Latest Tom Dienhart News

Ten biggest spots to fill in Big Ten football

Who has left the biggest shoes to fill in the Big Ten? Spring football is a time for teams to begin to fill those slots with new names.

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Spring Preview: Purdue QB battle will heat up

There is a sense of renewed optimism in West Lafayette with the dawn of the Darrell Hazell era. The former Kent State coach and long-time Ohio State assistant has built a strong staff and brought a winning attitude to Purdue. How quickly can he develop an offensive identity? That will be key in trying to get the Boilermakers to a third bowl in a row. Keep an eye on the quarterback battle and offensive line, the two biggest keys for 2013.

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Debate it: Will Bill Cubit fix Illinois' offense?

To put it mildly, the Illinois offense struggled last season under co-coordinators Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales. It’s Bill Cubit’s unit now, and the veteran coach has had success on various stops across the nation. Will it continue in Champaign, and as soon as this season? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina address the Illini offense in this post, and they’ll continue to do so throughout the spring football season. All of our spring football coverage is here, and the 2013 Spring Football Schedule is here.

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Spring Preview: All about defense for Indiana

Indiana is a program on the rise as it enters its third season under Kevin Wilson. It also is a young program that’s still developing and lacking a strong senior core. Still, there is some excitement for a program searching for its first bowl since 2007. To take that next step, the Indiana defense needs to improve—a lot. Hope floats for a program that may be on the verge of turning the corner.

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Today's links: Big Ten's changing hoops landscape

Tuesday it was Victor Oladipo. Yesterday, it was Cody Zeller. Now, what will Indiana look like with two of its biggest stars having turned pro? Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star takes a position-by-position look. Let’s start daily links there.

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Dienhart: Cody Zeller makes 'wise' choice

Victor Oladipo turned pro on Tuesday. It was Cody Zeller’s turn Wednesday. And, like Oladipo, Zeller made a wise choice. Zeller has accomplished a lot in two scant years in Bloomington, helping revive the Indiana program by leading it to its first outright Big Ten title in 20 seasons.

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Spring Preview: Ohio State's big expectations

The debut for Urban Meyer was smashing, as he led the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record in 2012. If not for being on NCAA probation, Ohio State would have been in the thick of the national championship race. The shackles are off this season—and expectations are sky high for a team that should have a terrific offense. How will the defense develop? That will be the key for a Buckeyes team that has legit national championship aspirations.

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Spring Preview: Talented Michigan eyes Big Ten title

Michigan came close to breaking through to the Big Ten title game last season in Year Two under Brady Hoke. But, alas, it didn’t happen—as a loss at Nebraska in which Denard Robinson got hurt proved to be detrimental. So, the program still is searching for its first Big Ten championship since 2004. It could come this season, if among other things, Devin Gardner proves to be the real deal and the defensive line develops. Yes, this is still a relatively young team, but it has lots of talent, potential and hunger as it begins life without Robinson, a Michigan icon.

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Today's web links: Football, NBA decisions & tweets

There are a lot of things to like about an Ohio State offense led by QB Braxton Miller. But the Buckeye offense will be even better if some big-play receivers step up. Could Michael Thomas be one of those guys? Let’s start links here.

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Dienhart: To no surprise, Oladipo headed to NBA

Victor Oladipo is turning pro. Please tell me you aren’t surprised.

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Today's links: What next for Michigan?

Michigan’s run for the national championship game up short. But the Wolverines have no shame in falling 82-76 to No. 1 overall seed Louisville. Have to start daily links right there. Michigan’s improbable march to the national championship game is evidence that the program is back among the nation’s elite—and it’s not going anywhere.

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7-year-old's magical TD scamper stays popular

Little Jack Hoffman has captured the attention of fans nation-wide. The 7-year-old Nebraska fan who is battling brain cancer got to run a play in the Husker spring game on Saturday, bolting around right end for a 69-yard touchdown run. It was the highlight of the day—not just in Lincoln, but across the nation. In case you missed it, check it out.

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Dienhart: 'Paint this season a success'

Michigan’s trip to the national championship game was further validation of the Big Ten’s greatness this season. But, without this journey to the summit of college basketball, I don’t think that would have been true.

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Quick Hit: Michigan denied first title since 1989

With Trey Burke saddled with foul trouble, Michigan was fueled in the first half by none other than Spike Albrecht, who had 17 points. Yes, 17 points. That helped the Wolverines hold a 38-37 halftime cushion, although it could have been more as they led by as many as 12 points. But Louisville turned up the heat in the second half, outscoring Michigan, 45-38, and holding Albrecht scoreless to win its third national championship (1980 and 1986).

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Dienhart: 9 keys to a Michigan victory tonight

Michigan will take on Louisville tonight, looking for the school’s first national title since the Wolverines knocked off Seton Hall in overtime in 1989. I’ve watched every Michigan game this tournament pretty closely, and plenty more during the regular season. Here are my nine keys to victory for No. 4 seed Michigan tonight vs. No. 1 seed Louisville.

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