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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

Big Ten Animated GIF Tuesday: Keep warm and carry on, Big Ten fans

We here at Big Ten Animated GIF Tuesday headquarters have reviewed this week’s wide sampling of available GIFs, and we couldn’t help but realize that the weather has surely turned. More on this thought in a moment, but for now look back fondly at previous episodes from  Week 1 and Week 2 and Week 3. Oh, and Week 4. And are you into social media? Come on, everyone is doing it. BTN is on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with in-game highlights all season long. And we’re on Vine and Instagram, too. And Snapchat (bigtennetwork). Here are links to collections of available highlights on Twitter. BTN

Watch former Big Ten standouts’ Week 4 @NFL highlights

Drew Brees (Purdue) is the obvious headliner when it comes to former Big Ten players in Week 4 NFL action. But others, such as Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Robbie Gould (Penn State) and Charles Woodson (Michigan), to name a few, also had big days.

Photo: Kirk Cousins, wife get 'royal' treatment at Chipotle

Kirk Cousins is, and always will be, a big deal in East Lansing, Michigan. The former Michigan State quarterback is finding his professional home to his liking, too. [ MORE: Watch ex-Big Ten standouts’ Week 4 @NFL highlights ] Cousins, the Washington Redskins starting quarterback, tweeted the picture above Saturday afternoon, soon after Connor Cook beat his all-time wins record in Michigan State’s win over Purdue. (For the record, Cousins is just fine being No. 2 now.) Hours after receiving the “royal” treatment at his local Chipotle, Cousins threw a touchdown pass (watch it!) in the final seconds to lead

Big Ten links: Iowa in the national polls, key injuries & much more

It is difficult to believe Iowa is ranked in both polls for the first time since … 2010? This is the ninth different Iowa team to get ranked during the 17-season Kirk Ferentz era. Four of those teams — 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009 — ended the season in the Top 10. This is a good sign. *** Indiana has a big game at Penn State this Saturday. How will the Hoosiers perform coming off an emotional near-win vs. No. 1 Ohio State? It will tell us a lot about this IU squad. And it would help the Hoosiers’ cause

Mike Riley, Tommy Armstrong talk Nebraska's late 3rd-and-7 call

There was a lot of talk about Nebraska's late 3rd-and-7 play call in Saturday's loss at Illinois. The play, a designed quarterback bootleg, saw Armstrong roll out and toss an incomplete pass, leaving valuable time on the clock for Illinois' game-winning touchdown drive.

Nation’s best teams will be playing on BTN this Saturday

For the first time in network history, two top five teams in the AP Poll will call BTN home, as top-ranked Ohio State takes on Maryland at noon ET and No. 4 Michigan State faces Rutgers at 8 p.m. ET.

Bowl Projections: Jerry Palm's list still features 10 Big Ten teams

Time to check in on the playoff and bowl projections of Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com. Bowl assignments have been altered, but 10 Big Ten teams are still penciled into the postseason. However, one of them isn’t 4-1 Illinois. [ MORE: Week 5 scoreboard | Big Ten standings | Big Ten stats | Latest polls | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Best of Week 5 | Week 5 picks revisited | Week 5 uniforms | What Tom Dienhart learned | Week 5 top performers | Gerry DiNardo’s tweets | Dienhart: Wildcats can dream big | John Harbaugh visits Michigan sideline

Watch Drew Brees become 5th player to throw 400th career TD

One week after Tom Brady (Michigan) joined Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino in the 400 touchdown pass club, Drew Brees (Purdue) made it a quintet in New Orleans' exciting 26-20 overtime win over Dallas on Sunday night.

Big Ten links: James Franklin's optimism, Minnesota QB & more

Lackluster. Is there any other way to describe Michigan State’s win over Purdue. How did the Boilermakers almost knock off the No. 2 team in the nation in East Lansing? Here is how. Thanks, Mike Griffith of Mlive.com. The good news: Most of what ailed MSU was of its own doing. So, it’s correctable. No worries, Sparty. Carry on. *** If you didn’t see James Franklin’s post-game presser on Saturday, you missed Franklin at his Franklin best. I admire his positivity. I wish I had more of it. No way is anyone gonna call the Nittany Lions’ win over Army