Bedeviled by the Big Ten

The Big Ten/ACC Challenge tipped off last night, and it was (as expected) a good night for the midwesterners. The Big Ten now leads the Challenge four games to two heading into tonight’s action. Let’s run down how the good guys got there.

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Ball, Still take Big Ten POY Honors

The Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday the winners of the top five individual awards for the 2011 football season. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, Penn State’s Devon Still was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.

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Dienhart: My Pre-Championship Big Ten Mailbag

You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag leading up to the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship. Questions about Michigan State’s All-Big Ten picks, Big Ten expansion and, of course, the league title game highlight this week’s mail bag.

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What if this wasn't the first Big Ten title game?

Last summer in conjunction with WhatIfSports, BTN.com rolled out two related hypothetical questions: What if Nebraska had been in the Big Ten since 1996? And what if the Big Ten had been playing with two divisions leading up to a  title game since that year, too? Using the software from WhatIfSports, we generated each season’s possible outcome, including actual box scores. The results were rather intriguing. For example, check out the WhatIfSports.com results for the 1996 Big Ten season.

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Did You See This? Ohio State's Craft

Everything went Ohio State’s way in Tuesday night’s 85-63 win over No. 4 Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (recap). At one point even, point guard Aaron Craft attempted to pass to Jared Sullinger through an opponent’s legs, only to have it deflect off Miles Plumlee’s leg and go right to himself in rhythm for a layup. If you didn’t watch it closely, it almost looked like Craft went five-hole to set himself up for the easy bucket. Either way, it was a great play on a night where it was all Buckeyes.

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