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A look at Big Ten prospects in 2014 NFL Draft

The 2013 NFL draft wasn’t kind to the Big Ten. Just 22 players were selected—the fewest since 1994. Just one pick came in the first round, as the selection of Wisconsin center Travis Frederick No. 31 overall by the Cowboys was considered to be a massive reach by anyone with Internet access and a mock draft. But, fear not: The 2014 NFL draft should be much more fruitful for the Big Ten. Check out this way, way, WAY early mock draft from SI.com. Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby is pegged to go No. 11. Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is

Dienhart: My 2013 All-Big Ten Spring Team

The Big Ten put a wrap on spring football last weekend, with Iowa and Minnesota playing the final spring games in the conference. Now, the long offseason begins. But, honestly, this is when players get better—not from September to December. Here’s a look at the players who exceled this spring, giving them plenty of mojo entering the key summer period. [ BTN2GO: Watch April 6 spring games | April 13 games | April 20 games | April 27 games ] OFFENSE WR Chris Fields, Ohio State, Sr. Time and again, he made plays all spring to earn himself a starting

Dienhart: 13 thoughts on new divisions

The announcement of the new divisions created a buzz across the Big Ten landscape. Leaders and Legends are gone. East and West are in. And a nine-game Big Ten schedule is coming in 2016. Here are 13 observations about the new arrangements. [ RELATED: No more “Legends & Leaders” | Dienhart: It’s the right move | Sound off on BTN Connect ] 1. It is good to have Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. Really. The specter of having them play twice in the same season (in the regular season and then possibly in the Big Ten title

New divisions, schedules ahead for football

So the Big Ten Conference will move to two new football East and West divisions in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. In an interview with BTN on Sunday, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Being broader, being larger, geography had to play a larger part.” Meanwhile, BTN.com senior writer tells our BTN football team not to be so quick to say the East will always be stronger than the West. BTN football analyst Gerry DiNardo prefers the previous set-up was based on competitive balance while Howard Griffith says the East has the edge right now. Find out

East meets West: Big Ten unveils new divisions

It’s official: The Big Ten Conference will have new division alignments set to begin in 2014 and nine-game Big Ten Conference schedules for 2016 after the recommendations were unanimously approved by school athletic directors and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors. In a statement released by the conference, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography.” We break it all down tonight on “The BTN Football

Big Ten buzzing over reports of new divisions

In a move that had been speculated for months with Rutgers and Maryland poised to join the Big Ten and make it a 14-team league in 2014, the conference is apparently set to announce divisional realignment based on geography. Conference presidents and chancellors will reportedly vote on the divisions, new division names, and an expanded league schedule format on Sunday. Indiana and Purdue would be the lone protected cross-division rivalry, guaranteeing the in-state foes to meet each season for the hallowed Old Oaken Bucket. Earlier this week Purdue president Mitch Daniels told The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier that everything should

Wildcats' Fitzgerald: 'Ready to take the next step'

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is the king of the measured statement sprinkled with a heavy-dose of “we just have to improve” coachspeak. And no coach embodies his school more or has greater pure passion for what he does than Fitzgerald, who is just 38 but is entering his eighth year at the helm in Evanston. But most vital: The man can coach. And this year’s team may be his best yet. Fitz’s program is sky-high, riding a monster wave of mojo coming off five bowls in a row and a 10-3 season. And after 2012, the Wildcats won their first

Debate It: Can Wildcats win Legends Division?

The way Northwestern finished the 2012 season, culminating in the program’s first bowl win since the 1948 Rose Bowl, coupled with the fact it returns much of its skill position talent, expectations are quite high in Evanston. In fact, some are wondering if the Wildcats – yes, the Wildcats – have what it takes to play for their first Big Ten title since 2000. Do they? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss in this post. Question: Can Northwestern win the Legends Division? Tom: Absolutely. Yes, Nebraska should be the favorite to repeat as the Legends champ and get back

Dienhart: Wildcats offense clicks

Hope is floating at a high level in Evanston for what may be Pat Fitzgerald’s best Northwestern team yet. In fact, it may be the school’s best team since the 1995 squad that marched to the Rose Bowl. The Wildcats have some swagger as they put the wraps on spring practice, as Fitz prepares for—can you believe this?—his eighth season leading Northwestern. And, it could be special. Very special. Watch the entire Northwestern spring game on BTN2Go, and read my observations for a team coming off a 10-win season, five postseason trips in succession and first bowl win since the

Video: Watch NU spring game highlights

The Northwestern Spring Game was played Saturday at Lakeside Field on BTN2Go. Watch all the game’s best plays and other notable moments in this post. Remember: All of our Spring Football video clips can be found in our BTN.com video vault. Watch the clips below. It’s the annual dizzy bat race time! Tony Jones hauls in touchdown: Damien Proby pregame interview: New basketball coach Chris Collins sideline interview: