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Dienhart's best of the 2014 BTN bus tour

The BTN bus traveled almost 4,000 miles, beginning in Bloomington, Ind., on Aug. 4 and ending in Champaign, Ill., on Aug. 20. We have kicked the tires on all 14 teams one last time—watching practice, talking to players, talking to coaches–before the season kicks off next week. Deep breath! Here is my best of the 2014 BTN bus tour. Get our football tour coverage: [ MORE: Get all of our tour coverage | See all of Dienhart’s Instagram videos ] BEST CAMPUSES 1. Penn State. You just can’t beat the backdrop of Mount Nittany on this hilly, bucolic campus. If

Video: Jim Delany does ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? How about having a freezing cold bucket of water dumped over your head, while also donating to a good cause? Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany did just that as he took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Tuesday outside of the conference office. Delany was challenged by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. [ MORE: Watch Big Ten personalities take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ] Before having buckets of ice water poured over his head, Delany challenged BTN president Mark Silverman, as well as ESPN’s Burke Magnus. Watch’s Delany’s ALS

Eight B1G games land on Yahoo!'s most intriguing list

There will be plenty of intrigue in Big Ten football this fall, according to Yahoo! Sports. Eight games involving Big Ten teams landed on the site’s top 25 most intriguing games of 2014. Michigan State’s Week 2 visit to Oregon comes in at No. 2, behind Auburn at Alabama. See all the Big Ten games in this post. Here’s a look at the Big Ten games in the top 10: No. 2: Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6 “The marquee non-conference game of 2014 will do a lot to frame the early stages of the College Football Playoff debate, for

Countdown to kickoff: West best coaching staff?

Kickoff is fast approaching. To help count down the days to Aug. 28, the BTN.com team is discussing one topic every day. Think of it as our countdown to kickoff. Today’s topic: West best coaching staff? See Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post. See our other 2014 predictions: Tom Dienhart: Minnesota. Few staffs have the connectivity of this one. The cohesion was on full display last season, when the Golden Gophers didn’t skip a beat when Jerry Kill missed time to tend to his health. It all begins with coordinators Matt Limegrover (offense) and Tracy

Dienhart's Diary: Next best thing to being on the bus

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is trying something new this year on our annual football tour. At each of the 14 practices across Big Ten country, Dienhart will pen a quick diary post. From Indiana, the first stop, to Illinois, the 14th and final stop, our expert will provide plenty of fun behind-the-scenes updates. Get our latest football tour coverage: AUG. 18: NEBRASKA Bus tracker: Minneapolis to Lincoln – 430 miles (2,923) Lincoln, Neb., is one of my top stops. I love the passion of the community. In fact, I don’t think any Big Ten school can top the fevered mania

Four Big Ten teams ranked in preseason AP Poll

The Associated Press preseason college football poll was released Sunday afternoon, and four Big Ten teams are ranked.  Ohio State and Michigan State are both ranked in the Top 10, as the Buckeyes appear at No. 5, while the Spartans are ranked No. 8. Wisconsin (No. 14) and Nebraska (No. 22) also are ranked. [ MORE: Four Big Ten teams ranked in preseason Coaches Poll ] See the full AP Poll in this post. AP Rankings Rankings as of 8/17/2014 Rank School Votes Prev Rank 1 Florida State (0-0) 1496 (57) NR 2 Alabama (0-0) 1361 (1) NR 3 Oregon (0-0)

Ranking the top Big Ten running back duos

Our BTN tour bus stopped in Madison, Wis., Friday to take in Wisconsin camp. While watching practice, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sent out the following tweet about Wisconsin’s talented running back duo. It doesn't get much better than Corey Clement and Melvin Gordon, the best RB duo in the #B1G. #Badgers pic.twitter.com/0OnS9pFFbP — Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) August 15, 2014 This got me thinking about the best duos in the conference. Are Gordon and Clement indeed the top duo? Get all of our latest rankings posts: Here are my rankings. 1. Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement, Wisconsin: Dienhart got it

Football Tour: Dienhart's best from Wisconsin

The Badgers have the ingredients for a strong team, but there will be much unproven talent coming back from a 9-4 team. There are just five starters back on offense and three on defense. Issues at quarterback, receiver and the front seven hang over the program. The good news: The vintage Wisconsin running game should hum along behind a monster line and terrific tailbacks in Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement. Get our latest football tour coverage: Here are my thoughts from Wisconsin practice on a cool, crisp almost Autumn-like day in August. BEST OF WISCONSIN PRACTICE Most impressive player: Melvin

Twitter: Our experts' takes from Wisconsin practice

Our annual summer football tour rolls on! BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are at Wisconsin practice Friday. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post. Get our latest football tour coverage: Practice is underway in Madison. Full coverage of @BadgerFootball camp tonight, 6 pm ET. pic.twitter.com/qaYPUBQ6yi — BTN Live (@BTNLive) August 15, 2014 TOM DIENHART At @BadgerFootball practice. D line out first. Gonna be a short workout. Scrimmage on Monday. #Badgers pic.twitter.com/qBeYO9ffgd — Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) August 15, 2014 It doesn't get much better than Corey Clement and Melvin Gordon,

Wisconsin camp preview: How does front 7 look?

The debut of the Gary Andersen regime was a successful one. Wisconsin started 9-2 and had some hopes of a BCS bowl before losing to Penn State in the season finale at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers also lost to South Carolina in Capital One Bowl. For Act Two, challenges loom for a program that is the pick of many to win the Big Ten West. Why not? This has been one of the Big Ten’s hallmark programs for over 20 years. Get our latest football tour coverage: Here are the questions I have as we head to Wisconsin practice.