Latest Tom Dienhart News

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

Jul 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats defensive end Tyler Scott during the Big Ten media day at the Chicago Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports.Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern Season Preview - 2013 B1G Media Day

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

Mark Weisman

Iowa Season Preview - 2013 B1G Media Day

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

Jul 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers receiver Jared Abbrederis is interviewed during the Big Ten media day at the Chicago Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports.Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Jim Delany Press Conference - 2013 B1G Football Media Day

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: Michigan's offense shifts gears

NCAA Football: Big Ten-Media Day

Michigan's Brady Hoke - 2013 B1G Media Day

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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Dienhart: Can IU take the next step?

Jul 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson speaks during the Big Ten media day at the Chicago Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports.Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Indiana's Kevin Wilson - 2013 B1G Football Media Day

Kevin Wilson is making progress at Indiana. He debuted with a 1-11 mark in 2011 and improved to 4-8 last season. This season, Wilson’s Hoosiers are a trendy pick to be a Cinderella team in the Big Ten. It’s true. Indiana, a team that hasn’t been to a bowl since the 2007 season, is viewed by many as a team on the rising.

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Dienhart: Purdue QB battle heats up

Jul 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Purdue Boilermakers head coach Darrell Hazell speaks during the Big Ten media day at the Chicago Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports.Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Purdue's Darrell Hazell - 2013 B1G Football Media Day

Who will play quarterback at Purdue? It’s a key issue that must be answered for new Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell, who has energized a struggling program in a few scant months.

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Best Case/Worst Case: Reeling Fighting Illini

Nathan Scheelhaase

Illinois Season Preview - 2013 B1G Football Media Day

The debut of the Tim Beckman era was, well, disappointing. The Fighting Illini went 2-10 overall and 0-8 in the Big Ten, pushing the school’s league losing skid to 14 games. The arrival of new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has increased optimism for what was a moribund attack.

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Dienhart: 101 Big Ten media day questions - Part I

Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Step Into My Office: Kirk Ferentz - Best Athletic Achievement

Big Ten media days kick off on Wednesday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by reporters, but not all of them will be posed or answered. Me? I have a long list of questions—101, to be exact–as we sit on the precipice of the 2013 season.

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Ohio State suspends senior RB Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde TD Catch

Previous reports of Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde being dismissed from the team were proven inaccurate when Urban Meyer announced Monday afternoon that the senior running back has been suspended from all team activities pending the outcome of the student code of conduct and criminal investigations.

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Best Case/Worst Case: 3-time reigning champ UW

James White

Wisconsin Season Preview - 2013 B1G Media Day

The Badgers have become the bellwether for the Big Ten, advancing to the last three Rose Bowls. Their quest to make it four in a row is complicated by Leaders Division rival Ohio State being eligible to win the Big Ten and play in a bowl after being on probation last season.

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Best Case/Worst Case: Media darling Wildcats

Nov 24, 2011; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald coaches against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

Northwestern Season Preview - 2013 B1G Media Day

David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

Expectations. Every team deals with them. And, of course, they differ from team to team. Right now, in late July, the possibilities seem endless for each Big Ten team. That’s where I come in with a bucket full of confetti—and one full of cold water. I will begin to take a look at my best-case and worst-case scenarios for each team this season.

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Friday's links: Funchess' outlook, bowl updates & more

Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess

Devin Funchess Big Catch and Thomas Rawls Touchdown

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

One of the Michigan players I am most intrigued about is sophomore tight end Devin Funchess. The guy is an athletic freak who showed flashes of big things last season as a true freshman and could end up being one of the best in the Big Ten at his position in 2013.

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Mailbag: Why conference games so early?

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Zach Zwinak (28) is wrapped up by several Wisconsin Badgers defenders at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Big Ten Football Images of the Year

Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

I can’t think of anything better to do on a hot July day than to drink a tall, cool Arnold Palmer and wade through my deep mail bag and answer your questions. And there is a lot to talk about even though none of the footballs or basketballs have been inflated. So, let’s get started.

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Dienhart: Ranking top 10 opposing Big Ten quarterbacks

Brett Hundley

Nebraska at UCLA - Football Highlights

It’s important to know your opponent—especially your opponent’s quarterback. You know how it goes: A team typically will go only as far as its quarterback is able to take it. Well, here’s my ranking of the top 10 quarterbacks that Big Ten teams will face in the non-conference this season.

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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Defense since 2000

Greg Jones

Greg Jones Interview - Michigan State Spring Football Game

The 2000s saw plenty of great players in the Big Ten. One, in fact, won the Heisman: Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith (2006), who arguably is the top player from the 2000s. Yesterday, I looked at the best of the best offensive players in the Big Ten since the calendar flipped to 2000. Next up: Defense.

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