Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Is Illinois-Penn State rivalry growing?

With Illinois sending coaches to State College, Pa., to be available to talk to Penn State players interested in transferring out of the Nittany Lions program, there could be a growing rivalry between the schools. Does Beckman think things will be more intense than usual when Penn State plays at Illinois on Sept. 29?

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Dienhart: Coaches Discuss Penn State Situation

Most coaches were asked about recruiting Penn State players after a recent report  that Illinois had assistant coaches at Penn State, presumably to recruit Nittany Lions who are eligible to transfer to any school and play immediately. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t doing it. Neither is Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema. But other Big Ten coaches are recruiting Nittany Lions—or wouldn’t be opposed to it.

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Dienhart: Leaders Division Takes A Hit

The Leaders Division has a unique situation in that just four of the six teams will be eligible for the conference title with Ohio State and Penn State ineligible due to NCAA probation. Does that mean things will be easier for Wisconsin in its run to defend it division crown?

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Dienhart: Bielema Embraces Rivalry

It can be argued that Wisconsin and Michigan State have become the top programs in the Big Ten. The teams met in the inaugural Big Ten championship game and have won a combined 44 games the last two seasons. No Big Ten schools can match that. Wisconsin has advanced to the last two Rose Bowls, while Michigan State has won 11 games each of the past two seasons and claimed a share of the 2010 title. So, is this a burgeoning rivalry?

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The List: Big Ten Players to Watch

The Big Ten has released its second annual Players to Watch list and here it is. What do you think? Whenever a list is this short, some deserving players will be omitted. Follow all of our Big Ten Media Day coverage today.

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Dienhart: 101 questions for Big Ten media days

Big Ten media days kick off on Thursday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by the Fourth Estate, 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 2012 season. See all 101 of my questions in this post. Have any other ones you want me to ask a player or coach? Send it to me in the comment section at the bottom of this post or tweet it to @BTNTomDienhart.

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Big Ten web links: Wednesday's top clicks

Big Ten media days kick off on Thursday in Chicago. Get all the latest Big Ten web links in this post.

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Michigan State: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

These are high times in East Lansing, as Michigan State has gone an aggregate 22-5 the past two seasons (14-2 in the Big Ten) under Mark Dantonio with a share of the 2010 league crown and the 2011 Legends Division pennant. And Dantonio has taken the Spartans to a bowl in each of his five seasons, as he has the program playing as well as it has since the glory days of the 1960s.

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FAQ: Penn State football players' options

The NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State rocked the program. And the effects will be felt for years. Scholarship cuts, postseason bans … the list went on. Another aspect of the penalties will allow any player on the Penn State roster to transfer to another school and be immediately eligible. Typically when a player transfers from one FBS school to another, he has to sit out a season. Not so for Nittany Lion players.

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Big Ten Web Links: More Penn State reaction

News about the NCAA sanctions against Penn State dominated the headlines Monday. Seemingly everyone around the nation had a take, and for the most part agreed with the severe sanctions levied by NCAA prez Mark Emmert. But here are a few aspects of the story that didn’t get as much play. For starters, amid the penalties it was announced that any players already on the Penn State roster could transfer to any school immediately and be eligible. This is devastating news for the Nittany Lions.

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Dienhart: What's Next for Nittany Lions?

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State football never will be the same. Not after today. Not after NCAA czar Mark Emmert strolled to the dais in the Palmer E. Pierce Room in the NCAA headquarters early on this Monday morning and delivered Penn State’s punishment for covering up the atrocities of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case.

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Dienhart: Remember Lessons, Not Statue

It’s a simple mantra that we all should live by: Do the right thing. Joe Paterno didn’t do it. But the decision makers at Penn State are by opting to remove the Paterno statue. Thank you. Oh, the JoePa bootlickers, apologists and loyalists rallied around the statue of their false god, worshiping Paterno in some sort of twisted religious fashion. The sycophants guarded their bronzed deity and laid flowers at its feet, adorning the area around it with signs of support.

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Reader Mail: Can Spartans drop Wolverines again?

You have questions. And, of course, I have answers. It’s time for my latest Big Ten Mailbag and my readers brought some solid questions this week. What’s on your mind? Football, naturally. In this week’s edition, I’m asked if Michigan State can continue its dominance over instate rival Michigan and if a Big Ten city could bid for the national championship game? See all of my answers to your questions in this post. And, as always, thanks for all of the questions!

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Big Ten Daily Links: See Friday's best clicks

It’s Friday … it’s late July … but the Big Ten football news never sleeps.

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Michigan: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Brady Hoke’s debut couldn’t have gone much better last season. The moribund three-year Rich Rodriguez tenure saw Michigan go 15-22 (6-18 Big Ten) and left many disappointed. The program hit historic low points in many respects, as the Wolverines fell from the Big Ten elite. But Hoke changed all of that quickly with an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.

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Big Ten Links: Where Does QB Miller Rank?

Storms all over the Midwest so be careful out there, people. Now here’s my look at Thursday’s Big Ten football news, including this video where the great Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Ohio State’s Braxton Miller is one of the Big Ten’s top quarterbacks. Lesmerises is correct, and let me tell you why.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi

Quarterback Kirk Cousins was the face of Michigan State’s 11-3 season in 2011 that concluded with a win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl. But make no mistake about it: defense was the Spartans’ calling card. Credit coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who is one of the hottest assistants in the nation. Michigan State had the No. 1 defense in the Big Ten—and No. 6 in the nation–last season (277.4 ypg). The unit also led the conference in rushing defense (100.5 ypg), interceptions (18) and third-down defense (.337).

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Iowa: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Kirk Ferentz knows what it’s like to be the best. He had his Iowa program among the Big Ten’s best from 2002-04, when the Hawkeyes went an aggregate 31-7 with two Big Ten titles. But since then, Iowa has just one double-digit victory season (2009). With that, I present 10 reasons for Iowa fans to be excited about the 2012 season playing in an uber-tough Legends Division. Earlier, I offered up 10 reasons why Illinois and Indiana fans should be excited.

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Debate It: Discussing 9-Game Schedule Idea

Now that the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to put the kibosh on its scheduling plan across all sports, the Big Ten has a decision to make when it comes to future football schedules. Will the conference remain at eight conference games, or will it move to nine? Prior to the previous announcement with the Pac-12, it looked like the Big Ten was entertaining the latter.

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Indiana: 10 reasons To Be Excited in 2012

In my ongoing summertime look at our 12 Big Ten football teams (see my football schedule analysis here, my latest one-on-one interviews here, and all sorts of fun rankings here), I am presenting my ways to to fuel enthusiasm about football on each campus.  I served up 10 reasons why Illini fans should be excited about football in 2012 on Monday. Now it’s time to get Hoosiers fans fired up.

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Big Ten Links: Tuesday's Football Roundup

What are people talking about in Big Ten football circles on this hot, hazy Tuesday across Big Ten country?

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Dienhart: Q&A with Indiana DC Doug Mallory

Indiana assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Doug Mallory knows a good defense can be built at Indiana.

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Illinois: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

This is the best time of the year. This is the time of year when every team has a shot to win the Big Ten. The possibilities seem limitless, right? The games have yet to begin—heck, practices haven’t started—but great expectations loom from Minneapolis to Bloomington, and from Lincoln to State College. As a way to fuel the aforementioned enthusiasm on each campus, I will offer 10 reasons–in no particular order–to be excited for each Big Ten school. First up: Illinois.

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Tracking Monday's top Big Ten web links

Start your week off right with some of the latest Big Ten football stories. I post my daily links every weekday morning, and you can see the complete archive here. Have a worthy link? Send it to me in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). Enjoy Monday’s sampling!

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part V

My ranking of all 96 2012 Big Ten football games has reached the finish line. It was a fun journey (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV), but now it’s time to take a look at the season’s top 20 games. Here’s an interesting fact: nine of the top 10 games involve a team from the state of Michigan. But which one is No. 1? Find out in this post.

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