Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Getting ready to see the Gophers

The BTN tour bus stops at Minnesota next. And there will be a lot to watch at Saturday afternoon’s practice in Minneapolis at the Gibson Nagurski Football Complex. The Minnesota Preview Show will air at 10 p.m. ET Sunday. Jerry Kill’s second team has lots of questions. On offense, I will watch to see how quarterback MarQueis Gray is passing the ball. He hit just 50.7 percent of his passes last year. That must improve, while also maintaining his vast running skills.

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Dienhart: Things I learned at Nebraska practice

Nebraska's Rex Burkhead

Tom Dienhart's Take Away on Nebraska

The second stop of our BTN bus tour brought us to Lincoln, Neb., where we watched the Huskers practice on an absolutely beautiful night Thursday. Here is what I learned and observed while taking in the practice. Talking to offensive coordinator Tim Beck after practice, he says quarterback Taylor Martinez has made strides in his mechanics. Beck showed me how Martinez had a hitch in his delivery, thrusting his hips forward and dropping his right shoulder before delivering the ball.

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Reader mail: Thoughts on Iowa & true freshmen

Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. While on the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions from every stop along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We were at Iowa practice Wednesday, and Hawkeyes fans sent me their questions. Nebraska is up Thursday. Here’s what I want to see from the Huskers. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart).

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Dienhart: What I want to see at Nebraska practice

Headed to stop No. 2 on the BTN bus tour: Nebraska. We will watch an evening practice on Thursday, and our preview show will air at 10 p.m. ET Friday. I will be eager to watch the offense in Year Two under coordinator Tim Beck. I think with better familiarity and experienced personnel, the Cornhusker offense will take a big step this fall.

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Big Ten web links: Wednesday's top clicks

I’m in Iowa City today to take in Iowa’s practice. It’s the first stop on our annual summer bus tour, and I’m excited to watch the team’s running backs, among other things. Enough about me, it’s time to bring you all of Wednesday’s top Big Ten web links.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Iowa DC Phil Parker

Iowa's Micah Hyde

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Hope and Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa staff was famous for its stability since he took over in 1999. But that all changed after last season. The key changes were new coordinators on both sides of the ball for the first time under Ferentz. Offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe left to coach with the Miami Dolphins, while defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired.

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Wisconsin: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Bret Bielema

Wisconsin is the hottest team in the Big Ten. It’s true. This is a new world Big Ten, where traditional heavyweights like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska all are looking up at Wisconsin. This is the Badgers’ world … and everyone else is just living in it. The Badgers are coming off back-to-back Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances, going an aggregate 22-5 overall the last two seasons (13-3 Big Ten).

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Camp Tour: Turning My Eyes On The Hawkeyes

The BTN bus rolls into Iowa City today on the first training camp stop of the 2012 Big Ten Football Preview Tour, presented by Culligan. Many questions loom for the Hawkeyes as they prepare for the season. There is a lot going on in Iowa City, and I’ll have another post after our visit is complete. What are you most curious about? Drop me a line below. I’ll be answering questions all tour long. And our Iowa TV show airs at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday. Full schedule here.

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Purdue: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Purdue is coming off a 7-6, the program’s first winning mark since 2007. That has some people in West Lafayette thinking big, as the program aims for back-to-back bowls for the first time since 2006-07 when Joe Tiller still was the coach.

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Big Ten Mailbag: My Answers to Your Questions

You have questions, and I have answers in this week’s football-heavy mailbag. I said the mailbag was football-heavy, but I did receive one great question about the chances of the Minnesota men’s basketball team making a Final Four run this year. Got to love Big Ten hoop fans! Read my answers to all of your queries in this post. And remember, if you have a question, send it to me in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

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Penn State: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Penn State's Gerald Hodges

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Bill O'Brien

Penn State is entering a difficult era of NCAA probation and sanctions that figure to cripple the program for years. But first-year coach Bill O’Brien is moving forward undaunted and undeterred. The Nittany Lions can’t go to a bowl or win the Big Ten title, so O’Brien and Company must focus on regular-season success in the dawn of the post-Joe Paterno era that began in 1966. Penn State will have a chance to impact who wins the conference crown with games vs. the likes of Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska, as it aims to begin the healing process in pursuit of the best record possible.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Northwestern OC Mick McCall

Northwestern's Kain Colter

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Hoke and Fitzgerald

Mick McCall’s offense is ticking at Northwestern. The Wildcat offensive coordinator, who is in his fifth season on the job, has developed one of the more consistently potent offenses in the Big Ten under Pat Fitzgerald. Last season, the attack ranked second overall in the Big Ten (420.9).

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Ohio State: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Ohio State's Bradley Roby

Urban Meyer Media Day 2012

At Ohio State, it’s about turning the page. A new era has begun—and the possibilities seem limitless. Last season was difficult, as the Buckeyes endured the program’s first losing season (6-7) since 1988, which was John Cooper’s first campaign. The program also was shackled with NCAA probation stemming from the Jim Tressel era.

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Nebraska: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Nebraska’s maiden voyage in the Big Ten has to be considered a success on many fronts. The Cornhuskers finished 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten. But along the way, Nebraska found out it needs to get bigger and more physical on defense to better deal with Big Ten offenses. And the Husker offense must improve its passing game to give the attack better balance.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan State OC Dan Roushar

Andrew Maxwell

2012 Kickoff Luncheon: Dantonio and Wilson

After Don Treadwell left to be head coach of Miami (Ohio) after the 2010 season, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio turned to offensive line coach Dan Roushar to be offensive coordinator. And that has proven to be a good move. Last season, the Spartan attack ranked fourth in the Big Ten, averaging 390.4 yards during an 11-3 season that included a Legends Division crown and triple-overtime Outback Bowl victory over Georgia.

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