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Tom's Top 10: Best of the non-con season

I have a twist on my weekly “Tom’s Top 10” this week. With non-conference play complete save for two games and Big Ten action set to kick off on Saturday, I take a look at the “best” of the non-league season. What was the best game of the non-conference season? How about the best performance? And the best moment? Find out below. 1. Best team: Ohio State – No team has really dominated, but Ohio State is the choice. The Buckeyes are on probation and not eligible to win the Big Ten or go to a bowl. Still, they have

How did we do? Big Ten Week 4 picks revisited

Before we turn our complete attention to Week 5 and the start of Big Ten play, let’s see how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 4 predictions. Everyone involved went 8-2, meaning Dienhart and BTN.com fans remain tied for first, at 36-10, one game ahead of me. The games we got wrong? Dienhart and BTN.com fans missed Louisiana Tech-Illinois and Central Michigan-Iowa, while I missed Central Michigan-Iowa and Syracuse-Minnesota. SEASON RECORDS BTN.com fans: 36-10; .783 Tom: 36-10; .783 Brent: 35-11; .761 [Related: BTN.com’s All-Big Ten non-con teams | Dienhart’s Best of the non-con season] Louisiana

BTN.com's 2012 All-Big Ten non-con teams

Non-conference play, for all intents and purposes, is in the rearview mirror. Yes, Indiana and Purdue each have one non-Big Ten game remaining, but conference play kicks off Saturday. It was a fast first four weeks, no doubt, and now it’s time to release our All-Big Ten non-conference teams. See Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina’s teams in this post. Who did we miss? Feel free to leave your picks in the comment box below. [RELATED: Dienhart: Best of the non-con season] ALL-BIG TEN NON-CON OFFENSE BRENT TOM QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State* Braxton Miller, Ohio State* RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan

Power Rankings: Believe in Wildcats, Gophers

The Big Ten is home to three 4-0 teams after nonconference play. One of the perfect teams is no big surprise (Ohio State), while the other two are close to shocking (Minnesota and Northwestern). And you’ll find all three on top of my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. See the complete list in this post. Disagree with my list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or tweet me (@BTNTomDienhart). 1. Ohio State (4-0). The Buckeyes roll on, moving to 4-0 after opening the season with four home games. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown vs. UAB, and Braxton

DiNardo's Week 4 Sunday Ruminations

Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about the Big Ten after a 7-3 performance in Week 4? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post. [RELATED: Check out BTN.com’s All-Big Ten non-con teams] [RELATED: Who tops Tom Dienhart’s Week 5 Power Rankings?] Sunday Ruminations – #ILLINI Is their spread a qb run or pass spread? Would seem hard to decide who qb should be until that's determined — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) September 23, 2012 Sunday

Three Big Ten teams ranked in Coaches Poll

With Michigan‘s loss Saturday night at Notre Dame, the Big Ten now has three teams ranked in the Coaches Poll, released Sunday. The Wolverines, previously No. 18, fell out of the poll, while Michigan State (No. 18), Nebraska (No. 20) and Wisconsin (No. 23) all moved up following victories. Perfect Northwestern is receiving 96 votes, just two behind Virginia Tech and Rutgers, which are tied at No. 25. Michigan (57), Minnesota (11) and Purdue (4) also are receiving votes.

U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of Week 4

Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 4? Find out in this post. WEEK 4 GAME BALLS 1. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska: 8 car., 119 yards, 2 TD; 1 rec., 25 yards – Looks like that injured left knee is just fine, huh? Burkhead, in his first action since the season opener, rushed for 119 yards and

Who's got next? Watch Dantonio's rapid-fire Q&A

During his press availability after Michigan State’s 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio apparently wanted to keep the questions from reporters moving at fast pace. At one point it was almost like a no-huddle approach as Dantonio punctuated each of his short answers with the phrase, “Next question.” “I’m just loving all these questions,” Dantonio says at one point, “because they’re great ones.” Watch the entire exchange in the video in this post. [RELATED: Read about Michigan State’s win over Eastern Michigan.] Dantonio may have had Ohio State on his mind and wanted to get a jump on

Bell, Spartans run past upset-minded Eastern Michigan

Le’Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown to help stagnant Michigan State avoid a major upset with a 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Dan Conroy kicked three field goals for the No. 21 Spartans (3-1), who failed to score a TD for more than seven quarters until Andrew Maxwell hit tight end Dion Sims on a 10-yard pass with 7:19 left. Michigan State struggled mightily through most of its final tuneup for next week’s Big Ten opener against unbeaten Ohio State. But Maxwell finally found Sims three times for 73 yards in the fourth

Big Ten Connect: Great fan photos from Twitter

Earlier this fall we launched BTN Connect, a great place to go during Saturday football games to track the Twitter conversations surrounding your teams, vote in TV polls, and find out what names are trending. For instance, when Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell made the leap (see video in this post), his name took off on Twitter. But we also collect the best of the fan photos out there and lay them out on the school pages. How do we find them? Among other ways, we monitor each of the 12 Twitter hashtags. We’ve spotlighted a few of the latest photos