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Five Big Ten players in first round of Mel Kiper Jr.'s NFL Mock Draft 4.0

The NFL Draft is just three weeks away, which means experts are putting the final touches on their 2015 mock drafts. ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his 4.0 mock draft, which features five Big Ten players in the first round. The first Big Ten star Kiper Jr. projects to be off the board is Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, who he has going No. 6 overall to the New York Jets. “The new threats in the passing game are nice, but given the QB options on the roster, this team needs to be able to run

Report: Conference title game restrictions to be relaxed by 2016

CBSSports.com is reporting that football conference title games will be deregulated in 2016. And, that’s OK. NCAA rules say a league must have at least 12 schools, and teams must play every other team in their division, if a conference wants to play a title game. The ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Pac 12 all have such a configuration, with two division winners meeting for the title. The Big 12 is the lone “major” league that lacks a conference title game, as it has only 10 schools. Now, the Big 12 and ACC want to change the rules—for different reasons,

Dienhart: Check out Iowa's 10-year NFL draft snapshot

Iowa has seen a lot of success in the last 10 NFL drafts—especially along the trenches. And that success should continue in this year’s draft, set for April 30-May 2 in Chicago. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s team-by-team NFL draft snapshots ] Offensive tackle Brandon Scherff looks like a top-10 pick, joining fellow ex-Hawkeye blockers Riley Reiff and Bryan Bulaga as first-round picks in the last 10 years. (Robert Gallery was a first-rounder in 2004.) Defensive tackle Carl Davis also should be a hot commodity. And look for offensive tackle Andrew Donnal and defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat likely to go

Big Ten mailbag: MSU's title chances, Traevon Jackson & Michigan football

This is a great time of year, with March Madness in full swing and spring football rolling. So, it’s a good time to reach into my mail bag. Here we go! Do you think Michigan State can win the national title? – Richard Cobb You have to like the Spartans’ chances to at least reach the Final Four for the first time since 2010. Tom Izzo’s team is playing well, winning six of its last seven games. And the lone loss was an overtime defeat to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship tilt. Michigan State is deep and motivated. If

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa grant quarterback Jake Rudock release

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock won’t be back with the Hawkeyes. The 6-3, 208-pound senior will be immediately eligible wherever he lands after he graduates in the spring. Speculation surrounding Rudock transferring had been growing since Kirk Ferentz announced that C.J. Beathard would be the No. 1 quarterback when spring drills opened. Rudock will have one season of eligibility left, and there are rumors that he has already visited Michigan. With Rudock gone, the backup quarterback spot will become a situation to watch. Redshirt freshman Tyler Wiegers is slated to be the No. 2 man. Behind him would be incoming freshmen

Big Ten Football: Six key coaching changes made on existing staffs

The Big Ten saw three schools make coaching changes after last season, with Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska all bringing in new leaders. But other schools didn’t stand pat, making significant changes to their staffs. Here’s a look at the six key coaching changes made on existing staffs after 2014. 1. Ohio State: Tim Beck, co-offensive coordinator: When offensive coordinator Tom Herman took the Houston job, Urban Meyer scored a home run when he landed this former Nebraska play-caller. Beck is a Youngstown, Ohio, native who is well-connected in Ohio and Texas recruiting circles. And he’s smart. Beck will double as

Dienhart: Six spring quarterback hot spots in Big Ten country

No position garners attention like quarterback. And, it’s an unsettled position at several Big Ten schools, as spring drills have begun to open. Here is what we know: Penn State (Christian Hackenberg), Minnesota (Mitch Leidner), Iowa (C.J. Beathard), Illinois (Wes Lunt), Nebraska (Tommy Armstrong), Michigan State (Connor Cook), Maryland (Caleb Rowe) and Indiana (Nate Sudfeld) all appear to have a good grasp on who will be their starter in 2015, eliminating much drama in spring drills. But the quarterback situation on some other campuses isn’t as clear. Here’s a look at the “Six Spring Quarterbacking Hot Spots” in Big Ten

Video: Who will each Big Ten football team miss most in 2015?

On Tuesday night’s “BTN Live,” Glen Mason shared who he thought each Big Ten football team would miss the most in 2015. Watch the full feature in the video above, and see his answers in the text below. ILLINOIS: Reilly O’Toole, QB “You look at Reilly O’Toole, how he hung in there, how he persevered, how he competed, and the victory against Penn State, the victory against Northwestern that enabled them to go to a bowl game, I think that next year Coach Beckman will say, ‘You know, I wish Reilly O’Toole was still around here.'” INDIANA: Tevin Coleman, RB