Football

Dienhart: Q&A with Illinois' Billy Gonzales

Billy Gonzales is ready for this. He’s ready to take the Illinois offense to the next level under new Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman. The Illinois attack struggled in the second half of last season in what was a bizarre campaign that saw Illinois open 6-0 and then lose six in a row before ending the year with a bowl win over UCLA.

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ESPN, Rose Bowl agree to 12-year extension

(AP) The Rose Bowl has agreed to a 12-year extension with ESPN that will keep the game on the network through 2026. ESPN President John Skipper, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and Rose Bowl officials announced the deal Thursday. Skipper called the Rose Bowl “one of sport’s most meaningful” events.

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Big Ten products up for 2012 ESPY Awards

Drew Brees

Keith Nichol on Michigan State's Hail Mary Victory

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years, huh? The 2012 ESPY Awards will mark the 20th installment of ESPN’s annual awards show. It all happens Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. As is the case every year, Big Ten products are up for their share of awards. See all of the Big Ten nominees in this post. Also, you can vote on the ESPY Awards here.

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Michigan to host App. State, take two-year hiatus from ND

The Michigan football team announced Wednesday updates to the non-conference schedules for the 2014-16 seasons and the future schedule with Notre Dame. The highlights: Appalachian State, which upset Michigan in the 2007 season opener, will return to Michigan Stadium for the 2014 opener and Michigan will play its first Thursday night game, at Utah in the 2015 opener.

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CBSSports.com: What if there was playoff last 6 years?

CBSSports.com’s Matt Hinton is a playoff advocate, so he must have been thrilled with Tuesday’s news that a four-team playoff is official. If his latest work is any indication, he can’t wait for the 2014 field to be determined. Curiously wondering what the playoff would have looked like in recent years, Hinton recently scribed a post that includes the playoff bracket for each of the past six seasons.

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