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Fours Downs: Truths, thoughts & numbers

Once again, Saturday is almost here and I’ve rolled up my sleeves and cranked out four downs worth of football predictions, thoughts, and truths about Week 13 of the Big Ten football season. Why four downs? Because in this post we never punt. I’ve given you my game previews (watch out for Minnesota, folks), and we posted some semi-fantastic picks along with the rest of the BTN.com team. The best of Week 13 is also up, and you had some great letters in my mailbag this week, too. For instance, can Michigan State beat Ohio State? So here now is

#BTNLive asks: Who is Big Ten's Most Valuable Senior?

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: Who is the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Senior in football? Our choices: Carlos Hyde (#BTNHyde), Chris Borland (#BTNBorland(, James White (#BTNWhite) or Darqueze Dennard (#BTNDennard). 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: Carlos Hyde: #BTNHyde Chris Borland: #BTNBorland James White: #BTNWhite Darqueze Dennard: #BTNDennard  

B1G Clicks: Tracking today's Big Ten trends

Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including an awesome image of Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde. Like what you see? We do this every weekday. Visit our Clicks archive. Here are Thursday’s B1G Clicks: Interested in a really early 2014 mock NFL Draft? Look no further –> http://t.co/0bqbAyuQ3d — Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 21, 2013 Our take: Five Big Ten players listed in the first round. Our take: 53 yards until Hyde reaches

Best of Week 13: Here's what's at stake in Big Ten

What’s the best game for Week 13? The top quarterback matchup? What team is on upset alert? Who’s in a must-win situation? As usual, I line up all of that and more in the Best of Week 13. Noon games on BTN/BTN2Go: Illinois (3-7) at Purdue (1-9) and Michigan (7-3) at Iowa (6-4). Don’t forget to use BTN GameFinder. Then the 3:30 p.m. game on BTN/BTN2Go: Nebraska (7-3) at Penn State (6-4). Full TV schedule info is on our football scoreboard page. Let’s get to the best of the best. Best game: It’s the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe between

Week 13: We predict all six 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. Twelve weeks down, Bardo and Merriman sit atop the season standings, at 70-14. Big Ten fans are one game off the pace. [ MORE: Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Week 13 Previews | Week 13 schedule ] Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) Season record: 70-14 Week 13 picks: Illinois 28, Purdue 24; Iowa, 27, Michigan 24; Michigan State 38, Northwestern 10;

Week 13 Previews: Plenty to play for Saturday

The penultimate week of the season is upon us, with some interesting storylines. Minnesota will try to win the Axe from Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, while Michigan State and Ohio State will look to win outright the Legends and Leaders Division, respectively. The Buckeyes also are aiming for win No. 23 in a row in its quest for the BCS title game. Here’s a look at all of the Week 13 matchups. ILLINOIS (3-7, 0-6) at PURDUE (1-9, 0-6) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go Why you should watch: Someone is going to win a Big Ten game! Both

'Journey' profiles Dennard, Hackenberg

Tonight on “The Journey: Big Ten Football 2013” presented by Best Buy we learn how Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard went from unknown recruit to one of the Big Ten’s best defensive players. We also track how Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has quickly learned the intricacies of Bill O’Brien’s system, and how Ohio State defensive back Christian Bryant has remained a contributor despite being sidelined by injury. The show airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go. Our usual game highlights focus on Ohio State-Illinois and Michigan State-Nebraska. Follow BTN’s popular documentary-style show “The Journey” on Twitter and

Audio: Listen to your Big Ten coach's teleconference

Each Tuesday morning during the Big Ten football season, the 12 Big Ten football coaches hold a Big Ten teleconference with reporters from around the country. We post the audio for each segment of the call here, and we do this every Tuesday afternoon. Also, @B1Gfootball spotlights a tweet or three from each coach on the call live on Twitter in case you want to follow along online. Listen to Coach Brady Hoke:  Listen to Coach Gary Andersen:  Listen to Coach Bo Pelini:  Listen to Coach Mark Dantonio:  Listen to Coach Kirk Ferentz:  Listen to Coach Jerry Kill:  Listen to

Video: See how Spartans celebrated win over Huskers

Michigan State had never beaten Nebraska entering Saturday afternoon’s game. So, as one can imagine, the locker room was a happy place after the Spartans carded a 41-28 victory and claimed a share of the Legends Division title. There was dancing – a lot of it. Defensive line coach Ron Burton led the way, and then several players took their turn. Check out the scene below. VIDEO: Go right to Burton’s dancing. Clearly, it’s good to be Michigan State right now. The Spartans can win the Legends Division outright with a win over Northwestern on Saturday, which would mark their

Bowl Projections: OSU gets new Rose Bowl foe

No major shakeups. Stanford’s loss at USC means Oregon is now slated to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. But UCLA just as easily could be the foe. The Buckeyes cling to BCS title game hopes, resting at No. 3 in the current standings. But, they’ll need a loss by Alabama or Florida State to get there—while fencing off hard-charging No. 4 Baylor. Stay tuned. Gonna be fun. I have flipped the spots of Michigan State and Wisconsin, with the Spartans now in the Capital One and the Badgers in the Outback. No big whoop, honestly. Wisconsin still harbors