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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Tom Dienhart answers your latest Big Ten questions

You have questions, and I have answers … some of the time. Here is the latest edition of my Big Ten Mailbag. As usual, the mailbag is 100 percent guaranteed. What team will be the favorite next season in Big Ten hoops? – Matt We still need to find out which players who have declared for the draft will stay in the draft. But knowing what we know, I think next year’s race should come down to three schools: Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana. The Spartans lose Denzel Valentine, Matt Costello, Deyonta Davis and Bryn Forbes, among others, but Tom

Big Ten links: NCAA tourney TV rights, spring football & more

What a mega deal the NCAA has inked with TBS and CBS for its basketball tourney, extending it for another eight years. The extension to the current deal — for a combined total rights fee of $8.8 billion — will keep the big game at Turner and CBS until 2032. Where does all that loot go? *** If you missed Jim Harbaugh’s rant about the banning of satellite camps, then you missed something. Per usual, he holds nothing back. And, he has many good points. *** A bummer to see Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis leave for the NBA after just

Here's a look at Illinois in the last 10 NFL drafts

The NFL Draft is fast approaching, taking place in Chicago from April 28-30. So, let’s take a look at how Big Ten teams have fared in the last 10 drafts, from 2006-2015. First up is Illinois, which hasn’t had any selections in the last two drafts. It marked the first time in program history that it failed to have a player selected two years in a row. (The other low point was from 1970-72, when just one Illini was selected.) The Fighting Illini also had no picks in 2006. The best bets to be picked this year are defensive end

Spring Football Q&A: Indiana defensive coordinator Tom Allen

In the first of a series of 2016 Big Ten spring football Q&A sessions, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart chats with Tom Allen, Indiana new defensive coordinator. They cover the 4-2-5 scheme, the challenges of the job in Bloomington, and who shaped Allen's coaching career.

Big Ten links: Spring football news, depth charts & much more

What are the biggest questions about Penn State before its Blue and White game? For me, quarterback, d-line and o-line are big questions. *** If you listen to Rutgers DE Quanzell Lambert, the Scarlet Knights will be more aggressive on defense. “The defensive scheme is definitely a lot more aggressive up front,” redshirt senior defensive end Quanzell Lambert said. “It’s more of a north game for the D-line instead of east-west and stunting and everything.” *** It seems the rule that has deregulated texting has caused some concern, as now schools can text a prospect as often as they want.

No new bowl games until 2019, at the earliest, is great news

This just in from the “What On God’s Green Earth Took So Long” department: According to an ESPN report, the NCAA has approved a ban on the creation of new bowls until 2019—at the earliest. Can I get an “amen”? This is about 10 years too late. But, at least this day has arrived, as the bowl excess has ended … for now. You see, it isn’t true: If a little is good, more is better. Look, I love blocking, tackling, eye black, neck rolls, chicken wings and marching bands as much as the next cargo-shorts-wearing American. But, the bowl

Dienhart: What I learned from Minnesota spring game

Tracy Claeys has put the wraps on his first spring practice as Minnesota coach. He’s looking to amp up a program that took a step back last year by going 6-7, the Gophers’ first losing mark since 2012. [ MORE: Watch a replay of the Minnesota spring game on BTN2Go ] It was a difficult season filled with challenges, as Jerry Kill stepped down after seven games to tend to health issues and Claeys eventually was made full-time coach after running things on an interim basis. He wasted little time putting his stamp on things by shaking up the staff,

Big Ten links: Desmond King, satellite camp reaction & more

Iowa CB Desmond King won the Jim Thorpe Award last year and could have entered the NFL. But, the Hawkeyes’ star opted to return for his senior season. In his first interview with Iowa media since the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, King said “it was the bond I have with my teammates here” that ultimately brought him back. Some NFL Draft projections had him going as a late first-round choice. King didn’t expand on the evaluation he received in late December, but said it was favorable. Great to see this guy back in Iowa City. *** Speaking of Iowa, here

Big Ten links: Dive into Friday's football news digest

In Friday's Big Ten news digest, our writer takes another spin around the football spring training camps with stories on Michigan's and Michigan State's linebackers, Wisconsin's receiver, and one story comparing J.T. Barrett to a former Big Tenn QB now in the NFL.