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Le'Veon Bell

What a difference a year makes...

In sports, we constantly hear the phrase, “What a difference a year makes.” It’s a cliche, no doubt about it. But, often times, it’s so true. And that’s the case when one compares the first four weeks of the 2012 Big Ten football season to the first quarter of the 2011 campaign. Here’s an example of the differences, team by team: ILLINOIS One year ago after four weeks: The Illini were 4-0 and had outscored its opponents, 129-52. This year: Illinois is 2-2 and it matched last year’s 52 points allowed in the Louisiana Tech game alone; its 104 points

Donnell Kirkwood

Dienhart: Week 5 bowl projections

Four weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress—as usual To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012. Once again, the Big Ten did little to improve its stock on Saturday, notching no impressive wins while seeing Michigan lose to Notre Dame in the biggest game of the weekend. Also, Iowa was stunned at home by Central Michigan and Illinois got hammered at home by Louisiana Tech. [RELATED: Week 5 Power Rankings

Mark Weisman

Week 5 Player Rankings: It's Weisman time!

With Week 4 behind us, it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Again, I’m doing these a little different this year. Whereas I used to rank the top 10 players – a practice that was tough due to all the talent on both sides of the ball – I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week. Why six of both? Because it opens up the field, plus there are six teams in each division. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa. OFFENSE 1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio

Braxton Miller

Tom's Top 10: Best of the non-con season

I have a twist on my weekly “Tom’s Top 10” this week. With non-conference play complete save for two games and Big Ten action set to kick off on Saturday, I take a look at the “best” of the non-league season. What was the best game of the non-conference season? How about the best performance? And the best moment? Find out below. 1. Best team: Ohio State – No team has really dominated, but Ohio State is the choice. The Buckeyes are on probation and not eligible to win the Big Ten or go to a bowl. Still, they have

How did we do? Big Ten Week 4 picks revisited

Before we turn our complete attention to Week 5 and the start of Big Ten play, let’s see how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 4 predictions. Everyone involved went 8-2, meaning Dienhart and BTN.com fans remain tied for first, at 36-10, one game ahead of me. The games we got wrong? Dienhart and BTN.com fans missed Louisiana Tech-Illinois and Central Michigan-Iowa, while I missed Central Michigan-Iowa and Syracuse-Minnesota. SEASON RECORDS BTN.com fans: 36-10; .783 Tom: 36-10; .783 Brent: 35-11; .761 [Related: BTN.com’s All-Big Ten non-con teams | Dienhart’s Best of the non-con season] Louisiana

Braxton Miller

BTN.com's 2012 All-Big Ten non-con teams

Non-conference play, for all intents and purposes, is in the rearview mirror. Yes, Indiana and Purdue each have one non-Big Ten game remaining, but conference play kicks off Saturday. It was a fast first four weeks, no doubt, and now it’s time to release our All-Big Ten non-conference teams. See Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina’s teams in this post. Who did we miss? Feel free to leave your picks in the comment box below. [RELATED: Dienhart: Best of the non-con season] ALL-BIG TEN NON-CON OFFENSE BRENT TOM QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State* Braxton Miller, Ohio State* RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan

Tony Jones

Power Rankings: Believe in Wildcats, Gophers

The Big Ten is home to three 4-0 teams after nonconference play. One of the perfect teams is no big surprise (Ohio State), while the other two are close to shocking (Minnesota and Northwestern). And you’ll find all three on top of my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. See the complete list in this post. Disagree with my list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or tweet me (@BTNTomDienhart). 1. Ohio State (4-0). The Buckeyes roll on, moving to 4-0 after opening the season with four home games. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown vs. UAB, and Braxton

Luke McAvoy

Dienhart: 5 things I learned in Week 4

Another week, another not-so pretty result for the Big Ten. The conference went 7-3, with home losses to the likes of Central Michigan and Louisiana Tech, plus Notre Dame knocked off Michigan to finish off its sweep of Big Ten opponents. But, starting next week, it’s time for Big Ten play. What did I learn from Week 4 action? See the five biggest things in this post. 1. I have no idea who will win either division. That’s correct: The races in the Legends and the Leaders Divisions look wide open after four weeks (B1G standings). Preseason favorites Wisconsin (Leaders)

DiNardo's Week 4 Sunday Ruminations

Every Sunday during the college football season, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo hits Twitter to share his thoughts from the previous day’s slate of games. What did DiNardo have to say about the Big Ten after a 7-3 performance in Week 4? Read all of his Sunday Ruminations in this post. [RELATED: Check out BTN.com’s All-Big Ten non-con teams] [RELATED: Who tops Tom Dienhart’s Week 5 Power Rankings?] Sunday Ruminations – #ILLINI Is their spread a qb run or pass spread? Would seem hard to decide who qb should be until that's determined — Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) September 23, 2012 Sunday

Three Big Ten teams ranked in Coaches Poll

With Michigan‘s loss Saturday night at Notre Dame, the Big Ten now has three teams ranked in the Coaches Poll, released Sunday. The Wolverines, previously No. 18, fell out of the poll, while Michigan State (No. 18), Nebraska (No. 20) and Wisconsin (No. 23) all moved up following victories. Perfect Northwestern is receiving 96 votes, just two behind Virginia Tech and Rutgers, which are tied at No. 25. Michigan (57), Minnesota (11) and Purdue (4) also are receiving votes.