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Breaking down the Big Ten non-con sked

The formula for building a non-conference schedule is pretty standard: play one challenging game vs. a team from a Power 5 league (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten) and three games vs. foes from “lesser” conferences. And ideally, three of the four games are at home. But, as you can see, not all non-conference games are created equally. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Big Ten’s non-conference schedule. Power 5 foes: 17 Bowl teams: 24 FCS foes: 11 Foes by Power 5 league Pac-12: 5 (Cal, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Washington State) ACC: 4 (Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Virginia Tech) Big

Big Ten Football Spelling Bee: Try to spell these names

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee taking place Thursday, it got us thinking about some of the most challenging names to spell in the Big Ten. One our out favorite parts of the college football season is introducing Big Ten fans to some of the best names to keep an eye on, and these are ones that you may have to break out the ol’ game program to spell correctly. Some of the names are hard to spell because of a unique spelling (think Maxx Williams), and some are hard because they’re just very unique names (think Ifeadi Odenigbo). Either way,

What's your Big Ten team's toughest non-con game?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. Three months from now, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out your team’s toughest non-conference game. ILLINOIS A Sept. 13 trip to Washington will be a good test. The teams met last season in Chicago’s Soldier Field, with the Huskies taking a 34-24 victory to be a buzzkill to a 2-0 Illinois start. The Illini won just two times after the loss to U-Dub, killing the party mood along

Dienhart: Purdue's 2014 schedule analysis

As far as debuts are concerned, Darrell Hazell endured a rough one at Purdue. His maiden voyage in West Lafayette included myriad blowouts along the way to a 1-11 season that saw Purdue go winless in the Big Ten. And the lone victory came vs. FCS Indiana State. And even that was a close call. Add it all up, and it may have been the worst season in school history. So, there’s only one way for the Boilermakers to go in Year Two under Hazell, right? No doubt, more players are buying into what Hazell is selling. But there’s still

Got Big Ten collectibles? Tell 'Treasure Hunter'

Coming this fall on BTN/BTN2Go, our new show “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” debuts, and we’re looking for your submissions. BTN’s memorabilia expert John Arcand will spend each episode traveling throughout Big Ten country to assess Big Ten memorabilia collections – and offer to buy items from collectors. Do you have something special sitting on your shelf? Our “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” crew wants to learn about it.      

Dave Butz, Shane Conlan make College Football HOF

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced Thursday the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class, and former Purdue star defensive tackle Dave Butz (1970-72) was one of 14 players honored. Former Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan (1983-86), who starred in Happy Valley before the Nittany Lions entered the Big Ten, also made the cut. [ MORE: PurdueSports.com: Butz elected to College Football Hall of Fame ] RT 2 congratulate Dave Butz on being a part of the '14 College Football Hall of Fame Class! #BoilerUp! .@cfbhall pic.twitter.com/9l0ctce2XD — Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) May 22, 2014 Congrats to

Where B1G teams rank in Preseason Power Index

Now that spring football is in the books, we are slowly starting to see preseason rankings trickle in for the 2014 season. Our friends over at ESPN recently created an automated set of preseason ratings for every team. The ratings are designed to predict how strong each team will be in the upcoming season. This is calculated using the Football Power Index, which according to ESPN is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the EPA breakdowns that correlate most with future results. The efficiency rankings are the point contributions for the Off/Def/Special Teams units to the team’s opponent-adjusted

How about a 10-game Big Ten football schedule?

You may have read recently about the Big Ten considering scheduling its own league schools as “non-conference” games as a way to fill out schedules in the future. I don’t know about you, but I was a bit surprised to hear that. And, I don’t like the idea. Instead, why not just have a 10-game Big Ten schedule? It’s a notion I made reference to in a recent story. The coaches may groan about it. But who else would? No one. Fans and TV would love it, because it results in an extra quality game every year and shortens the

What number will Big Ten NFL rookies wear?

Thirty Big Ten players were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, including a quartet in the first round, headlined by Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. The players have visited their new teams and picked out their new numbers. See which number the Big Ten NFL rookies will wear this season in this post. [ MORE: View all of our 2014 NFL Draft coverage ] Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Tennessee – 77 Ryan Shazier (Ohio State), Pittsburgh – 50 Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Cincinnati – 21 Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Denver – 29 Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota), Atlanta – 77 Cody Latimer (Indiana), Denver –

Big Ten should say 'no' to any games with Notre Dame

So, there was Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talking at a recent golf outing about how he’d like to see the Fighting Irish’s series with Michigan and Michigan State continue. (Slow, sarcastic clap.) Sure, it would be nice. Who hasn’t enjoyed the games between the Spartans and Irish, and the Irish and Wolverines? Great stuff over the years. But Michigan and Michigan State should pull the plug on all games with Notre Dame. You, too, Purdue, which has played the Irish annually since 1946. What’s the benefit to playing Notre Dame? Big Ten teams don’t need the money that a