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Power Rankings: Ohio State ascends four spots after UK win

It’s the final week of non-conference play. That’s right, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Big Ten conference season tips off. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Big Ten award winners | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] Before the games really start to count, and before you check out for the holiday break, it’s time to share my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Editor’s note: All records are through Sunday, Dec. 20 action. See my latest list below: 1. Michigan State (12-0). Tom Izzo is still working

Big Ten football beat writers pick most valuable players

With the 2015 college football regular season complete and the start of Big Ten bowl season less than a week away, it’s time to relive the season from the perspective of Big Ten beat writers. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] BTN.com recently asked a beat writer for every team to answer the same four questions, as part of our annual beat writers’ season recap. Today’s topic: Most valuable players. Previously,

Denzel Valentine to miss 2-3 weeks after minor knee surgery

No. 1 Michigan State will be without arguably the nation’s No. 1 player for the next two to three weeks. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] Tom Izzo said Monday that Denzel Valentine had a piece of cartilage removed after an injury in practice Sunday. He calls it “very, very, very minor.” “There isn’t even a thought of lasting effects,” Izzo said. Valentine, who has registered a pair of triple-doubles this season, leads Michigan State in scoring (18.5), rebounds (8.3), assists (7.1) and steals

Maryland returns to top 5 in latest AP & Coaches polls

Big Ten preseason favorite Maryland is back in the top 5 of the latest AP and Coaches polls, released Monday. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] The Terrapins come in at No. 4 in both polls, this after being No. 6 (AP) and No. 7 (Coaches) last week. Undefeated Michigan State (12-0), one win away from setting its best start in program history, remains No. 1 for the third consecutive week. Purdue, fresh off its first loss of the season, drops five spots in

Tom Dienhart shares his Big Ten bowl confidence picks

How about some bowl picks based on confidence in my selections? Sure! You know the drill. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] Here are my Big Ten bowl picks based on confidence, from most confident in the pick (10) to least (1). 10. Ohio State over Notre Dame, Fiesta Bowl 9. USC over Wisconsin, Holiday Bowl 8. Michigan over Florida, Citrus Bowl 7. Georgia over Penn State, TaxSlayer Bowl 6. Minnesota

'You like that' chants growing louder for white-hot Kirk Cousins

It’s a great time to be a Michigan State fan. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten pros coverage ] The men’s basketball team is No. 1 in the nation, the football team is the No. 3 seed in the second annual College Football Playoff, and Kirk Cousins and Draymond Green, two of the school’s most accomplished recent standouts, are getting it done in the NFL and NBA, respectively. Cousins completed 22 of 28 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with a highlight-reel scoring scamper, in a 35-25 victory vs. Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, the

Big Ten football beat writers pick most improved players

With the 2015 college football regular season complete and the start of Big Ten bowl season less than a week away, it’s time to relive the season from the perspective of Big Ten beat writers. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] BTN.com recently asked a beat writer for every team to answer the same four questions, as part of our annual beat writers’ season recap. Today’s topic: Most improved players. Yesterday,

Big Ten hoops roundup: Indiana, Ohio State card big victories

Ten Big Ten men’s basketball teams were in action Saturday. [ MORE: Relive all of Saturday’s results on our Big Ten scoreboard ] Indiana used a 17-2 run down the stretch to rally past Notre Dame, 80-73, in the first game of the Crossroad Classic, and previously struggling Ohio State stunned No. 4 Kentucky, 74-67, to highlight the day’s action. Catch up on all of the results below: MICHIGAN STATE 78, NORTHEASTERN 58 BOX | PBP | AP RECAP Denzel Valentine scored 17 points, Bryn Forbes added 12 and No. 1 Michigan State matched the best start in school history

Big Ten football beat writers pick 2015 top plays/moments

With the 2015 college football regular season complete and the start of Big Ten bowl season exactly one week away, it’s time to relive the season from the perspective of Big Ten beat writers. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] BTN.com recently asked a beat writer for every team to answer four questions, as part of our annual beat writers’ season recap. Up first: Top play/moment. Coming up: Most improved player,

Three Takes: Jess Settles on Big Ten big men & Illinois' big issue

This week, in my “Three Takes,” I take a trip back to the 1991-92 season, consider the Big Ten’s top big men and look at Illinois’ recurring issue inside. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Big Ten award winners | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Big Ten scoreboard | Polls ] Get my latest thoughts below: So much to like about this year’s group of true freshmen bigs This is the best group of big men the Big Ten has witnessed since the decorated 1991-92 class. That was the season McDonald’s All-Americans