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Video: Why those recruiting ratings aren't everything

When you’re inevitably checking out your Big Ten football team’s signing class tomorrow, don’t gloss over the one- and two-star players. The rating system is an inexact science, and these lower-profile players could just turn out to be, say, Russell Wilson. Out of high school, the freshly minted Super Bowl-winning quarterback was a two-star recruit. He played nothing like a two-star recruit at North Carolina State or Wisconsin, and he plays nothing like a third-round NFL draft pick. [ PROGRAM ALERT: Watch our Signing Day Special at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday ] So, again, don’t forget about the under-the-radar signees

#BTNLive asks: Who's done the most on Signing Day?

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: What program has made the most of football’s National Signing Day in the last 4 years? Five choices:  #BTNBuckeyes, #BTNBadgers, #BTNSpartans, #BTNHuskers or #BTNPSU. On tonight’s show, Mike Hall, Gerry Dinardo and Stanley Jackson we take a look at what the National Signing Day process is like from the point of view of both player and coach, then they discuss how the Big Ten classes

Russell Rules: Wilson 6th B1G QB to win Super Bowl

Editor’s note: In the first edition of this story, Michigan State’s Earl Morrall was not accounted for as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Morrall came off the bench and replaced Johnny Unitas in the Baltimore Colts’ Super Bowl V win. Russell Wilson became the sixth Big Ten quarterback to win a Super Bowl on Sunday night. Wilson, the one-year Wisconsin standout who led the Badgers to the 2012 Rose Bowl, joined Len Dawson (Purdue), Earl Morrall (Michigan State), Bob Griese (Purdue), Tom Brady (Michigan) and Drew Brees (Purdue) in the distinguished group. [ MORE: See how ex-Big Ten products fared in

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Five members of the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team from the University of Minnesota donated 60 sets of hockey equipment to youth hockey associations. A new center at Penn State received a major grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study – and solve – water pollution. The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team shaved their heads in solidarity with a new teammate – who’s nine years old. Last week, Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo celebrated a birthday. Happy Birthday to Coach Tom Izzo. No chance he sees this, he has no twitter account? Cake & ice cream time!

Seven ex-Big Ten players win Super Bowl XLVIII rings

Seven former Big Ten stars are world champions after the Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night. Ex-Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson accounted for 232 yards and two touchdowns and Purdue product Cliff Avril had three tackles and two passes defended. See how all the Big Ten products performed in this post. SEATTLE 43, DENVER 8 Seattle DE Cliff Avril, Purdue – 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PD TE Kellen Davis, Michigan State – NA DT Jordan Hill, Penn State – NA S Chris Maragos, Wisconsin – 1 tackle FB Michael Robinson, Penn State

Did you see this: Russell Wilson billboard fail

If you had to associate Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson with one university, it would probably be Wisconsin, right? That seems to be the consensus, despite the fact that Wilson spent four years at North Carolina State, before transferring to Wisconsin in 2011 for his final year of eligibility. [ MORE: See pictures of Russell Wilson at Super Bowl Media Day ] It is no secret that Wisconsin has certainly claimed the Super Bowl quarterback as one of its own. Just take a look at the team’s official Twitter feed, @BadgerFootball. Also, there’s this billboard on Capital Blvd. in Raleigh,

Dienhart: 'I'm all for this' players union

The move to unionized college athletes continues to gain momentum. A report from ESPN says that Northwestern football players are beginning the process of being recognized as employees by reaching out for help from the National College Players Association, which filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern by submitting a form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. [ MORE: Northwestern AD Jim Phillips releases statement ] At the center of the movement is Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, whose eligibility has expired. In fact, it was Colter who reached out to a

Dienhart: Top three recruiting needs for B1G teams

Happy Signing Day, Big Ten fans! The classes are filling up fast, with early reports showing Ohio State in line to ink the top collection of talent in the Big Ten. Here’s a look at the recruiting needs for each school, as we all cast an eye toward the future and get excited about the possibilities. [ MORE: Top recruiting bust for every B1G team over last 10 years ] ILLINOIS Tim Beckman’s third class is a critical one. The Fighting Illini have lost players like QB Nathan Scheelhaase, WR Ryan Lankford and LB Jonathan Brown, so work remains—especially on

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Before the Super Bowl this weekend, be sure to read about the great work Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is doing in his community. Not a Seahawks fan? LiveBIG also profiled Judi’s House, founded by then-Denver Broncos quarterback Brian Griese, to help kids cope with loss. Literacy programs at the University of Minnesota recently received recognition from First Lady Michelle Obama. The University of Michigan received two grants, totaling $4.35 million, from the William Davidson Foundation to support university programs impacting economic activity in southeast Michigan. Read more about these initiatives here. The men’s lacrosse program at The Ohio State

B1G Clicks: Tracking today's Big Ten trends

Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including a photo of Penn State fans photobombing ESPN announcers at last nights Penn State-Nebraska men’s hoops game. Like what you see? We do this every weekday. Visit our Clicks archive. Here are Friday’s B1G Clicks: Penn State Basketball pic.twitter.com/aBDPPRIy6n — Dan (@sharpalright) January 24, 2014 Our take: Penn State fans get in on the “Free Bieber” madness. ESPN College Gameday before today's @MSU_Basketball practice. #GoGreenWearWhite @ESPNCBB @ESPN_ReceDavis