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4:00 PMRutgers at Michigan St.Watch
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6:00 PMIllinois at IndianaWatch
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6:00 PMMaryland at Ohio St.Watch
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6:30 PMNorthwestern at Penn St.Watch

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BTN's Tom Dienhart

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart covers Big Ten football all year. Check out these links:

Big Ten Links | 1-on-1 | RSS | @BTNTomDienhart | Facebook | Tom's Mailbag

Ohio State to honor late Will Smith at spring game Saturday

Ohio State will honor former defensive end Will Smith at its spring game Saturday afternoon. [ MORE: Watch the Ohio State spring game at 1:30 ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] The Buckeyes will wear a “WS” helmet decal that features a Buckeye leaf in between Smith’s initials, plus they’ll hold a moment of silence prior to kickoff. Smith, 34, was shot and killed following a minor car accident late Saturday night in New Orleans. A champion in college (2002 BCS title, Ohio State’s first football crown in 34 years) and the NFL (Super Bowl XLIV), Smith was a team captain

Here's a look at Illinois in the last 10 NFL drafts

The NFL Draft is fast approaching, taking place in Chicago from April 28-30. So, let’s take a look at how Big Ten teams have fared in the last 10 drafts, from 2006-2015. First up is Illinois, which hasn’t had any selections in the last two drafts. It marked the first time in program history that it failed to have a player selected two years in a row. (The other low point was from 1970-72, when just one Illini was selected.) The Fighting Illini also had no picks in 2006. The best bets to be picked this year are defensive end

Spring Football Q&A: Indiana defensive coordinator Tom Allen

In the first of a series of 2016 Big Ten spring football Q&A sessions, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart chats with Tom Allen, Indiana new defensive coordinator. They cover the 4-2-5 scheme, the challenges of the job in Bloomington, and who shaped Allen's coaching career.

Big Ten links: Spring football news, depth charts & much more

What are the biggest questions about Penn State before its Blue and White game? For me, quarterback, d-line and o-line are big questions. *** If you listen to Rutgers DE Quanzell Lambert, the Scarlet Knights will be more aggressive on defense. “The defensive scheme is definitely a lot more aggressive up front,” redshirt senior defensive end Quanzell Lambert said. “It’s more of a north game for the D-line instead of east-west and stunting and everything.” *** It seems the rule that has deregulated texting has caused some concern, as now schools can text a prospect as often as they want.

No new bowl games until 2019, at the earliest, is great news

This just in from the “What On God’s Green Earth Took So Long” department: According to an ESPN report, the NCAA has approved a ban on the creation of new bowls until 2019—at the earliest. Can I get an “amen”? This is about 10 years too late. But, at least this day has arrived, as the bowl excess has ended … for now. You see, it isn’t true: If a little is good, more is better. Look, I love blocking, tackling, eye black, neck rolls, chicken wings and marching bands as much as the next cargo-shorts-wearing American. But, the bowl

Urban Meyer calls new unlimited texting rule 'ignorant'

The NCAA passed an unlimited texting rule Friday, which allows college football coaches to send as many electronic messages as they wish to high school recruits. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t a fan, and he let his opinion be known in his weekly press conference Monday morning. “That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard,” Meyer said. The coach worries about the recruits, about how they will be receiving texts from no shortage of coaches every day, with no ability to control who they hear from and no option to block the communication as they would on Facebook and

Dienhart: What I learned from Minnesota spring game

Tracy Claeys has put the wraps on his first spring practice as Minnesota coach. He’s looking to amp up a program that took a step back last year by going 6-7, the Gophers’ first losing mark since 2012. [ MORE: Watch a replay of the Minnesota spring game on BTN2Go ] It was a difficult season filled with challenges, as Jerry Kill stepped down after seven games to tend to health issues and Claeys eventually was made full-time coach after running things on an interim basis. He wasted little time putting his stamp on things by shaking up the staff,

Big Ten links: Desmond King, satellite camp reaction & more

Iowa CB Desmond King won the Jim Thorpe Award last year and could have entered the NFL. But, the Hawkeyes’ star opted to return for his senior season. In his first interview with Iowa media since the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, King said “it was the bond I have with my teammates here” that ultimately brought him back. Some NFL Draft projections had him going as a late first-round choice. King didn’t expand on the evaluation he received in late December, but said it was favorable. Great to see this guy back in Iowa City. *** Speaking of Iowa, here

Michigan's Khalid Hill rips NCAA's decision to ban satellite camps

Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on satellite camps. [ MORE: Dienhart: NCAA bans satellite camps, and it isn’t right ] Whatever one thinks about them, it doesn’t matter, this after the NCAA recently banned the practice that allowed teams to recruit away from campus. The decision isn’t a good one for the Big Ten, but, more importantly, high school kids across the country. These camps allowed athletes to get coached up, get noticed, and to maybe earn a scholarship. They exposed players to more coaches, which is never a bad thing. That opportunity is gone, a fact several current

Video: Watch our all-access Tracy Claeys feature

The Minnesota football team held its first spring game under Tracy Claeys on Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium. [ MORE: Watch a replay of the Minnesota spring game on BTN2Go ] Leading up to it all, BTN cameras followed Claeys, the longtime Jerry Kill assistant, around for an all-access look at a day with the Gophers. Claeys became the interim coach following Kill’s retirement midway through last season, and he earned the full-time position in November. Watch our feature on Claeys in the video above. And, check out some of the top Minnesota spring game highlights below.