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2014 preseason All-Big Ten Freshman Team

Our BTN Summer Bus Tour is officially in the books. After visiting 14 Big Ten schools in 17 days, senior writer Tom Dienhart received plenty of insight and got an inside look into what to expect in the upcoming 2014 college football season. One of the biggest takeaways from the tour is that we should expect to see several impact freshman in the Big Ten this season. With Dienhart’s help, as well as some of the top Big Ten football media minds, here is a look at my preseason Big Ten all-freshman team. Get our football tour coverage: OFFENSE

Players on the rise? Here's Tom Dienhart's list!

With the 2014 BTN bus tour in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look back at my team-by-team player on the rise. These are the players who have a bright future. They might not be a star or consistent regular this fall, but you should learn their names and get to like their games. Get Tom Dienhart’s latest coverage: Illinois: LB T.J. Neal. The sophomore linebacker looks good in the middle of the defense. I could see him getting 100 tackles. Indiana: LB Marcus Oliver. When I asked a defensive assistant what players he liked, he looked up

Dienhart's best of the 2014 BTN bus tour

The BTN bus traveled almost 4,000 miles, beginning in Bloomington, Ind., on Aug. 4 and ending in Champaign, Ill., on Aug. 20. We have kicked the tires on all 14 teams one last time—watching practice, talking to players, talking to coaches–before the season kicks off next week. Deep breath! Here is my best of the 2014 BTN bus tour. Get our football tour coverage: [ MORE: Get all of our tour coverage | See all of Dienhart’s Instagram videos ] BEST CAMPUSES 1. Penn State. You just can’t beat the backdrop of Mount Nittany on this hilly, bucolic campus. If

Football Tour: Dienhart's best from Illinois

Illinois is looking to continue progress in Year Three under Tim Beckman. Seven starters are back on offense; nine on defense. The offense remains ahead of the defense. In fact, this could become an upper-level Big Ten attack with freshly-minted starting quarterback Wes Lunt at the controls. The defense is burdened with making the most improvement. Beckman has fortified a roster that was lacking talent, so there appears to be hope. The starters look good. Depth? It is shaky. Get our latest football tour coverage: Here are my thoughts from Illinois practice. BEST OF ILLINOIS PRACTICE Most impressive player: QB

Twitter: Our experts' takes from Illinois practice

Our annual summer football is coming to a close. But not before our crew takes in Illinois practice Wednesday. Get’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine and Gerry DiNardo’s tweets from practice in this post. Get our latest football tour coverage: GERRY DINARDO BTN Bus Tour #ILLINI The 3 teams that made the most improvement from Spring Practice to Camp RU, Minn, Illinois — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) August 20, 2014 BTN Bus Tour #ILLINI Another team building on offense first much like IU, NU, PU. But Defense catching up. — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) August 20, 2014 BTN Bus Tour #ILLINI

Illinois names Wes Lunt starting quarterback

Illinois coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday on BTN Live that Wes Lunt will be the starting quarterback for the Fighting Illini. The full interview with Beckman can be seen on tonight’s edition of BTN Live at 6 p.m. ET. Lunt won a three-way battle to replace Nathan Scheelhaase, beating out senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey. Lunt is a 6-5, 215-pound sophomore who sat out last season after transferring from Oklahoma State. Lunt widely was considered to be the leading contender to win the job. He has a strong arm and advanced pocket presence. Lunt also is a good

Illinois camp preview: Is the defense better?

Tim Beckman made improvement from Year One to Year Two, going from 2-10 (0-8) to 4-8 (1-7). Can he build on that? The offense offers hope, as the hiring of coordinator Bill Cubit prior to last season sparked the attack. And the unit will be fortified by seven returning starters. The key to big improvement will hinge on the defense, which has nine starters back. How bad was it last year? The Fighting Illini ranked 104th in the nation in scoring defense (35.4 ppg); 116th in rush defense (238.6 ypg); 81st in pass defense (242.9 ypg) and 110th overall (481.5

Video: Jim Delany does ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? How about having a freezing cold bucket of water dumped over your head, while also donating to a good cause? Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany did just that as he took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Tuesday outside of the conference office. Delany was challenged by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. [ MORE: Watch Big Ten personalities take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ] Before having buckets of ice water poured over his head, Delany challenged BTN president Mark Silverman, as well as ESPN’s Burke Magnus. Watch’s Delany’s ALS

Dienhart's Diary: Next best thing to being on the bus senior writer Tom Dienhart is trying something new this year on our annual football tour. At each of the 14 practices across Big Ten country, Dienhart will pen a quick diary post. From Indiana, the first stop, to Illinois, the 14th and final stop, our expert will provide plenty of fun behind-the-scenes updates. Get our latest football tour coverage: AUG. 18: NEBRASKA Bus tracker: Minneapolis to Lincoln – 430 miles (2,923) Lincoln, Neb., is one of my top stops. I love the passion of the community. In fact, I don’t think any Big Ten school can top the fevered mania

Ranking the top Big Ten running back duos

Our BTN tour bus stopped in Madison, Wis., Friday to take in Wisconsin camp. While watching practice, senior writer Tom Dienhart sent out the following tweet about Wisconsin’s talented running back duo. It doesn't get much better than Corey Clement and Melvin Gordon, the best RB duo in the #B1G. #Badgers — Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) August 15, 2014 This got me thinking about the best duos in the conference. Are Gordon and Clement indeed the top duo? Get all of our latest rankings posts: Here are my rankings. 1. Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement, Wisconsin: Dienhart got it