• The 126th season of Big Ten football will commence this weekend as Illinois welcomes Nebraska at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

• Minnesota, Ohio State and Rutgers will make their debut on Thursday, Sept. 2, with the Scarlet Knights playing host to Temple at 6:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network and the Golden Gophers opening at home against the Buckeyes at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. The remaining 11 schools will begin the 2021 campaign on Friday and Saturday, highlighted by a trio of conference matchups. The complete opening weekend schedule appears to the right.

• The conference announced its 11th annual football preseason honors list, a group which featured 10 returning All-Big Ten selections. A media panel selected the 10-member preseason list, with five representatives each from the East and West Divisions. The full list of honorees can be found on page 3.

• The 2021 campaign will feature 120 All-Big Ten honorees (first-, second-, third-team or honorable mention) selected by either the coaches or the media last season. Iowa and Ohio State lead the West and East Divisions, respectively, each welcoming back 14 All-Big Ten honorees this season. The talent is split evenly as 60 of the returning all-conference players hail from both the East and West Divisions. Each team returns at least three All-Big Ten performers.

• The National College Football Awards Association announced the 2021 watch lists July 19-30, with 77 different Big Ten players featured for expected on-field performance. All 14 schools are represented with Penn State leading the way with 11 honorees, followed by Indiana with nine and Ohio State with eight. The full list of Big Ten standouts featured on the 2021 NCFAA watch lists can be found on page 2.

• The Big Ten welcomes a new head coach to the sidelines for the 2021 campaign in Illinois’ Bret Bielema. Bielema was named the 26th Illinois Head Football Coach on Dec. 19. A native of Prophetstown, Illinois, Bielema has 24 years of collegiate coaching experience and compiled a 12-year record of 97-58 (.626) as head coach at Wisconsin and Arkansas. From 2006-12, Bielema was the head coach at Wisconsin, where he led the Badgers to three Big Ten championships (2010-12), six consecutive bowl games and a 68-24 record (.739). Bielema then spent five seasons as head coach at Arkansas from 2013-17. After inheriting a depleted roster and enduring a difficult first season, he led the Razorbacks to three consecutive bowl games, including victories against Texas in 2014 and Kansas State in 2015.

• The Big Ten finished last season with four teams ranked in the AP Top 25, tying for the most of any conference. Two teams finished in the Top 10 and all four finished in the Top 16. The 2021 AP Preseason Poll also featured five Big Ten teams in No. 4 Ohio State, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 17 Indiana, No. 18 Iowa, and No. 19 Penn State, while Michigan and Northwestern are both receiving votes.

• Ohio State was crowned 2020 Big Ten Champion after its 22-10 win against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game presented by Discover on Dec. 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It was the Buckeyes’ 39th Big Ten title and fourth in as many years.

• Northwestern and Ohio State will look to repeat as division champions this season, as the Buckeyes finished 5-0 to win the East Division and the Wildcats finished atop the West Division standings at 6-1 in conference play.