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Week 9 preview: Penn State at Ohio State sounds nice

I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 9 today. This week features only four games, highlighted by Penn State’s trip to Ohio State. Get all my Week 9 storylines, top matchups and game rankings in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 ] Game of the week: Penn State at Ohio State. The Nittany Lions have to be dreading the trip to Ohio State to play an OSU team

Week 8 preview: Will one of these matchups surprise?

Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 8. This is a week light on marquee matchups, with predicted Big Ten title contenders Michigan and Ohio State taking on Indiana and Iowa, respectively, and Nebraska and Penn State on byes. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 8 in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 ] Game of the week: Minnesota’s trip to Northwestern could be interesting. Yes, this could

Dienhart: Ranking 2013 Big Ten noncon schedules

Schedule strength will become more vital beginning in 2014, when the four-team playoff is started. Why? Because a major component of the playoff team selection process figures to be schedule strength. So, cupcakes are on the way out. But, until then, many remain. Just look at the non-conference schedules. Here is my ranking of the Big Ten non-conference schedules. [ MORE: Week  1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13

Week 6 preview: Welcome to Evanston, Buckeyes

Another day, another opportunity to take an in-depth look at the 2013 football season. Today, it’s all about Week 6 in my early week-by-week series. The first week of full Big Ten play, the slate offers some intriguing battles, including Northwestern hosting Big Ten favorite Ohio State. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 6 in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 ] Game of the week: As the overwhelming Big Ten favorite, Ohio State will be the hunted all season, which can

Ex-Oklahoma State QB Lunt joining Illinois

Tim Beckman announced Tuesday that former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt has transferred to Illinois. Lunt, who will have three years of eligibility remaining, won’t be eligible to play in 2013 due to NCAA transfer rules. [ FightingIllini.com: Lunt transfers to Illinois ] “We’re thrilled that Wes has decided to come back home to the state of Illinois to play for the Fighting Illini,” Beckman said in a school release. “As he showed last season starting as a true freshman for Oklahoma State, he’s an exceptional talent and an exceptional person.” Lunt enrolled early at Oklahoma State in spring 2012

Dienhart: My Big Ten stadium rankings

Athlon Sports has another awesome list. This time, the Nashville-based company ranks the Big Ten stadiums. Yes, it’s a highly subjective list. No shock to see Ohio Stadium on top, followed by Penn State’s Beaver Stadium and Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. And it was good to see Wisconsin’s Camp Randall No. 4 over Michigan Stadium. But there are a few things I would tweak. Here are my Big Ten stadium rankings: 1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State: Loud, proud and crammed in. No place like it. 2. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska: No fan base has more passion or dedication. 3. Camp Randall Stadium,

Debate It: 2013 Big Ten tackles leader?

Tackles are an inexact science, to be sure. Teams award them differently, so it’s not always as simple as comparing Player A from School A to Player B from School B. Whatever the case, the Big Ten returns several of its top tacklers, including 2012 leader Anthony Hitchens. Who will lead the Big Ten in tackles this fall? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post. TACKLES 2012 leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124 2013 returning leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124 Tom: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State – If you thought Shazier was good last season as

Week 5 preview: Badgers-Buckeyes rule four-game slate

If Big Ten football fans have a wedding to attend this fall, they probably hope it lands on Week 5 – aka Saturday, Sept. 28. Unless, maybe, you’re an Ohio State or Wisconsin fan. The Badgers trip to the Buckeyes highlights an abbreviated four-game slate, half of which includes nonconference games (Northern Illinois at Purdue; Miami (OH) at Illinois). Get all the storylines, matchups and my rankings of Week 5 games in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 preview | Week 3 preview | Week 4 preview ] Game of the week: Wisconsin’s trip to Ohio

Week 4 preview: Spartans will try to solve Irish

I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 4 today. Being the final week before Big Ten play kicks off across the conference, the slate leaves some to be desired. That said, there are a few intriguing games, including an early Big Ten draw (Purdue at Wisconsin). Get all the storylines, matchups and my rankings of the week’s games in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 preview | Week 3 preview ] Game of the week: Michigan State at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are hot coming

Week 3 preview: Hundley v. Martinez Part II

Yes, the 2013 football season still is two-plus months away. That won’t keep me from looking ahead and taking an in-depth look at each and every week’s top matchups and storylines. I’m also offering my rankings of every week’s slate of games. Up now: Week 3, highlighted by Nebraska’s rematch vs. UCLA. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 preview ] Game of the week: No doubt, the visit from a rising UCLA program to Nebraska will be challenging. Last year’s trip to La-La Land was a nightmare for Nebraska. The Huskers allowed 653 yards in a 36-30 loss