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Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten's top 10 offensive linemen

Football is won in the trenches. Without a good line, an offense has little chance for success—no matter how many five-star running backs are on the roster. [ MORE: Top 7 quarterbacks | Top 10 wide receivers | Top 10 running backs | Full unit rankings ] And no one in the Big Ten is better at getting a push than Ohio State’s Pat Elflein. He heads my list of the top 10 offensive linemen in the Big Ten. 1. Pat Elflein, G, Ohio State, Sr. He eschewed a chance to turn pro to be the anchor of a rebuilt

How the Big Ten spends its summer vacation: BTN LiveBIG

When it comes to the Big Ten, summer is less about kicking back on the beach and more about giving back. Athletes, coaches and alums from schools like Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Rutgers often spend the summer teaching youth campers how to replicate the skills they’ve learned over the years. In other cases, Big Ten schools let their work off the field make the difference as they teach kids to hone their conflict resolution skills or go to work in communities wracked by crime and income inequality. For these men and women, living BIG expands on the concept of teamwork and creates an

Watch Big Ten specialists entertain on social media

It’s the middle of the summer, and college football camps are still a few weeks away. That doesn’t mean there’s no excitement on the gridiron, though. Several Big Ten specialists are keeping us entertained with creative trick shot videos that, to the surprise of no one, have gone viral. Specialists are a special breed, aren’t they? One thing’s for sure: These guys will help carry on the tradition of delighting fans on Twitter that Michigan State punter Mike Sadler (@Sadler_3) and Minnesota punter Peter Mortell (@PMortell1) helped start. Watch some of the latest ones below. Rolling the leg over at

See who is scheduled to attend 2016 Big Ten Media Days in Chicago

The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday the 42 students scheduled to attend the 2016 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, on Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

Power Five leagues release plan to give athletes more time off

The commissioners of the five autonomy conferences announced Thursday an agreement in concept on changes they will propose that are intended to give students who play sports more time off. The purpose of the changes is to rebalance the student experience between athletics and campus life, providing students with more time to focus on other college interests, including academics, work experience, travel, and additional rest. The first area of change, Flex 21, will provide students, in many cases, with at least an additional 21 days in which they are free of required athletic activities during the academic year. These 21

Dienhart: Big Ten East defensive backs unit rankings

There is a lot to like about Michigan in 2016, as Jim Harbaugh begins his second season in Ann Arbor in pursuit of the program’s first Big Ten title since 2004. Among the many areas of strength is the secondary, led by Jourdan Lewis—one of the best corners in America. [ MORE: East offensive lines | East receiving corps | East backfields | East defensive lines | East linebackers | East predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten East defensive backfields. 1. Michigan. Senior Jourdan Lewis lacks size but is one of the nation’s best corners and

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: 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