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Dienhart: Monday's best Big Ten web links

It’s Monday, it’s the height of vacation season, but that doesn’t mean the Big Ten football news is at the beach riding waves. SPEED KILLS: What was the common denominator in Nebraska’s Big Ten losses last season? They all came against teams that had mobile quarterbacks, points out Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald. Michigan’s Denard Robinson. Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson. Northwestern’s Kain Colter. And, had Ohio State’s Braxton Miller not been knocked out of the game vs. the Huskers, the Buckeyes may not have fallen to Nebraska. So, this all begs the question: Which teams on the Cornhuskers’ 2012 schedule

The results are in: See how Big Ten fans voted

For the Fourth of July, we were feeling patriotic and decided to post 12 polls, half of which were holiday- or political-centric, with the hope of providing Big Ten fans a little holiday enjoyment. The polls have closed, and now it’s time to see how you voted. Which Big Ten coach do fans wish could get a second term? And which Big Ten player’s game is most fireworks-inducing? See the results for all 12 polls in this post. An observation, based on the figures: Nebraska fans hijacked a few of the polls. THE POLITICAL, FOURTH OF JULY BALLOT: THE 2012-13

Steele: Badgers headed to third straight Rose Bowl

Wisconsin is going to its third consecutive Rose Bowl — at least, that’s what Phil Steele foresees. Steele has the Badgers, losers of the past two Rose Bowls, headed to Pasadena, Calif., to play Southern Cal in his updated 2012-13 bowl predictions. In all, Steele predicts nine Big Ten bowl teams. See all of his matchups in this post. [PhilSteele.com: 2012-2013 Bowl Projections] STEELE’S BIG TEN BOWL PROJECTIONS Little Caesar’s Bowl: Northwestern vs. Ohio Meineke Car Care Bowl: Illinois vs. Texas Tech Insight Bowl: Penn State vs. TCU TicketCity Bowl: Purdue vs. Tulsa Outback Bowl: Nebraska vs. Florida Capital One

Northwestern's Kain Colter

Have a question? Tom Dienhart will answer it

It may only be the beginning of July, but Big Ten fans are craving football. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart answers all of your college football questions — and other sports — in his regular Big Ten reader mailbags. Wondering about 2012 season predictions? Or players to watch? Use the submission form in this post to pepper our expert with your football questions and comments. Dienhart uses the best notes in each mailbag, and he’s on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart) and Facebook, too. And don”t forget that we’re taking your nominations for future classic football games for “The Big Ten Greatest Games.” Those emails

Ryan Field

Red, White & Blue: Fun for your Fourth of July

We’re feeling a little patriotic here at BTN.com. Not only is Wednesday the Fourth of July, but 2012 is an election year. So as you’re probably decked out in your favorite Red, White and Blue ensemble, we thought it would be a good time to ask you to hit the voting booth early. Dive inside this post and cast your vote in our 12 polls for 2012. All are Big Ten-centric, of course. Vote away, and have a safe and enjoyable Fourth. THE POLITICAL, FOURTH OF JULY BALLOT: THE 2012-13 BALLOT: Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for

The week that was: Last week's top 10 stories

It was a busy week this past week, what with the 2012 NBA Draft and college football approving a four-team playoff. To no surprise, both topics are represented in our top 10 stories from last week. See the entire top 10 in this post. 10. Big Ten NBA Draft picks since 2000 With the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday, I thought it would fun to consider all of the Big Ten draft classes since 2000. The new millennium got off to a strong start, with eight Big Ten products selected in the 2000 draft, including Jamal Crawford, Joel Przybilla, Morris

ESPN, Rose Bowl agree to 12-year extension

(AP) The Rose Bowl has agreed to a 12-year extension with ESPN that will keep the game on the network through 2026. ESPN President John Skipper, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and Rose Bowl officials announced the deal Thursday. Skipper called the Rose Bowl “one of sport’s most meaningful” events. ESPN will keep the broadcast rights to the Rose Bowl regardless of the final format developed for college football’s new playoff system, which kicks in for the 2014 season. The first championship game under the new system is Jan. 12, 2015. The network’s current deal with

Playoff Talk Fills Our Latest Reader Mailbag

Discussion of the new college football playoff dominates this week’s Big Ten reader mailbag, and that’s no surprise to anyone who follows college football. The people wanted change, and change is what we got. The formal announcement came down Tuesday and by now you know where I stand on it. Other experts, of course, have chimed in as well. So, you have emailed me your questions and I have typed up my answers. Let’s put them all together now and see what we get. What do you think of the new playoff format? – Jim Overall, I am happy with the

CBSSports.com: What if there was playoff last 6 years?

CBSSports.com’s Matt Hinton is a playoff advocate, so he must have been thrilled with Tuesday’s news that a four-team playoff is official. If his latest work is any indication, he can’t wait for the 2014 field to be determined. Curiously wondering what the playoff would have looked like in recent years, Hinton recently scribed a post that includes the playoff bracket for each of the past six seasons. [CBSSports.com: Playoff Precedents: College football has its bracket, but is it going to work?] It’s a good thing Hinton goes back six seasons, because the 2006 campaign was the one where Ohio

Delany, Hollis, others react to playoff reality

In case you missed it Tuesday night, a committee of university presidents approved a four-team college football playoff, which will debut in the 2014 season and run for 12 years. Get Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Michigan State AD Mark Hollis’ thoughts on the decision in this post, plus see relevant tweets from across the nation. [Dienhart: Let’s Get This Playoff Party Started] Delany “The Big Ten Conference is pleased with the decision made by the presidential oversight committee to implement a four-team playoff for college football. We feel that this system will protect the regular season, preserve the