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Thursday Jan 19
7:00 PMWisconsin at Ohio St.Watch
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Toughest Big Ten game for every team?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. In less than three months, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out the toughest conference game for each Big Ten team. See your team’s game in this post. [ MORE: Everything you need to know about the non-con slate, in one post ] ILLINOIS Going to Ohio State on Nov. 1 won’t be a treat. The Illini have lost six in a row and are 1-9 in their last 10

Best of Week 2: Offense (Ducks) vs. Defense (Spartans)

Week 2 brings more juice than the opening salvo to the season, as there are three nationally relevant games: Michigan State at Oregon; Virginia Tech at Ohio State; Michigan at Notre Dame. In fact, those games will offer the Big Ten a golden chance to make a statement. A win by the Spartans on the road in raucous Autzen Stadium would stamp them legit national title contenders. Here’s a look at the best of Week 2. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 2 Best storyline: All eyes will be on Eugene, Ore., where

Video: Wildcats get fancy in uniform feature

Northwestern has no shortage of uniform combinations. Under Armour revamped the team’s look prior to the 2012 season, and last year it introduced an all-white design. There’s countless helmets to go along with the three different jerseys and pants (white, black and purple). Basically, there’s no telling what Northwestern will wear from one Saturday to the next. Players love it. And, most importantly, recruits love it. Based on the Northwestern YouTube video above, we may see some new combinations in 2014. In the video, linebacker Collin Ellis says, “We’ve never done this before,” while wearing a black top and white

Best of Week 1: Wisconsin vs. LSU, what else?

With the season less than 100 days away and preview magazines on the shelves of the local Piggly Wiggly, it’s never too early to start looking forward to the college football season. This week, I begin to take a week-by-week look at the coming season, highlighting what to look for. Consider it an early, early preview. You’re welcome. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 1 Best storyline: The opening week of season is highlighted by Wisconsin’s clash with LSU in Houston. It will be a good measuring stick for the Badgers, especially the

Breaking down the Big Ten non-con sked

The formula for building a non-conference schedule is pretty standard: play one challenging game vs. a team from a Power 5 league (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten) and three games vs. foes from “lesser” conferences. And ideally, three of the four games are at home. But, as you can see, not all non-conference games are created equally. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Big Ten’s non-conference schedule. Power 5 foes: 17 Bowl teams: 24 FCS foes: 11 Foes by Power 5 league Pac-12: 5 (Cal, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Washington State) ACC: 4 (Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Virginia Tech) Big

Big Ten Football Spelling Bee: Try to spell these names

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee taking place Thursday, it got us thinking about some of the most challenging names to spell in the Big Ten. One our out favorite parts of the college football season is introducing Big Ten fans to some of the best names to keep an eye on, and these are ones that you may have to break out the ol’ game program to spell correctly. Some of the names are hard to spell because of a unique spelling (think Maxx Williams), and some are hard because they’re just very unique names (think Ifeadi Odenigbo). Either way,

What's your Big Ten team's toughest non-con game?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. Three months from now, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out your team’s toughest non-conference game. ILLINOIS A Sept. 13 trip to Washington will be a good test. The teams met last season in Chicago’s Soldier Field, with the Huskies taking a 34-24 victory to be a buzzkill to a 2-0 Illinois start. The Illini won just two times after the loss to U-Dub, killing the party mood along

Got Big Ten collectibles? Tell 'Treasure Hunter'

Coming this fall on BTN/BTN2Go, our new show “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” debuts, and we’re looking for your submissions. BTN’s memorabilia expert John Arcand will spend each episode traveling throughout Big Ten country to assess Big Ten memorabilia collections – and offer to buy items from collectors. Do you have something special sitting on your shelf? Our “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” crew wants to learn about it.      

Video: Pat Fitzgerald takes pies to the face

Pat Fitzgerald is all for helping out good a cause, so it was no shock to see him taking pies to the face during a recent Pi Beta Phi fundraiser. For just $2, anyone could smash a pie in the football coach’s face, with all proceeds going to children’s literacy. “It’s great on the face,” Fitzgerald said, “I think it’s exfoliating. In the nostrils, is not one that I would recommend. It’s great to help our students.” h/t: @ChrisVannini About Brent Yarina BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature

Dienhart: NU's 2014 schedule analysis

Last year began amid much hope for Northwestern, which opened 4-0 with No. 4 Ohio State coming to Evanston for a prime-time national TV. Alas, Northwestern lost, 40-30, and never recovered. From there, the Wildcats lost seven in a row – including one in overtime, another in triple overtime and two other games by three points – before beating Illinois in the finale. A 5-7 mark (1-7 Big Ten) ended the team’s school-record run of five bowls in a row. The Wildcats return many key veterans and will be motivated. The offensive line must improve, while the defense needs more