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How about a 10-game Big Ten football schedule?

You may have read recently about the Big Ten considering scheduling its own league schools as “non-conference” games as a way to fill out schedules in the future. I don’t know about you, but I was a bit surprised to hear that. And, I don’t like the idea. Instead, why not just have a 10-game Big Ten schedule? It’s a notion I made reference to in a recent story. The coaches may groan about it. But who else would? No one. Fans and TV would love it, because it results in an extra quality game every year and shortens the

What number will Big Ten NFL rookies wear?

Thirty Big Ten players were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, including a quartet in the first round, headlined by Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. The players have visited their new teams and picked out their new numbers. See which number the Big Ten NFL rookies will wear this season in this post. [ MORE: View all of our 2014 NFL Draft coverage ] Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Tennessee – 77 Ryan Shazier (Ohio State), Pittsburgh – 50 Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Cincinnati – 21 Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Denver – 29 Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota), Atlanta – 77 Cody Latimer (Indiana), Denver –

ESPN: Big Ten approves 8-member officiating crews

According to ESPN.com, the Big Ten has agreed to increase its football officiating crews from seven officials to eight for all home games starting this fall. The added official, the center judge, will line up in the offensive backfield opposite the head referee. The Big 12 used eight officials last season and will do so again in 2014. Recently, the SEC and ACC have announced they will add an eighth official this fall. The last time the Big Ten increased its number of officials — six to seven —  was in 1983. “We’re looking for improved officiating — that’s the

Dienhart: Morgan Burke's right, it's time for stipends

Earlier this week, at the annual Big Ten spring meetings, Purdue AD Morgan Burke had some interesting—and refreshing–comments on the subject of the cost of attendance and player stipends. “It’s fundamentally the right thing to do,” Burke told reporters during the meetings at Big Ten headquarters in Rosemont, Ill. “It’s got to be done for men and women, it’s got to be done for Olympic sports and non-revenue sports. It’s the right thing to do. “The reality is, this is fundamentally fair. And so we’d better find the money. We find the money for lots of other things, we’d better

NCAA APR scores: Big Ten teams continue to shine

The NCAA released Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores Wednesday, and all Big Ten teams avoided penalties. Northwestern led the Big Ten in football (991), while Indiana men’s basketball was perfect for the fourth straight year (1,000). The APR, which debuted in 2005, attempts to measure how teams perform in the classroom by using academic eligibility and retention and graduation rates to yield the four-year figure. [ MORE: NCAA.org: Find APR scores for every school in every sport ] Big Ten APR Scores (football; basketball) Illinois: 957; 957 Indiana: 972; 1,000 Iowa: 969; 971 Michigan: 975; 990 Michigan State: 962; 980

Dienhart: Indiana's 2014 schedule analysis

Indiana hasn’t been to a bowl since 2007. Kevin Wilson is getting the Hoosiers closer, going from one, to four, to five wins in his three seasons in Bloomington. A postseason trip almost happened last year, if not for tough losses to Navy and Minnesota. Just like last season, Indiana will be propelled in 2014 by one of the Big Ten’s top offenses. But will the defense be better? Wilson is banking on a coordinator shift helping, bringing in Brian Knorr to run what has been a horrid unit during Wilson’s run. Knorr has installed a 3-4. But, a scheme

Replacements for every Big Ten NFL draft pick

The 2014 NFL Draft is officially in the books, which means it’s time to look ahead to who will replace the Big Ten’s freshly minted pros this fall. Thirty players were drafted, including four first-rounders, so there are plenty of big shoes to fill. Let’s check out the potential replacements for every Big Ten player selected in the draft. [ MORE: Relive all of our 2014 NFL Draft coverage ] 1. Michigan OT Erik Magnuson (Taylor Lewan) Magnuson started seven games at guard for the Wolverines last season, but is expected to take over for Taylor Lewan as Michigan’s starting

NFL Draft: Which player landed in best situation?

Thirty former Big Ten stars were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. There were four Day 1 picks, 12 Day 2 picks and 14 Day 3 picks. Which player landed in the best situation, though? That’s what the BTN.com team was wondering. See its picks, plus Big Ten fans’ Twitter nominations, in this post. Tom Dienhart: CB Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Cincinnati. Anyone who follows Cincinnati knows cornerback was the team’s biggest area of need. To see Darqueze Dennard slide to their spot was a bonus for the Bengals. Terence Newman is aging and likely will be gone after this

Big Ten releases 2014 homecoming kickoff times

The Big Ten office announced 2014 football homecoming kickoff times Tuesday morning. See all the Big Ten teams’ homecoming opponents, kickoff times and dates in this post. HOMECOMING KICKOFFS Illinois: vs. Minnesota, noon ET, Oct. 25 Indiana: vs. Michigan State, 3:30 ET, Oct. 18 Iowa: vs. Indiana, noon ET, Oct. 11 Maryland: vs. Iowa, noon ET, Oct. 18 Michigan: vs. Indiana, 3:30 ET Nov. 1 Michigan State: vs. Wyoming, noon ET, Sept. 27 Minnesota: vs. Purdue, noon ET, Oct. 18 Nebraska: vs. Illinois, 9 p.m. ET (BTN), Sept. 27 Northwestern: vs. Nebraska, 7:30 p.m. ET (BTN), Oct. 18 Ohio State:

BTN LiveBIG: Big Ten alumni give back to Chicago kids

A sea of students proudly displaying the colors of 14 universities spent a gorgeous spring day playing with mentors and learning about the Big Ten community in Chicago. On Saturday, May 10, approximately 400 students from 14 schools took part in the annual Chicago Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) Field Day, with more than 200 alumni representing each current Big Ten university spending their Saturday playing with the students; volunteers from other universities represented Rutgers and Maryland this year. Each university’s alumni had t-shirts in their school colors, and were aligned with a group of students who also received t-shirts representing