Latest Tom Dienhart News

Big Ten Mailbag: Bowl games bring lots of questions

It’s that time of the week when I reach into my mailbag and answer the best of your questions. This time of year, the bag is jammed with both football and hoops questions, and I have few of each this week. That includes one on Ohio State’s shooting struggles.

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Spartans' Le'Veon Bell headed to NFL

Please tell me you aren’t shocked by news that Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is going pro a year early. Running backs have only so many carries in their body. And Bell already has used up a lot of them at Michigan State. In three years, he ran 671 times for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also caught 78 passes, which surely will impress NFL scouts.

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Today's links: On '13 football & a surprise hoops win

No doubt, Wisconsin’s loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl was disappointing. But, hopes are high for 2013, says Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal. And that’s where I’m gonna start my daily links.

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Super Seven: My top Big Ten freshman stars

The Big Ten has a nice collection of freshmen who already are making a big impact. Michigan has the best group, with the likes of Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas already shining.

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Today's links: Breaking down Big Ten bowl results

As we stand in the aftermath of another disappointing Big Ten bowl season (2-5 record with a 1-4 mark on New Year’s Day), we are left to wonder how the conference would have fared if Ohio State and Penn State had been eligible. OK, that’s long enough.

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Dienhart: 'End of one era, beginning of another'

When it comes to motivation, few push buttons better than Barry Alvarez. Heading into the Rose Bowl vs. Stanford, Alvarez had bracelets made for players that read “I’m In” and “I’m On.” But the players had to earn the rubber jewelry through their position coach.

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How did we do? Big Ten bowl predictions revisited

Every week this season, Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) and myself (@BTNBrentYarina) offered our predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We continued it this bowl season, and BTN.com fans and Dienhart each went 7-0, meaning the former claims the 2012 crown.

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Today's links: Let's go bowling!

Happy New Year! It’s Jan. 1, the high holy day for college football. Before kickoff, check out my daily links, which begins with looks at the Big Ten and the five bowls it’s involved with today. And one of the most interesting will be the Outback Bowl clash between Michigan and South Carolina. Here’s a nice breakdown of the game from Kyle Meinke of MLive.com.

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Ranking the games: The best of the rest of opening week

The start of conference play began on Monday with two key matchups: Michigan State at Minnesota and Indiana and Iowa. But more interesting games loom this week, including Ohio State at Illinois and Iowa at Michigan. Here’s my ranking of the week’s games.

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Big Ten Whiteboard: Huge week for Hawkeyes

The Big Ten takes the lid off of conference action this week. Now, we really will discover what these teams are made of. The Chicago States, Slippery Rocks, North Floridas, Bryants and Nebraska-Omahas are being replaced with trips to places like Bloomington, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Champaign and Minneapolis.

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Big Ten web links: Final installment of 2012

This may be the last day of 2012, but it’s the first for Big Ten league hoop action. What a great place to begin my daily links!

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Rose Bowl preview: Wisconsin vs. Stanford

If you like tough, physical, smash-mouth football, you’ll love this game. Wisconsin and Stanford are mirrors of each other in many ways. The Badgers are in the Rose Bowl for a third season in a row. The last Big Ten team to pull off that feat was Michigan after the 1976-78 seasons.

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Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina

Michigan came close to winning the Legends Division but still is in search of its first league title since 2004. A win here would prime the program for a strong run in 2013, as this is a young roster. Three of the team’s four losses were to the top three teams in the nation: Notre Dame; Alabama; Ohio State. The other was to 10-win Nebraska.

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Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia

This is a battle between the losers of their respective conference title games. It also is a game that will feature one of the better quarterback matchups, with Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez facing off with Georgia’s Aaron Murray. And which Cornhusker defense will show up? The one that allowed 653 yards at UCLA, 63 points at Ohio State and 70 points to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game? Or the one that backstopped a six-game winning streak leading into the league title game?

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Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State

Purdue will arrive in Dallas without head coach Danny Hope, who was fired after four seasons despite guiding the Boilermakers to a second bowl in succession. This is a chance to punctuate a second consecutive season with a bowl win, which hasn’t happened since winning back-to-back Alamo Bowls in 1997-98. And the Boilermakers arrive with some momentum, having won three in a row.

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Make the Call: Predict the Big Ten Bowl games

Minnesota kicks off the first of seven football bowl games involving Big Ten teams when the Gophers face Texas Tech on Friday night. On Saturday, Michigan State plays TCU. On Sunday leading up to five Big Ten bowls on New Year’s Day, watch our “Bowl Preview Show” at 7 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go.

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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State vs. TCU

Expect a tough, low-scoring defensive effort in this game. Neither team comes in on a roll, having lost four of their last six games. Needless to say, the season hasn’t gone as expected for either team as both opened the season in the Top 25. In fact, the Spartans were picked by some to win the Big Ten coming off consecutive 11-win seasons.

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Meineke Bowl: Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

This is a battle between programs looking to ascend the food chain in their respective conferences. Jerry Kill is in his second season in the Twin Cities, rallying the program to its first bowl since 2009. The extra practices will help hasten the development of this rising team.

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Season in review: Michigan football

Michigan was the highest-rated Big Ten team in the AP preseason poll at No. 8, but it was undone by youth, injuries and a brutal schedule. The offense struggled much of the season, getting little production from the tailbacks and an inconsistent effort up front in Brady Hoke’s second season in Ann Arbor.

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UW's Andersen plans to hit the ground running

Gary Andersen sounded like a confident and prepared coach. Soon, he’ll get the chance to prove it, as he was introduced today as the new Wisconsin coach.

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Dienhart: My Big Ten All-Assistant Coach Team

Big Ten players have been honored on various all-conference teams. But what about the assistant coaches? Let’s take this time to honor them on a 2012 Big Ten All-Assistant Coach Team.

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Season in review: Wisconsin football

Wisconsin isn’t apologizing for being the first five-loss team ever in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers will proudly punch their third ticket in a row to Pasadena, thanks largely to a defense that played well all season.

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Today's links: Andersen, Meyer go way back

I have to begin my daily links with more news about the new Wisconsin football coach. It’s big doings. In fact, today is the day when Wisconsin introduces Gary Andersen. And here is something you may not know: The former Utah State coach has ties to Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.

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Season in review: Michigan State football

The truth hurts, but here it comes: This is the most disappointing team in the Big Ten. The Spartans were considered legit Big Ten contenders coming off consecutive 11-win seasons. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s unit did its part, yielding 20 or fewer points eight times.

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USA Today details coaching salaries

USA Today is out with its analysis of coaching salaries, and let’s just say it’s good to be an assistant coach. On average, FBS assistants made $200,000 in 2012. That’s a 10 percent increase over 2011 and a 29 percent gain since USA Today began this exercise in 2009. Find the entire database at USAToday.com.

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