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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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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.,

#BTNLive asks: Who's done the most on Signing Day?

If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: What program has made the most of football’s National Signing Day in the last 4 years? Five choices:  #BTNBuckeyes, #BTNBadgers, #BTNSpartans, #BTNHuskers or #BTNPSU. On tonight’s show, Mike Hall, Gerry Dinardo and Stanley Jackson we take a look at what the National Signing Day process is like from the point of view of both player and coach, then they discuss how the Big Ten classes

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!

Did you see this: Nebraska 2014 hype video

After a 9-4 season concluded with an impressive win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl, Nebraska fans are already getting amped up for the 2014 college football season… And rightfully so. The Huskers return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, including All-Big Ten running back Ameer Abdullah on offense and All-Big Ten defensive end Randy Gregory on defense. In anticipation for the 2014 season, Nebraska released the following hype video, titled “Be Ready.” Check out the video here, which was tweeted out earlier today by the official twitter account of Huskers football: The #Huskers are getting

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

Twitter: @FauxPelini and his cat are back in the news

Earlier this month during the BCS title game, Bo Pelini “won” Twitter by tweeting at his parody account, @FauxPelini, to ask for his cat back. Read more here. Three weeks later, the cat featured in the fake account’s photo is back in the news. Sort of. You see, Nebraska recently tweeted a picture of a cat on Pelini’s desk. Why? For fun, and as a way to promote the @FauxPelini-Reddit Ask Me Anything feature. @RedditCFB Delivered without comment or context. #GBR pic.twitter.com/skUzdbYbux — Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) January 24, 2014 Read @FauxPelini and HuskersAthletics’ responses to fans’ questions here. The highlight?

Former B1G players perform Star Spangled Banner

Former Ohio State Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George will always be remembered as one of the top running backs in Big Ten history. But did you know that George has quite the singing voice as well? As part of a promotional add for Metlife, the naming sponsor of the site of Super Bowl XLVIII, George joined former Ohio State star Nick Mangold and former Nebraska kicker Josh Brown in performing a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. I have to say, Brown is the most impressive of the group, although George and Mangold held their own as well. This is

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