Latest Tom Dienhart News

Tuesday's links: Big Ten Columnists discuss playoff

The college football world was abuzz with analysis and opinion about the Big Ten’s stance on a playoff, which the conference discussed during a conference call on Monday.

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Dienhart: 2012 Big Ten receiving unit rankings

Lots of questions loom on receiving corps across the Big Ten. The top seven pass catchers from 2011 are gone: Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins; Iowa’s Marvin McNutt; Northwestern’s Jeremy Ebert; Michigan State’s B.J. Cunningham; Wisconsin’s Nick Toon; Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin; Minnesota’s Da’Jon McKnight.

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Debate it: 2012 Big Ten scoring leader

In the coming days, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina will tackle all the important football statistical categories and offer their predictions for the 2012 Big Ten leader. Up first: Scoring. See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your winner, too.

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Monday's Web Links: There's more playoff talk!

Playoff talk dominates the headlines on this Monday, as we move closer to a June 20 meeting when all the leagues will convene to hammer out details of a likely four-team playoff to begin in 2014.

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Mailbag: Are Buckeyes worthy of all the praise?

You have questions, and I have answers. With the calendar turning to June, the focus is on football, as you can see from the questions below. Answering these queries got me thinking: Are Michigan State and Ohio State the best teams in the Big Ten? Find out in this post. Also, have you checked out my 2012 weekly schedule analysis series, which just reached Week 13 yesterday, or my archive of Big Ten rankings?

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 13

We’ve reached the end of the road with my super-early schedule analysis for every week of the 2012 college football season. The last week of the Big Ten Football season is, more times than not, dominanted by one thing: Michigan vs. Ohio State.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Running Backs

When Montee Ball opted to return for his senior season, he solidified Wisconsin as a Big Ten favorite and himself as a Heisman Trophy front-runner. Ball also cemented the Badgers’ status as having the Big Ten’s top collection of running backs. And perhaps the best collection in the nation. Here is how I rate the Big Ten running back units, which are a strong collection of talent with 12 of last season’s top 14 rushers back.

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Friday's Links: Playoff talk & scheduling notes

What does the SEC want when it comes to college football playoff? Wisconsin new quarterback is ready to get going, and Ohio State made a schedule adjustment. There’s no better way to end your work week than by getting caught up on your Big Ten football information. Just click, read and enjoy. It’s almost as easy as making microwave popcorn.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 11

The more I really dig into each week of the 2012 Big Ten college football season with my schedule analysis, the more excited I get about football. In this post I look at Week 11 with my usual categories: top expected stories, my game of the week (hint: it involves the two teams in the video in this post), best quarterback and coordinator matchups, my upset alert, and my game rankings.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Quarterbacks

Every championship team needs a good quarterback. And it’s also helpful to have a decent backup, as injury often is commonplace in this era of running signal-callers.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 10

Another day, another opportunity to look ahead to the 2012 college football season. Today, I continue to explore each week of the Big Ten campaign with a detailed look at Week 10. Be sure to catch these games: Nebraska at Michigan State and Penn State at Purdue. Don’t remember what happened the last time the Huskers and Spartans battled? Watch the highlights now. Oh, and don’t forget to look back at my first nine weekly schedule previews. Find Week 10 in this post.

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Wednesday's Links: Let's talk Heisman Race

The calendar hasn’t even flipped to June, but some already are talking Heisman Trophy. Why not? I found one writer who lists his top candidates. Read what he wrote and tell me what you think.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 9

My preview of Week 9 in the 2012 Big Tenn football season explores a number of very intriguing angles, including the rematch between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Watch this video to relive last year’s regular season thriller and dive deeper into this post to see the Big Ten Championship highlights. All 12 schools are in action for the first time since Week 3, and this looks like perhaps one of the best weeks on the schedule. If you want to look back at my first eight weekly schedule previews, look at my Schedule Analysis section. Find Week 9 in this post.

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Tuesday's Links: Honors, Rankings & More

A look at what’s buzzing in Big Ten football circles as you rebound from a gloriously hot Memorial Day weekend.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Assistants Primed To Move Up

In recent years, several assistants have gone directly from Big Ten schools to launch head coaching careers. Wisconsin and Michigan State have been the most fertile proving grounds of late as Pitt’s Paul Chryst (Wisconsin offensive coordinator) and Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren (Wisconsin defensive coordinator) came directly from Bret Bielema’s Badger staff the last two seasons.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 8

I continue to explore each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season with a look at Week 8. Check out these games: Michigan State at Michigan. Penn State at Iowa. Nebraska at Northwestern. Yeah, it’s a going to be another good one. If you want to look back at the first seven weekly schedule previews, look at my Schedule Analysis section. Find Week 8 in this post.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 7

Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’m taking a super-early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. I’ve already completed the first six weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6 – and now it’s time to take a look at Week 7. Find it in this post.

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Dienhart: Ranking the 2012 Defensive Backs

The secondary looks like a strong position in the Big Ten in 2012. Four of the eight defensive backs named first- or second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches in 2011 are back: Michigan State’s Johnny Adams and Isaiah Lewis, Ohio State’s C.J. Barnett and Purdue’s Ricardo Allen. Three named first- or second-team by the media return: Iowa’s Micah Hyde, Lewis and Adams. With three selections, Michigan State is well-represented in my ranking of the top 10 defensive backs in the Big Ten for 2012.

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Dienhart: Q&A With Michigan State's Mark Hollis

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is on a roll. Since assuming command in 2008, Hollis has developed some of the most unique events in college sports in recent years, including staging a basketball game on an aircraft carrier last November.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 6

Football season can’t come soon enough. To help get everyone ready for the 2012 season, I’m taking a very early look at each week’s slate of games. I’ve already done the first five weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5 – and now it’s time to consider Week 6. Find it in this post.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 5

People keep telling me they’re ready for football.  OK, but don’t ignore summer just yet. Still, I’m going to keep rolling out my 2012 Big Ten football season schedule analysis by week with Week 5 right here. Oh, you missed the first four? Then please allow me to introduce you to Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.

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Friday Links: Did Vandenberg Get Snubbed Again?

It’s Friday. And you know what that means: The weekend is near. I may be from the old school but working for the weekend never gets old to me. So before you hop in that sweet VW Rabbit, pop this song into your 8-track and drive home, check out my take on the Big Ten football news links in this post. Please.

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Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 4

I’m continuing my super-early look at each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season as a way to preview the entire campaign. Here’s my Week 4 schedule analysis in this post and watch our feature on Michigan State’s memorable 2010 win over Notre Dame now. And you can catch up by looking back now at my Week 1, Week 2 Week 3 posts.

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Dienhart: Q&A With Iowa's Greg Davis

After years of stability under Kirk Ferentz, the Iowa coaching staff has undergone a big transformation. How big? For the first time since taking the job in 1999, Ferentz will have new coordinators. Defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired, while offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe left to take a job with the Miami Dolphins. Ferentz promoted defensive backs coach Phil Parker to run the defense. But Ferentz went outside the Iowa family when it came time to find an offensive coordinator and hired Greg Davis.

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Thursday's Links: Dreaming Up A Penn State Start

Just like clockwork, your daily Big Ten football links are here. Some interesting stuff, including talk of Penn State perhaps being a sleeper and a look at Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten grid teams. Life is good, people.

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