Big Ten links: Catch up with Friday's news digest

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: Catch up with Friday's news digest

Remember when it looked like Jim Grobe may leave Wake Forest to replace Bill Callahan at Nebraska? Well, it seems the Huskers’ desire to have Grobe retain Callahan’s assistants nixed any Grobe-Nebraska marriage plans. Too bad, as Grobe would have been a great hire in Lincoln. Nebraska subsequently hired Bo Pelini.

According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Grobe said at Big 12 media days that Nebraska requested to retain three assistants from Callahan’s staff when they spoke about the job opening in 2007. Grobe, however, “wanted freedom” to shape his own coaching staff. That discrepancy, among other reasons, ultimately led Grobe to stay at Wake Forest.

Don’t you wonder how Grobe would have done at Nebraska? I think he would have been a huge success.

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Michigan State will be one of the favorites to win the Big Ten next season under iconic Tom Izzo. Much has been made about the Spartans’ heralded incoming recruiting class. But Mlive.com tells us to not forget about holdover Eron Harris, the Spartans’ “forgotten” man.

A fifth-year senior, Harris is Michigan State’s top returning scorer. He averaged 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, and was a starter for a 2015-16 team that ascended to a No. 1 ranking.

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Who could be some overlooked breakout players for Penn State in 2016? Keep an eye on redshirt freshman free safety Ayron Monroe, one of the team’s better athletes. This team is loaded with good young talent.

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Purdue is getting closer to naming a new athletic director. In fact, it could happen in August. The new A.D.’s biggest task in my mind: Stabilizing the football program.

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I recently laid out my ultimate Big Ten road trip. Here, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com has his ultimate trip on how to visit 14 stadiums in 13 weeks. Road trip!

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It’s official: Alan Major is back on the Ohio State hoops staff. This is a good thing. Major will be the Director of Recruiting and Player Development.

“Alan has many skills and talents above and beyond those he’s utilized as a coach over the years,” Thad Matta said in a statement, “I want him to help us develop a complete and well-rounded student-athlete. Alan is the perfect fit for this position.”

Major was an assistant at Ohio State under Matta from 2004-2010. He also worked with Matta at Xavier. He most recently was the head coach at Charlotte, stepping down from the position after the 2014-15 season due to health concerns.

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Check out the video game versions of ex-Buckeyes Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott on Madden NFL 17. And see where the rookies rank.

Bosa, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft by Chargers, will be rated at a 79 overall, which ranks fifth among rookies in the game. Elliott, the No. 4 overall pick by the Cowboys, came in second with an overall rating of 80. Cleveland.com notes that those are both high marks for rookies. Now, grab that bag of Doritos and let’s play!

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Former Gophers basketball coach Clem Haskins hasn’t surfaced much since he was fired from Minnesota in 1999, so the Minneapolis Star Tribune felt that it would be interesting to see what Haskins looks like now. Not bad. Check it out.

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The great Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has taken a look back at some old aerial photos of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium. It is fun to look at the evolution of stadiums. Morehouse has another interesting nugget: Kirk Ferentz may have a new deal in the works.

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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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