Can you smell it in the air? College basketball is just around the corner. In fact, the Big Ten preseason kicks off tonight as Illinois hosts McKendree at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Digital Network. It will be the first chance to get a look at several of the conferences top newcomers, which is always exciting to see at this time of year.
Another light, yet exciting week ahead, with four teams off–Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin. Still, this Saturday has a marquee, prime-time game to hang its hat on with Penn State playing at Ohio State.
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Here is a good place to start daily links on this chilly Thursday in late October. Interesting piece from the great Tom Shatel: If Nebraska has the Big Ten blahs, it has only itself to blame. It seems some Huskers fans aren’t enamored with their new home. But, Shatel has some interesting insights: The inability to move up the rankings, or flag down the Associated Press voters? That’s on Nebraska’s inability to show well in a big game — most notably UCLA — not the mediocrity that is Big Ten football.
Every week during the 2013 football season, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Brent Yarina, Sean Merriman and hoops analyst Stephen Bardo, a huge football fan, make their Big Ten picks. We also provide polls for Big Ten fans to select their winners. Eight weeks down, Bardo, Merriman and Yarina are tied for the top spot, at 53-11. Big Ten fans are one game off the pace.
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This is a light menu for Week 9, as there are just four games. Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana all are off this week. And there is just one marquee game, with Penn State playing at Ohio State looking to end the Buckeyes’ remarkable run of 19 victories in a row. Here’s a look at this week’s games.
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For years, Big Ten coaches have spouted off clichés about how difficult a grind the conference is week in week out, how there are no off nights, that you’re in for battle in every match, and that there is no margin for error. While accurate in some sense, until the 2013 season, it seemed like a lot of coach speak to pump up the reputation of the league.
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