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Debate it: Most intriguing storyline heading into this season?

The 2016 Big Ten football season should be filled with plenty of outstanding storylines. How good will Michigan be? Is Ohio State the favorite? Can Michigan State repeat as Big Ten champions? The list goes on and on. But what is truly the most intriguing storyline heading into the 2016 Big Ten football season? I asked that very question to two of the best in the business: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and USA Today national college football reporter Nicole Auerbach. The three of us shared our answers below. Who do you agree with? Tweet me your answers, @BTNSean. What

Dienhart: Big Ten East linebacker unit rankings

Linebackers need to be a special breed of crazy and talent, willing to take on big offensive linemen and fullbacks with power while also having the speed to chase down running backs. And no school in the East has a better collection of LBs than Michigan State. [ MORE: East OL | East receiving corps | East backfields | East DL | East predictions ] Here’s my ranking of Big Ten East linebacking units. 1. Michigan State. Lots of talent in East Lansing. Senior Riley Bullough will be one of the Big Ten’s best. He is Mr. Spartan, a true

Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten’s top 10 wide receivers

Much debate rages about who will be the quarterback at Michigan. Whoever wins the job will be comforted by the fact he’ll throw to two of the Big Ten’s top targets in Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. In fact, the former heads my ranking of 2016 Big Ten wide receivers. [ MORE: East OL | West OL | East pass-catchers | West pass-catchers | East backfields | West backfields | East DL | West DL ] Check out my top 10 below. 1. Jehu Chesson, Michigan, Sr. Wolverine insiders say the 6-3, 200-pound Chesson was the most improved player on

The top Big Ten football players by jersey number

When talking about the best football players in Big Ten history, it is near impossible to choose just one player worthy of the title, “the best.” [ MORE: Can a Big Ten West team win the conference title in 2016? ] So, what’s the right way to break down this argument? You could do it by position, but even that could be extremely difficult. Making a list of the top Big Ten players to wear every number would be great, but is that even possible? The answer is yes. I went through every jersey number, 1-99, and created a list

Dienhart: Big Ten East defensive line unit rankings

The plaudits for the Michigan d-line began in the winter. And they continued in the spring to the point where some feel this front may not just be the best in the Big Ten … but maybe the best in the nation. [ MORE: East OL | East receiving corps | East backfields | East predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten East defensive lines. 1. Michigan. This could be the best line in the nation. Four seniors are slated to start with Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley on the ends and Maurice Hurst and Ryan Glasgow

Big Ten hoops family reacts to legend Pat Summitt's death

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who lifted the women’s game to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee, died Tuesday. She was 64. With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012. Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. “Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest

Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten's top 7 quarterbacks

Without a good quarterback, a team has little chance to enjoy a glorious season. The Big Ten will feature several good signal-callers in 2016, led by Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett. In fact, Barrett just may be the league’s best hope to win the Heisman. [ MORE: East OL | West OL | East pass-catchers | West pass-catchers | East backfields | West backfields ] Here is a ranking of the Big Ten’s top seven quarterbacks. 1. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Jr. No competition this fall. The job is Barrett’s, as he looks to capture his 2014 form, when he was

Dienhart: Big Ten East offensive backfield unit rankings

The personnel losses at Ohio State were significant after 2015. Heading the list of key departures: running back Ezekiel Elliott. How will the Buckeyes replace him? [ MORE: Big Ten East OL | Big Ten East receiving corps | Big Ten East predictions ] Michigan State can sympathize, as it has lost all-time great quarterback Connor Cook. Relax. Each school appears to have answers in its backfield. Here is a ranking of the Big Ten East offensive backfields. 1. Ohio State. It was a huge loss with RB Ezekiel Elliott declaring for the draft and going fourth overall. Who will