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Week 1 Polls: Before the 2016 season kicks off Thursday night, pick your Week 1 Big Ten winners.

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all times ET
Friday Sep 2
12:30 PMW. Illinois at IowaWatch
3:00 PMLSU at IndianaWatch
4:00 PMPepperdine at MarylandWatch
7:00 PMGeorgetown at Rutgers Watch
7:00 PMIowa St. at NebraskaWatch
7:30 PMGeorgetown at MarylandWatch
8:00 PMSan Diego at WisconsinWatch
8:00 PMArizona St. at IowaWatch

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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 at Ohio State

Athlon: Big Ten dominates intriguing early non-conference games

No one can accuse Big Ten football teams of scheduling cupcake after cupcake this September. The Big Ten will be involved in several important early season matchups. In fact, Athlon Sports put six games involving Big Ten teams on its list of the 10 most intriguing September non-conference matchups. Yes, that’s six of the 10 games on the list. Here are the ones that made the cut: Sept. 3 Michigan at Utah TCU at Minnesota Sept. 5 BYU at Nebraska Wisconsin vs. Alabama (Arlington) Sept. 7 Ohio State at Virginia Tech Sept. 12 Oregon at Michigan State See the full

Big Ten links: College Football Playoff, early signing period & more

I usually agree with Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com. But I don’t on this: He thinks the College Football Playoff should stay at four teams. I think it should expand to at least six—with the champ of each Power Five league getting a bid and the final bid going to a “wild card.” I laugh when folks argue that expanding the playoff would be too much wear and tear on the players. My retort: They have had multiple-round and multiple-team playoffs in Divisions II and III and FCS for years. How have those players managed to survive? To wit: North Dakota

Ohio State family mourns loss of former SID Steve Snapp

Steve Snapp, a member of the Ohio State Department of Athletics from July of 1973 through July of 2011 died Thursday. He was 69. During his career, Snapp worked more than 30 bowl games, traveled to two men’s Final Fours with the Buckeyes and helped promote countless individual award candidates, including four Heisman Trophy winners. Additionally, he initiated the jersey retirement system to recognize former Ohio State athletes. Snapp won several national awards for his media guides and feature writing efforts. Snapp graduated from The Ohio State University in 1973 with a B.A. in journalism. As a senior, he worked

Northwestern at Purdue

Northwestern schedule analysis: Early look at Wildcats' 2015 slate

Northwestern is coming off back-to-back 5-7 seasons after going to five bowls in a row. It’s time for the Wildcats to get back on track. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s 2015 schedule analysis posts ] Pat Fitzgerald—who is entering his 10th season at the helm of his alma mater–will have one of his most talented teams yet in his efforts to restore NU into a contender, but questions loom on offense at quarterback, wideout and along the line. Plus, the schedule is filled with hurdles. Here is a detailed look at Northwestern’s to-do list, which features eight bowl

Big Ten links: NFL.com top 15 lists, Penn State-Pit series & much more

NFL.com has a couple of nice lists. One is of the Top 15 Heisman contenders for 2016. Hello, Ohio State quarterbacks. The other is of the Top 15 defensive players. Hello, Joey Bosa. *** Dan Duggan of NJ.com posed five questions for Rutgers football prior to spring ball. Now, he answers them. Question No. 1 was if a quarterback would emerge. And, of course, none did. *** The great Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette took a look at trophy runs, in which teams rush to an opponent’s sideline to seize a trophy after winning a game. I hope

Reform is in the air: Creating a global education experience

ROSEMONT, Ill. – A global education experience. That’s a mouthful. And that’s also the goal of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany for every student-athlete. Live it, learn it, know it. A procession of league athletic directors paraded in front of the media the last two days at the Big Ten’s headquarters and was peppered with myriad questions. What’s going on with the upcoming TV contract negotiations? Are there too many hoops games? Did the College Football Playoff work? Is the graduate transfer rule flawed? [ MORE: Grad transfer rule comes under scrutiny at AD meetings ] And on it went,

Grad transfer rule comes under scrutiny at Big Ten AD meetings

ROSEMONT, Ill. — During the recent meeting of Big Ten athletic directors, many topics were discussed. And one of the more prominent issues was that of graduate transfers. [ MORE: Q&A: Ohio State AD Gene Smith touches on several hot topics ] Is the concept working as intended? It’s a unique rule that has become a major part of the college sports landscape in recent years. A player earns his degree and still has a year of eligibility left. He then has the option to transfer to finish his athletic eligibility at another school. The catch: The athlete must be

Big Ten links: Stipends, Ezekiel Elliott's Heisman chances & much more

The subject of a stipend or cost-of-attendance figures is hot. And it looks like Penn State will have the highest stipend in the Big Ten. Check out this video of James Franklin talking about it. Could having the highest stipend in the Big Ten be a recruiting tool for Franklin? David Jones of Pennlive.com breaks all of the stipend business down well right here. Jones wonders this: Will friendly state legislatures and a possible lack of federal oversight allow some football-crazed areas to jack up the figures to absurd levels? Franklin has coached in the SEC and knows the culture,

Photo: Ohio State's 2014 title team added to national champions wall

#GoBucks A photo posted by The Ohio State Football (@ohiostatefb) on May 19, 2015 at 9:16am PDT Ohio State has one of the most successful programs in college football history, winning a total of eight national championships. [ MORE: Gene Smith talks Braxton Miller, CFP, graduate transfer rule & more ] The well-known national champions wall inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center serves as a reminder of that success, honoring past OSU national title teams. Well, it looks like there’s some new hardware added to the wall. @theohiostatefootball, which is the official Instagram account of the Ohio State football team,