Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Best of the Big Ten Bowls

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What does each bowl mean to each team?

So many bowls, so little time. That’s where I come in. Think of me as your bowl concierge. Time is precious. With that said, before you go ahead and make any bowl-watching plans, check out my Best of the Big Ten Bowls list.

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Dienhart: Top 10 B1G men's hoops games of 2013

Victor Oladipo

Kentucky at Michigan State - Men's Basketball Highlights

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The calendar is flipping to 2014, and that means it’s time to rank the top 10 Big Ten men’s basketball games of 2013. Talk about a difficult list! This is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. Anyway, here’s my list of the 10 best games from the 2013 calendar year.

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Season Review: Indiana falls short of bowl berth

Cody Latimer

Purdue at Indiana - Football Highlights

This looked like it would be the season Indiana finally ended a bowl drought that stretched to the 2007 season. There were eight home games, with the first five at home. And there was loads of veteran talent on offense and promising youngsters on defense for a program that was maturing in its third year under ultra-intense Kevin Wilson.

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Season Review: Illini struggle, but snap B1G skid

Steve Hull

Josh Ferguson Touchdown Pass

Year Two under Tim Beckman brought hope in the form of an improved won-loss record, as Illinois went from two victories to four. The credit goes to a revived offense, as new coordinator Bill Cubit altered the scheme and maxed out the skills of senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase. Illinois averaged 29.7 points and 426.7 yards in 2013 after averaging 16.7 points and 296.7 yards in 2012.

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Dienhart: Ranking stars Big Ten will face in bowls

The Big Ten has seven teams in bowls. And there are some high-level opponents, including Stanford, Clemson, South Carolina and LSU. And one of the best parts of the bowl season is watching players you rarely get a chance to see compete vs. Big Ten foes. Here’s a ranking of the top 25 players Big Ten teams will face in the postseason.

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Dienhart: My top 10 2013 Big Ten football games

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Football Images of the Year

Pretty soon, it will be time to usher in 2014. Before we officially say good-bye to 2013, though, I looked back and considered the best 2013 Big Ten football games. See my complete top 10 list in this post. Did I miss one? Send me your nomination in the form at the bottom of the post.

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Rose Bowl Preview: Michigan State vs. Stanford

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY

Jansen, Jackson Preview Rose Bowl

Michigan State is making its first trip to Pasadena since the 1987 season in what will be the 100th Rose Bowl. This is a culmination of sorts for Mark Dantonio in his seven seasons in East Lansing, finally getting the Spartans to the Big Ten’s Holy Grail after some close calls. Stanford is making its fourth trip to a BCS in a row and its second journey in succession to the Rose Bowl. This has become the premier Pac-12 program under David Shaw. Who needs Jim Harbaugh?

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Orange Bowl Preview: Ohio State vs. Clemson

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jansen, Jackson Preview Orange Bowl

Yes, Ohio State would rather be playing in Pasadena, Calif., for the national championship vs. another ACC school, Florida State. But this is still a BCS bowl vs. a very good Clemson team. And that means it’s a chance for the Buckeyes to score some credibility points and quell critics who say OSU played a soft schedule.

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Capital One Bowl Preview: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

James White & Melvin Gordon Join #BTNLive

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the better matchups of the postseason. Wisconsin—on a three-game bowl losing skid–and South Carolina—aiming for a third postseason triumph in succession–never have played, adding intrigue to this battle. Gary Andersen is looking to put his stamp on the Badger program in his first season; Steve Spurrier looks to add another brick in the wall of a strong program he has built in Columbia for a team that has wins vs. Missouri and Clemson.

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Outback Bowl Preview: Iowa vs. LSU

Heroes Game trophy

Big Ten Power Rankings - Dec. 9, 2013

Iowa has enjoyed a season of redemption. And it has been sweet for a program that was scrutinized and criticized coming off a 4-8 season in 2012. Had Kirk Ferentz lost it? Laughable.

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Friday links: Should Braxton stay or go?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

James White & Melvin Gordon Join #BTNLive

Let’s start daily links here with Ohio State’s Braxton Miller winning the Silver Football from the Chicago Tribune as the Big Ten MVP. Not a big surprise but still impressive when you consider he missed almost three games with a knee injury. Had Miller posted big numbers in a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, I think he would have been a Heisman finalist.

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Gator Bowl Preview: Nebraska vs. Georgia

Kenny Bell

Big Ten Power Rankings - Dec. 9, 2013

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Two traditional powers square off for a second season in a row in the postseason. And each will do so without the quarterbacks they began the season with. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez has been shelved with a variety of ailments—shoulder, hip, abdomen, ankle–missing eight of the last nine games. Aaron Murray’s season was wrecked by a knee injury suffered vs. Kentucky on November 23.

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Thursday links: Big Ten names on USA Today team

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Scherff Joins #BTNLive

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today has its All-American Team out. So, let’s start daily links there. Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard are the lone first-team choices from the Big Ten. Funny, wasn’t Wisconsin linebacker the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year? Borland was on the second team with Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien. Lewan? Really? He was one of the 10 best offensive linemen in America this season? Talk amongst yourself.

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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan vs. Kansas State

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Gallon 61-Yard Touchdown

One college football blue blood in Michigan faces a recent upstart in Kansas State. This is intriguing. Even better: These teams never have met. For Michigan, this is a chance to get a bad taste out of its mouth for a 2013 season that has been, well, a disappointment.

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Texas Bowl Preview: Minnesota vs. Syracuse

David Cobb

Tom Dienhart Talks with "#BTNLive"

If Minnesota is disappointed to be going to Houston, it isn’t showing it. The Gophers probably deserved a better destination. But the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl opted for 7-5 Michigan over 8-4 Nebraska; and the Gator Bowl tabbed Nebraska over Minnesota.

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Dienhart: All-Big Ten Assistant Coaching Team

Harlon Barnett

Harlon Barnett Film Session

Head coaches get plenty of accolades and awards. The players? They have myriad trophies they can win and postseason all-league teams they can be named to. But what about the assistant coaches? It’s time to shine the spotlight on the guys at heart of every program’s engine.

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Tuesday links: Could football playoff go to 8 teams?

Heisman Trophy

Jim Miller Talks with "#BTNLive"

This is the last year for the BCS. Thank, goodness. A four-team playoff starts in 2014. But how soon will it give way to an eight-team playoff? David Jones of Pennlive.com thinks after the new 13-person College Football Playoff committee endures a couple of seasons trying to pick four participants, we’ll see another adjustment. Jones’ model makes sense: five major-conference champions, one mandated rep from among the six minor conferences and then two at-large berths will compose an 8-team tournament.

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