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Big Ten preseason dates

The wait is nearly over. The 2011 college football season is rapidly approaching.

How do I know? Several Big Ten teams hit the practice field this week for the start of preseason preparation. By next Monday night, every conference squad will have gone through a workout.

Here are the key preseason dates from around the league:

ILLINOIS

Wednesday: Players report

Thursday: First practice in Champaign

Aug. 8: First off-campus practice in Rantoul, Ill.

INDIANA

Saturday: Freshmen report

Sunday: Full varsity reports

Aug. 8: First practice

IOWA

Thursday: Players report

Friday: First practice

MICHIGAN

Saturday: Freshmen report

Sunday: Full varsity reports

Aug. 8: First practice

MICHIGAN STATE

Saturday: Players report

Sunday: First practice

MINNESOTA

Sunday: Players report

Aug. 8: First practice

NEBRASKA

Thursday: Players report

Saturday: First practice

NORTHWESTERN

Saturday: Freshmen report

Sunday: Full varsity reports

Aug. 8: First practice in Evanston

Aug. 15: First off-campus practice in Kenosha, Wis.

OHIO STATE

Saturday: Freshmen report

Sunday: Full varsity reports

Aug. 8: First practice

PENN STATE

Wednesday: Players report

Thursday: First practice

PURDUE

Friday: Players report

Saturday: First practice

WISCONSIN

Thursday: Players report

Friday: First practice