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Dienhart: A fun look back at the BTN bus tour

Penn State Practice

Tom Dienhart's Take Away on Wisconsin

The BTN crew spent almost three weeks on the road travelling over 3,000 miles on visits to every Big Ten training camp. We saw a lot of football, talked to a lot of coaches and ate a lot of bananas and beef jerky on our super-deluxe tour bus that was tricked out with two color TVs, two fridges and Wi-Fi that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. Two cases of Red Bull and a box of Twizzlers later, I put a punctuation mark on the 2012 BTN bus tour with a fun look at our circuitous journey from Lincoln to State College—and points in between.

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Sign Here: Big Ten stars autograph BTN tour bus

Braxton Miller

Nathan Scheelhaase Fall Tour Interview

Another BTN summer football tour is in the books. On this year’s trek across the Big Ten landscape, we logged 3,035 miles in the span of 17 days, according to the always accurate @BTNStatsGuy. And at each of the 12 stops, the exterior of our tour bus received a significant upgrade, in the form of 12 autographs – one from each of the players spotlighted on the sides of the bus. See a picture of your team’s representative signing his likeness in this post, plus watch our tour interview with him.

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 running backs of BTN era

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

The Ultimate Montee Ball Highlight Reel

It’s been a fast handful of years, and on Aug. 30, BTN will officially celebrate its fifth anniversary. Crazy to think, huh? To celebrate – not to mention kill time before the season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our existence. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My second list ranks the top five running backs of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Big Ten writers' 2012 mock draft: Round 1

Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) and tight end Jacob Pedersen (48) react after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Oregon Ducks in the 2012 Rose Bowl game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Denard Robinson Kickoff Luncheon Speech

Everyone, it seems, enjoys mock drafts. And it’s easy to see why. Not only do they create interest and offer predictions, but they often elicit passionate responses. You know the complaints and arguments: that guy’s too high, this guy’s better than that guy, etc. Well, we thought it would be fun to do a 2012 Big Ten football mock draft. How does it work? We invited a writer from all 12 Big Ten teams to conduct the six-round draft, consisting of QB, WR, RB, TE, Defensive player and K.

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Big Ten coaches 'excited' for 2012? Better believe it

Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman speaks during the Big Ten media day at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Beckman and Kill

Isn’t late July great? Football is in the air, with kickoff a little more than a month away, and all the teams – even the perennial cellar dwellers – are tied for first place. Coincidentally, when coaches descend upon media days, everyone’s very excited. The Big Ten is no exception. According to The Wall Street Journal, Big Ten coaches uttered some form of the word “excited” 43 times during Thursday’s question-and-answer session at Big Ten Media Days. See who used “excited” the most in this post.

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Look Back At Our Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon Special

Kickoff Luncheon thumbnail

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Bret Bielema

We capped off our coverage of the two-day Big Ten Media and Kickoff Luncheon with the 90-minute TV show Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon Special, with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. It included various interviews and analysis from the event in Chicago. Watch a number of video clips from that Friday night show in this post.

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