Daily links: 10 Big Ten stories to know Thursday

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Daily links: 10 Big Ten stories to know Thursday

This just in on the Penn State coaching search: San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman reportedly interviewed for the post on Monday. Wow, he’s a busy guy, as the 49ers have a playoff game at Carolina this weekend.

So, if you are keeping track, James Franklin, Mike Munchak and Larry Johnson are in the mix. Oh, and it looks like Franklin has an offer on the table. This thing may end soon. Very soon.


The big news that hit yesterday was the firing of Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges. But, really, it wasn’t news. I think we all knew Brady Hoke was going to do something after a disappointing 7-6 season. Reaction was swift. Check this out.

And this.

And then this.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Now, all eyes are on Brady Hoke.


It was a bit disheartening to see Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi get passed over for the Louisville job.  Narduzzi has been the ultimate dues-paying assistant, growing up the son of a coach and cutting his teeth at different levels of the college game. Narduzzi arguably is the hottest assistant in the nation as I type this, the winner of the Broyles Award as the top assistant in America. He’s never gonna be hotter.

The Louisville job would have been a great next step. Alas, Narduzzi will have to wait. Louisville apparent will re-hire Bobby Petrino. This is the same Petrino who not long after inking a 10-year contract in Derby City in 2006 bolted for the Atlanta Falcons.

We all know how that ended, as Petrino left after 13 games to coach Arkansas.

And we all know how Petrino’s Arkansas’ tenure ended.

This is the guy Louisville tabbed over Narduzzi. Incredible.


A recent Wall Street Journal reports listed the 50 most valuable college football teams.

Next time someone says the 85-scholarship limit makes for a level playing field, show them this article. The discrepancies are laughable, making for massively uneven playing fields. Oh, well. What are you going to do?


With reports indicating Michigan will tab Doug Nussmeier to run its offense, the gang at Buckeyesports.com wonders if Ohio State will make a similar radical change to its defensive staff.

Urban Meyer still is looking to replace co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers, who took the head coaching job at James Madison. Defensive coordinator Luke Fickell looks to return. How bad was the OSU defense in 2013? The Buckeyes were 46th in the nation in total defense and 110th in passing defense. I’m guessing Meyer brings in a top gun.


Hey, Buckeyes fans: Are you worried about who will run the ball for you next season? Don’t, says Ezekiel Elliott, a sophomore-to-be-who is on the rise.

I like Elliott. He’s not as big as Carlos Hyde, but he’s faster. Others in the mix are Bri’onte Dunn, Rod Smith and Warren Ball. Now, about the offensive line losing four starters …


Save the date, Iowa fans: Look like you’ll lock horns with Wyoming in 2017.


There will be a lot to like about Nebraska next season, headed by a nice collection of receivers, good backs and nice front seven on defense. But the offensive line is a concern.

Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald says that five years ago, Nebraska might not have been able to withstand such a thinning of the ranks. The five checking out played a combined 215 games, including 127 starts. But the cupboard has slowly been restocked during the Bo Pelini era, and a handful of backups got unexpected calls as the 2013 injuries started piling up once the Big Ten season started. This will turn out OK.

Speaking of Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald has taken the mask off the person behind the wildly popular @FauxPelini Twitter handle—sort of.


Remember when we said Illinois was on a roll, surprising many with a 2-0 Big Ten start? Well, never mind.

The Fighting Illini suffered a 25-point loss at Wisconsin last night. Yes, the Badgers are very good. But … 25 points better than Illinois?

As I have said before, I think this Wisconsin team may be headed for a Big Ten title. And, I’m not alone in that sentiment.



My take: So there is that.

My take: Amen.

My take: This is kinda funny.

My take: Let’s not rain on the Gophers’ parade just yet. Richard Pitino’s team notched another nice win last night at Penn State to move to 2-1 in the Big Ten. And Minnesota is 13-3 overall. Two snaps up to that.

My take: How good is Nigel Hayes?

My take: Pretty amazing.

My take: Don’t overlook Iowa.


About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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