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B1G to face Pac-12 in Kraft Fight Hunger, Holiday bowls

The Big Ten announced six-year bowl partnerships with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and Holiday Bowl on Monday. Check out the official releases on both bowls in this post. KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL Two of college football’s premier conferences, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, will face each other in the Bay Area’s post-season bowl game beginning in 2014. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl today announced six-year agreements that will establish a new partnership with the Big Ten and significantly improve the Bowl’s selection rights in the Pac-12. Both pacts will run from 2014 through 2019. Effective with the new

Week 11 preview: This might decide Legends Division

Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 11. This is a week highlighted by the massively huge Legends Division battle between Nebraska and Michigan at Michigan Stadium. It also features one nonconference game: BYU at Wisconsin. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 11 in this post. [ MORE: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 ] Game of the week: Nebraska at Michigan. Going to

Week 9 preview: Penn State at Ohio State sounds nice

I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 9 today. This week features only four games, highlighted by Penn State’s trip to Ohio State. Get all my Week 9 storylines, top matchups and game rankings in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 ] Game of the week: Penn State at Ohio State. The Nittany Lions have to be dreading the trip to Ohio State to play an OSU team

Week 8 preview: Will one of these matchups surprise?

Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 8. This is a week light on marquee matchups, with predicted Big Ten title contenders Michigan and Ohio State taking on Indiana and Iowa, respectively, and Nebraska and Penn State on byes. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 8 in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 ] Game of the week: Minnesota’s trip to Northwestern could be interesting. Yes, this could

Dienhart: Ranking 2013 Big Ten noncon schedules

Schedule strength will become more vital beginning in 2014, when the four-team playoff is started. Why? Because a major component of the playoff team selection process figures to be schedule strength. So, cupcakes are on the way out. But, until then, many remain. Just look at the non-conference schedules. Here is my ranking of the Big Ten non-conference schedules. [ MORE: Week  1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13

Week 6 preview: Welcome to Evanston, Buckeyes

Another day, another opportunity to take an in-depth look at the 2013 football season. Today, it’s all about Week 6 in my early week-by-week series. The first week of full Big Ten play, the slate offers some intriguing battles, including Northwestern hosting Big Ten favorite Ohio State. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 6 in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 ] Game of the week: As the overwhelming Big Ten favorite, Ohio State will be the hunted all season, which can

Dienhart: My Big Ten stadium rankings

Athlon Sports has another awesome list. This time, the Nashville-based company ranks the Big Ten stadiums. Yes, it’s a highly subjective list. No shock to see Ohio Stadium on top, followed by Penn State’s Beaver Stadium and Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. And it was good to see Wisconsin’s Camp Randall No. 4 over Michigan Stadium. But there are a few things I would tweak. Here are my Big Ten stadium rankings: 1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State: Loud, proud and crammed in. No place like it. 2. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska: No fan base has more passion or dedication. 3. Camp Randall Stadium,

Debate It: 2013 Big Ten tackles leader?

Tackles are an inexact science, to be sure. Teams award them differently, so it’s not always as simple as comparing Player A from School A to Player B from School B. Whatever the case, the Big Ten returns several of its top tacklers, including 2012 leader Anthony Hitchens. Who will lead the Big Ten in tackles this fall? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post. TACKLES 2012 leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124 2013 returning leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124 Tom: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State – If you thought Shazier was good last season as

Week 5 preview: Badgers-Buckeyes rule four-game slate

If Big Ten football fans have a wedding to attend this fall, they probably hope it lands on Week 5 – aka Saturday, Sept. 28. Unless, maybe, you’re an Ohio State or Wisconsin fan. The Badgers trip to the Buckeyes highlights an abbreviated four-game slate, half of which includes nonconference games (Northern Illinois at Purdue; Miami (OH) at Illinois). Get all the storylines, matchups and my rankings of Week 5 games in this post. [ RELATED: Week 1 preview | Week 2 preview | Week 3 preview | Week 4 preview ] Game of the week: Wisconsin’s trip to Ohio

Debate It: 2013 Big Ten sacks leader?

Last year was hardly the season of the sack. For the first time in at least a decade, no Big Ten player recorded double-digit sacks. Nine was good enough for the 2012 lead, shared between Northwestern’s Tyler Scott and Ohio State’s John Simon. Who will lead the Big Ten in sacks in 2013? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post. SACKS 2012 leader: Tyler Scott, Northwestern; John Simon, Ohio State – 9 2013 returning leader: Tyler Scott, Northwestern – 9 Tom: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State – Yes, I am going out on a limb with this