Dienhart: Top 10 Big Ten football stories of 2011 season

There was an iconic Hail Mary pass, a brand new championship game, a new school in the club, Legends and Leaders, a smashing debut by a coach, a touchdown machine named “Ball,” and a sordid off-field scandal the likes we never have seen in the history of college sports. Welcome to Big Ten football 2011.

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Ball wins Silver Football Award

After being named one of the five finalist or the 2011 Heisman Trophy earlier this week, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball won the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football Awards as the best player in the Big Ten. He finished ahead of teammate Russel Wilson and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins.

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Escape Artists

Wednesday night brought a slew of closer-than-expected games for Big Ten teams. Most were able to escape without deflating losses, but the way they played may tell us more than the final result. Let’s dive right in.

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Dienhart: The latest Big Ten mailbag answers

When BTN.com readers come to my BTN.com mailbag page to send their questions and comments, they may think I don’t read them all. But I do, and I answer the best ones each week. This time around many of you wondered when Ohio State will hear from the NCAA, why was Michigan picked for a BCS bowl and Michigan State wasn’t, if the Big Ten title game is a conference game or a non-conference game, and how I decided my Heisman vote order.

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Dienhart: Is another QB transferring to Wisconsin?

Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist recently was granted a release from his scholarship. And there’s a report that says he could have interest in transferring to Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is citing sources familiar with both Notre Dame and Wisconsin in saying Crist could land in Madison. He has one year of eligibility left. And to use it, he would need to enroll in a graduate program not offered at Notre Dame.

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