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Big Ten in Review: The top 10 stories of Week 1

Football is back. Everyone has to be thrilled about that, right? The Big Ten went 10-2 in the opening week of the season, including Michigan State’s comeback win over ranked Boise State. See BTN.com’s top 10 stories from a newsworthy last seven days in this post.

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Dienhart: Bell, Spartans top Big Ten Power Rankings

It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for my weekly Big Ten Power Rankings. Where does your Big Ten team fall on my list following Week 1 action? See in this post. Disagree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me @BTNTomDienhart. Read all my Big Ten coverage here, and don’t forget to send me any questions you may have for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.

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Dienhart: A fun look back at the BTN bus tour

The BTN crew spent almost three weeks on the road travelling over 3,000 miles on visits to every Big Ten training camp. We saw a lot of football, talked to a lot of coaches and ate a lot of bananas and beef jerky on our super-deluxe tour bus that was tricked out with two color TVs, two fridges and Wi-Fi that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. Two cases of Red Bull and a box of Twizzlers later, I put a punctuation mark on the 2012 BTN bus tour with a fun look at our circuitous journey from Lincoln to State College—and points in between.

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Sign Here: Big Ten stars autograph BTN tour bus

Another BTN summer football tour is in the books. On this year’s trek across the Big Ten landscape, we logged 3,035 miles in the span of 17 days, according to the always accurate @BTNStatsGuy. And at each of the 12 stops, the exterior of our tour bus received a significant upgrade, in the form of 12 autographs – one from each of the players spotlighted on the sides of the bus. See a picture of your team’s representative signing his likeness in this post, plus watch our tour interview with him.

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Celebrating 5 years: Top 5 running backs of BTN era

It’s been a fast handful of years, and on Aug. 30, BTN will officially celebrate its fifth anniversary. Crazy to think, huh? To celebrate – not to mention kill time before the season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our existence. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My second list ranks the top five running backs of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.

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Dienhart: Things I learned at Minnesota

Anytime you watch Minnesota, you can’t help but focus on quarterback MarQueis Gray. At 6-4, 250 pounds, Gray looked like a linebacker or defensive end when I stood by him at practice. He’s a physical beast. But he also has made some great strides as a passer, which were apparent in the practice we watched. Quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski told me things are slowing down for Gray in his second season in the scheme. You could sense a maturity and confidence about Gray as he worked out. He’s older and wiser—and it showed today.

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