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Weekend schedule: Get the full slate of games on BTN & BTN Plus

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all times ET
Today
2:02 PMSeattle at MinnesotaWatch
2:06 PMMichigan St. at NebraskaWatch
3:05 PMWisconsin at IowaWatch
3:08 PMBest of Minnesota at MinnesotaWatch
4:00 PMMinnesota St. at WisconsinWatch
5:07 PMBemidji St. at MinnesotaWatch
Tuesday Feb 28
7:00 PMN. Dakota St. at MinnesotaWatch
Wednesday Mar 1
4:00 PMJames Madison at MarylandWatch

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten Running Backs

Is there a conference with a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten? Maybe not. The group instantly became one of the best in the nation when Wisconsin’s Montee Ball announced he would return for his senior season. Add it all up, and 12 of last season’s top 13 rushers are back. The only departure: Iowa’s Marcus Coker, who transferred to FCS Stony Brook after ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,384 yards in 2012. Four quarterbacks are among the top 12 returning rushers: Michigan’s Denard Robinson (1,176); Minnesota’s MarQueis Gray (966); Nebraska’s Taylor

Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten QBs

The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006? Let’s fire up the debate. Following is my ranking of each Big Ten quarterback who is projected to start in 2012. 1. Denard Robinson,

Week In Review: Where Does Your Coach Rank?

Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars.  And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here. And now, all the Big Ten grid news from Friday that is fit to link to is below. Lucky you. Your instructions: point, click, read,

Thursday Links: More Football Playoff Chatter

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. Good idea? Bad idea? I’ll tell you what I think, then you tell me what you think, but only after you check out my take on Thursday’s selected Big Ten football headlines. Rule talk: So, about Commissioner Delany’s thoughts on teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. On the surface, this might make sense. But, it’s not a great idea. Take last season. The SEC West had the nation’s two best teams in LSU and Alabama. The

Let's Rank 2012's Big Ten Backup QBs

On one hand, he’s often the most popular player on campus. On the other hand, you may not even know his name. He’s the backup quarterback. If he’s pressed into duty, it usually means one of two things: 1. The starter got hurt. 2. The starter was, ahem, ineffective. Knowing all this, it’s time for you to get to know your school’s No. 2 signal-caller. Here’s is how I rank ‘em. It’s the latest of my Big Ten off-season rankings. We’re having fun with these and the fans are giving me an earful. Come back Friday when I rank the

Dienhart: Q&A with Purdue's Danny Hope

Danny Hope admits that this is his best team at Purdue. He enters his fourth season in West Lafayette with a 16-21 record (10-14 Big Ten) after first arriving from Eastern Kentucky as Purdue’s head-coach-in-waiting in 2008 under Joe Tiller. Hope assumed command in 2009 and guided Purdue to its first bowl since 2007 last season, when the Boilers downed Western Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Bowl. Now, Hope is aiming for more. His tenure has been marked by knee injuries to key players. Running back Ralph Bolden and quarterbacks Robert Marve and Rob Henry have incurred knee injuries that

Dienhart: Ranking My Top Big Ten Tandems

When it comes to fabulously famous tandems, there have been many over the years. TV’s Captain Kirk and Spock. Literature and film’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. You see where I’m going. Each individual helps make the duo’s value greater than just the sum of their parts. What are the best tandems in the Big Ten? Glad you asked. Here are my picks for top dynamic duos at each position – with a curve ball at one spot – heading into 2012. Agree or disagree? If you missed my earlier posts, I’ve been spending

Which Football Playoff Idea Do You Prefer?

While America is falling in love with the possibility of a four-team playoff, the Nebraska president favors a plus-one. Really. In fact, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman says a plus-one is the favored format among many leaders at Big Ten and Pac-12 schools. Here’s another bucket of ice cold water over your noggin: If there was a four-team playoff, Perlman says he didn’t think decision makers would want the two semi-final games to be played on campuses of higher-seeded teams. Why? Perlman fears such a set up would diminish the bowls. I’m sounding off on this and other Big

Dienhart: About That Big Ten-SEC Game Idea ...

A Big Ten-SEC bowl game? In St. Louis? Maybe, according to this story in STLToday.com. Long story short: This is a LONG shot. A big long shot, as a lot of hurdles would have to be cleared for this to be a reality. But I love any concept that has the nation’s two best leagues meeting. We already have that guarantee in three bowl games: Capital One; Outback; Gator. Would a fourth SEC-Big Ten bowl clash be overkill? Perhaps. I have a better idea in this post as I look at that story and more Big Ten football news fit

Twitter Tips: Check out these Boiler accounts

The next stop on our Twitter Tips series takes us to Purdue. We’ve already featured 10 schools (see them all here), and now it’s time to turn our attention to the guys who tweet about the Boilermakers in our 12-installment series that spotlights every Big Ten institution, in alphabetical order. Our goal is to share some of our favorite school-specific Twitter accounts with the fans. Without further delay, let’s get to the Purdue handles. The Boilermakers have several worthy follows, from informative beat writers (@carminjc) to dedicated bloggers (@BoiledSports) to entertaining former players (@ballinger). Basically, whatever it is you’re looking