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November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Zach Zwinak (28) is wrapped up by several Wisconsin Badgers defenders at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Mailbag: Why conference games so early?

I can’t think of anything better to do on a hot July day than to drink a tall, cool Arnold Palmer and wade through my deep mail bag and answer your questions. And there is a lot to talk about even though none of the footballs or basketballs have been inflated. So, let’s get started. Is replay something that will be used to determine ejections in the Big Ten for football? Something like that should have a safeguard, because if you remove certain defensive players, it changes the defense completely and sometimes plays happen fast. – Jonathan Yes, replay will

Brett Hundley

Dienhart: Ranking top 10 opposing Big Ten quarterbacks

It’s important to know your opponent—especially your opponent’s quarterback. You know how it goes: A team typically will go only as far as its quarterback is able to take it. Well, here’s my ranking of the top 10 quarterbacks that Big Ten teams will face in the non-conference this season. 1. Brett Hundley, UCLA (at Nebraska, Sept. 14) Nebraska got an up-close look at him last year when he was a redshirt freshman; and it wasn’t pretty for the Huskers. Hundley threw for 305 yards and four scores and ran for 53 yards in leading the Bruins to a 36-30

Greg Jones

Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Defense since 2000

The 2000s saw plenty of great players in the Big Ten. One, in fact, won the Heisman: Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith (2006), who arguably is the top player from the 2000s. Yesterday, I looked at the best of the best offensive players in the Big Ten since the calendar flipped to 2000. Next up: Defense. Before I get to the list, I have a couple rules:  1. A player had to play at least two seasons to be considered; 2. Nebraska players prior to 2011 are not eligible. [ RELATED: See Dienhart’s All-Big Ten Offense since 2000 ] DEFENSE

Dienhart: Here's a trap game for every Big Ten team

They lurk on every team’s schedule. They are the “trap” games. What’s a trap game? It’s a contest that your school probably should win—but may not, for various reasons. Here is my pick for each team’s trap game for 2013. You have been warned. [ RELATED: BTN announces on-air talent for 2013 football season ] ILLINOIS Miami (Ohio), Sept. 28. The game comes after a bye week, giving the Fighting Illini plenty of time to prepare for an opponent that went 4-8 last season and ended the year losing four in a row and six of seven. Still, the RedHawks

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BTN announces on-air talent for 2013 season

CHICAGO – BTN today revealed its game broadcast teams and studio talent for the 2013 football season. The network’s football schedule will feature 47 games, extensive pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage on Saturdays and football-themed studio shows every weeknight. [ RELATED: Read all of our football news | View 2013 schedules ] For the seventh straight year, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will anchor the network’s game-day studio coverage on Big Ten Football Saturday, and will contribute to additional studio shows during the week. This year’s primary broadcast teams for BTN’s football telecasts include Matt Devlin (play-by-play) and

Twitter: Your name ideas for new bowl at Ford Field

The Big Ten and Detroit Lions reached a six-year agreement Wednesday for a bowl game at Ford Field, starting next season. The bowl, which will debut Dec. 30, 2014, has yet to be named. Naturally, I went to Twitter to ask fans for their ideas. They didn’t disappoint. For what it’s worth, the previous bowls at Ford Field were the Motor City Bowl and Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. [ RELATED: Big Ten, Detroit Lions announce agreement for bowl game at Ford Field ] See the best tweets below. https://twitter.com/pfac51/status/357522393469693954 @BTNBrentYarina I'd love to see "Motor City Bowl" return. — Chris

Big Ten, Detroit Lions announce agreement for bowl game

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced Wednesday that they have entered into a six-year partnership with the Big Ten Conference for a bowl game that will be played at Ford Field beginning in 2014. [ RELATED: Twitter: Your name ideas for bowl game at Ford Field ] The game will be officially named once sponsorship agreements are in place. The inaugural game is tentatively scheduled for December 30, 2014 (pending TV broadcast schedule). “We are thrilled to be hosting a new bowl game in Detroit that will be anchored by an annual commitment from the Big Ten,” said Detroit Lions

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA;A view of the back of Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Offense since 2000

The 2000s saw plenty of great players in the Big Ten. One, in fact, won the Heisman: Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith (2006), who arguably is the top player from the 2000s. Over the next couple days, I’m going to take a look at the best of the best in the Big Ten since the calendar flipped to 2000. First up: Offense. Before I get to the list, I have a couple rules:  1. A player had to play at least two seasons to be considered; 2. Nebraska players prior to 2011 are not eligible. [ RELATED: See Dienhart’s All-Big

Feeling smart? Take Bill Carollo's officials' exam

I attended a clinic for officials in the Big Ten, MAC and MVC last weekend in the Chicago area. During one part of the clinic, Big Ten director of officials Bill Carollo gave attendees an exam to complete. Here is a copy (with the answers) of the exam I received. Take a look at the questions—and feel free to test the college football rules knowledge of your friends and family. [ RELATED: Bill Carollo: ‘We have to change behavior’ ] Ready to test your college football rules knowledge? I’ll warn you, these are not easy. Page 1 (PDF) Page 2

BTN's Dave Revsine to emcee Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon

The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that Dave Revsine, BTN’s lead studio host, will serve as emcee for the 2013 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, on Thursday, July 25 at the Hilton Chicago. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. ET, with the players and coaches autograph and photo session for fans attending the luncheon, which starts at 12:30 p.m. Revsine will be joined at the Kickoff Luncheon by each of the 12 Big Ten head football coaches and 36 of the conference’s top returning players. Revsine will sit down with the coaches in groups of three to discuss