The Big Ten Pulse

The Big Ten Pulse

Our Big Ten Pulse hosts Rick Pizzo and Derek Rackley offer an entertaining take on the topics and news around the conference and give their opinions on the biggest stories in sports. Airs Monday and Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Pulse: Heisman Finalist Ball Joined Us

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Montee Ball Visits "The Pulse"

Wisconsin running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball has thrilled Badgers fans all season long, and he made another appearance on the Big Ten Network on Tuesday night’s The Big Ten Pulse. Check out his BTN.com player page with season and career stats, then scroll down in this post to find more on the Heisman Trophy finalist, including a video archive of his appearances on BTN, and a few of his selected tweets.

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Wisconsin's Ball Named Heisman Finalist

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Big Ten Pulse - Dec. 6, 2011

Turns out a Big Ten single-season record 38 touchdowns is enough to garner an invite to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was named one of five finalists for the most prestigious award in college sports Monday night, the announcement coming live on ESPN by former Ohio State star and 1995 Heisman winner Eddie George. Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu and Stanford’s Andrew Luck join Ball in NYC.

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Pulse: Talking to David Molk

Michigan's David Molk

David Molk: One-on-One

On Monday night’s Big Ten Pulse, Rick, Rack and Timmy D interviewed Michigan center David Molk. The crew asked Molk about whether he and the Wolverines are trying to figure out everything that needs to happen in order for them to make the BCS. Watch the interview now to hear Molk’s answer. Also on tonight’s show, the guys talked about the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and gave their thoughts on Ohio State’s hiring of Urban Meyer.

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Pulse: Ball Joins Us & Title Game Talk

Penn State's Tom Bradley & Jay Paterno

Big Ten Pulse: Nov. 21, 2011

On tonight’s Pulse, at 6 ET, Rick, Rack and Timmy D discuss whether it will be Penn State or Wisconsin joining Michigan State, the Legends Division champion, in Indianapolis for the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game. Speaking of the title game, FOX and BTN released the coverage plans Monday. Read the release here and see what else our crew will be talking about on tonight’s show in this post. Watch a web-only segment for the show now.

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The Pulse: What we're talking about tonight

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Big Ten Pulse - Nov. 14, 2011

We’ve got the details on The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET. Of course, you could have gone and asked them on Twitter @BTNThePulse, too. On tonight’s show Rick, Rack and Timmy D talk with Michigan breakout running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and ask him if he’s faster than quarterback Denard Robinson. See what else we’ll be talking about in this post.

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Spartans Model Camo Unis for Carrier Classic

Michigan State Camo

Tom Izzo: One-on-One

As college basketball fans know well by now, Michigan State will play top-ranked North Carolina on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Friday night in the inaugural Carrier Classic. What college basketball fans may not know is that Michigan State will wear camo uniforms for the highly anticipated Veterans Day game. Watch the Big Ten Pulse’s interview with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo now and see the Spartans model the special uniforms in a MSUSpartanAthletics YouTube video in this post.

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Pulse: Izzo Joins Us & Legends' Race

At 6:30 ET on the Big Ten Pulse, Rick, Rack and Timmy D discuss the wild weekend in the Legends Division, what with Northwestern upsetting Nebraska and Iowa fending off Michigan. Michigan State men’s hoops coach Tom Izzo will join the show to talk about his history of scheduling tough opponents and playing aboard an aircraft carrier Friday. Also, our crew will debate who had the better 81-yard touchdown: Braxton Miller (watch and rate the play!) or Jeremy Ebert (watch and rate the play!)?

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Pulse: Feeling a Festive Show

It’s Halloween, so you know Rick, Rack and Timmy D are going to have some fun on Monday’s Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET. The crew will debate which teams have the inside track to Indianapolis, home of the Big Ten Championship Game, and try to break down the congested Legends Division. There will be Halloween-inspired topics, too, including which “kid” (sophomore RB) deserves the most treats following his Week 9 performance, biggest shock and biggest scare.

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Dienhart: Weekly Bowl Projections

Nebraska's Tyler Legate

Keith Nichol on Michigan State's Hail Mary Victory

Wisconsin’s loss at Michigan State likely cost it a shot at playing in the BCS title game. It also cost the Badgers a spot in the Rose Bowl—for now. And the Big Ten may be in peril of having to settle for just one BCS bowl slot, which hasn’t happened since the 2004 season. Here’s what we know for sure: Indiana already has been eliminated from bowl contention. Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota have work to do to get into postseason position. The others will continue to jockey for position. See how BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart slots the Big Ten teams in bowl games after eight weeks of the season in this post.

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Pulse: Michigan State's Keith Nichol joins us

Michigan State Keith Nichol

The Big Ten Pulse (10/24/11)

How surprised were you by the outcome of the Wisconsin-Michigan State on Saturday? It was a thriller of an ending that had Spartans fans thrilled and Badgers fans bummed. Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle describe their reactions to the game on tonight’s Big Ten Pulse. Also, let’s make some sense out of the latest BCS standings. And Keith Nichol, the Spartan everyone was talking about Saturday night, joins us for an interview to talk about his big catch. Our “Who Ya Got?” segment includes these vital questions: Who had the better touchdown run? And who has the worst chest bump? Follow The Pulse on Twitter @BTNThePulse and watch the show tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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The Pulse: Kyle Dammeyer

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Kyle Dammeyer: One-on-One

On The Big Ten Pulse, Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Tim Doyle spoke with Kyle Dammeyer, the Ohio State water skier who crashed at the Division I National Championships and came away with only a few bumps and bruises. Watch the interview with Kyle now or head over to BTN2Go.com to watch the entire episode.

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Week 8 Big Ten Player Rankings

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Kirk Cousins Visits "The Pulse"

Throughout the football season, Brent Yarina ranks his top 10 Big Ten players following the completion of each week’s action. Top 10 lists are subjective, to be sure, and this one is no different. That said, this weekly list is designed to reflect Brent’s top talents in the conference, taking into consideration the players’ overall statistics, latest performances and importance to their teams. Think of it as his unofficial leader board for Big Ten MVP. See Brent’s Week 8 Player Rankings in this post.

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Pulse: Bunyan Trophy Stays in East Lansing

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio

Big Ten Pulse - Oct. 17, 2011

At 6:30 p.m. ET Monday on The Big Ten Pulse, Rick Pizzo (@BTNRickPizzo), Derek Rackley (@Drack48) and Tim Doyle (@BTNTimDoyle) discuss the Paul Bunyan Trophy staying in East Lansing for the fourth consecutive season, Boom Herron‘s impressive season debut for Ohio State and the BCS Standings, in particular what it means for No. 6 Wisconsin. The crew also will give its take on rugby-style punts and Midnight Madness, which Doyle attended in Bloomington. Watch our Web-only Pulse segment now.

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The Pulse & Rivalry Week: Lets do this!

It’s rivalry week in the state of Michigan and so our crew of Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Tim Doyle answer the question: Who will walk away with the Paul Bunyan Trophy? Also, Iowa has had struggled against Northwestern in the past, but will those troubles continue? In our “Impulses” segment, Williams and Doyle turn the table and decide whether or not they agree with Pizzo’s impulses for Saturday’s games. And basketball is back! The guys cover the best returning players, the key losses and then announce who they believe takes “The Leap” this season. Follow them all @BTNThePulse.

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Pulse: Big Ten's Best Defense?

Penn State's Khairi Fortt

Big Ten Pulse - Oct. 10. 2011

At 6:30 ET tonight on The Big Ten Pulse, Rick Pizzo (@BTNRickPizzo), Derek Rackley (@DRack48) and Tim Doyle (@BTNTimDoyle) discuss all the latest happenings in the Big Ten, including whether Nebraska’s historic comeback against Ohio State saved its season. The crew also will debate which Big Ten team features the strongest defense. Who’s your pick for the best defensive unit? Leave it as a comment at the bottom of this post. Watch now as our crew debates which undefeated team they’d most like to coach in this Web-only segment.

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The Pulse: We've got questions & answers

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Big Ten Pulse - October 7, 2011

Questions, questions, questions. Who needs the win more this weekend – Ohio State or Nebraska? How good is Michigan’s running game? Who’s the best Big Ten QB-WR combo? Who will win this weekend? What are Wisconsin’s title chances looking like? Join Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Brandon Williams tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET, and follow them on Twitter @BTNThePulse. They love to spotlight you’re best tweets on the air.

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Mic'd Mondays: Ball & Jenkins

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Montee Ball Visits "The Pulse"

Monday night, we interviewed two of Week 5’s biggest stars, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (151 yards, 4 TDs) and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins (12 rec., 268 yards, 3 TDs). “The Big Ten Pulse” sat down with Ball, who’s scored at least two touchdowns in his last nine regular-season games and leads the nation with 14 touchdowns. What’s it like for Ball, not to mention sidekick James White, to run behind Wisconsin’s massive offensive line? “We feel really comfortable in the huddle, and once the play starts, we feel real comfortable behind those big guys,” Ball told our crew. Jenkins joined “Big Ten Breakdown,” and he appropriately broke down his 33-yard touchdown reception that helped spark Illinois’ rally against Northwestern. Watch the interview in this post.

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Pulse: Can Russell Wilson keep rolling?

Bucky Badger

Big Ten Pulse - Oct. 3, 2011

On tonight’s Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET, our Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle face so many questions. Will there be enough time? So that whole Wisconsin-Nebraska game on Saturday? Were either of our guys surprised by the outcome? And Russell Wilson excelled in his first Big Ten battle, but can he keep it up? And how about the Illinois Fighting Illini? It’s Monday, so we also roll out another “Who Ya Got?” feature asking about Badgers Fan Headgear and leaping players.

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Is Nebraska-Wisconsin winner a title contender?

Nebraska's Taylor Martinez

Big Ten Pulse - Sept. 30, 2011

Tonight on The Big Ten Pulse our Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle answer the question: Should the Nebraska-Wisconsin winner be a National Championship contender? Plus, our “Impulses” segment touches on the Taylor Martinez/Russell Wilson matchup, the Northwestern-Illinois and Denard Robinson rushing skills vs. his passing skills. And in “Word Games” we look at Michigan State-Ohio State getting the silent treatment, the Nebraska fan who became a Badgers booster and how a quarterback can affect Big Ten teams heading into conference play. Follow us on Twitter @BTNThePulse.

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Mic'd Mondays: Nebraska's Burkhead

Nebraska's Rex Burkhead

Rex Burkhead Visits "The Pulse"

Monday night on “The Big Ten Pulse,” Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead stopped by to chat with Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle about the Huskers’ much-anticipated Big Ten debut at Wisconsin. Burkhead, who has run for 290 yards and four touchdowns the past two weeks, is the Big Ten’s leading rusher among running backs, trailing quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez. In last week’s win at Wyoming, Burkhead took snaps out of the Wildcat formation. Can we expect more of it against the Badgers? “If he [Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck] wants to, that’s fine with me,” Burkhead told our crew.

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Handing Out Big Ten Noncon Honors

Iowa's Marvin McNutt

Big Ten Pulse - Sept. 26, 2011

It’s finally that time. Big Ten play kicks off Saturday, starting with a trio of noon ET games, including Michigan (4-0) hosting Minnesota (1-3) on BTN. Now that the full weeks of nonconference action are a thing of the past, BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina looks back at the first four weeks and offers his nonconference Big Ten honors. Watch now as “The Big Ten Pulse” also discusses nonconference awards and see all of Brent’s winners in this post.

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The Pulse: Who Ya Got?

On The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Derek Rackley take a crack at tackling the big stories for the upcoming week. Start the hype machine! It’s Nebraska vs. Wisconsin! How big is this game? Plus, the guys interview Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead and ask him how ready is he for Big Ten Conference play. Also, don’t forget our favorite segment “Who Ya Got?” where Rackley and Doyle square off. What’s your answer to two of our questions? Jump down in the post and vote.

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NU's Persa: 'I'd be shocked if I don't play'

Northwestern's Dan Persa

Dan Persa Visits "The Pulse"

Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa talked to The Big Ten Pulse crew on Friday and told the guys he’s feeling good about playing next week against Illinois. Persa, who continues his recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon, benefits from the Wildcats’ bye this weekend. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday, Persa said, “At this point, I’m ready to go and don’t consider myself injured anymore. ” The quarterback added, ‘‘I have the same percentage of getting injured as anybody else because I’m [medically] cleared, and the more I think like that, the better off I’ll be.’’

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Big Ten Pulse: Persa Interview

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Big Ten Pulse - Sept. 23, 2011

Tonight on The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET with Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and  Tim Doyle, we discuss the new QB in Columbus. How will Braxton Miller fare in his first start? Also, Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa claims he’s #PersaStrong enough to play against Illinois on Oct. 1 and he joins us for an interview. And we roll out a feature called “The B1G Screen” where we ask the question: What if three of this weekend’s games were movies?

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Mic'd Mondays: Brown, Bennett

Illinois' Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown Visits "The Pulse"

Monday night on BTN, we interviewed the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Illinois’ Jonathan Brown, and the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, Minnesota’s Duane Bennett. Brown met with “The Big Ten Pulse” to discuss the Illini’s big night against Arizona State and quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Illini sacked Osweiler six times, five more times than he went down in the first two games combined. How did Illinois do it? “It’s kind of hard to miss him when the guy’s 6-8, with those long legs. He can’t really go anywhere,” Brown said. Watch our interview with Brown now and click inside to see the Bennett interview.

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