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12:30 PMW. Illinois at IowaWatch
3:00 PMLSU at IndianaWatch
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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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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

Jim Phillips releases statement on players union

Northwestern AD Jim Phillips released a statement Tuesday in response to the football players starting the process of being recognized as employees by reaching out for help from the National College Players Association. See Phillips official release in this post. [ MORE: Dienhart: “I’m all for this” players union ] Here is Phillips’ full statement: We love and are proud of our students. Northwestern teaches them to be leaders and independent thinkers who will make a positive impact on their communities, the nation and the world. Today’s action demonstrates that they are doing so. Northwestern University always has been, and

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

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

2014 Big Ten Running Backs

Dienhart: My top 10 Big Ten running backs for 2014

Northwestern received great news Tuesday, as running back Venric Mark was granted a medical hardship for a fifth season of eligibility. Mark’s return bolsters what will be a strong collection of running backs in the Big Ten in 2014. Here’s my ranking of the conference’s Top 10 backs for next season. Before I get to my list, there’s more on Mark. The Wildcat speedster was limited to three games last fall while battling multiple injuries. He played for the last time on Oct. 12 at Wisconsin, leaving in the first quarter with a fractured ankle that sidelined him for the

Venric Mark

Venric Mark receives fifth year of eligibility

Northwestern announced Tuesday that running back Venric Mark‘s application for a medical hardship waiver has been approved by the Big Ten Conference, rendering Mark eligible to return for a fifth season with the Wildcats in 2014. An All-American punt returner and 1,000-yard rusher in 2012, Mark saw limited action in three games last fall while battling multiple injuries. He played for the final time in Northwestern’s Oct. 12 game at Wisconsin, leaving the game in the first quarter with a fractured ankle that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Mark, who played as a true freshman upon arriving in Evanston

Dienhart: Should college football dump the PAT?

It was interesting to watch to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talk about various issues recently on NFL Network. One idea he said the league is studying is dropping extra point kicks after touchdowns – just see the NFL Network video here. Would the college game ever consider dumping PATs? It may be worth considering and studying. How good are pros at making PATs? In 2013, NFL kickers hit 1,256 of 1,261 extra points, a cool 99.6 percent accuracy rate. That’s as close to automatic as you can get. The only play duller during a game is when the quarterback takes a

bcs_trophy

One look back at Big Ten's best BCS era teams

The BCS era is over, and to me that is a very good thing. The era ran 16 seasons stretching from 1998-2013. As a way to celebrate the end of the BCS and with an eye on the first college football playoff after next season, I present to you my 10 best Big Ten teams of the BCS era. Agree? Disagree? State your case in the comments section below or drop me a note for my mailbag. And if you want a sneak peek at 2014 preseason rankings, I wrote about one I found a little while ago, but it’s

Dienhart: A look at Big Ten early enrollees

National Signing Day is Feb. 5th, but schools have been inking mid-year prospects for a few weeks in the early-signing period. And today is the deadline. The Big Ten will welcome 51 newcomers, who all are enrolled and able to go through winter conditioning and spring ball. Illinois leads the way with nine mid-year enrollees. Michigan and Ohio State each have brought in seven. Indiana has six, while Penn State and Wisconsin have five. Iowa and Northwestern have the fewest mid-year additions with just one each. Among the newcomers are 10 junior college transfers. Illinois leads the way with four