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Top Big Ten NFL-producing teams of last 5 years

Remember, not so long ago, when Purdue was deemed the name “The Den of Defensive Ends” for producing a massive amount of top-notch defensive ends who went on to play in the NFL? Names like Rosevelt Colvin, Chike Okeafor, Shaun Phillips and Anthony Spencer struck fear in opposing Big Ten quarterbacks throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Even before that, Penn State became known as “Linebacker U” because of dominant linebackers such as Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington and Paul Posluszny, all of whom had or are currently having success in the NFL. This year’s NFL Draft is loaded with

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

Northwestern players vote on union question

In a historic vote, Northwestern football players cast secret ballots Friday on whether to form the nation’s first union for college athletes – a decision that could change the landscape of American amateur sports. “You got to give the people what they want!” one of the players shouted at reporters, who were kept away from the players as they entered a campus building to vote. Some waved and another busted out dance moves. [ MORE: Read all of our unionization coverage ] Results of the unprecedented vote won’t be revealed any time soon. After the vote, the ballot boxes will

#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

Northwestern union vote coming up on Friday

To unionize or not to unionize. That’s what Northwestern players will vote on Friday in what could be a watershed event in the annals of college sports. Many have speculated that the players will reject the union, based on some public comments by a few Wildcats and the fact Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald has spoken out against it and has counseled players that a union isn’t in their best interest. [ MORE: Trevor Siemian says union push was rushed, wrong ] But we shall see. This all came front and center in March, when a regional director of the National

College sports could step into future on Thursday

On Thursday, the NCAA Board of Directors is expected to OK a new model of how its organization is run. Bottom line: major changes appear to be coming, as it appears the NCAA is trying to get a lot of this done to thwart multiple lawsuits vs. the Indianapolis institution and also to unplug the union movement. A big anticipated change: The five power conferences are expected to be given autonomy from other leagues. [ MORE: BTN/BTN2Go announces 2014 prime-time football schedule ] What’s it mean? The Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC and Pac 12 would basically be able