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Wednesday's links: More playoff talk

We are talking playoffs today. That’s correct, Jim Mora … playoffs. An honest-to-goodness playoff. Feel free to rub your eyes and shake your head. Big Ten athletic directors met in Chicago yesterday to discuss ideas for a college football playoff that would begin in 2014. The consensus? To have a four-team playoff, using the bowls for the two semifinal games. This from Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne: “The bowls have been good to us. If you took them out of the playoff, it would pretty much destroy the bowl system.” Here is a video interview ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg conducted with Osborne

Tuesday's Links: Big Ten Talks Over Playoff

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league athletic directors will meet today in Chicago to discuss a playoff, our colleague Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune writes. A four-team playoff appears imminent. But issues need to ironed out before a playoff can begin with the 2014 season. Chief among them: 1. How to pick the teams. 2. Where to play the games. In this post I look at that story and some others, including a few bowl tidbits in Tuesday’s Big Ten links (full archive here). Football news and lovely weather. Isn’t life good? I think a panel should be

Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten Running Backs

Is there a conference with a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten? Maybe not. The group instantly became one of the best in the nation when Wisconsin’s Montee Ball announced he would return for his senior season. Add it all up, and 12 of last season’s top 13 rushers are back. The only departure: Iowa’s Marcus Coker, who transferred to FCS Stony Brook after ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,384 yards in 2012. Four quarterbacks are among the top 12 returning rushers: Michigan’s Denard Robinson (1,176); Minnesota’s MarQueis Gray (966); Nebraska’s Taylor

Monday's Links: Who Makes College HOF?

On Tuesday, the College Football Hall of Fame will announce its latest round of enshrinees. And three Nebraska players are on the ballot: quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier, along with linebacker Trev Alberts. Crouch likely won’t make it since this is his first time on the ballot. But Frazier appears to have a good shot. In fact, I am flummoxed by the fact he didn’t make it last year. Just a shameful omission, as detailed by the Lincoln Journal Star’s Brian Christopherson. To kick off today’s batch of Big Ten links, check out the Big Ten nominees for this

Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten QBs

The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006? Let’s fire up the debate. Following is my ranking of each Big Ten quarterback who is projected to start in 2012. 1. Denard Robinson,

Week In Review: Where Does Your Coach Rank?

Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars.  And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here. And now, all the Big Ten grid news from Friday that is fit to link to is below. Lucky you. Your instructions: point, click, read,

Dienhart: WR Arnett Cleared to Play by NCAA

Michigan State received great news today when the NCAA granted a waiver to receiver DeAnthony Arnett that will allow him to play this fall after transferring from Tennessee. A native of Saginaw, Mich., Arnett wanted to play closer to home to be near his father who has had health issues. The 5-11, 170-pound Arnett had 24 catches for 242 yards and two touchdowns last year for Tennessee. He took part in spring drills for Michigan State. Arnett’s speed and athletic ability will bolster a Michigan State receiving corps that lost its top three wideouts: B.J. Cunningham (79 catches for 1,306

Thursday Links: More Football Playoff Chatter

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. Good idea? Bad idea? I’ll tell you what I think, then you tell me what you think, but only after you check out my take on Thursday’s selected Big Ten football headlines. Rule talk: So, about Commissioner Delany’s thoughts on teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. On the surface, this might make sense. But, it’s not a great idea. Take last season. The SEC West had the nation’s two best teams in LSU and Alabama. The

Let's Rank 2012's Big Ten Backup QBs

On one hand, he’s often the most popular player on campus. On the other hand, you may not even know his name. He’s the backup quarterback. If he’s pressed into duty, it usually means one of two things: 1. The starter got hurt. 2. The starter was, ahem, ineffective. Knowing all this, it’s time for you to get to know your school’s No. 2 signal-caller. Here’s is how I rank ‘em. It’s the latest of my Big Ten off-season rankings. We’re having fun with these and the fans are giving me an earful. Come back Friday when I rank the

Analyzing Michigan State's 2012 Schedule

Michigan State’s 2012 football schedule is an interesting one, partly because of what happens right from the start. And you can be sure there is a very rugged three-game stretch in the second half of their season. This post on the Spartans is just the latest in my series analyzing the upcoming schedules by Big Ten school. Have a look at my previous posts, and I’ll have the rest of them rolled out in the coming days. Feel free to leave me your own take on this schedule and any others comments section, or come tell me on Twitter and