Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fifth list ranks the top five individual seasons of the BTN era.
SI.com’s Andy Staples knows the Big Ten. Not only does he cover the beat for SI.com, he is a frequent guest of ours on “Big Ten Football & Beyond.” Staples posted his Big Ten 2012 Conference Report on Monday, and it’s a great read. The biggest thing that stands out has to be Staples’ prediction for Purdue: 5-7, 2-6.
Another week before the college football season kicks off is in the books. Now, it’s less than two weeks before Minnesota travels to UNLV for the Big Ten’s first game Thursday, Aug. 30. What happened in the last week? Check out BTN.com’s top 10 stories from the week that was in this post.
The BTN bus tour has entered the final stretch, with three stops remaining. Today, we’re at Penn State to get our first look at the Nittany Lions under Bill O’Brien. You can find all of my tour previews and recaps over here. I’m also providing updates via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Monday links.
Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We saw Ohio State practice Saturday (recap), and excited Buckeye fans sent me their questions. Read all of my answers to your latest Big Ten questions in this post. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). We’re at Penn State practice Monday (preview).
There were many things to watch at Ohio State today in what was as physical a practice as I have seen on our trip. The practice-ending scrimmage had the intensity of a game and featured a lot of hitting. I spent a lot of my attention focused on an offense since in 2011 Ohio State had the worst passing numbers in the Big Ten. Now, Urban Meyer has installed a spread scheme for a team that opened at No. 18 in the AP poll on Saturday.
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In what is fast becoming a BTN tradition, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller beat the heat and signed the BTN Tour bus on our stop in Columbus on Saturday. Last year, the tradition was to take a picture of the players in front of their likeness on the bus. This year, we’re having them sign it. See a picture of Miller putting his autograph on his likeness in this post.