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Big Ten mailbag: Bielema, Hazell, & expansion

Time to open up the mail bag. And, as you would suspect, the bag was stuffed with questions about Bret Bielema’s shocking move from Wisconsin to Arkansas that still has the nation buzzing. Read all about that—and more. And send me your latest questions and comments at the bottom of this post. I think Bret Bielema is the first Big Ten head coach to leave for another job since Nick Saban bolted Michigan State for LSU in 1999. Why are some writers making it out like there’s a mass exodus of coaches from the conference? – Jonathan I can’t speak

Catch the 'Journey' finale tonight

The last episode of “The Journey 2012” airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET with an inside look at last Saturday’s Big Ten Football Championship where Wisconsin won the school’s second straight football title game. Our show crew went wall-to-wall with their coverage, and then show the Badgers locker room celebration, too. Watch all of the shows on BTN2Go to get caught up for the entire season using the links below: Episode 1: Oct. 3, 2012 Episode 2: Oct. 10, 2012 Episode 3: Oct. 17, 2012 Episode 4: Oct. 24, 2012 Episode 5: Oct. 31, 2012 Episode 6: Nov. 7, 2012

Twitter: Bret Bielema leaves Wisconsin for Arkansas

Yahoo! Sports writer and “Big Ten Football & Beyond” correspondent Pat Forde set off quite the firestorm Tuesday when he reported Bret Bielema was headed to Arkansas. The move came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. After all, Bielema and the Badgers are headed to their third consecutive Rose Bowl. Check out some of the best tweets on Bielema’s move in this post. [RELATED: Dienhart: News of Bielema’s move shocking] EX-BADGERS Wow I'm am beyond shocked!!!!!! Congrats to coach B though he deserves it!! — Aaron Henry (@AaronHenry7) December 4, 2012 Sad to see @BretBielema go but wish him the

Dienhart: News of Bielema's move shocking

Three days after leading Wisconsin to its third consecutive Rose Bowl, Bret Bielema agreed to become Arkansas’ head coach. Yahoo! Sports and “Big Ten Football & Beyond” correspondent Pat Forde first reported the news. Bielema, who will be introduced Wednesday, led the Badgers to a 70-31 win over Nebraska in Saturday night’s Big Ten title game at Lucas Oil Stadium. With the win, the Badgers became the first Big Ten team to reach Pasadena three consecutive seasons since Michigan from 1976-78. Arkansas 2012 Date Opponent Result / Time 9/1 vs. Jacksonville State W 49 – 24 9/8 vs. Louisiana-Monroe L

Alvarez releases statement on Bielema's departure

University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez issued the following statement Tuesday on the departure of Bret Bielema, who has been named head football coach at the University of Arkansas: “I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas. He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas. [RELATED: Dienhart: News of Bielema’s move shocking] “I have a responsibility to our student-athletes, our football family and our

Twitter: Big Ten fans react to Heisman finalists

The finalists for the 2012 Heisman Trophy were announced Monday night, and there are a couple surprises: 1. The list includes only three players; and 2. neither Braxton Miller nor Montee Ball received an invite. No. 1 is the real shocker, however, considering there have been five finalists two of the past three years. The last time there were three: 2008. Here’s the list of worthy finalists: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Kansas State’s Collin Klein and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. Did Miller or Ball deserve an invite? Sure. And if there were four or five candidates, one of them would

Photos: Meet Big Ten bowl opponents' key players

We found out where the Big Ten’s seven bowl teams were headed Sunday night. Read Tom Dienhart’s early thoughts on each game here. Now, it’s time to familiarize ourselves a little more with the seven opponents. Who is the key player for each team, and why should we keep our eye on him during the bowl game? [RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule] Meet the Big Ten opponents’ key players in this photo gallery below. Click on any picture for player stats and analysis.

Quick look at Big Ten's 7 bowl game matchups

The bowl matchups are set as the Big Ten filled seven of its eight bowl slots. Four of the matchups are rematches of previous bowls. Here is a quick take on each bowl, with more analysis in coming days. We’ll get to breaking down the games in some detail in the coming weeks, but who do you think wins? Let us know in the comments at the end of the post. Or fire me a note via my weekly Big Ten mailbag. [RELATED: View the final 2012 BCS Standings] Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (8-5) vs. Stanford (11-2) The teams met in

Line up, naysayers: Badgers off to Rose Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS – Wisconsin spent the better part of the last month hearing about how it didn’t deserve to be in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game. Now, for the next month, it will hear that it has no business playing in the Rose Bowl, the program’s third consecutive Grandaddy of Them All. That’s just fine by these Badgers, the Rose Bowl’s first five-loss team. “I don’t care,” Dezmen Southward said. “I really don’t care.” And they shouldn’t. Not after Saturday night’s absolutely dominating 70-31 win over previously streaking No. 14 Nebraska. [RELATED: Dienhart: Fitting punctuation mark on season that

Badgers roll Huskers, win third straight crown

INDIANAPOLIS – Could this bizarre 2012 Big Ten season had ended any differently than this? Of course not. Wisconsin’s 70-31 pummeling of Nebraska put a fitting punctuation mark on a season that didn’t go by script. In fact, it went way off script. The Big Ten’s best team—12-0 Ohio State—couldn’t play in the Big Ten title game or go to a bowl because of probation. But it was given a trophy for winning the Leaders Division. Penn State overcame long odds playing with a depleted roster and battling through an 0-2 start to finish 8-4 and in second place in