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BTN's Tom Dienhart

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart covers Big Ten football all year. Check out these links:

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NASCAR Star Jeff Gordon shows off Penn State-themed race car

One of the top names in NASCAR will be racing in the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 with a car that features a Big Ten theme to it. [ MORE: Former Penn State forward Ross Travis enters name in NFL Draft ] Jeff Gordon spent Tuesday afternoon on Penn State’s campus and revealed his new Penn State-branded Axalta Chevy that he will be racing in this June. The race will take place on June 7 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, which is located approximately 140 miles from Penn State’s campus. The car is painted in Penn State blue,

Brian Kelly: 'I would take our two (quarterbacks) over Ohio State's'

In J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller, Ohio State has a trio of quarterbacks that is second to none. [ MORE: Watch Ohio State spring game at 1:30 ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] Let’s see, for starters, all three won a national championship ring last year. That’s impressive. There’s so much more. The trio has combined to go 36-3 (.923) the last three seasons, not including Kenny Guiton’s two starts in 2013, all while tossing 80 touchdowns, compared to 25 interceptions, and running for 38 scores. Want more? They’ve combined for three top 10 Heisman Trophy finishes (Miller No.

Dienhart: Check out Ohio State's 10-year NFL draft snapshot

Prolific. There is no other way to describe Ohio State’s performance in the last 10 NFL drafts. It’s a proverbial football factory in Columbus. But, I think we already had an inkling of that.

Big Ten Links: Jake Ryan on paying players, Bo Pelini's house & more

OK, we have another opinion in the endless debate on if players should be paid. This time, it’s ex-Michigan LB Jake Ryan weighing in. And he doesn’t think players should get any loot. “If (someone is) a winning coach, so be it, pay them what you think,” Ryan said to Matt Shepard of WDFN. With the whole paying student-athletes thing, you’re getting an education. You’re getting a Michigan degree, that’s what I got. You get that throughout your four or five years and I think that’s perfect. You work hard towards that, that’s what I worked hard towards. “That, and

Ohio State's Michael Thomas shows off 'gold pants' for beating Michigan

It has been an ongoing tradition for 80 years now. When Ohio State defeats Michigan in football, Buckeyes players are given a “gold pants” trinket, to symbolize the win over their rivals. [ MORE: Watch Ohio State spring game at 1:30 ET Sunday on BTN2Go ] This past season, Ohio State defeated Michigan 42-28 in Columbus, marking the Buckeyes’ third consecutive win over the Wolverines. Tuesday, Thomas posted a photo of his gold pants on his Twitter account, @CantguardMike. The tweet reads “somewhere in my Letter of Intent it said ‘and you will win a pair of Gold Pants every

Ohio State spring game to feature QB Skills Challenge at halftime

Troy Smith won the 2006 Heisman Trophy, and J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones combined to help lead Ohio State to the 2014 national title. [ MORE: Watch Ohio State spring game at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] On Saturday, at halftime of the team’s annual spring game, the decorated trio will compete in a QB Skills Challenge, @OhioStAthletics tweeted Tuesday. This will be fun. For what it’s worth, we haven’t seen Smith in action in a few years; his last NFL season was in 2010. Still, he completed 65.3 percent of his passes during his Heisman season. Barrett

College football bowl game payouts surpass $500 million

(AP) Thanks to the College Football Playoff, bowl games paid more than a half billion dollars to conferences and schools last season, the largest payout ever and an increase of almost $200 million from the final season of the Bowl Championship Series. [ MORE: Watch Ohio State spring game at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] According to an NCAA report released Tuesday, the 39 postseason FBS games distributed $505.9 million to the participating conferences and schools. The schools spent $100.2 million to take part in bowl games. The revenue figures were reported by the bowls and the College

Indiana football adds home-and-home vs. Virginia in 2017 & 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana football program announced on Tuesday afternoon it has agreed to a home-and-home series with Virginia in 2017 and 2018. IU will travel to Charlottesville, Va., on Sept. 9, 2017, and will host the Cavaliers on Sept. 8, 2018. “As I have previously noted, like IU, the University of Virginia is one of the premier public universities from one of the top conferences in the country. In addition to previously announced series against UConn (2019, 2020), Cincinnati (2021, 2022) and Ball State (2018-2020), this matchup is appealing to our players, alumni and fans,” IU Vice President