The Badgers have become the bellwether for the Big Ten, advancing to the last three Rose Bowls. Their quest to make it four in a row is complicated by Leaders Division rival Ohio State being eligible to win the Big Ten and play in a bowl after being on probation last season. Another potential hurdle: Wisconsin must adapt to a new coach in Gary Andersen. Still, there is a lot to like about this team. Here is my best- and worst-case scenarios for the Badgers in 2013. [ RELATED: Visit Dienhart’s Best Case/Worst Case archive ] Best-case: The Badgers cruise
Tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. ET Saturday. The third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, December 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with kick-off set for 8:17 p.m. ET. The Championship Game will be broadcast nationally on FOX. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets will range from $50 to $90, depending on the seat location and each order will be limited to eight tickets. In addition, every Big Ten Football Championship
J.J. Watt is a freak. There’s really no other way to describe the former Wisconsin standout defensive lineman. The guy is as athletic as they come – yes, even with a 6-5, 289-pound frame – and the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year proved it in a quick YouTube video that captures him nailing a 59.5-inch box jump. Yes, 59.5 inches. That’s one-half inch short of five feet, for the non-math majors, and it means he can practically jump on your shoulders – from a STANDING position. Incredible. Scary thing is, Watt’s flying higher and higher the older he gets.
Believe it or not, BTN is about to cover its seventh Big Ten football season. That’s a good chunk of time. It’s an eternity nowadays, as far as uniforms are concerned. Home to some of college football’s most iconic looks (Michigan and Penn State, to name a couple), the Big Ten has experienced its share of aesthetic changes since 2007. This is hardly hard-hitting material, I know. But it’s the middle of July, football is a month-plus away, and football posts are better than no football posts. Right? I hope that’s a “right.” No school has changed more than Northwestern.
Last summer, BTN.com hosted a football mock draft featuring a beat writer for every Big Ten team. It was a fun project. This summer, your friends at BTN.com held their own draft. The participants: senior writer Tom Dienhart, video operations manager Wesley White and web news editor Brent Yarina. This is how it worked: The draft consisted of eight rounds (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, D) and it went in snaking order, starting with Dienhart and ending with Yarina. Here’s who we picked: TOM’S TEAM QB: Braxton Miller, Ohio State RB: Venric Mark, Northwestern RB: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
CHICAGO – BTN/BTN2Go will kick off the 2013 Big Ten football season with five hours of live televised coverage of Big Ten Football Media Days on Wednesday and a two-hour Kickoff Luncheon Special on Friday. Live coverage from the Hilton Chicago will begin at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. Mike Hall and Derek Rackley host the coverage that will include the press conferences for all 12 coaches, BTN President Mark Silverman, Tournament of Roses President Scott Jenkins and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. [ RELATED: See which Big Ten players will attend 2013 media days ] BTN will re-air the press
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
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
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
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