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Best of Week 8: Will we see an upset Saturday?

After first looking at the menu for Week 8, you may be inclined to rake leaves this Saturday. But, don’t. I have a funny feeling we could have an upset. Besides, there aren’t enough leaves on the ground to rake just yet. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s Week 8 Big Ten previews ] BEST GAME: Iowa at Ohio State. This clash is the closest thing to a “best game.” The Hawkeyes travel to Ohio State. Good thing Iowa will be coming off a bye, as it likely will need the extra prep time. It’s worth noting that Iowa has lost

Week 8: We predict all five Big Ten games

Every week during the 2013 football season, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Brent Yarina, Sean Merriman and hoops analyst Stephen Bardo, a huge football fan, make their Big Ten picks. We also provide polls for Big Ten fans to select their winners. Halfway through the season, Bardo, Merriman and Yarina are tied for the top spot, at 49-10. Big Ten fans are one game off the pace. [ MORE: Week 8 scoreboard | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Bowl Projections ] Stephen Bardo (@stephenbardo) Season record: 49-10 Week 8 picks: Michigan State 31, Purdue 10; Northwestern 35, Minnesota 21; Michigan 41,

Week 8 previews: It's time to get ready for Saturday

There are five games on the Big Ten docket this week. But none of the clashes figures to have a big impact on the league race—unless we have some major upsets. Still, there will be a lot to keep an eye as we begin to wade into the second half of the season. Here’s a look at each game. [ MORE: Week 8 scoreboard | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Bowl Projections ] PURDUE (1-5, 0-2) at MICHIGAN STATE (5-1, 2-0) – noon ET, BTN/BTN2Go Why you should watch: These are two teams headed in drastically different directions. The

Alvarez, Osborne named to Playoff Selection Committee

The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday the 13 members of its selection committee that will pick the four teams to participate in a coming playoff in 2014. Selection committee members with Big Ten ties are Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez and former Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne. Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long is the chair of the committee. [ MORE: College Football Playoff announces Selection Committee (PDF) ] “We wanted people of the highest integrity for this committee, and we got them,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “Every one of them has vast football knowledge, excellent judgment, dedication

Dienhart: 2018-19 football schedule analysis

The Big Ten announced Wednesday its conference schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. And there are some good cross-division games. In making league schedules, the Big Ten earlier stated that it would take a “parity-based” approach. What’s that? The marquee programs will play each other outside of division play as often as possible. [ MORE: View 2018 conference schedule (PDF) | And 2019 conference schedule (PDF) ] And, remember, with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, the Big Ten is going to seven-team East and West Divisions. Here’s a look at the divisions: BIG TEN EAST Indiana

#BTNLive asks: Best chance at an upset?

If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Which B1G team has the best chance to pull off an upset Saturday? Possible answers: #MinnUpset, #PurdueUpset, #IUUpset, #IowaUpset or #IllinoisUpset. Select your choice below and tweet out your vote. We’ll be tabulating the hashtag totals all day and throughout the show. The hashtags are: #MinnUpset #PurdueUpset #IUUpset #IowaUpset #IllinoisUpset

Dienhart: Check out my All-Big Ten Midseason Team

Seven weeks down, seven weeks to go. At the midway point of the 2013 Big Ten football season, it’s time to release my All-Big Ten Midseason Team. I also did a midseason report. See who made my midseason team in this post. OFFENSE WR Allen Robinson, Penn State WR Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin TE Devin Funchess, Michigan C Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern G Ryan Groy, Wisconsin G Spencer Long, Nebraska T Taylor Lewan, Michigan T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin DEFENSE E Tyler Scott, Northwestern E Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

Dienhart: Here's my Big Ten midseason report

The days are growing shorter, as Halloween draws nearer. It all means one thing: We are at the midseason point of the season. Here’s a look back at what we’ve experienced so far in the 2013 season—and a look ahead at what’s about to come in the season-defining home stretch. [ MORE: See who made Tom’s All-Big Ten Midseason Team ] SUPERLATIVE WINNERS OF THE FIRST HALF Offensive Player of the First Half: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. He came into the season with 719 career rushing yards. The sophomore paces the Big Ten with 870 this season, averaging a nifty

How did we do? Week 7 Big Ten picks revisited

Before we turn our attention to Week 8, it’s time to revisit how the BTN.com team and Big Ten fans did with their Week 7 Big Ten predictions. Brent Yarina and Stephen Bardo both went 4-0 to move into a first-place tie with Sean Merriman, while Big Ten fans went 2-2. [ MORE: Power Rankings | What Tom Learned in Week 7 | Week 7 honors, grades & more ] Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) Season record: 49-10 Week 7 record: 3-1 Week 7 picks: Michigan State 31, Indiana 17; Nebraska 42, Purdue 17, Wisconsin 38, Northwestern 35, Michigan 31, Penn State

Power Rankings: Wisconsin makes big leap

Another week, more changes to my power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State were the big winners, as the Badgers went from No. 4 to No. 2, the Cornhuskers from No. 5 to No. 3 and the Spartans from No. 6 to No. 4. Penn State is also up. Week Seven wasn’t so kind to Northwestern, which dropped from No. 2 to No. 6. [ MORE: Dienhart: Penn State-Michigan game was one for the ages ] POWER RANKINGS PRESENTED BY 1. Ohio State (6-0, 2-0). The Buckeyes are riding an 18-game winning streak, the longest in the