Big Ten links: Offseason Ohio State-Michigan spat? Let it go

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Big Ten links: Offseason Ohio State-Michigan spat? Let it go

So, one day, Ohio State A.D. Gene Smith goes on record as saying he didn’t think his school’s football program would have a spring practice in Florida like Michigan did this year.

“Is it creative?” he said. “Does it help from a recruiting and marketing point of view? I get that,” Smith said. “If we were jumpstarting our program I’d probably try and do that, too. But we’re not jumpstarting our program. We’re in a different place.”

Soon thereafter, Wolverine coach Jim Harbaugh fires off a tweet that tweaks the nose of the Buckeyes. Smith’s response: He apologized.

Many were wondering why Smith apologized. Well, you can say this about Smith: He took the high road. Harbaugh’s road? You can decide for yourself. Here is an idea that the rest of the universe outside of Ann Arbor, Mich., may want to consider: Just ignore what Michigan and Harbaugh are doing. Don’t react. Just keep your head down and take care of your own business.

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I love the fact Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has come out and said the Longhorn Network isn’t good for the Big 12. He’s correct. Gundy should know Texas doesn’t care about the Big 12. Texas cares about Texas. And, that’s it. That’s why the Big 12 never will be on par with the other Power Five leagues.

“If we don’t eliminate the Longhorn Network and create our own network, they’re going to continue to have issues with this league,” Gundy told CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd.

My advice to Big 12 schools not named Texas: Look out for your own interests.

You’re welcome.

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Many eyes will be on the quarterback situation at Penn State this spring, as the race is on to replace Christian Hackenberg.

Trace McSorley, Tommy Stevens and early enrollee Jake Zembiec are the combatants. All seemingly are better fits for what James Franklin wants to do aside offensively than Hackenberg. McSorley has to be the fav. He looked good in relief on an injured Hackenberg in the bowl game. He’s my guy.

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This is pretty neat: Rutgers coach Chris Ash breaks down his assistant coaches.

I am intrigued by OC Drew Mehringer. He’s under 30 years old, a wunderkind with a bright mind who was working at Houston under Tom Herman. Mehringer could be a special one. Even better: RU could have a fun and exciting offense.

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Who were the top two players at the NFL Combine? Using statistical measures based on performance relative to expected performance, Football Perspective says Northwestern’s Dan Vitale was No. 1 and Dean Lowry was No. 2.

Pretty cool, huh? Vitale is the ultimate football player, one of my all-time favorites.

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The latest on Minnesota’s search for an athletic director.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says a 16-member committee that includes big names in business and current and former Gophers athletes, and the Turnkey Search firm, will drive the search for the next Minnesota athletic director, school President Eric Kaler announced Wednesday. The university’s stated goal has been to pick a finalist or finalists by late spring and finalize the hire by July 1.

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Purdue also is in the market for an A.D. The latest from President Mitch Daniels.

I would think the school will need get a replacement for Morgan Burke by September and October. Just a guess.

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Here is a fun look back at eight predictions for Michigan State football from 2015 from Mlive.com. I have to say, many of these came true. Impressive.

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It was pro day at Purdue. And, Danny Anthrop impressed. I think the guy has a future in the NFL after clocking a 4.4 in the 40. He can help on all special teams and also be a No. 3 or No. 4 wideout working out of the slot.

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It looks like Nebraska has a group of sophomores who should have a big impact in the fall.

Keep an eye on RB Mikale Wilbon. The guy could be a good one. I also like guard Tanner Farmer, a big, tough strong blocker. He was the highest-rated player in the 2014 NU recruiting class and could be the program’s next top blocker.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

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, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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