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Week 1 Polls: Before the 2016 season kicks off Thursday night, pick your Week 1 Big Ten winners.

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Friday Sep 2
12:30 PMW. Illinois at IowaWatch
3:00 PMLSU at IndianaWatch
4:00 PMPepperdine at MarylandWatch
7:00 PMGeorgetown at Rutgers Watch
7:00 PMIowa St. at NebraskaWatch
7:30 PMGeorgetown at MarylandWatch
8:00 PMSan Diego at WisconsinWatch
8:00 PMArizona St. at IowaWatch

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Track today's Big Ten football signings here

National Signing Day is here. All day long, keep up with all of the Big Ten’s latest football signings in this post. Simply click on a school’s link to visit its live Signing Day coverage. And, at 4 p.m. ET, don’t forget about our 90-minute “Signing Day Special” on BTN/BTN2Go. [ MORE: View all of our 2014 Signing Day coverage ] Signing Day Coverage Illinois: FightingIllini.com Indiana: IUHoosiers.com Iowa: HawkeyeSports.com Maryland: UMTerps.com Michigan State: MSUSpartans.com Michigan: MGoBlue.com Minnesota: GopherSports.com Nebraska: Huskers.com Northwestern: NUSports.com Ohio State: OhioStateBuckeyes.com Penn State: GoPSUSports.com Purdue: PurdueSports.com Rutgers: ScarletKnights.com Wisconsin: UWBadgers.com [ MORE: We rank the

Top recruiting bust for each school over last 10 years

Signing Day is tomorrow. It’s a day when every program is a winner. It’s an exciting day when every signee teems with All-American potential. It’s a glorious day with much back-slapping and giddy Internet chat room blather by full-grown men who should know better. The following is a cautionary tale meant to temper your child-like glee. I humbly present the biggest recruiting bust for each Big Ten school over the past decade. A moment of silence, please … thank you. [ PROGRAM ALERT: Watch our Signing Day Special at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday ] Illinois: Melvin Alaeze, DE, Randallstown, Md.,

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Five members of the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team from the University of Minnesota donated 60 sets of hockey equipment to youth hockey associations. A new center at Penn State received a major grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study – and solve – water pollution. The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team shaved their heads in solidarity with a new teammate – who’s nine years old. Last week, Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo celebrated a birthday. Happy Birthday to Coach Tom Izzo. No chance he sees this, he has no twitter account? Cake & ice cream time!

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Philip Nelson to transfer to Rutgers

Turns out, Philip Nelson is going to stay in the Big Ten. News has broken that the disgruntled Minnesota quarterback is transferring to Rutgers, which officially will join the Big Ten for the 2014 football season. He’ll sit out next season and have two years of eligibility beginning in 2015. At the time of his transfer, Nelson said he wanted to go to a school that passed more after he hit just 50.5 percent of his passes last season with nine touchdowns and six picks. [ MORE: View past Big Ten-to-Big Ten transfers ] The Gophers ranked last in the

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: 'I'm all for this' players union

The move to unionized college athletes continues to gain momentum. A report from ESPN says that Northwestern football players are beginning the process of being recognized as employees by reaching out for help from the National College Players Association, which filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern by submitting a form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. [ MORE: Northwestern AD Jim Phillips releases statement ] At the center of the movement is Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, whose eligibility has expired. In fact, it was Colter who reached out to a

Dienhart: Top three recruiting needs for B1G teams

Happy Signing Day, Big Ten fans! The classes are filling up fast, with early reports showing Ohio State in line to ink the top collection of talent in the Big Ten. Here’s a look at the recruiting needs for each school, as we all cast an eye toward the future and get excited about the possibilities. [ MORE: Top recruiting bust for every B1G team over last 10 years ] ILLINOIS Tim Beckman’s third class is a critical one. The Fighting Illini have lost players like QB Nathan Scheelhaase, WR Ryan Lankford and LB Jonathan Brown, so work remains—especially on

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Before the Super Bowl this weekend, be sure to read about the great work Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is doing in his community. Not a Seahawks fan? LiveBIG also profiled Judi’s House, founded by then-Denver Broncos quarterback Brian Griese, to help kids cope with loss. Literacy programs at the University of Minnesota recently received recognition from First Lady Michelle Obama. The University of Michigan received two grants, totaling $4.35 million, from the William Davidson Foundation to support university programs impacting economic activity in southeast Michigan. Read more about these initiatives here. The men’s lacrosse program at The Ohio State

Oct 9, 2010; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back John Clay (32) lines up for a play during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 41-23.

BCS flashbacks: Our top BCS-era teams by school

Last week, I presented my list of the Top 10 Big Ten teams from the BCS era. Many of your responded with, ahem, passion – you can always reach me here. So, let’s keep the ball rolling. Think about any of the 12 programs during those BCS seasons and consider which teams jump to the front of your mind. In some cases, it’s harder than one might think. Here are my picks for the top team from each Big Ten school during the BCS era, which ran from 1998-2013. Illinois, 2001. Ron Zook’s 2007 team that went 9-4, was led

2014 Big Ten Running Backs

Dienhart: My top 10 Big Ten running backs for 2014

Northwestern received great news Tuesday, as running back Venric Mark was granted a medical hardship for a fifth season of eligibility. Mark’s return bolsters what will be a strong collection of running backs in the Big Ten in 2014. Here’s my ranking of the conference’s Top 10 backs for next season. Before I get to my list, there’s more on Mark. The Wildcat speedster was limited to three games last fall while battling multiple injuries. He played for the last time on Oct. 12 at Wisconsin, leaving in the first quarter with a fractured ankle that sidelined him for the

Dienhart: Should college football dump the PAT?

It was interesting to watch to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talk about various issues recently on NFL Network. One idea he said the league is studying is dropping extra point kicks after touchdowns – just see the NFL Network video here. Would the college game ever consider dumping PATs? It may be worth considering and studying. How good are pros at making PATs? In 2013, NFL kickers hit 1,256 of 1,261 extra points, a cool 99.6 percent accuracy rate. That’s as close to automatic as you can get. The only play duller during a game is when the quarterback takes a