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Breaking News: Polls: Before the 2016 season kicks off Thursday night, pick your winners for Week 1 Big Ten games.

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Friday Sep 2
12:30 PMW. Illinois at IowaWatch
3:00 PMLSU at IndianaWatch
4:00 PMPepperdine at MarylandWatch
7:00 PMGeorgetown at Rutgers Watch
7:00 PMIowa St. at NebraskaWatch
7:30 PMGeorgetown at MarylandWatch
8:00 PMSan Diego at WisconsinWatch
8:00 PMArizona St. at IowaWatch

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Which teams have most favorable crossover foes? Least favorable?

With the addition of a ninth Big Ten game, there will be three crossover games, compared to two previously, and all Big Ten East teams play two of them at home; the Big Ten West will get two home crossovers in 2017. Here's a breakdown of the 2016 crossovers.

Nov 28, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) celebrates with Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (24) after scoring a touchdown in the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: See your team's toughest 2016 conference game

There are games on every team’s schedule that fans circle as “tough” ones, games that will be very challenging to win. Well, that’s what I did with each Big Ten schedule, identifying each school’s “toughest” Big Ten game in 2016. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games ] Check it out below. Illinois. Lots to choose from. I’ll go with the trip to Michigan on Oct. 22. Jim Harbaugh has this program rolling as he enters Year Two in Ann Arbor. The defense could be the best in the Big Ten, while the offense will be

Nov 21, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) makes a catch during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Michigan defeated Penn State 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Toughest non-con game for each Big Ten team

There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.

Dec 28, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Ford Field. Minnesota won 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Sage Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Best chance for each Big Ten team to pull an upset

Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The

Use ShooWin to reserve Big Ten Football Championship tickets

Big Ten and ShooWin have partnered to give thousands of real fans the opportunity to lock in face value tickets to the 2016 Big Ten Championship game before the season even starts. At a time when frustration around ticket access and prices is at an all-time high, ShooWin offers technology than can help solve the problem. ShooWin’s proprietary platform empowers real fans to lock in direct access to face value tickets to today’s hottest events. How It Works: Fans can visit ShooWin.com to purchase a team-based ShooWin Reservation for the championship game for as little as $10. If their team qualifies, they

Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh prior to the game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Mailbag: MSU's o-line, Penn State's record and 'The Game'

Time to go through my mail. I look at Michigan State’s offensive line, project Penn State’s record and look at “The Game,” among other things. So, let’s get started! Last year, the Spartans were good, and made it to the playoffs with just one loss. But they struggled against Western Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers and Maryland. Yet, they beat teams like Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa. I know a win is a win, but do you see this year’s team being able to dominate some of the lower-level teams as well as winning the big ones? – Ben Look, football

Sep 27, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; (EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Michigan State Spartans quarterback Tyler O'Connor (7) looks to throw the ball against the Wyoming Cowboys during the 1st half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: Catch up on Friday's top Big Ten stories

David Jones of Pennlive.com pays a nice tribute to former Northwestern coach Dennis Green, who did the impossible by making the Wildcats semi-competitive from 1981-85. *** Pennlive.com looks at five things it learned about the Nittany Lions at Big Ten media days. The issue of other schools using negative recruiting vs. the Nittany Lions came up. It was a classic he said/she said affair that predictably went nowhere. We also learned this: Cam Brown could be a special LB. Remember the name for what could be a boffo set of linebackers. *** Ohio State made one of the most key

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: Welcome to the 'Year of the Linebacker' in the Big Ten

If you like linebackers, you’ll love the Big Ten. It’s loaded with them. There’s Iowa’s Josey Jewell, Penn State’s Brandon Bell, Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel, Michigan State’s Riley Bullough, Purdue’s Ja’Whaun Bentley and Nebraska’s Josh Banderas. I could go on, and I think I will. There also is Minnesota’s Jack Lynn, Maryland’s Jermaine Carter, Indiana’s Marcus Oliver and Northwestern’s Anthony Walker. And don’t forget about Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, who will give Walker a run for his money as the Big Ten’s primo linebacker. If not Walker or McMillan, how about Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, who is a newbie to the position.

Jul 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA;  Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at  the Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Dienhart: 10 bold predictions coming out of Big Ten media days

Big Ten media days are in our rearview mirror. The last cliché has been uttered. The last photo taken. The last pitcher of water drank. So, what’s left? [ MORE: Best of Day 1 | Best of Day 2 | Big Ten player survey ] How about some bold predictions for the 2016 season? Sure. Let’s go! 1. Michigan will solve its quarterbacking—and then some. Just like last year, the Wolverines have a yawning hole at QB. Last season, Jim Harbaugh and Co., transformed Iowa cast-off Jake Rudock into a Cinderella by making him one of the most effective signal-callers

Saquon Barkley, Jabrill Peppers make Bruce Feldman's 'Freaks' list

When discussing the Big Ten’s most freakish athletes, Jabrill Peppers and Saquon Barkley’s names enter the discussion early on. Not only can the do-it-all Michigan linebacker and athletic Penn State running back drop jaws every fall Saturday, but they can do some impressive work in the weight room. Bruce Feldman knows this, and the FOXSports.com columnist included both Big Ten standout in his popular annual “Freaks” post. Peppers comes in at No. 10 and Barkley at No. 9 in Feldman’s top 20 list. Here’s a portion of what the columnist says about both players: No. 10 Jabrill Peppers. A former