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Dienhart: Toughest non-con game for each Big Ten team

There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.

Dienhart: Best chance for each Big Ten team to pull an upset

Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The

Use ShooWin to reserve Big Ten Football Championship tickets

Big Ten and ShooWin have partnered to give thousands of real fans the opportunity to lock in face value tickets to the 2016 Big Ten Championship game before the season even starts. At a time when frustration around ticket access and prices is at an all-time high, ShooWin offers technology than can help solve the problem. ShooWin’s proprietary platform empowers real fans to lock in direct access to face value tickets to today’s hottest events. How It Works: Fans can visit to purchase a team-based ShooWin Reservation for the championship game for as little as $10. If their team qualifies, they

Big Ten Mailbag: MSU's o-line, Penn State's record and 'The Game'

Time to go through my mail. I look at Michigan State’s offensive line, project Penn State’s record and look at “The Game,” among other things. So, let’s get started! Last year, the Spartans were good, and made it to the playoffs with just one loss. But they struggled against Western Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers and Maryland. Yet, they beat teams like Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa. I know a win is a win, but do you see this year’s team being able to dominate some of the lower-level teams as well as winning the big ones? – Ben Look, football

Big Ten links: Catch up on Friday's top Big Ten stories

David Jones of pays a nice tribute to former Northwestern coach Dennis Green, who did the impossible by making the Wildcats semi-competitive from 1981-85. *** looks at five things it learned about the Nittany Lions at Big Ten media days. The issue of other schools using negative recruiting vs. the Nittany Lions came up. It was a classic he said/she said affair that predictably went nowhere. We also learned this: Cam Brown could be a special LB. Remember the name for what could be a boffo set of linebackers. *** Ohio State made one of the most key

Dienhart: Welcome to the 'Year of the Linebacker' in the Big Ten

If you like linebackers, you’ll love the Big Ten. It’s loaded with them. There’s Iowa’s Josey Jewell, Penn State’s Brandon Bell, Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel, Michigan State’s Riley Bullough, Purdue’s Ja’Whaun Bentley and Nebraska’s Josh Banderas. I could go on, and I think I will. There also is Minnesota’s Jack Lynn, Maryland’s Jermaine Carter, Indiana’s Marcus Oliver and Northwestern’s Anthony Walker. And don’t forget about Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, who will give Walker a run for his money as the Big Ten’s primo linebacker. If not Walker or McMillan, how about Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, who is a newbie to the position.

Big Ten Player Survey: Best helmet? Best mascot? Big Ten favorite?

CHICAGO — The Big Ten’s best players were in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday for the annual Big Ten Football Media Days. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart’s Best of Day 1 | Best of Day 2 ] As does every year, we conducted a player survey that included a respondent from all 13 schools in attendance (Nebraska did not attend the event due to punter Sam Foltz’s death). Here were the rules: Players’ answers were anonymous and they could not use their school for any answer. BEST HELMET Maryland – 6 Michigan; Ohio State – 2 Indiana; Iowa; Rutgers –

BTN unveils original programming lineup ahead of 10th year

As the Big Ten Network begins its 10th year on-air, BTN president Mark Silverman today announced the network’s new lineup of original programming at Big Ten Football media day. Fresh off an appearance in the College Football Playoff, the Michigan State Spartans football team will allow BTN behind-the-scenes for Green and White Days: Inside Michigan State Training Camp. The show will follow Mark Dantonio’s Spartans through a portion of pre-season practice as they prepare to defend their Big Ten crown while replacing a number of key contributors. Green and White Days will debut on Thursday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.