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Dienhart: Week 9 Best Suggestions

The stretch drive of the season is entering a higher gear with two big matchups on tap in what looks like the best collection of games yet in 2011. The headliner is Michigan State at Nebraska in a key game that will determine pecking order in the Legends Division. The other tilt to watch is a big Leaders Division battle between Wisconsin at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming off an off week rested, ready and perhaps with a few new wrinkles. How will the Badgers respond coming off their first loss of the season? Come tell me in the comments box below, or drop me a note in my BTN.com mailbag.

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Interview: Penn State's Erica Walsh

No. 14 Penn State women’s soccer won Big Ten title No. 14 this past weekend on Sunday in a 4-0 victory at Michigan. It’s the most consecutive titles by a Big Ten women’s program in any sport, putting Penn State one ahead of the current Northwestern women’s tennis squad. BTN’s Lisa Byington talks with Penn State women’s soccer coach Erica Walsh as the Nittany Lions are on the verge of capturing another Big Ten Title. Read more about the clinching win and the team at GoPSUsports.com.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Trophy Tracker

Prior to the 2011 college football season, the Big Ten announced the creation of 18 new trophies, including two for the new Big Ten Championship Game and two for postgraduate awards. Each trophy honors the Big Ten’s rich history, with two Big Ten legends’ last names on it (i.e. Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year).

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Big Ten Hands Out Weekly Honors

The Big Ten Conference announced its Week 8 Big Ten Football Players of the Week on Monday. Six players earned honors, including Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw the game-winning Haily Mary touchdown pass to Keith Nichol in Saturday night’s upset of then-No. 6 and perfect Wisconsin. Watch the highlights from the Spartans’ thrilling victory now and see all the conference’s award winners in this post.

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Dienhart: Weekly Bowl Projections

Wisconsin’s loss at Michigan State likely cost it a shot at playing in the BCS title game. It also cost the Badgers a spot in the Rose Bowl—for now. And the Big Ten may be in peril of having to settle for just one BCS bowl slot, which hasn’t happened since the 2004 season. Here’s what we know for sure: Indiana already has been eliminated from bowl contention. Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota have work to do to get into postseason position. The others will continue to jockey for position. See how BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart slots the Big Ten teams in bowl games after eight weeks of the season in this post.

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Pulse: Michigan State's Keith Nichol joins us

How surprised were you by the outcome of the Wisconsin-Michigan State on Saturday? It was a thriller of an ending that had Spartans fans thrilled and Badgers fans bummed. Rick Pizzo, Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle describe their reactions to the game on tonight’s Big Ten Pulse. Also, let’s make some sense out of the latest BCS standings. And Keith Nichol, the Spartan everyone was talking about Saturday night, joins us for an interview to talk about his big catch. Our “Who Ya Got?” segment includes these vital questions: Who had the better touchdown run? And who has the worst chest bump? Follow The Pulse on Twitter @BTNThePulse and watch the show tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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