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.

Handing Out Big Ten Noncon Honors

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 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

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

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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Pulse: What to Make of the Blackshirts?

Entering the 2011 college football season, Nebraska was the popular pick when it came to the Big Ten’s best defensive unit. With returning stars such as Jared Crick, Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard, among others, the Huskers boasted the talent, not to mention the coaching. Three games in, though, the Huskers have allowed 24.7 points per game (67th in FBS) and 1,094 total yards (77th). Yes, they have missed Dennard, who has been out with a leg injury, but where does Nebraska stand as a defense and as a team? That’s what “The Big Ten Pulse” crew discusses in this web-only segment.

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Pulse Preview: Another Crazy Comeback

The Big Ten has treated college football fans to a dynamic fourth-quarter comeback each of the past two weeks. Two weeks ago, it was Denard Robinson and Michigan coming back against Notre Dame. This past week, it was James Vandenberg and Iowa rallying past Pittsburgh for the greatest comeback in school history. At 7:30 ET Monday on the “Big Ten Pulse,” Rick Pizzo, Tim Doyle and Derek Rackley will discuss the latest comeback, talk about the rough Week 3 for a trio of Big Ten teams and interview Illinois’ Jonathan Brown. Watch now as Doyle previews Monday’s show.

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Tonight on The Pulse ...

Tonight on The Big Ten Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET, Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Tim Doyle roll up their sleeves and discuss the big Week 3 games, including a measuring stick game for Illinois, Michigan State’s tough road stretch starting in South Bend and Ohio State’s statement game at Miami. Also, we discuss this question: Is there such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to great quarterbacking? All this and more. Follow @BTNThePulse on Twitter and come talk to us.

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Mic'd Mondays: Cunningham, Henry

Andre Rison. Plaxico Burress. Derrick Mason. Charles Rogers. None of these decorated former Michigan State wide receivers can challenge B.J. Cunningham when it comes to the Spartans’ record book. That’s right, Cunningham became the program’s all-time leading receiver in Saturday’s 44-0 victory over Florida Atlantic. How does Cunningham feel about being mentioned in the same breath as Michigan State’s greatest receivers? “It means a lot, just to be on the list with these guys,” he told “The Big Ten Pulse” on Monday night. Watch the entire interview now. Our “Big Ten Football Breakdown” crew caught up with Illinois’ Trulon Henry on Monday night. Henry had the 27-yard pick-6 that helped spark Illinois to its 56-3 rout of South Dakota State. In two games this season, Henry has two interceptions. The latest one was more memorable, though, because Henry turned it into six points. “I always wanted score a touchdown,” he said. Coming up Tuesday on BTN, watch “The Next Level” at 7 p.m. ET. Check out our entire programming schedule.

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Pulse Preview: Rack Talks Crazy Finish

The sports world can’t stop talking about Michigan’s dramatic 35-31 comeback victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night. We’re no different. And at 6:30 p.m. ET Monday on “The Big Ten Pulse,” analysts Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle will look back at the thrilling finish, which featured three touchdowns in the final 1:12. The guys also will have an interview with Michigan State’s B.J. Cunningham, the Spartans’ new all-time leading wide receiver. Before the show airs, watch Rackley discuss the craziest finish he ever participated in. You can follow the Pulse on Twitter @BTNThePulse.

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The Pulse: Extra! Extra!

In this special web segment, Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Tim Doyle check out the cool stuff that is happening in Paternoville as Penn State gets set to welcome Alabama to Happy Valley and give their prediction for the game. “The Pulse” airs tonight at 6:30 ET and is back on Monday at the same time for a new edition. Feel free to tweet the guys at @BTNPulse!

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Interviews with A.J. Jenkins, Vince Browne

On Monday night, BTN caught up with two of Week 1′s biggest stars: Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, on “The Big Ten Pulse,” and Northwestern defensive end Vince Browne, on “Big Ten Breakdown.” Jenkins caught 11 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 33-15 home win against Arkansas State — a performance that prompted him to call himself the best receiver in the Big Ten. Now that Jenkins has had time to think about the quote, does he still feel the same? Watch now to hear his answer.

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The Pulse: What We Discussed

Don’t miss the latest episode of “The Big Ten Pulse” at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday on BTN. To preview the show, BTN.com caught up with analysts Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle from, where else but, the make-up room. Watch now as Rack and Timmy D talk about their impressions of Michigan State’s opener, which the former called, and give their opinions on Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins calling himself the Big Ten’s best receiver. Do they agree? Watch to find out, and tune in tonight for their interview with Jenkins. Also, don’t miss “Big Ten Breakdown” at 7.

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The Pulse: How Did You Spend Your Summer?

On Monday’s show we featured a Bret Bielema talkback discussing Russell Wilson, what it will take to win the Leaders division and Thursday night’s kickoff against UNLV. We also welcomed the new guys:Nebraska, Fickell, Hoke, Kill and (Kevin) Wilson. Plus, we asked Who Ya Got? And the the guys took a look around the conference to compare how some people spent their summer vacation, including Ron Zook, Jared Sullinger and Delvon Roe.

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Big Ten Pulse: Final thoughts on the Season

Pizzo, Doyle and Rack look back on the year and discuss Matt Painter’s decision to remain at Purdue. The crew also decides on which mascot would win in a showdown between a Butler Bulldog and a Connecticut Husky. Finally the guys run through their plans for the long summer off from college athletics.

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