Latest Tom Dienhart News

Tim Beck: Offense could be 'one of best' in country

Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck has the keys to one of the top offenses in the Big Ten—if not the country. He knows it.

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Today's links: Why is 60,000 a key number?

A few days have passed, but the new Big Ten divisional alignment still has some buzzing. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World Herald weighs in on the new division splits here. Like everyone else with a pulse, Barfknecht thinks the East will be stronger than the West. And he applies the “60,000-seat Stadium Syndrome” as more proof.

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Dienhart: My 2013 All-Big Ten Spring Team

The Big Ten put a wrap on spring football last weekend, with Iowa and Minnesota playing the final spring games in the conference. Now, the long offseason begins. But, honestly, this is when players get better—not from September to December.

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Web links: How far could Braxton Miller go?

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as league MVP last year as a sophomore. Now, he has improved and could be better than ever—and a legit Heisman contender. “If Braxton was a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 when we got here, he finished (last) season around a four,” Buckeye offensive coordinator Tom Herman told Ozone.net. “By the end of spring ball he was around a six, but the cool thing with him is he could be about a 12.”

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Dienhart: 13 thoughts on new divisions

The announcement of the new divisions created a buzz across the Big Ten landscape. Leaders and Legends are gone. East and West are in. And a nine-game Big Ten schedule is coming in 2016. Here are 13 observations about the new arrangements.

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What's being said about Big Ten's new divisions?

It was a busy weekend in the Big Ten. A REALLY busy weekend, with the NFL Draft as well as the big announcement of a new divisional alignment and a nine-game schedule for the venerable Big Ten. So much to cover in daily links. Let’s start with a view on the conference’s new configuration from a few Big Ten ports-of-call.

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Dienhart: All-Big Ten Undrafted Team

The Big Ten had just 22 players picked in the 2013 draft, but many others recently signed free-agent deals. And there are some good players. Here is an All-Undrafted Big Ten football team, with the team that each player signed with in brackets.

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Iowa's offense shows some flashes

Iowa had a lot of work to do in spring drills coming off a 4-8 season that was the program’s worst since 2000. The offense, which struggled mightily last season and had just seven touchdown passes, may have turned a corner this spring under second-year coordinator Greg Davis. No doubt, the offense looked good in the spring game. The defense also may have found a playmaker up front.

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Dienhart: Payne's return is good news for MSU

It’s official: Adreian Payne is returning to Michigan State for his senior year, stamping the Spartans as the Big Ten favorite and top national title contender next season. Payne struggled with the decision, waiting until the final day (April 28) to render a choice. He was projected by many to be a first-round draft choice. Payne will return to a roster that welcomes back all of its key components, save for departed senior big man Derrick Nix.

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Big Ten names go in final day of draft

The Big Ten had just seven players selected through the first three rounds of the NFL draft. The league almost equaled that total with five picks in the fourth round. And so it went on the final day of the draft, when rounds four through seven were conducted on what was a big day for the Big Ten with 15 picks. The headline pick was Michigan’s Denard Robinson, who went with the second pick of the fifth round (135th overall). Four other Big Ten players were selected before him today, but Robinson was the big name many had been waiting to hear.

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Gophers offense shows progress

Minnesota officially is pointed toward Year Three under Jerry Kill, putting a cap on spring drills with a game today. The team showed improvement from its first year under Kill to last season. The 2013 season could be the best yet, as it looks to pass better and make more big plays on offense, while tightening up the run defense.

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Six Big Ten players drafted Friday night

The second and third rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft were more kind to the Big Ten than the first round when only Wisconsin center Travis Frederick was chosen No. 31 overall by the Dallas Cowboys. On Friday night, six Big Ten players were picked – and there are plenty of good players left for Saturday’s final day of the draft.

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Reader mail: Football fans are already fired up

There is still so much to talk about, with spring football winding down and the NFL draft in full swing. Can Illinois win? What’s up with expansion? What’s the deal with football ticket prices? Time for me to reach into my mailbag.

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Spring Preview: Gophers look to take big step

Two years into the Jerry Kill era, and progress at Minnesota is tangible. The Golden Gophers went from 3-9 in 2011 to 6-7, earning a bowl bid. The next step: move out of the basement of the Legends Division and win a postseason game for the first time since 2004. Year Three has been a charm for Kill at his last two stops, going 10-3 at Northern Illinois and 10-2 at Southern Illinois. To continue that trend in Dinkytown, big keys will be developing some big-play ability on offense and tightening the defense vs. the run. And the special teams need lots of improvement. This is an underrated coaching staff that’s capable of doing it all.

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Gardner completes pass with eyes closed

Apparently, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and wideout Jeremy Gallon have some good chemistry and mojo. Check out this video posted by Gardner on his Twitter account of him hitting Gallon with a pass—with his eyes closed.

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