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Spring football: Interviews & features from across the Big Ten.

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Who sits atop Dienhart's spring rankings?

Spring football is over and the offseason is officially here. Let’s all let loose with a collective sigh. Now we have to wait until the night of Thursday, August 29, for the first Big Ten game when UNLV plays at Minnesota. There are lots of barbecues, cannon balls into the swimming pool, croquet, Wiffle Ball and Jarts between now and then. To help get you through, here’s my post-spring ranking of Big Ten football teams. Take a deep breath. And here we go. 1. Ohio State. There’s a lot to like for the Big Ten’s best hope to win a national title. The offense

Schedule analysis: Rough road slate awaits Hoosiers

Kevin Wilson is making strides as he enters his third season in Bloomington in search of his first winning record with what should be a strong offense. But the schedule is tough. IU has one of the toughest Big Ten road slates possible—Michigan State; Michigan; Wisconsin; Ohio State. Lord have mercy! That means protecting home field will be key to the Hoosiers’ bowl hopes. It’s not crazy to think IU could start 3-0, setting up a huge visit from Missouri. And Indiana has three winnable home Big Ten games (Minnesota; Illinois; Purdue). Bottom line: There may be six victories on

BTN unveils 2013 primetime football schedule

BTN will televise 12 primetime games during the 2013 college football season, the most in network history. Five games feature a pre-season top-25 Big Ten team, while three of the 12 matchups feature games versus teams from the SEC, ACC and Pac-12 conferences. Eight Big Ten schools in all will be featured in primetime. “Primetime games are becoming more and more popular,” said BTN President Mark Silverman. “Featuring compelling matchups in primetime allows BTN to remain front and center in Big Ten and college football fans’ minds throughout the entire day,” he said. Highlights of the schedule include a pair

Report: Big Ten payouts to hit $25.7 million

The Big Ten continues to be a revenue leader among the nation’s conferences. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, each Big Ten school will receive $25.7 million this year from the conference. The Big Ten Network will contribute $7.6 million of that figure. Big Ten schools also received $10.9 million apiece from the conference’s television deal with ABC and ESPN. The Post-Dispatch cites figures obtained by the University of Illinois. Last year, league schools each received a payout of $24.6 million, with $8.1 million coming from the Big Ten Network. The share from the BTN increased every

Debate it: Most interesting Big Ten QB situation?

There’s no more talked-about position than quarterback, and for obvious reasons. The quarterback, more times than not, is the face of the team, and has his hands on the ball every snap. That being the case, fans love to follow a good quarterback battle. Which one is most interesting entering the 2013 season? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina tell you their battles to watch in this post. Question: Which Big Ten quarterback situation is most interesting? Tom: I am watching the Michigan State situation. There is no other way to slice it: Andrew Maxwell struggled in his first season

Dienhart: 25 things I learned this Spring

The Big Ten put a bow on spring practice last Saturday, but many questions still loom as the schools enter the offseason. Let’s dive into the 25 things I now know coming out of spring drills. And if you need them, we’ve got video highlights from any of the 12 games: Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Here we go. 1. Ohio State is gonna be good–REALLY good–if the offense can develop more proficiency in the passing game. Is Braxton Miller—who threw more than 25 passes in a game once

A look at Big Ten prospects in 2014 NFL Draft

The 2013 NFL draft wasn’t kind to the Big Ten. Just 22 players were selected—the fewest since 1994. Just one pick came in the first round, as the selection of Wisconsin center Travis Frederick No. 31 overall by the Cowboys was considered to be a massive reach by anyone with Internet access and a mock draft. But, fear not: The 2014 NFL draft should be much more fruitful for the Big Ten. Check out this way, way, WAY early mock draft from SI.com. Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby is pegged to go No. 11. Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is

Dienhart: My 2013 All-Big Ten Spring Team

The Big Ten put a wrap on spring football last weekend, with Iowa and Minnesota playing the final spring games in the conference. Now, the long offseason begins. But, honestly, this is when players get better—not from September to December. Here’s a look at the players who exceled this spring, giving them plenty of mojo entering the key summer period. [ BTN2GO: Watch April 6 spring games | April 13 games | April 20 games | April 27 games ] OFFENSE WR Chris Fields, Ohio State, Sr. Time and again, he made plays all spring to earn himself a starting

Dienhart: 13 thoughts on new divisions

The announcement of the new divisions created a buzz across the Big Ten landscape. Leaders and Legends are gone. East and West are in. And a nine-game Big Ten schedule is coming in 2016. Here are 13 observations about the new arrangements. [ RELATED: No more “Legends & Leaders” | Dienhart: It’s the right move | Sound off on BTN Connect ] 1. It is good to have Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. Really. The specter of having them play twice in the same season (in the regular season and then possibly in the Big Ten title

New divisions, schedules ahead for football

So the Big Ten Conference will move to two new football East and West divisions in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. In an interview with BTN on Sunday, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Being broader, being larger, geography had to play a larger part.” Meanwhile, BTN.com senior writer tells our BTN football team not to be so quick to say the East will always be stronger than the West. BTN football analyst Gerry DiNardo prefers the previous set-up was based on competitive balance while Howard Griffith says the East has the edge right now. Find out