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Dienhart: We need scheduling uniformity

I was a bit bummed when I heard the SEC would retain its current scheduling format, which calls for eight conference games each season. Meanwhile, the other four “power leagues” (Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12) are or will play nine-game conference schedules. With the start of a four-team playoff this fall, college football needs more uniformity across the board when it comes to building schedules—then ultimately comparing resumes when it comes to selecting playoff teams. Having all of the major conferences playing the same number of league games would have been a start. The next would be to have

Dienhart: My 2014 All-Spring Football Team

With Big Ten spring practices finished, it’s time for my annual tradition of naming an All-Spring Team. These are players who made moves in the spring as surprise players—or vets who took another step in their development. See my complete team in this post. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten spring football coverage ] 2014 BTN.com All-Spring Team OFFENSE QB Trevor Siemian, Northwestern. He enjoyed a strong spring, firming up his status as the No. 1 man with Kain Colter gone. Yes, Siemian lacks the mobility of previous NU signal-callers. But he has a superior arm. Expect the

Who has easiest B1G schedule, based on 2013 records?

Who will have the easiest Big Ten conference schedule in 2014, based on last year’s records? Wisconsin, followed by three fellow Big Ten West teams. Jesse Temple of FOX Sports Wisconsin did the calculations. The combined 2013 league record of Wisconsin’s eight 2014 Big Ten foes is 22-42 (.343 winning percentage). Not having to play Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan from the Big Ten East helps. A lot. The Badgers’ cross-division foes are Rutgers and Maryland. Here’s a look from 1-14 of each team’s 2014 Big Ten schedule ranked on the 2013 won-lost record of its opponents.

Video: Gerry DiNardo's team-by-team spring thoughts

With the Big Ten spring football season in the books, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo offered his team-by-team impressions on Monday night’s #BTNLive. Watch DiNardo and Mike Hall discuss the camps for every team in this post. Here, DiNardo shares his thoughts on the East Division. Inside, it’s all about the the West Division. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten spring football coverage ]

B1G spring football: Top 3 players at each position

Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers wrapped up the Big Ten spring football season with spring games on Saturday. After 13 games, one practice and an infamous cat leading Nebraska onto the field, it’s safe to say that this year’s spring was a success. Many Big Ten teams faced questions heading into the spring, and a number of those questions were answered. So now we ask: Who are the top players in the conference heading into the 2014 Big Ten football season? Here is a breakdown of the top three Big Ten players at each position. QUARTERBACK 1. Braxton Miller, Ohio

#BTNLive: Jim Delany on NCAA proposal

The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in how to fund scholarships, handle health care and decide other increasingly hot-button issues involving their athletes. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany appeared on Thursday’s “#BTNLive” to discuss the latest developments, and you can watch that entire interview in this post. If approved later this year, schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC could implement some rules on their own

NFL Draft history: Big Ten stunners & surprises

Talent evaluation is a dicey proposition. Even with all of the resources that NFL teams have to learn about college players—the NFL Combine, interviews, on-campus workouts, an army of scouts, reels of video—teams still can mess up a pick or stumble into a pleasant surprise. The disappointments become glaring when they happen in the first round, the one round of picks where you would think teams could get correct. And years later, the nice surprises almost jump out off the draft board when you see how a college player went on to exceed expectations in the NFL. Here’s a look

NFL Draft: Where could Big Ten prospects land?

As dominant as both the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos were last season, no team in the NFL is perfect. Every organization has a need somewhere, and that is where the NFL Draft comes into play. Some of those needs will be filled by former Big Ten standouts such as Taylor Lewan, Darqueze Dennard and Ryan Shazier. But where will these budding stars call home? Here is a look at the top 10 Big Ten draft prospects and where they could land in next month’s NFL Draft. [ MORE: How this year’s Big Ten draft class stacks up to others

BTN releases 2014 prime-time football slate

The Big Ten announced a six-game prime-time schedule for BTN/BTN2Go that is highlighted by a mid-November telecast and two appearances by Nebraska and Rutgers. Rutgers is the only Big Ten team that will play host to two BTN night tilts, kicking things off with a visit from East rival Penn State on Sept. 13 in the Scarlet Knights’ first Big Ten game. Rutgers also will welcome Michigan on Oct. 4. [ MORE: College sports could step into future on Thursday ] Nebraska will take part in two BTN prime-time telecasts, playing host to Illinois on Sept. 27 and traveling to

BTN/BTN2Go to air six prime-time football games

CHICAGO – BTN today announced it has selected six games to air in primetime this fall, with teams including the conference’s 2013 Big Ten Champion Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan and Big Ten newcomers Rutgers University and the University of Maryland. Nine of 14 Big Ten schools are part of the primetime selections, and five of the six games are conference contests. “This year’s selections reflect the expanded geography and nationwide appeal of the conference and the network,” said BTN President Mark Silverman, “and gives us our best primetime lineup ever.” The first selection features Penn State at Rutgers on