Fighting Illini

Indiana rolls, Illinois falls in regional action

Sam Travis homered to help power Indiana past Austin Peay 15-6 on Saturday night and into the regional title game. Scott Donley and Michael Basil each drove in four runs for the Hoosiers (45-14), who will play the winner of Sunday afternoon’s elimination game between Valparaiso and Austin Peay.

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Parr smacks two homers, leads Illinois past Ga. Tech

Jordan Parr belted two home runs and Kevin Duchene set an Illinois school record in No. 3 Illinois’ 6-4 win over No. 2 Georgia Tech in the first round of the Nashville Regional. Duchene (9-1) struck out five and allowed three runs over seven quality innings to earn his ninth victory, marking the most wins ever by an Illini freshman.

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Dienhart: Here's how I rank Big Ten defensive lines

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcats Force Sack-Fumble to Seal Win

The biggest difference between the SEC and Big Ten isn’t speed at the skill-positions on offense. Nope. It’s on defense—along the line, in particular. The Big Ten has some big fellas who can make plays and get up the field—just not the depth and breadth of the SEC. But, the situation is improving. Here is my ranking of the Big Ten defensive lines.

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Dienhart: Let's rank Big Ten offensive lines

Taylor Lewan

Taylor Lewan Staying at Michigan

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It all begins up front. Ask any coach. Without good blockers, skill talent is diminished—and offenses flounder. The Big Ten has some potentially strong blocking units, which has hopes high in several precincts. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten offensive lines, starting with two of the conference’s biggest powerhouse programs.

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Which school had best 2012-13 B1G athletic year?

This is interesting. From the, here is the composite Big Ten 2012-13 standings, showing the average finish among each school’s men’s and women’s teams. A big year for Michigan, which is on a roll. The Wolverines took Big Ten titles in softball, men’s gymnastics, women’s cross country, women’s tennis and men’s swimming. Wait until the football team really gets it going.

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Dienhart: Huskers pace Big Ten receiving corps

Kenny Bell

Kenny Bell 30 Yard Touchdown

When you think of Nebraska, you don’t typically think of receivers. You think ground-pounding offenses that play physical football behind big lines and star running backs. Well, this year’s edition of the Cornhuskers has some very good receivers. In fact, it’s the best collection in the Big Ten. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten receiving units.

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Dienhart: Which Big Ten team tops our RB ratings?

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA;Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) catches a pass on the way to a 57 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

James White Interview


The Big Ten lost its top two rushers in Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. And Nebraska standout Rex Burkhead also is gone. But most of the conference’s other top running backs are back. Here is how I rank the Big Ten running back units, and it’s my latest look at how the various football teams units stack up by position. Read the others right here. Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments below, email me about here, or track me down on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).

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