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Michigan State's Derrick Nix tweets he's a vegetarian

Michigan State big man Derrick Nix tipped the scales at 270 pounds last season, according to his MSUSpartans.com profile. Nix wants to be in better shape for his senior season, and he’s doing something about it. Something major. He tweeted Tuesday that he will become a vegetarian for the next year. That’s Aug. 20, 2012 to Aug. 20, 2013. See Nix’s tweet in this post.

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Four Big Ten products make Athlon's top 30 RBs

Athlon Sports released its Top 30 Running Backs for 2012, and a quartet of Big Ten backs made the list. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, last year’s Heisman Trophy finalist, leads the Big Ten contingent, at No. 2., behind only South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead comes in at No. 3, while Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell (No. 14) and Michigan’s Fitzgerald Toussaint (No. 26) round out the Big Ten representatives.

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Big Ten stars all over 12th annual Herbie Awards

Former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN lead football analyst Kirk Herbstreit released his 12th annual Herbie Awards on Tuesday morning. The Big Ten, as expected, is well-represented in the popular piece. Herbstreit ranks the nation’s top 5 players/coaches/teams in 25 categories, and the Big Ten received four No. 1 selections. See all of Herbie’s Big Ten honorees in this post.

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Football Tour: Prepping for Spartans' practice

The BTN bus heads back west, trekking toward East Lansing, Mich., where on Wednesday we will check out a white-hot Michigan State program that has won 11 games in each of the last two seasons. Watch the Michigan State Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Thursday.

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Web Links: What about those Michigan receivers?

After taking in Penn State practice Monday, we’re headed back west. To East Lansing, Mich., to be exact. We have two stops remaining on our annual tour, and it will be great to see Michigan State and Michigan. You can find all of my tour previews and recaps over here. I’m also providing updates via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Tuesday links.

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Hoosiers, Wildcats top preseason men's soccer poll

The Big Ten announced its 2012 men’s soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Players to Watch List on Tuesday, with the conference’s last two regular-season champs tied at the top. Northwestern, fresh off its first Big Ten title, and 2012 champ Indiana were picked as the conference favorites.

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Top 5 individual seasons of BTN era

Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fifth list ranks the top five individual seasons of the BTN era.

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