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Which conference produces most NFL starting QBs?

During last week’s Big Ten football media days, I asked one player from all 14 Big Ten teams this question: If you were an NFL GM and could pick one Big Ten player to start a franchise with, who would it be? I heard many players go with Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff. But there was one answer, in particular, that caught me by surprise, and it came from non-other than Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, who has gained the reputation for dropping some outstanding quotes. “I would take Ameer Abdullah,

Top 10 2014 Big Ten nonconference foes

This year’s non-conference schedule for Big Ten teams is one of the best in recent memory. College football royalty fills the must-see slate with teams such as Oregon, LSU, Miami (FL) and Notre Dame scheduled to take on the Big Ten’s best. Here is a countdown of the top 10 non-conference teams on Big Ten schedules this season. 10. Cincinnati (at Ohio State, Sept. 27) Coaches Poll ranking: Unranked (honorable mention) 2013 record: 9-4 (6-2) Returning starters: 16 Breakdown: There are big expectations surrounding this Cincinnati program in Tommy Tubberville’s second year at the helm. The Bearcats return an abundance

Steve Spurrier makes jab at Big Ten's depth

From the can’t-the-season-just-start-already file, Steve Spurrier made headlines Sunday by making a jab at the Big Ten. Spurrier, in reference to Nick Saban’s idea for the “Power Five” conferences to only play one another, knocked the Big Ten’s depth. See the quote in this post. Check out our other Gone Viral posts: Spurrier on scheduling, "playing East Carolina is probably tougher than playing one of those bottom tier Big Ten Teams," — William Gunter (@WillGunter560) August 3, 2014 Really, I’m not so sure this is so much a knock on the Big Ten as it is a compliment to East

BTN LiveBIG: Boiler-Maker-Wish opening hearts

The 2013-14 academic year was a big one for Carly Mercer and Charles Torwudzo. In the pool, Mercer had a great season. She set a new Purdue record in the 100 freestyle and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second time. On the gridiron, Torwudzo moved from wide receiver to tight end and appeared in five games for the Boilermakers. At the end of the year, however, the two were honored for their achievements off the field and out of the water, respectively. “I was in a family studies class talking about disabilities,” Mercer said. “We watched a television

19 Big Ten players land on ESPN's CFB Top 100

ESPN.com recently finalized a list of the top 100 players in college football this season. A total of 19 Big Ten standouts appear on the list, led by Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who comes in at No. 4. Here is a look at where all 19 Big Ten players appear and a short blurb from ESPN on each player near the top of the list. Check out our stat leader predictions: 4. Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State Ranking: 8.94/10 “An explosive pass-rusher and the anchor up front for another fearsome-looking group of MSU defenders, Calhoun wasted no time

Tour preview: What I'll watch, and where I'll eat

The sparkly BTN tour bus chugs away from our glistening headquarters on 600 West Chicago Ave., on Monday, as a near-three-week journey that will span from Lincoln, Neb., to New Brunswick, N.J., begins. I can’t wait to see driver Kevin, drink Red Bull, shop for mesh hats at remote truck stops and see if Gerry DiNardo is still the last human on the planet who carries a handkerchief. The mission: Watch all 14 Big Ten teams practice to get a peek at each school before the 2014 season starts. The first stop: Indiana. Our show BTN Live is announcing each

Purdue Pete rallies, wins Chicago Tribune mascot poll

As we posted Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune conducted a poll on the Big Ten’s best mascot. At the time, Herky and Brutus were well ahead of the competition and involved in a two-mascot race. Then, something crazy happened. Let’s just say, Purdue fans hijacked the poll, to the point that it went from last to the runaway winner, finishing with 5,422,716 votes (74 percent). Like mascots? Get our latest mascot coverage! Regardless of what happened (bot), the poll is proof Big Ten fans are as passionate as any fan base. Check out this stat: The typical Chicago Sports poll generates

Big Ten has embarrassment of riches at RB

There’s Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford and Minnesota’s David Cobb. Do you want me to go on? OK. There’s also Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, Iowa’s Mark Weisman, Northwestern’s Venric Mark, Illinois’ Josh Ferguson, Rutgers’ Paul James and Penn State’s Zach Zwinak. Get the picture? The Big Ten has an embarrassment of riches in the backfield, a loaded contingent of running backs that is perhaps the best collection in the nation. Read more of Tom Dienhart’s latest posts: “The Big Ten always has had good backs and a physical running game,” said Purdue defensive end Ryan Russell.

Is Big Ten East the beast? Perhaps, but let's see

The Big Ten East is a beast. Or at least that’s the perception. The moment the conference announced it was altering divisions, jettisoning the “Legends” and “Leaders” monikers and a competitive balance structure in favor of geographical names and alignment, the feeling has been that the East is the stronger of the two divisions. It’s easy to see why that opinion has been formed. The East features four traditionally heavyweight programs in Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. History tells us those four programs are among the best in the Big Ten—and nation. Yes, all four aren’t hitting

Video: Drew Brees shows off spot-on accuracy

You already knew Purdue product Drew Brees was one of the NFL’s most accurate passers. His career 66 percent completion percentage is all the proof one needs. For anybody not sold on Brees’ ability to put the ball anywhere he wants, there’s this video from New Orleans Saints’ training camp. This is creative – not to mention impressive. Players have to find something to make camp entertaining, and Brees is doing just that.