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Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive backfield unit rankings

No Big Ten team will have a better DB than Iowa corner Desmond King, who won the Thorpe Award. But instead of turning pro coming off that season of glory, King opted to return to Iowa City. And that’s a big reason why the Hawkeyes top my ranking of Big Ten West defensive backfields. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West defensive lines | West linebackers | West predictions ] See my full ranking below. 1. Iowa. This could be the top secondary in the Big Ten. Senior corner Desmond King eschewed the NFL

See who is scheduled to attend 2016 Big Ten Media Days in Chicago

The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday the 42 students scheduled to attend the 2016 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, on Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

Power Five leagues release plan to give athletes more time off

The commissioners of the five autonomy conferences announced Thursday an agreement in concept on changes they will propose that are intended to give students who play sports more time off. The purpose of the changes is to rebalance the student experience between athletics and campus life, providing students with more time to focus on other college interests, including academics, work experience, travel, and additional rest. The first area of change, Flex 21, will provide students, in many cases, with at least an additional 21 days in which they are free of required athletic activities during the academic year. These 21

Dienhart: Big Ten West linebacker unit rankings

Talented, quick, deep … those are just three words that aptly describe the linebacking corps at Wisconsin, which tops my ranking of Big Ten West linebackers. But the LBs will have to adjust to a new coordinator. What impact will that have? [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West defensive lines | West predictions ] Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten West linebacker units. 1. Wisconsin. Senior Vince Biegel and sophomore T.J. Edwards are the bellwethers of this strong unit. Biegel tallied 14 TFLs in 2015 and is the leader of the defense

The top Big Ten football players by jersey number

When talking about the best football players in Big Ten history, it is near impossible to choose just one player worthy of the title, “the best.” [ MORE: Can a Big Ten West team win the conference title in 2016? ] So, what’s the right way to break down this argument? You could do it by position, but even that could be extremely difficult. Making a list of the top Big Ten players to wear every number would be great, but is that even possible? The answer is yes. I went through every jersey number, 1-99, and created a list

Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive line unit rankings

Ask any coach, and he’ll tell you the most difficult spot to recruit is defensive line. It is very difficult to find players who are big AND quick. Teams that can build good lines typically have a shot to win league titles. Iowa is one of those teams. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten West defensive lines. 1. Iowa. It hurts not having ends Drew Ott and Nate Meier, who made for a formidable tandem. Still, there is lots to build on. Sophomore

Big Ten hoops family reacts to legend Pat Summitt's death

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who lifted the women’s game to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee, died Tuesday. She was 64. With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012. Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. “Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest

Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten's top 7 quarterbacks

Without a good quarterback, a team has little chance to enjoy a glorious season. The Big Ten will feature several good signal-callers in 2016, led by Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett. In fact, Barrett just may be the league’s best hope to win the Heisman. [ MORE: East OL | West OL | East pass-catchers | West pass-catchers | East backfields | West backfields ] Here is a ranking of the Big Ten’s top seven quarterbacks. 1. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Jr. No competition this fall. The job is Barrett’s, as he looks to capture his 2014 form, when he was

Dienhart: Big Ten West offensive backfield unit rankings

This time last year, few could have envisioned the historic season Iowa was about to enjoy. The Hawkeyes started the season 12-0, a first, and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1990 season after playing in their first Big Ten title game. This season shapes up well, too, beginning with a loaded backfield. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | 2016 Big Ten West predictions ] Here’s my ranking of the offensive backfields in the Big Ten West. 1. Iowa. Things are looking good with QB C.J. Beathard back. The senior is coming

The best Big Ten draft pick at every NBA Draft position

The Big Ten saw six players get drafted in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Two of the former standouts (Denzel Valentine – No. 14 to Chicago & Caris LeVert – No. 20 to Indiana; traded to Brooklyn) were selected in the first round. With the draft in the books, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the best Big Ten player taken in every spot of the first round, 1-30. Did I miss one? Tweet me your opinions (@BTNSean). 1. Magic Johnson, Michigan State NBA team: Los Angeles Lakers Year: 1979 College stats: