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Fan ballots: Who wins this week's Big Ten football games? Select your winners inside.

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Nick Bosa

Big Ten Football: 10 impact freshmen to watch in 2016

The countdown to the official kickoff of Big Ten football is at 22 days. Fans have become accustomed to hearing names like J.T. Barrett, Desmond King and Jabrill Peppers. How about some young, upcoming stars that Big Ten fans should expect to hear a lot about in this upcoming season? I chatted with several players and coaches, as well as media members at this year’s Big Ten Media Days, asking them about the freshmen that have stood out in practice. I asked about true freshmen just arriving on campus and early enrollees who could be poised to make a big

Nov 21, 2015; College Park, MD, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson  walks onto the field during the third quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium. Indiana Hoosiers defeated Maryland Terrapins 47-28. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Mailbag: Can Indiana compete with Big Ten's elite?

Rolling through the hills of Pennsylvania on the Big Ten Network bus, what better time than now to dip into my Big Ten Mailbag? Exactly. I look at the continued perceived disrespect of Michigan State. And would Wisconsin be the West Division fav if it had a veteran QB? How will Purdue’s schedule break down? That and more. Let’s go! You certainly disrespected Michigan State if your story of “best chance for Big Ten teams to get upset.” Are the Spartans now chopped liver? Looks like you just fall in line with others, overlooking Sparty. Interesting. – Roger Elliott Look,

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Top 25 Big Ten football teams over the past 25 years

Last week, the Associated Press released their Top 100 college football teams of the past 80 years. A total of seven Big Ten teams landed on the list, highlighted by Ohio State at No. 1 overall. The Buckeyes have ranked in the AP Poll for more weeks than any other team (852) during that span, including the most at No. 1 (105). This got me thinking, who are the best Big Ten teams in recent memory? Obviously, the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes come to mind in recent memory, but what about before that? I got together with senior writer

Nov 14, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA;  Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp (1) returns Rutgers Scarlet Knights punt during the first half at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Your Big Ten football team's toughest 2016 stretch

Every coach looks at a schedule, scanning the list of games. Which ones figure to be tough ones? Even more vital: Which stretch of games figures to be the most daunting, a potential make-or-break run of contests? [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Best chance to be upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] I have identified the toughest stretch of games on each Big Ten schedule. Illinois. The last four games are daunting. The season-ending run begins with a visit from Michigan State on Nov. 5 followed by a trip to Wisconsin, a visit

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Best chance for each Big Ten team to get upset

No coach wants to lose a game that experts think he’s supposed to win. Upsets can set a season on its ear and prove ruinous. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] There are potholes on every schedule. And I have picked the one game on your school’s schedule in which it has its best chance to be—gulp–upset. Illinois. The visit from Western Michigan on Sept. 17 is dangerous. P.J. Fleck is an up-and-coming coaching fireball who played at Northern Illinois and is a native of the state. You know the

Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer smiles after being doused with Gatorade during the second half of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State paces 4 Big Ten teams in 2016 preseason Coaches poll

The preseason Coaches Poll was released Thursday, and four Big Ten teams land in the season’s first ranking. Ohio State, the 2016 Fiesta Bowl champ, paces the Big Ten, at No. 5, behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Florida State. Michigan, fresh off a 10-win season in Jim Harbaugh’s first season, comes in at No. 8, giving the Big Ten two preseason top 10 teams, while reigning Big Ten champ Michigan State (No. 11) and 2015 Big Ten West champ Iowa (No. 15) round out the Big Ten contingent. Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska and

Nov 28, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) celebrates with Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (24) after scoring a touchdown in the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: See your team's toughest 2016 conference game

There are games on every team’s schedule that fans circle as “tough” ones, games that will be very challenging to win. Well, that’s what I did with each Big Ten schedule, identifying each school’s “toughest” Big Ten game in 2016. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games ] Check it out below. Illinois. Lots to choose from. I’ll go with the trip to Michigan on Oct. 22. Jim Harbaugh has this program rolling as he enters Year Two in Ann Arbor. The defense could be the best in the Big Ten, while the offense will be

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State garners No. 1 spot in AP top 25 poll of last 80 years

This is awesome: The Associated Press, which operates the longest-running college football poll, published a top 25 Tuesday that ranks the nation’s best programs over the poll’s 80-year existence (1936). The No. 1 team? It’s Ohio State, the program that has been ranked in the poll for more weeks than any other team (852), including the most at No. 1 (105). Michigan (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 19), Wisconsin (No. 24) and Iowa (No. 25) also land on the list, as do current Big Ten members Nebraska (No. 6) and Penn State (No. 12), both of which experienced their best

Nov 21, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) makes a catch during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Michigan defeated Penn State 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Toughest non-con game for each Big Ten team

There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.

Dec 28, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Ford Field. Minnesota won 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Sage Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Best chance for each Big Ten team to pull an upset

Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The