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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Big Ten West linebacker unit rankings

Talented, quick, deep … those are just three words that aptly describe the linebacking corps at Wisconsin, which tops my ranking of Big Ten West linebackers. But the LBs will have to adjust to a new coordinator. What impact will that have? [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West defensive lines | West predictions ] Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten West linebacker units. 1. Wisconsin. Senior Vince Biegel and sophomore T.J. Edwards are the bellwethers of this strong unit. Biegel tallied 14 TFLs in 2015 and is the leader of the defense

Big Ten links: Scroll through Tuesday's best headlines

It’s good to be Mike Conley. The former Ohio State Buckeye is expected to ink the richest NBA deal in history. I never envisioned Conley being this good of pro. He’s still going, while OSU teammate Greg Oden has been done for a while. According to multiple reports, Conley is expected to sign a five-year deal worth $153 million to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies. Crazy money in the NBA right now. *** Speaking of former Buckeyes, can D’Angelo Russell become Ohio State’s next NBA superstar? The other Ohio State players in the NBA: Jared Sullinger, Evan Turner and Kosta

Dienhart: Big Ten East linebacker unit rankings

Linebackers need to be a special breed of crazy and talent, willing to take on big offensive linemen and fullbacks with power while also having the speed to chase down running backs. And no school in the East has a better collection of LBs than Michigan State. [ MORE: East OL | East receiving corps | East backfields | East DL | East predictions ] Here’s my ranking of Big Ten East linebacking units. 1. Michigan State. Lots of talent in East Lansing. Senior Riley Bullough will be one of the Big Ten’s best. He is Mr. Spartan, a true

Big Ten Mailbag: Chances Iowa runs table for second straight season?

Before lighting my sparklers and grilling hot dogs, I thought I’d go through my Big Ten Mailbag. [ MORE: East OL | West OL | East pass-catchers | West pass-catchers | East backfields | West backfields | East DL | West DL | Top 7 QBs | Top 10 WRs ] I tackle questions about the Nebraska quarterbacks, Iowa’s prospects for regular-season perfection and Wisconsin’s chances to slow LSU RB/beast Leonard Fournette in the season opener, among other subjects. Let’s go! What is the likelihood that Iowa runs the table in the regular season again? The Hawkeyes get Wisconsin, Nebraska,

Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten’s top 10 wide receivers

Much debate rages about who will be the quarterback at Michigan. Whoever wins the job will be comforted by the fact he’ll throw to two of the Big Ten’s top targets in Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. In fact, the former heads my ranking of 2016 Big Ten wide receivers. [ MORE: East OL | West OL | East pass-catchers | West pass-catchers | East backfields | West backfields | East DL | West DL ] Check out my top 10 below. 1. Jehu Chesson, Michigan, Sr. Wolverine insiders say the 6-3, 200-pound Chesson was the most improved player on

Big Ten links: Most watched 2015 games, Big Ten tributes & more

What were the most watched Big Ten football games in 2015? Dave Jones of Pennlive.com has them. No shocker that Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska were prominently involved in many of these highly viewed games. The No. 1 most watched? MSU at OSU. Shocked? A close finish between highly ranked teams that produced a monster upset fueled ratings. *** Ohio State’s already strong staff just got stronger with the addition of Joker Phillips, who at one time was head coach at Kentucky. He will be an offensive quality control assistant for Urban Meyer. Phillips was WR coach of

Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive line unit rankings

Ask any coach, and he’ll tell you the most difficult spot to recruit is defensive line. It is very difficult to find players who are big AND quick. Teams that can build good lines typically have a shot to win league titles. Iowa is one of those teams. [ MORE: West offensive lines | West pass-catchers | West backfields | West predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten West defensive lines. 1. Iowa. It hurts not having ends Drew Ott and Nate Meier, who made for a formidable tandem. Still, there is lots to build on. Sophomore

Big Ten links: Ready for Thursday best headlines? Here you go!

It is difficult to believe that former Northwestern coach Randy Walker has been gone for 10 years. I never will forget the day I heard the news of his passing. It was jolting. The suddenness … the shock … the sadness. InsideNU.com looks at Walker’s best NU squad, the 2000 club that won a share of the Big Ten title. Such a fun, explosive team. Who can forget the win vs. Michigan? *** David Jones of Pennlive.com says Penn State’s upset of Ohio State in 2005 changed how college football attacked Major League Baseball broadcasts. “That game did a 5

Dienhart: Big Ten East defensive line unit rankings

The plaudits for the Michigan d-line began in the winter. And they continued in the spring to the point where some feel this front may not just be the best in the Big Ten … but maybe the best in the nation. [ MORE: East OL | East receiving corps | East backfields | East predictions ] Here is my ranking of the Big Ten East defensive lines. 1. Michigan. This could be the best line in the nation. Four seniors are slated to start with Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley on the ends and Maurice Hurst and Ryan Glasgow

Big Ten links: Scroll through Wednesday's best headlines

Rutgers is redoing its weight room. In the meantime, the Scarlet Knights are working out in the “dungeon.” Perfect. The school’s $1.25 million renovated weight room was scheduled to be ready when players returned to campus for summer workouts on June 1. But some unexpected structural issues have delayed the construction. Despite that, most things have been good in Ash’s first six months as head coach. “We’ve been swinging really hard to get the program foundation set the way we wanted it and establish the culture that we wanted, recruit the way we wanted,” Ash told NJ.com. “I get asked