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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Illinois football names interim Bill Cubit head coach

Illinois announced today that it is stripping the “interim” tag from Bill Cubit’s title and making him the head coach. Given the uncertainty at a school with an interim president and an interim athletic director, it isn’t a shock that Cubit was retained. This school needs some continuity in the athletic department as it sorts through a trying period. And Cubit provides it in the most critical sport. But here is the rub: Cubit has been given a two-year deal. Two years? That’s it? Typically, coaches work with four- or five-year contracts to help with recruiting. But, some speculate Cubit’s

Dienhart: Hawkeyes' dream season lives on for another week

The dream lives for another week for Iowa. [ MORE: Catch up on all our Week 13 Big Ten football games ] The Hawkeyes’ 28-20 win at Nebraska moved Iowa to 12-0 for the first time in program history. Even better, the East Division champs will arrive in Indianapolis one win from a likely spot in the College Football Playoff. Not bad for a team coming off a 7-6 season that was universally picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten West. But look at sparkly 12-0 Iowa now. Iowa entered the week No. 4

Hard Takes: Big Ten looks primed to send a team to the playoffs

It’s the final weekend of the regular season. And, a lot is on the line. Michigan State is trying to sew up the East Division, while four teams are fighting to get to win No. 6 and guaranteed bowl eligibility. Oh, and Urban-Jim Bowl I takes place. [ MORE: Week 13 previews | Week 13 scoreboard | Stats | Standings | Latest polls | Polls: Pick Week 13 winners | Power Rankings | Bowl Projections | Best of Week 13 | Mailbag | Q&A: Greg McMullen | Week 12 award winners | YouTube highlights ] Here are some Week 13

Big Ten links: 'The Game,' Paul Bunyan's Axe & so much more

The great Nick Baumgardner has five things to watch in “The Game.” One of them: How much will star Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers play on both sides of the ball? The answer: A lot. Why leave anything in the tank? *** This is interesting: Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been emphasizing recruiting in Ohio. Cleveland.com says Michigan has taken the Notre Dame approach: Grab some guys from the Midwest, then expand nationally by using the school’s brand. There’s a ton of talent in California, Texas and Florida, and Harbaugh certainly has the Urban Meyer-like rock star personality to expand Michigan’s scope. ***

Greg McMullen Q&A: 'It gets the blood pumping and the body going'

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart caught up with Nebraska’s 6-3, 280-pound junior defensive end Greg McMullen to get his thoughts on this wild-and-crazy season as the Huskers prep to cross the finish line and play Iowa.

Big Ten links: Rivalry Week notes, Penn State struggles & much more

It’s Ohio State-Michigan week. And, it doesn’t get much better. Well, I guess it could be, if this was a winner-takes-all battle for the East Division title. Alas, it isn’t, since the Buckeyes lost last week at home to Michigan State. Still, the first Harbaugh vs. Meyer clash should be memorable. *** Would there be any fallout from Ezekiel Elliott’s harsh critique of his coaching staff after the Buckeyes’ loss to the Spartans? Nope. Urban Meyer says all is hunky-dory. “It was a very isolated incident, we have a three-year bank on Zeke,” Meyer said. “I couldn’t disagree with his