Latest Tom Dienhart News

Get your week started off with today's Big Ten links

Who is the Big Ten’s best quarterback? According to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, it’s Michigan State’s Connor Cook, who is No. 6 on the former scout’s preseason “Quarterback Tracker.” My pick? Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, a classic passer who embodies everything that a big-time quarterback should be.

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Best of Week 6: Huskers at Spartans time

The first Saturday in October is a light one, as there are just six games. Five are conference games. But there is just one truly marquee game, with Nebraska playing at Michigan State. Could that be a preview of the Big Ten title game? Here’s a breakdown of Week 6.

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Best of Week 5: How does Big Ten play sound?

Every school is in action this Saturday, with a mix of Big Ten and non-conference action. There are five league games and four non-league clashes. None of the games stand out or look all that notable, but there could be some hidden gems. Here’s a look at the Best of Week 5.

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Dienhart: Big Ten's marquee events to stay put

While the Big Ten’s borders stretch from the plains of Nebraska to the shadow of New York City, the iconic conference still remains anchored in the heartland of America. And, that’s the way it should be. Today’s announcement quelled any fears to the contrary, as the conference is committed to Chicago and Indianapolis as anchor cities for its marquee events.

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Dienhart: Your team's best chance to pull an upset

We continue our football schedule preview series to help pass some of the time before the 2014 season kicks off. Today, it’s time for Tom Dienhart to offer his super-early upset pick for all 14 Big Ten teams. See your team’s upset prediction in this post.

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Big Ten links: How about Iowa vs. Alabama in 2015?

How about an Iowa vs. Alabama game to open the 2015 season? Yes, please. The Tide needs a foe, and it sounds like they are having a difficult time finding one and will “take anybody.”

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Best of Week 4: Rematch! Miami vs. Nebraska

This will mark the last Saturday of full-blown non-conference action. And there are a handful of interesting clashes, highlighted by Miami (Fla.) visiting Nebraska. But most of this week’s games are tune-ups for the Big Ten action that kickoffs off the next weekend. Here’s a look at the Best of Week 4.

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Dienhart: Your team's 2014 rugged stretch

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. In less than three months, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season.

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Best of Week 3: Rutgers makes Big Ten debut

Week 3 isn’t filled with a plethora of sexy matchups, but there is no lack of intrigue. A big highlight is the first Big Ten game of the season, as Penn State visits Rutgers. In fact, it will be the Scarlet Knights’ first Big Ten game and the first time the Nittany Lions have been on Rutgers’ campus since 1955. See my Best of Week 3 in this post.

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Dienhart: High cost of non-con games is vexing

Here’s a very nice story by Jesse Temple of FOXSportsWisconsin.com that takes an exhaustive look at the rising cost of payouts to non-conference opponents visiting Big Ten schools.

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Today's links: Big Ten's best defensive back?

NFL.com continues its series examining top players at each position in college football. The defensive backs are up. And Michigan State’s Trae Waynes is No. 5. Fellow Spartan Kurtis Drummond also is on the list at No. 8, while Ohio State’s Doran Grant is No. 7.

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Toughest Big Ten game for every team?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. In less than three months, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out the toughest conference game for each Big Ten team.

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Best of Week 2: Offense (Ducks) vs. Defense (Spartans)

Week 2 brings more juice than the opening salvo to the season, as there are three nationally relevant games: Michigan State at Oregon; Virginia Tech at Ohio State; Michigan at Notre Dame. In fact, those games will offer the Big Ten a golden chance to make a statement. A win by the Spartans on the road in raucous Autzen Stadium would stamp them legit national title contenders. Here’s a look at the best of Week 2.

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Scroll through Tuesday's 10 Big Ten headlines

Want a ticket for the Michigan-Notre Dame game? Get ready to pay up. The cheapest ticket available via the secondary market? It’s $419.95. I don’t see that price going down, as the last scheduled meeting between these iconic schools should draw lots of interest.

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Best of Week 1: Wisconsin vs. LSU, what else?

With the season less than 100 days away and preview magazines on the shelves of the local Piggly Wiggly, it’s never too early to start looking forward to the college football season. This week, I begin to take a week-by-week look at the coming season, highlighting what to look for. Consider it an early, early preview. You’re welcome.

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Breaking down the Big Ten non-con sked

The formula for building a non-conference schedule is pretty standard: play one challenging game vs. a team from a Power 5 league (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten) and three games vs. foes from “lesser” conferences. And ideally, three of the four games are at home. But, as you can see, not all non-conference games are created equally.

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Start your week off with these 10 Big Ten headlines

Wanna see Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill dance (sorta)? Check out this video, in which Kill tells students to dance after delivering the commencement speech.

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What's your Big Ten team's toughest non-con game?

We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. Three months from now, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out your team’s toughest non-conference game.

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Dienhart: Wisconsin's 2014 schedule analysis

The Gary Andersen era began with success in 2013. In fact, Wisconsin had BCS bowl aspirations before losing the finale to Penn State at home.

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It's time for Friday's 10 Big Ten headlines

Here’s some more news that won’t shock anyone: Christian Hackenberg already is on the radar of NFL teams. “Hack” had a boffo debut in 2013 and figures to be the first Big Ten quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft since … Kerry Collins in 1994!!! I still can’t believe that fact.

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Penn State camp arrangement rankles SEC

I had to laugh a bit when I read where SEC coaches were hacked off about Penn State taking part in a football camp at Georgia State. Read here, and here.

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Dienhart: Rutgers' 2014 schedule analysis

Rutgers is ready to take the lid off of its first Big Ten season. And excitement permeates the campus. Great potential looms—as do great challenges.

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B1G's best recruiter? See candidates in today's links

Who is the best recruiter in the Big Ten? One ESPN analyst thinks it’s Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson. And I’m not gonna argue that notion. His recruiting acumen has been lauded for years.

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Dienhart: Purdue's 2014 schedule analysis

As far as debuts are concerned, Darrell Hazell endured a rough one at Purdue. His maiden voyage in West Lafayette included myriad blowouts along the way to a 1-11 season that saw Purdue go winless in the Big Ten. And the lone victory came vs. FCS Indiana State. And even that was a close call. Add it all up, and it may have been the worst season in school history.

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Scroll through Wednesday's 10 Big Ten headlines

When discussing schedules, seven home games often are mentioned as a magical benchmark for schools. Well, the Big Ten is not set on it, apparently, according to this piece by Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. The coming move to nine Big Ten games in 2016 is one factor causing schools to rethink scheduling. The other is lucrative neutral-site games.

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