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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

Video: J.J. Watt laces up skates; plays bodyguard at Zac Brown Band concert

Surely, you didn’t think J.J. Watt would embarrass himself on ice skates, did you? [ MORE: Get all of our J.J. Watt coverage ] The former Wisconsin star and current NFL perennial Pro Bowler participated in the second annual Blake Geoffrion Hockey Classic on Friday. And, from the looks of the video above, Watt held his own. The event, hosted by the 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner, raised money to benefit the UW Health Burn Center. Watt wasn’t done for the weekend. He also went on do deliver this perfect form tackle during the Zac Brown Band concert at

Big Ten links: Quest to find Bob Knight chair, football updates & more

Good piece from Sam McKewon of Omaha.com, who says the Big Ten is hoping for a better non-conference showing early on in 2015 than it had in 2014. While the Big Ten finished strong last year, it struggled outside the league early in 2014. Remember Sept. 6, when in three high-profile, nationally televised games — Michigan State at Oregon, Michigan at Notre Dame and Virginia Tech at Ohio State — the league took it on the chin with three losses? This year, the Big Ten can score some big credibility points over Labor Day weekend, when there are myriad big

Tonight on BTN/BTN2Go: Maryland's 2014 narrow win at Penn State

BTN is airing 18 different classic games, ranging from 2007-2014, as part of our new “Big Ten Classics” series. Tonight’s game, which will air at 8 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go, is Maryland’s memorable 20-19 victory over Penn State last season. This game was a huge statement for Maryland’s football program, as it marked the Terps’ first-ever win at Penn State and only the second win in the series. The victory also made the Terps bowl eligible. In addition to all the outstanding storylines, the game itself was one to remember. Trailing 19-17 late in the game, Maryland put together a

Unit Rankings: Nebraska highlights Big Ten West special teams

A look at the special teams units in the Big Ten West begins in Lincoln, where the Cornhuskers boast a boffo punter (Sam Foltz), a deadly return man (De’Mornay Pierson-El) and an emerging kicker (Drew Brown).

Video: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh takes to streets of Ann Arbor

It’s been a few days, it seems, since Jim Harbaugh has done something that gets people talking on social media. [ MORE: Like this post? Check out our Gone Viral section ] He did something about that Thursday, taking to the Ann Arbor streets with several recruits. There’s proof of it in the four-second video above, courtesy of 2016 recruit Naseir Upshur. Harbaugh is only on camera for about a second, but he doesn’t disappoint. In fact, one Michigan writer has already changed his Twitter icon to commemorate the video.

Big Ten links: Iowa football ticket sales, FOX dream draft & more

Yes, football ticket sales are down at Iowa. But A.D. Gary Barta stands by Kirk Ferentz, the Big Ten’s longest-tenured coach. “My response to you is, Kirk Ferentz is a proven and terrific leader, and he’s won at Iowa,” Barta said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. “I’ve made it clear that I’m 100 percent behind him and I’m 100 percent behind his staff.“ *** Count Lloyd Carr among the growing legion of Jim Harbaugh fans. Mlive.com notes that schools like OSU, Michigan State and Notre Dame continue to establish strong recruiting roots in the Midwest, but Carr

Tonight on BTN/BTN2Go: Iowa's 2007 2OT victory vs. Michigan State

BTN is airing 18 different classic games, ranging from 2007-2014, as part of our new “Big Ten Classics” series. Tonight’s game, which will air at 8 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go, is Iowa football’s 2007 double-overtime victory over Michigan State. This game went down as one of the most entertaining contests of the Big Ten season. Trailing 17-3 at halftime, Iowa came storming back behind a dominant running game and defeated Michigan State, 34-31, in a double-overtime thriller. Albert Young led the Hawkeyes’ rushing attack with 179 yards and two touchdowns, while backup RB Jevon Pugh punched in a one-yard TD

'The Victors' No. 2 on ranking of college football's best fight songs

Which Big Ten team has the best fight song? It’s Michigan’s “The Victors,” according to a recent NFL.com ranking, part of its daily 15 for ’15 series. “The Victors” took the publication’s No. 2 spot, behind only Notre Dame’s “Victory March.” Two other Big Ten fight songs made the cut, with “On Wisconsin!” and “Buckeye Battle Cry” opening the ranking at No. 15 and No. 14, respectively. See what NFL.com said about the Big Ten’s fight songs below: No. 15: “On Wisconsin!” A mighty interesting back story, as it was written in 1909 as “Minnesota, Minnesota” because that school was