discussion. “I think if you’re going to play a Friday night game,

Mailbag: Big Ten football on Friday night?

Talk of the Big Ten considering the possibility of playing some Friday night football games has created a buzz. I wrote a story about it earlier this week. In the two-and-a-half years I’ve been doing this job, I never have gotten as much email on a subject. It’s not even close. And, judging by the majority of your correspondence, the idea of Friday night football doesn’t have great appeal for fear of the high school game being impacted. Still opinions vary. Have a look. [ MORE: Friday night football? There are ‘lots of possibilities’ ] Wanna really think outside the

NFL Combine Q&A: Charles Davis on Big Ten prospects

The NFL Combine wrapped up earlier this week. And the Big Ten was represented well as players tried to impress for the 2014 draft. I talked to NFL Network analyst Charles Davis to get his thoughts on some of the top Big Ten talent that was on display in Indianapolis. Last year, just one Big Ten player was selected in the first round when Wisconsin center Travis Frederick went at No. 31 to the Dallas Cowboys. Count on more Big Ten names getting drafted in the first round this year when the NFL Draft starts May 8 through May 10

#BTNLive poll: What about Friday night football?

Earlier this week, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart wrote about an idea being kicked around where Big Ten football games could be played on Friday nights. Tonight on #BTNLive at 6 p.m. our crew will discuss this very topic, and they’re asking you to vote on the idea, too. The response to the idea on Dienhart’s post was strong – you can read the comments at the bottom here. Most of those readers not in favor of the idea didn’t want a college game to conflict with high school football, traditionally played on Friday nights. Tonight’s show hosts are Rick Pizzo, Gerry

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,”