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College Sports

Big Ten has 2 byes for 1st time, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ties the change to conference expansion

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    Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz yells on the sideline in the fourth quater against Ohio State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Iowa 34-24. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, file photo, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg rolls out looking to pass during the second quarter an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa. There's a joke making the rounds of the Big Ten that maybe they just ought to name the freshman-of-the-week award in the conference the Christian Hackenberg Award. After all, he wins it every week, it seems. The Penn State quarterback gets his biggest test to date when he plays at No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (The Associated Press)

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    Penn State football head NCAA college football coach Bill O'Brien speaks during his weekly press conference, in State College, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Penn State plays Ohio State this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times,Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT (The Associated Press)

Big Ten football teams are getting two Saturdays off for the first time this year.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says there are a lot of unprecedented things happening these days in college football because of conference expansion.

The byes give players a chance to rest and relax during two weeks when the regular season starts in late August and ends after Thanksgiving. Coaches, meanwhile, evaluate their programs, players and plays before hitting the road for recruiting.

Teams — such as Indiana against Penn State — have taken advantage of having two weeks to prepare for a game they ultimately won.

The Nittany Lions, coming off a bye, hope the extra time they had last week helps them upset No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night.