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Ready, set, click Monday's top B1G web links

Feeling blue? Perk up! I’ve linked to all of the best Big Ten football stories. See, life isn’t so bad. YEAR 1 IN THE BIG TEN: With one year in the Big Ten in the books, Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne looks back on an academic year that produced three women’s Big Ten titles and none in men’s sports. For the most part, I think the Cornhuskers’ first lap around the conference was good. The football team more than acquitted itself but has work to do—mostly, on defense. After playing those spread offenses in the Big 12, Nebraska needs to

Reader Mail: Big Ten Fans Review Our Rankings

You have questions? Yes, you do. And, of course, I have my answers. It’s time for my latest Big Ten Mailbag and my readers brought some great heat this week. What’s burning your brain? My myriad player and unit rankings, which seem to have rankled some of you who think I have gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Not true. I’m sane … and I’m a Quisp man. We also cover questions on Minnesota’s Jerry Kill, a college football playoff, and Wisconsin’s quarterback situation. Read this post and send me your fresh questions at the bottom. And don’t forget to come

Debate it: 2012 Big Ten rushing TD leader

Yesterday, senior writer Tom Dienhart and web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten rushing yards leader, the fourth in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up now: Rushing TDs. See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your winner, too. RUSHING TDs 2011 leader: Montee Ball, 33 Returning leaders: Montee Ball 33; Denard Robinson 16;  Rex Burkhead 15; Le’Veon Bell, 13; Taylor Martinez, 9; Fitzgerald Toussaint, 9; Kain Colter, 9. [2011 Big Ten rushing TD leaders] Brent: OK, based on our predictions for the scoring and rushing yards leader

BTN to air 15 games during first three weekends

CHICAGO – Coming off its most successful season, with record ratings and 16 games featuring a top 25-ranked team, BTN will air 15 Big Ten games during the first three weekends of the 2012 college football season. Now in 51 million homes, the five-year-old network will air the debut of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State and the return of defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin in the first week of the season. Overall, BTN will televise over 40 football games this fall, once again ensuring that all Big Ten home football games are televised nationally. The games also will

Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Linebackers

Linebacker play in the Big Ten should be strong this season, led by players like Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor, Penn State’s Gerald Hodges, Illinois’ Jonathan Brown and Michigan’s Kenny Demens, among many others. But which Big Ten schools have the best linebacking corps? Find out in my Big Ten unit rankings in this post. Don’t agree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings. 1. Michigan State – This is one of the best collections of linebackers in the nation for what should be one of

Retweet this: Top 6/7/12 Tweets

Like many of us, Big Ten products are all over Twitter. They let us into their lives and put their personalities on display in 140 characters or less, and they often delight and enlighten in the process. Our goal is to present these tweets to our Big Ten fans, whether they’re on Twitter or not. See some of our favorite Big Ten-centric tweets from Thursday in this post. Who's going base jumping with me in Cali next month?? — Brian Linthicum (@linthicum88) June 7, 2012 Beautiful. Got to think the former Spartan will have no trouble finding a buddy.

Debate it: 2012 Big Ten rushing yards leader

Yesterday, senior writer Tom Dienhart and web editor and blogger Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten leader in passing TDs, the third in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Now up: Rushing yards. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader. [2011 Big Ten rushing yards leaders] Rushing Yards 2011 Leader: Montee Ball, 1,923 rushing yards Returning leaders: Montee Ball, 1,923; Rex Burkhead, 1,357; Silas Redd, 1,241; Denard Robinson, 1,176; Fitzgerald Toussaint, 1,041. Brent: Which Big Ten player will

Thursday Links: Read the B1G stories that matter

All the latest Big Ten football links that matter are right here. Lucky you! Enjoy. NO. 1 RIVAL TALK: Michigan State fans won’t like to hear this: Wolverine coach Brady Hoke says Michigan’s top priority is to beat Ohio State—not Michigan State. And, yes, Hoke knows the Spartans have dumped the Wolverines each of the last four seasons. And, Buckeye fans can’t like Hoke’s continued insistence on calling Ohio State “Ohio.” In reference to Michigan’s rivalry with the Buckeyes, Hoke said: “The Ohio game’s the Ohio game.” Man, I love this stuff! DENARD’S PRO PROSPECTS: Speaking of Hoke, he believes

Big Ten hands out 2012 Medal of Honor winners

The Big Ten Conference office announced its 2012 Medal of Honor winners Thursday, honoring 24 student-athletes from 13 different sports. One of the most prestigious conference awards in college athletics, the Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” The 12 institutions of the Big Ten Conference feature nearly 10,000 student-athletes, more than any other conference, and only 24 of those individuals are recognized each year with the Big Ten Medal of Honor. In the 98 years

Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Defensive Lines

The trenches are where games are won–ask any coach. And the Big Ten, led by a strong crop in the Leaders Division, has some good defensive fronts that will rate among the best in the nation. Where does your Big Ten school’s defensive line rank? Check out my entire list in this post. Don’t agree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings. 1. Ohio State – This is where it all begins for what should be a strong Buckeye defense. There’s