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SportingNews: Meyer, Dantonio Big Ten's best

SportingNews.com decided to rank the Big Ten’s football coaches, and there’s no surprise at the top of the list. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, he of two national titles at Florida, is No. 1, and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, fresh off a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl Game win, is No. 2. [ MORE: SportingNews.com: Big Ten coach rankings ] After the top two, though, the site’s ranking is certain to elicit its share of debate. Pat Fitzgerald is No. 3, even after a 5-7 season, James Franklin is No. 4, despite never coaching a Big Ten game, and Gary

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Recently, football players from the University of Iowa shared the importance of reading with local students. A sea turtle and snowy owl are getting much-needed care at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. Northwestern University medical students are helping the homeless in Chicago. Problem behavior and school performance are being studied by an innovative new program at the University of Nebraska. Two Rutgers graduates won prestigious Soros Fellowships for New Americans. A University of Maryland professor’s remarkable impact on computer sciences was recognized recently. Finally, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne was honored at the annual Wooden Award Gala last week. 

Photo: Long winter impacts Ross-Ade Stadium grass

Nobody needs to be reminded that it was a long, long winter. The grass at Ross-Ade Stadium during Saturday’s spring game is all the proof anyone needs. One of the Big Ten’s three fields still with natural surface, the field had a yellow hue to it in several spots and a couple streaks near both 30-yard lines that stretched from one sideline to the other. See a photo of the field in this post. The field has seen better days at Ross-Ade Stadium. #moreindianagrassnews pic.twitter.com/OVFfmtghCK — Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) April 12, 2014 To no surprise, the grass received plenty of

Spring football: See 8 games live on BTN2Go

Remember Jack Hoffman’s memorable spring football moment? Remember Sparty taking a handoff? With eight Big Ten football teams conducting spring games Saturday, BTN.com will monitor each one and post video highlights and special moments to Twitter, Facebook, and our instant highlights central page. Who’s playing? It’s Purdue (1 p.m. ET), Ohio State (1:30 p.m. ET), Penn State (1:30 p.m. ET), Nebraska (3 p.m. ET), Illinois (3 p.m. ET), Indiana (3 p.m. ET), Minnesota (3:30 p.m. ET), and Wisconsin (4 p.m. ET). Each of these games can be seen live via BTN2Go. If you don’t have BTN2Go yet or aren’t familiar with it, BTN2Go

Spring Football: What to watch for on Saturday

There will be a lot to watch at the Ohio State spring game this Saturday. How will the defense look? Is the offensive line coming together? Any good running backs with Carlos Hyde gone? Ohio State is one of eight Big Ten schools conducting spring games that day. The rest: Penn State, Purdue, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana. All of them can be seen live online via BTN2Go and find out when they air on TV via our TV schedule. As for the Ohio State game, I’m also looking forward to halftime. No, not because the band will play or

Audio: Spring football teleconferences

Coaches and players from the West and East Division football teams joined the Big Ten teleconference to take questions from the media. We’ve posted the audio for each coach on the call here. All of Saturday’s spring games can be seen live via BTN2Go. Make sure you have BTN2Go and use these links on Saturday to see your game of choice. BTN2Go: Watch Illinois spring football BTN2Go: Watch Indiana spring football BTN2Go: Watch Minnesota spring football BTN2Go: Watch Nebraska spring football BTN2Go: Watch Ohio State spring football BTN2Go: Watch Penn State spring football BTN2Go: Watch Purdue spring football BTN2Go: Watch

Dienhart: Time for college sports to join real world

I have to admit: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports hit the nail on the head with his recent piece about the NCAA not seeing the totality of the picture when it comes to the future of intercollegiate athletics. In sum, not all college sports are equal. It’s time to acknowledge that and take appropriate actions to a model that is woefully outdated and unfair. It’s time to exit fairytale land and embrace the cold, hard fact many don’t want to embrace in this popsicle-for-everyone-world: LIFE ISN’T FAIR. Not everything and everyone is created equally. So, they shouldn’t be treated as

BTN LiveBIG: The Challenge to combat cancer at Purdue

On April 12, the Purdue community will hit the roads of West Lafayette to raise money for research that will someday help find effective cures and treatments for cancer. The Challenge is a 5K run/walk sponsored by the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, and it will be held on April 12 in conjunction with the campus’ annual Springfest celebration, a celebration of the lighter side of higher education, offering students of all ages an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with animals, astronomy, art and much more. The Springfest runs April 12 and 13. Head football coach Darrell Hazel

BTN experts discuss early signing day idea

On Tuesday’s #BTNLive show Mike Hall, Gerry DiNardo and Stanley Jackson had a length discussion examining the positives and negatives of an early signing period in college football. Right now, prospects can’t sign a letter of intent with any school until the first Wednesday in February, a day when football offices are busy and fans track every announcement. If an early signing period were to be established, high school players wouldn’t have to wait until February and could make their verbal commitments official at an earlier date. Watch DiNardo, a former coach, and Jackson, a former player, discuss the ramifications

Sorry, Coach Saban: 10-second rule is tabled

Thank goodness the 10-second rule proposal was tabled. You see: Alabama’s Nick Saban doesn’t always get his way. The proposed change—made in the name of player safety and trumpeted by Saban–would have put the brakes on those fun, fast-paced offenses that have become the rage in college football. Instead, the NCAA Football Rules Committee has tabled the directive one day before the NCAA’s 11-member playing rules oversight panel was slated to vote to make the proposal a rule for 2014. The Big Ten school that would have been impacted the most by this change would have been Indiana, where Kevin