The “fullback dive” now carries a whole new meaning in Happy Valley. Even while working in the murkiest of waters, hundreds of feet below sea level, P.J. Byers, a 26-year-old walk-on, never lost sight of his dream to play football for the Nittany Lions. At 10:30 a.m. ET this Saturday on BTN’s pregame show, viewers get the chance to learn of Byers’ remarkable journey, as well as learn about the memento from his father, Pat Byers, that foreshadowed his success.
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Tonight on the Big Ten Football Report at 7 p.m. ET our crew of Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin and Tony Banks previews the first weekend of all divisional games with a host of interviews and analysis. We’ll be talking to a handful of head coaches including Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Illinois’ Ron Zook, and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. Plus, BTN LiveBIG host and Michigan product Dhani Jones (@DhaniJones) joins us in studio to talk with Banks about the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry and what it means to them.
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The Big Ten is set to record a first this week – a first that might fly under the radar but one that could play a significant role in determining which two teams square off in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 3. For the first time ever every conference game this weekend is also a divisional game. Remember, the divisional record is the next tie-breaker when a multiple-team tie can’t be broken by head-to-head record. A three-way tie seems eminently possible in the Legends Division where parity may reign (see full tiebreaker rules at BigTen.org).
Our most interactive show BTN Live airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and incorporates your Big Ten opinions via Twitter and Internet voting. Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Glen Mason talk Big Ten football for the entire hour on TV and discuss all the topics that have fans buzzing.
Audio clips from Tuesday’s weekly Big Ten Conference teleconference call for reporters and Big Ten football are ready to be played. Listen to 12 Big Ten coaches answer reporters’ questions below.
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What’s one of the reasons Illinois players had such an impact in the NFL lately? Tonight’s edition of The Next Level profiles Lou Hernandez, Illinois’ strength and conditioning coach who has helped several Illini become professionals. Also tonight: The crew interviews Penn State’s Devon Still and we look at how one-time Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh is faring in his first year as coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Join Rick Pizzo, Jon Jansen, Russ Lande, and Brandon Williams tonight at 7 p.m ET & again at 8:30 p.m.
The football world lost a legend Saturday with the passing of Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis. Davis, 82, was a central figure in the merger of the upstart American Football League with the established NFL and helped pave the way for the extravaganza that is the Super Bowl. Penn State coach Joe Paterno knew Davis well and the latter even tried to lure Paterno, then a Penn State assistant, to the Raiders as an offensive coordinator. Watch now as Paterno reflects on Davis and answers why he never took the Raiders job.