Latest Tom Dienhart News

Best Case/Worst Case: B1G favorite Ohio State

Urban Meyer’s 12-0 debut in 2012 stoked the fires for a program that was shackled by NCAA probation last season and couldn’t win the Big Ten or go to a bowl. Now unencumbered by probation and with most of that roster back—including quarterback Braxton Miller–expectations are enormous at Ohio State.

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Wednesday's links: Carlos Hyde tape, B1G QBs & more

Whether you agree or disagree with the three-game suspension of Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde, check out the video footage from the altercation that got him in trouble.

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Ohio State suspends Carlos Hyde for at least first 3 games

News that Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde wouldn’t be charged in an assault case is a positive development for the Buckeyes. But on Tuesday night, Urban Meyer announced that Hyde still will face consequences.

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Dienhart: My picks to win Big Ten QB battles

There are several Big Ten quarterback situations that are rock solid as teams enter training camp. Without a doubt, Braxton Miller will start for Ohio State; Taylor Martinez for Nebraska; Kain Colter for Northwestern; Devin Gardner for Michigan; Philip Nelson for Minnesota; and Nathan Scheelhaase for Illinois.

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Best Case/Worst Case: Penn State Nittany Lions

Bill O’Brien surprised many by debuting with an 8-4 record. In fact, he went 8-2 over the last 10 games after an 0-2 start. The Nittany Lions still are dealing with severe scholarship sanctions because of NCAA probation, which will threaten to compromise the team’s thin depth. Still, the front-line talent is top-notch; and if it stays healthy, this could be another successful season in State College.

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Tuesday's links: On player stipends, ticket prices & more

The debate on if players should be paid rages. And, it will for a while. The great Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World-Herald has a nice synopsis of the issues.

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Best Case/Worst Case: Legends champ Nebraska

Expectations are big in Lincoln for a program looking for a big breakthrough under Bo Pelini, who is in his sixth season. Led by QB Taylor Martinez, the offense should be among the best in the Big Ten. The defense? It will determine the season after looking awful in three big games last year: at UCLA; at Ohio State; vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. Is the rebuilt front seven up to the task?

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Did You See This? Bret Bielema takes dig at Ohio State

Well, it looks like former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema just can’t get the Big Ten out of his system, even though he’s transplanted to Arkansas. Check out this recent dig at Ohio State that Bielema dished out via Twitter recently.

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Monday's links: Put-up-or-pipe-down year for Big Ten?

The smoke has cleared—Big Ten media days are over. The last word has been uttered, at least for now. Teams have begun to report to camp, and the season is just around the corner. And it’s a big one for the conference, as it chases the SEC and its seven national championships in a row. In fact, the Big Ten is entering a no-excuse season. At least that’s what Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal thinks.

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Mailbag: Your questions on new player safety rules

It’s that time of week where I reach into my latest mailbag. And, to no surprise, it’s stuffed with cards and letters about the new penalty for targeting a defenseless player. It’s not all about player safety, though, as there are questions regarding Indiana and Wisconsin. So, let’s get started.

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Fitzgerald: 'We're just getting started at Northwestern'

If there was a darling at Big Ten media days, it was Northwestern. Expectations are at an all-time high in Evanston, where talk of winning the Big Ten is legit for a program that has eight starters back on offense and seven on defense from a 10-win squad that won the program’s first bowl game since the 1948 season.

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Best Case/Worst Case: Iowa Hawkeyes

This is a pivotal season for Iowa, which is coming off its worst year since 2000 as the Hawkeyes missed the postseason for the first time since 2007. Iowa hasn’t missed a bowl two seasons in a row since a three-year drought from 1998-2000. Kirk Ferentz made more coaching changes in the offseason, as he searches to steady a listing ship.

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Friday's links: All the best from Big Ten media days

With media days complete, there is a long list of stories to check out. Here is a nice run down to get you caught up on each team from the goings-on in Chicago the last two days. By the way: The season begins Aug. 29, with Indiana State playing at Indiana.

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Dienhart: Stability in backfield key to Iowa's season

Iowa fans are aching for a good season. Who can blame them? The Hawkeyes have seen their win total drop each of the last four seasons, from 11 wins to eight, to seven to four.

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Dienhart: Michigan's offense shifts gears

The spread offense is all the rage. Just look around. More and more schools are using the scheme—and playing at an up-tempo. Oregon is the standard. But not at Michigan. Nope. It officially is dumping the spread now that Denard Robinson is gone. Truthfully, the Wolverines began a transition to a more pro-style attack in 2012 when Robinson got hurt and Devin Gardner took over for a program whose trademark for years before Rich Rodriguez was hired in 2008 was a conventional scheme.

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