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Dienhart: Your team's best chance to pull an upset

We continue our football schedule preview series to help pass some of the time before the 2014 season kicks off. Today, it’s time for Tom Dienhart to offer his super-early upset pick for all 14 Big Ten teams. See your team’s upset prediction in this post. [ MORE: Toughest non-con games | Toughest B1G games | Rugged stretches ] ILLINOIS Hard to say what teams will look like by November, but Illinois could have a shot to dump visiting Penn State on Nov. 22. The Nittany Lions’ thin roster could be depleted for a squad that possibly may be playing out

Big Ten Experience museum opens Saturday

The Big Ten Experience, an interactive digital museum located at the conference’s headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., will open to the public on Saturday, June 7.  The new museum brings the conference’s storied academic and athletic history to life and places it at fans’ fingertips. Located at the conference’s headquarters at 5440 Park Place in Rosemont, the museum will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission to the Big Ten Experience is free‎. The Big Ten Experience features a collection of 13 interactive exhibits showcasing conference notables

Best of Week 4: Rematch! Miami vs. Nebraska

This will mark the last Saturday of full-blown non-conference action. And there are a handful of interesting clashes, highlighted by Miami (Fla.) visiting Nebraska. But most of this week’s games are tune-ups for the Big Ten action that kickoffs off the next weekend. Here’s a look at the Best of Week 4. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 4 Best storyline: All eyes will be on Lincoln, Neb., with Miami coming to town. The Hurricanes haven’t been to Nebraska since making back-to-back trips in 1975-76, games the Huskers won. In fact, this will

Photo: PSU fan gets Beaver Stadium groom's cake

Penn State fans will love the groom’s cake a Nittany Lion fan had at his wedding last Saturday. It was a replica of Beaver Stadium, and the scoreboard (speaking of which, look at the team’s new video board) displayed the date: 5-31-14. Check out the cake in this post. Looks like Beaver Stadium, doesn’t it? Yes, it is missing the S Zone, but whatever. Every seat is full, too, much to new coach James Franklin’s approval. Probably nitpicking here, but I would have asked for a White Out. There aren’t many more picturesque sights than a White Out at Beaver

Dienhart: Your team's 2014 rugged stretch

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. In less than three months, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. Today, it’s time for Tom Dienhart to analyze your team’s most rugged stretch. See your team’s gauntlet in this post. [ MORE: Toughest non-con games | Toughest B1G games | Rugged stretches ] ILLINOIS November. All of it. The month starts with a cold, three-arm shiver of games at Ohio State, vs. Iowa and vs. Penn State. This will be the first time Illinois has

Best of Week 3: Rutgers makes Big Ten debut

Week 3 isn’t filled with a plethora of sexy matchups, but there is no lack of intrigue. A big highlight is the first Big Ten game of the season, as Penn State visits Rutgers. In fact, it will be the Scarlet Knights’ first Big Ten game and the first time the Nittany Lions have been on Rutgers’ campus since 1955. See my Best of Week 3 in this post. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 3 Best storyline: We have a rivalry game, people! Iowa State at Iowa! The Cyclones have been a

Dienhart: High cost of non-con games is vexing

Here’s a very nice story by Jesse Temple of FOXSportsWisconsin.com that takes an exhaustive look at the rising cost of payouts to non-conference opponents visiting Big Ten schools. Nothing overly shocking in the piece, but the detail of what schools are paying is interesting. Temple writes that “Big Ten teams will shell out $22,868,246 for 38 home games in 2014 (Temple couldn’t get the Temple-Penn State contract) — an average of roughly $601,796 per game. The cost for the type of guarantees against Football Bowl Subdivision mid-major teams that don’t require a return visit is significantly higher, with Big Ten

Toughest Big Ten game for every team?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. In less than three months, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out the toughest conference game for each Big Ten team. See your team’s game in this post. [ MORE: Everything you need to know about the non-con slate, in one post ] ILLINOIS Going to Ohio State on Nov. 1 won’t be a treat. The Illini have lost six in a row and are 1-9 in their last 10

Merriman: My 2014 B1G All-Breakout team

It was just last week when the BTN.com panel offered up our picks for potential breakout players to watch in 2014. Today, I’m going to take it one step further and provide my 2014 Big Ten All-Breakout team. These are the guys who aren’t stars yet, but certainly have the talent to be so in 2014. I listed five players on the offensive side of the ball (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL) and five on the defensive side (DE, DT, LB, CB, S). Did I miss someone? Submit it in the comment box below, or tweet it to me @BTNSean.

Best of Week 2: Offense (Ducks) vs. Defense (Spartans)

Week 2 brings more juice than the opening salvo to the season, as there are three nationally relevant games: Michigan State at Oregon; Virginia Tech at Ohio State; Michigan at Notre Dame. In fact, those games will offer the Big Ten a golden chance to make a statement. A win by the Spartans on the road in raucous Autzen Stadium would stamp them legit national title contenders. Here’s a look at the best of Week 2. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 2 Best storyline: All eyes will be on Eugene, Ore., where