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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

Virginia Tech to wear helmet decal to honor shooting victims vs. Ohio State

The Virginia Tech football team will wear a helmet decal to honor Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the two WDBJ7 employees killed in last week’s on-air shootings, vs. No. 1 Ohio State on Labor Day. The decal features maroon and turquoise ribbons, with Ward’s initials “AW” and Parker’s initials “AP” under each, respectively, placed on each side of a number 7, which represents the station’s channel. The maroon ribbon is for Adam, a Virginia Tech graduate and Hokies fan, and the turquoise signifies Alison’s favorite color. “It’s extremely important that the families and loved ones of Allison Parker, Adam Ward,

Big Ten links: Anthony Zettel, Nebraska season predictions & more

Fun story from Bob Flounders of Pennlive.com on Penn State DT Anthony Zettel. Is there anything he won’t try? He can whip Christian Hackenberg in golf. What else? “I am a better golfer,” Zettel told Flounders.”I beat [Hackenberg] by two strokes. We both didn’t play that great. He’s very competitive. He’s got a big ego and he loves golf, he enjoys it. We both do. But it’s just how it is.” *** Hey, looky here: Ex-Michigan Heisman winner Desmond Howard has picked Michigan State to win the Big Ten. *** How about this: Illinois football games now will be broadcast

Ohio State captain list includes J.T. Barrett, not Cardale Jones

Read into it what you will: J.T. Barrett is one of Ohio State’s six captains, a group that does not include Cardale Jones, the team announced Friday. Barrett and Jones are battling for the much-talked-about starting quarterback position of the defending national champs. Both are fantastic talents, and both have well-known stories. Barrett, who filled in for an injured Braxton Miller last season, put up a record-setting season last year on his way to claiming Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, while Jones, following Barrett’s injury in the season finale vs. Michigan, led the Buckeyes to three memorable postseason victories

Maryland names Perry Hills starting quarterback

Another starting quarterback was named Friday, leaving just Michigan and Ohio State left to announce their starters. One day after Northwestern and two days after Rutgers picked starters, Maryland announced junior Perry Hills won its quarterback battle. Hills beat out Caleb Rowe and Daxx Garman. Rowe will be the backup, while Garman, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, will serve as the third-straight quarterback. The 6-2, 210-pound Hills started the first seven games of the 2012 season, before suffering a torn ACL and missing the final five games. He redshirted in 2013 and appeared in three games as a redshirt

Dienhart: 'Illinois can turn the page and begin anew yet again'

This is the time of year when all things seem possible on college campuses. Visions of conference titles, bowls and playoff berths dance in the heads of giddy fans. But Illinois finds itself bidding goodbye to its head coach a week before kickoff.

Rutgers students can win $100K if team returns opening kick for TD

Janarion Grant draws a lot of attention on every Rutgers kickoff return. Chances are, there will be even more eyes on the Scarlet Knights’ electric return man – and the entire return team – in the season opener Sept. 5 vs. Norfolk State. That’s because Autoland of Springfield, New Jersey, will hand out a total of $100,000 to 100 students if the team returns its first kickoff for a touchdown. According to a ScarletKnights.com release, every Rutgers student who sits in the student section will be entered in the contest to win $1,000 (click here for complete rules, and here