Catch up with 10 Thursday Big Ten headlines

The Final Four is drawing near, as Wisconsin will take on Kentucky in one national semifinal game. And a big reason why Wisconsin is there is because of junior 7-footer Frank Kaminsky. Check out this video of the big fella talking about this unselfish team.

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Gotta podcast for you that features Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com. In it, he says backup quarterback is one of the most important offseason battles for Ohio State. Guess it’s one of those springs in Columbus.

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Rest easy, Penn State fans: James Franklin has no plans to alter or change those ironically generic uniforms.

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A good time was had by all at the Ohio State spring kickoff luncheon yesterday – check out the video of Urab Meyer talking. It seems everyone was a comedian, with Buckeye offensive line coach Ed Warinner stealing the show with some tremendous one-liners at the expense of you-know-who.

Here’s Warriner’s opening joke:

And it was nice to see Michigan’s Brady Hoke have a good-hearted response to the cracks made by Warinner.

Told of Warinner’s joke about Michigan losing some playbooks and that Hoke wasn’t done coloring them yet: “Obviously there’s enough people that keep you informed of what’s going on,” Hoke said. “The one thing around here is we try and always stay in between the lines. That’s important with how you handle your program.”

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Remember way back on Signing Day when Michigan State target Malik McDowell didn’t submit a letter-of-intent because his mom wouldn’t sign it? Well, McDowell finally has sent in his LOI.

No doubt, McDowell is a stud. The man-child defensive end was ranked the No. 1 in-state Michigan player by Rivals and 247Sports in the 2014 recruiting class. McDowell played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and picked the Spartans over the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State. Man, the scrutiny on this kid is gonna be intense. Mark Dantonio even held a presser just to address McDowell yesterday. A presser … for a kid who isn’t even on the team yet. Wow. Here’s hoping McDowell is the next Bubba Smith.

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Ryan Russell is the most dynamic player on the Purdue defensive line. Will this be the year he reaches his full potential? He’s a senior, so this is it.

Last year, the staff moved him around, playing him as an outside linebacker. But, he’ll stick to end in 2014.

“This is my last go-around,” Russell told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. “You want to bring everything full circle. You want to touch up on everything. I’ve been a young guy and had to play young. Trying to figure things out as you go along is tough, but now I have it all together. I have to shine some things up.

“I’m working on finishing things up — finishing plays, finishing the season, finishing it right. Finish the best I can.”

I like this guy and hope he has a great senior year. He deserves it.

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A youth movement is occurring on the Nebraska offensive line.

Keep an eye on guard Givens Price, who skipped two grades and arrived in Lincoln as a 16-year-old. He redshirted and played as a 17-year-old in 2012. Now a junior, Price is beginning to blossom. Great story for an emerging unit.

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Mike Griffith of Mlive.com says Michigan State needs to beware FCS Jacksonville State in its season opener on Friday, Aug. 29. And Griffith is serious.

Yes, basketball is king this week in Wisconsin—and rightly so. But the football team continues to grind through spring drills. And quarterback Joel Stave has received a message from Gary Andersen: He needs drastic improvement.

That’s true. But what if Stave doesn’t improve “drastically”? Who is Andersen gonna start? It’s not like a bunch of blue-chip quarterbacks are on the bench.

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TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: There is a lot to like about this Nebraska defense.

My take: Always impressive. Love these fans.

My take: The anticipation is building.

My take: So there is that.

My take: This is an unreal stat.

My take: So this explains the Kelvin Sampson hire. Just a shameful move by Houston. It just furthers the notion that if you cheat it’s OK—as long as you win.

My take: Preposterous. The “legend” of the Flyin’ Illini has grown WAY too big. C’mon. That 2004-05 team had a 37-1 record going into the national title game. The lone loss was by one point on the road at Ohio State.

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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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2 Comments

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todd on 4/3/2014 @ 4:20pm EDT Said:

Lol classic Dienhart no love for the gophers what so ever…

B1Gfan MI on 4/3/2014 @ 7:40pm EDT Said:

Woody would never tolerate a journeyman line coach, with a childish sense of humor, to put his lack of intelligence on display. Keep ‘em coming “Ohio” ! The rivalry needs your attention in April !