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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

The Replacements: Top 5 Iowa players to replace

Kirk Ferentz’s 19th season was a bit of a mixed bag, as Iowa went 8-5 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten, capping the season with consecutive wins including a victory vs. Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. It was the program’s fifth bowl in a row and first postseason triumph since 2010.

Ohio State highlights Big Ten in way-too-early 2018 polls

With the 2017 college football season ending late Monday night, in dramatic fashion, to boot, it's time to take a look at the annual way-too-early top 25 polls. Several of them are out, and reigning Big Ten champ Ohio State and reigning Big Ten West champ Wisconsin pace the Big Ten.

No. 5 Ohio State leads five Big Ten teams in final AP poll

The final AP poll was released Tuesday morning, hours after Alabama rallied and outlasted SEC rival Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. No. 5 Ohio State leads five Big Ten teams in the season-ending poll.

The Replacements: Top 5 Indiana players to replace

Tom Allen’s maiden voyage in Bloomington was a mixed bag, as Indiana went 5-7 overall and 2-7 in Big Ten action. The Hoosiers entered the finale with a chance to go bowling with a win, but IU lost at Purdue to end a modest two-year bowl run.

The Replacements: Top 5 Illinois players to replace

Year 2 under Lovie Smith was bumpier than Year 1, as Illinois opened the season 2-0 … and then lost its last 10 games. In 2016, Illinois went 3-9 overall and 2-7 in Big Ten action. Offense, defense, special teams, they all were issues during an often-trying 2017 campaign.

A look at East-West records since move from Legends and Leaders

When the Big Ten ditched the Legends and Leaders divisions that was based on competitive balance and went to a geographic East-West split in 2014, many felt the power went to the East with the presence of traditional powers Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. And, that has played out on the field.

Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson tears ACL in right knee

A recent MRI confirmed that Wildcats redshirt junior quarterback Clayton Thorson has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury suffered in the 2017 Music City Bowl. Thorson will spend the next two-to-three weeks working with the Northwestern athletic training staff on prehabilitation in anticipation of a mid-January surgical repair. There is no current timetable for his return to participation. Thorson was an All-Big Ten selection this season as a junior, accounting for more than 2800 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air, and another eight scores on the ground. The Wheaton, Illinois, native is the winningest

Dienhart: 'The Big Ten made a big statement in this postseason'

With another bowl season behind us - a highly successful one, at that - we decided to pick BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's brain about the conference's 7-1 performance. Get our full Q&A inside.