Latest Tom Dienhart News

Big Ten has embarrassment of riches at RB

There’s Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford and Minnesota’s David Cobb. Do you want me to go on? OK.

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Is the Big Ten East the beast? Perhaps, but let's see

The Big Ten East is a beast. Or at least that’s the perception.

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It's time for Thursday's top Big Ten headlines

This was interesting from media days: Nebraska’s Bo Pelini says the SEC’s dominance is exaggerated by the media.

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John Papuchis Q&A: 'We have a very talented group'

Nebraska has been looking for a consistently strong defense the last three years. Well, the Cornhuskers finally may have one. In fact, Nebraska may have one of the best defenses in the Big Ten this fall. The unit has teased in recent years while also suffering some big meltdowns.

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Iowa is the team to beat in the West Division

Kirk Ferentz isn’t one to get lost in hyperbole. Grand statements? Bold proclamations? They won’t come from the dean of Big Ten coaches who is entering his 16th season in Iowa City. So, don’t expect him to tout and embrace any talk of his team winning the Big Ten West this fall.

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Ready for Wednesday's Big Ten links? Get 'em here!

The hype surrounding the Ohio State defensive line has been growing. And with good reason. Even Urban Meyer is heaping praise on the Buckeyes’ front, comparing it to his star-studded group in 2006 at Florida that was led by Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey that whipped Ohio State in the BCS title game after the 2006 season.

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Spartans' defense on the prowl again

It’s mean. It’s nasty. It’s the Michigan State defense. And it has become the signature unit for the signature program in the Big Ten.

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10 best quotes from Day 1 of media days

Talk, talk, talk. There was a whole lotta gabbing going on at Big Ten media days in the historic and iconic Hilton on Michigan Avenue on Monday. Here are what I feel were the 10 best quotes of a long, wild day. Watch your coach’s full interview here.

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Urban Meyer stresses offensive line upgrades

It’s strange to think of this, but Ohio State brings a two-game losing streak into the season. It’s true. Look it up. The Buckeyes ended last season with losses to Michigan State and then to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. That followed a 24-0 start to the Urban Meyer regime. Now, for his next act, Meyer is looking to lead Ohio State to its first Big Ten title since … 2009.

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Cat jokes aside, Pelini talks signing day idea

It didn’t take long. In fact, it took just the second question posed to Nebraska coach Bo Pelini before he was asked about the cat he brandished at the spring game. “My cat is enjoying a nap upstairs,” said Pelini, who has softened his image. “I’m not just an intense, competitive animal running around all the time.”

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How does Michigan State stay hungry?

What will Michigan State do for an encore? Last season was one for the ages, as the Spartans went 13-1, won the Big Ten and captured the Rose Bowl. The challenge is to stay hungry. Will MSU still have that chip on the shoulder? That spark? That desire to win big now that the Spartans have scaled the summit?

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Pat Fitzgerald clarifies Nebraska comments

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald clarified comments he recently made about Nebraska fans. “It’s a pretty boring state, so they’re really excited to see Chicago,” Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune last week. “I talked to the state senator about putting state troopers out on I-80 (to block them.)”

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Michigan's Hoke knows improvement needed

No sugarcoating it: This is a big season for Michigan and Brady Hoke, who has seen his win total drop each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor. Last year ended in a heap, as the Wolverines saw a 5-0 start melt into a 7-5 finish. The offense was an abomination, as Michigan struggled to get a push up front and run. As a consequence, coordinator Al Borges lost his job and Doug Nussmeier was hired from Alabama. Will it help? Stay tuned.

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UW's Andersen: 'We have open competition at QB'

Wisconsin has been a bellwether Big Ten program, going to Rose Bowls from 2011-13 and just missing a BCS game last year before landing in the Capital One Bowl. Can the beat go on for Gary Andersen in Year Two? “Lots of questions on offense,” said Andersen. “Wide receiver is the big question mark. We need some men to step up.”

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NU's Fitzgerald: 'We will get back to what we do'

Looking for a bounce-back team? Look no further than Northwestern in what should be an intriguing and wide-open Big Ten West race. The Wildcats began 2013 glowing, coming off five bowls in a row with dreams of a division title dancing in their head. But after a 4-0 start, NU slumped to a 5-7 mark. Close losses were killer. There was a three-point defeat to Minnesota; seven to Iowa; three to Nebraska; and a triple-overtime loss to Michigan.

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John Shoop Q&A: 'We have competition at every spot'

There is only one way for the Purdue offense to go after last season: up. That’s good news for coordinator John Shoop. He isn’t dwelling on the past. He’s trying to learn from it and move forward. Negativity won’t help. Positivity will. And Shoop emotes good thoughts.

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Andy Ludwig Q&A: Stave, McEvoy race is 'real competitive'

There are no real secrets about the Wisconsin offense: It wants to run the ball. Then run it some more. And some more. It usually always works with backs like Melvin Gordon and a monster line. Coordinator Andy Ludwig knows that. But he continues to tweak an attack that last year ranked No. 3 overall in the Big Ten in scoring (34.8 ppg) and No. 3 overall (480.8 ypg).

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101 questions for Big Ten media days: Part II

Big Ten media days kick off Monday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by reporters, but not all of them will be posed or answered. Me? I have a long list of questions—101, to be exact–as we sit on the precipice of the 2014 season.

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Ready or not, it's time for Friday's Big Ten headlines

Boy, I wonder what on god’s green earth Jay Paterno was thinking when he filed that lawsuit. Several pundits have torn into him. And, rightly so. This take from the great Greg Doyel of CBSSports.com is good and hard and right on.

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101 questions for Big Ten media days: Part I

Big Ten media days kick off Monday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by reporters, but not all of them will be posed or answered. Me? I have a long list of questions—101, to be exact–as we sit on the precipice of the 2014 season.

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Greg Hudson Q&A: 'We have to do better on first down'

The hits just kept on coming for the Purdue defense last season en route to one of the worst performances in school history and a 1-11 record. The final numbers weren’t pretty: 38.0 points per game (111th in the nation); 235.4 rushing yards per game (114); 224.5 passing yards per game (55th); 459.9 yards per game (104th).

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Dienhart's 15 Big Ten units under pressure

You hate to put too much pressure on any one unit–this is a team game. But there’s no denying some have to step up this fall if their teams want to make a push for a division title. From the Michigan offensive line to the Ohio State linebackers, here’s a look at the 15 Big Ten units with most to prove in 2014.

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Get ready for Wednesday's 10 Big Ten headlines

Where have all the 1,000-yard rushers gone in Ann Arbor? Really. It’s a crisis of sorts. Is there one on this year’s roster? The competition at running back figures to be strong between De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green.

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Indiana hopes move to 3-4 scheme helps defense

No one needs to tell Brian Knorr about the struggles of the Indiana defense in recent years. He knows there’s a reason why he’s in Bloomington as the Hoosiers’ new defensive coordinator. The Indiana defense is broken. Badly. And he needs to fix it if this program wants to take the proverbial next step.

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It's time for Tuesday's 10 Big Ten headlines

Incoming Michigan State freshman Lourawls Nairn already is having an impact. In fact, he may be the fastest Spartan ever. I can’t wait to watch this high-energy guy.

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