Latest Tom Dienhart News

Week 8 Previews: Big Ten Legends battle brewing

Nebraska Cornhuskers defender Baker Steinkuhler (55) cheers against Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter (2) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Northwestern won 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Pat Fitzgerald Talks With "#BTNLive"

In my preview of Saturday’s six games, I take closer looks at one big rematch (Nebraska at Northwestern), a pair of major rivalries (Michigan State at Michigan, Minnesota at Wisconsin), two more with some intriguing recent history (Penn State at Iowa, Purdue at Ohio State), and a non-conference game with a Big Ten team hungry for a win (Indiana at Navy).

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Debate it: Will Michigan State go bowling?

Mark Dantonio

Denicos Allen Picks James Vandenberg

A week or so ago, it would have been crazy to entertain such a topic. But with a 4-3 record and a grueling slate of games remaining, will Michigan State get bowl eligible? It’s a fair question, especially when one takes a look at the team’s final six games: at Michigan, at Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern and at Minnesota.

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Big Ten Links: On 'backers, buckets & big battles

Ohio State Buckeyes running back Zach Boren (44) talks to head coach Urban Meyer during the spring game at Ohio Stadium. The Scarlet team won the game 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ten Alum Talk Rivalries on "The Next Level"

In today’s batch of Big Ten Links, I open with a good look at Ohio State’s struggling defense, which allowed a combined 87 points the last two weeks. That’s no secret, and as Bill Rabinowitz writes today in the Columbus Dispatch, a big reason for the struggles is the lack of strong linebacker play. Attrition through transfers, injuries, and position switches has chipped away at the unit’s depth.

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Mailbag: What's up with Ohio State's defense?

John Simon

Shane Wynn 76 Yard TD Catch

You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my prediction on who will meet in the second annual Big Ten title game and address Ohio State’s struggling defense. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).

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Big Ten Links: What will season's second half bring?

Nebraska Cornhuskers defender P.J. Smith (13) celebrates his pass interception with Will Compton (51) during the game against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Memorial Stadium in the first half. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ten Blast: Oct. 17th Afternoon Update

The second half of the Big Ten season has to be better than the first half, right? Well, that’s what Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald is thinking. There have been few—if any, honestly—impressive non-conference victories. Michigan State over Boise State is probably about it, but there have been plenty of embarrassing losses. And when the first BCS standings were released last Sunday, not one Big Ten team appeared in them.

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Week 8: We predict all six Big Ten games

Matt McGloin

Jake Ryan "#BTNLive" Interview

Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After seven weeks, it’s Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 8 predictions and choose your winners in this post.

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Heisman watch: Mark gets back in conversation

Venric Mark

Mark Bursts Up the Middle for 48-Yard TD

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller continues to strengthen his Heisman candidacy—not just in the Big Ten, but nationally. West Virginia’s loss at Texas Tech hurts the resume of quarterback Geno Smith, but he remains in the race. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein continues to roll, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o also is in the mix.

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Dienhart: My Week 8 Big Ten bowl projections

Kain Colter

Mark Bursts Up the Middle for 48-Yard TD

Northwestern became the first Big Ten team to reach bowl eligibility with its 21-13 win at Minnesota. Wisconsin also enhanced its bowl prospects with a dominating 38-14 win at Purdue, as the Badgers now look like the clear favorite to represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten title game.

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Big Ten Links: What's ahead for contenders?

Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Groy (79) during the game against the Northern Iowa Panthers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Northern Iowa 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ten Blast: Oct. 15th Afternoon Update

My first Big Ten Links of the weeks takes a look at how Wisconsin reloads on the offensive line. Losing star left tackle Ricky Wagner with a knee injury at Purdue hurts, but the Badgers front didn’t skip a beat with left guard Ryan Groy slipping into the spot. The result: Wisconsin ran for almost 500 yards on the Boilermakers.

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Power Rankings: Badgers, Ball making moves

Montee Ball

Montee Ball Talks Postgame About Record-Setting Day

Montee Ball and the Wisconsin offense sure look like they are back. While still not nearly as explosive as last season’s unit, the offense has found its footing. After all, it went for 645 yards of offense in its 38-14 win at Purdue.

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How did we do? Week 7 picks revisited

Brutus

Week 7 Sights and Sounds

Before we turn our attention to Week 8, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 7 predictions. Dienhart led the way, at 4-1, good enough to move him into sole possession of first place in the season standings. BTN.com fans and myself both went 3-2.

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Dienhart: What I learned in Week 7

Jake Ryan

Week 7 Sights and Sounds

It’s safe to say, the two teams in Michigan are headed in opposite directions. And it’s happening just in time for the annual rivalry game. Fresh off a 45-0 victory over Illinois, the Wolverines are beginning to assert themselves, while the Spartans suffered their third home loss of the season. See what else I learned in Week 7 Big Ten action in this post.

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Dienhart: Iowa game looms large for Spartans

Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Skyler Burkland (70) celebrates the victory over the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Michigan State defeated Indiana 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Tom Dienhart Talks Bowl Projections

The time is now for Michigan State. There is a sense of urgency around this week’s visit from Iowa. In fact, the game almost has a “must-win” aura about it. The Spartans are 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. After this game with the Hawkeyes, Michigan State will embark on its most arduous phase of the season, playing at Michigan and at Wisconsin before coming home to play Nebraska and Northwestern.

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Friday's Links: No Mauti on Lombardi list?

Michael Mauti

Big Ten Blast: Oct. 12th Morning Edition

Is there a conspiracy theory as to why Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti was snubbed by the Lombardi Award in the quarterfinal round of balloting? Or maybe it wasn’t a snub. Maybe it was just plain, good old incompetence. David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News explores as only David Jones can. That’s one of the many Big Ten Links I present to you on this wonderful Friday.

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Week 7 Previews: Leaders Division battle tops list

Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Four Downs: Illinois at Michigan Preview

Having taking a long, hard look at each Saturday’s five Big Ten football games, I’m offering up my weekly rankings of the games here. Wisconsin at Purdue is a big one in a weird season for the Leaders Division while Iowa at Michigan State offers up two Legends Division teams looking to stabilize their seasons.

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Big Ten Links: Rounding up the latest headlines

Joel Stave

Big Ten Blast: Oct. 11th Afternoon Update

The Wisconsin offense appears to perhaps be turning a corner after some early season tumult that saw the offensive line coach fired and the staff make a quarterback change. There have been many keys to the slow ascent. One key: quarterback Joel Stave is given the option to “tweak” plays—not necessarily totally change them—at the line based on the defense he sees.

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