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Week 8: We predict all five Big Ten games

Every week during the 2013 football season, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Brent Yarina, Sean Merriman and hoops analyst Stephen Bardo, a huge football fan, make their Big Ten picks. We also provide polls for Big Ten fans to select their winners. Halfway through the season, Bardo, Merriman and Yarina are tied for the top spot, at 49-10. Big Ten fans are one game off the pace. [ MORE: Week 8 scoreboard | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Bowl Projections ] Stephen Bardo (@stephenbardo) Season record: 49-10 Week 8 picks: Michigan State 31, Purdue 10; Northwestern 35, Minnesota 21; Michigan 41,

Week 8 previews: It's time to get ready for Saturday

There are five games on the Big Ten docket this week. But none of the clashes figures to have a big impact on the league race—unless we have some major upsets. Still, there will be a lot to keep an eye as we begin to wade into the second half of the season. Here’s a look at each game. [ MORE: Week 8 scoreboard | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Bowl Projections ] PURDUE (1-5, 0-2) at MICHIGAN STATE (5-1, 2-0) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go Why you should watch: These are two teams headed in drastically different directions. The

Big Ten stars fill Midseason All-America teams

We are officially halfway through the college football season, which is hard to believe. It has been a phenomenal Big Ten season thus far, featuring plenty of great games and individual performers. Several of those top individual performers were rewarded this week by being named to various 2013 Midseason All-America Teams. ESPN, CBS and Sports Illustrated all released their Midseason All-America teams over the past two days, and plenty of B1G stars are included in the mix. How do these lists compare with Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten Midseason Report? Have a look here: ESPN.com 2013 Midseason All-America Team (10/15/2013) RB:

Alvarez, Osborne named to Playoff Selection Committee

The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday the 13 members of its selection committee that will pick the four teams to participate in a coming playoff in 2014. Selection committee members with Big Ten ties are Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez and former Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne. Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long is the chair of the committee. [ MORE: College Football Playoff announces Selection Committee (PDF) ] “We wanted people of the highest integrity for this committee, and we got them,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “Every one of them has vast football knowledge, excellent judgment, dedication

Dienhart: 2018-19 football schedule analysis

The Big Ten announced Wednesday its conference schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. And there are some good cross-division games. In making league schedules, the Big Ten earlier stated that it would take a “parity-based” approach. What’s that? The marquee programs will play each other outside of division play as often as possible. [ MORE: View 2018 conference schedule (PDF) | And 2019 conference schedule (PDF) ] And, remember, with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, the Big Ten is going to seven-team East and West Divisions. Here’s a look at the divisions: BIG TEN EAST Indiana

#BTNLive asks: Best chance at an upset?

If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Which B1G team has the best chance to pull off an upset Saturday? Possible answers: #MinnUpset, #PurdueUpset, #IUUpset, #IowaUpset or #IllinoisUpset. Select your choice below and tweet out your vote. We’ll be tabulating the hashtag totals all day and throughout the show. The hashtags are: #MinnUpset #PurdueUpset #IUUpset #IowaUpset #IllinoisUpset

Is it too early to break down Legends race?

We knew it was going to be a wild Legends Division race, and it’s lived up to the hype. Every team has played two Big Ten games, with the results yielding a pair of 2-0, 1-1 and 0-2 teams. The preseason contenders with the favorable schedules, Michigan State and Nebraska, are off to perfect starts, while the preseason contenders with the unfavorable schedules, Michigan and Northwestern, check in at 1-1 and 0-2, respectively. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart answers Legends Division questions in his Mailbag ] So, is the four-team race now a two-teamer? Not yet. The Huskers and Spartans may

Dienhart: Check out my All-Big Ten Midseason Team

Seven weeks down, seven weeks to go. At the midway point of the 2013 Big Ten football season, it’s time to release my All-Big Ten Midseason Team. I also did a midseason report. See who made my midseason team in this post. OFFENSE WR Allen Robinson, Penn State WR Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin TE Devin Funchess, Michigan C Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern G Ryan Groy, Wisconsin G Spencer Long, Nebraska T Taylor Lewan, Michigan T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin DEFENSE E Tyler Scott, Northwestern E Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

Dienhart: Here's my Big Ten midseason report

The days are growing shorter, as Halloween draws nearer. It all means one thing: We are at the midseason point of the season. Here’s a look back at what we’ve experienced so far in the 2013 season—and a look ahead at what’s about to come in the season-defining home stretch. [ MORE: See who made Tom’s All-Big Ten Midseason Team ] SUPERLATIVE WINNERS OF THE FIRST HALF Offensive Player of the First Half: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. He came into the season with 719 career rushing yards. The sophomore paces the Big Ten with 870 this season, averaging a nifty

Bowl Projections: Ohio State down to Rose Bowl

I’m finally gonna acquiesce to the notion that Ohio State faces a challenge to get to the BCS title game. Yes, the Buckeyes have a great shot to go unbeaten. But that may not be enough for OSU to finish No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS standings, as teams like Alabama, Oregon and Clemson are primed to likely finish ahead of Ohio State if they remain unbeaten. So, I’m moving the Buckeyes from the BCS title game to the Rose Bowl. [ MORE: Power Rankings | Week 7 grades & honors | What did Tom learn? |