Latest Tom Dienhart News

Tuesday's Links: Big Ten Talks Over Playoff

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league athletic directors will meet today in Chicago to discuss a playoff, our colleague Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune writes. A four-team playoff appears imminent. But issues need to ironed out before a playoff can begin with the 2014 season. Chief among them: 1. How to pick the teams. 2. Where to play the games. In this post I look at that story and some others, including a few bowl tidbits in Tuesday’s Big Ten links (full archive here). Football news and lovely weather. Isn’t life good?

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten Running Backs

Is there a conference with a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten? Maybe not. The group instantly became one of the best in the nation when Wisconsin’s Montee Ball announced he would return for his senior season. Add it all up, and 12 of last season’s top 13 rushers are back. The only departure: Iowa’s Marcus Coker, who transferred to FCS Stony Brook after ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,384 yards in 2012.

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Analyzing Ohio State's 2012 Schedule

It’s time to turn our attention to Ohio State in my schedule analysis series, as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Buckeyes. My previous schedule analysis posts are still available as we’ve now covered Illinois through Ohio State. The rest come out this week. Agree or disagree with any of my assessments? Come tell me in the comments section, or find me on Twitter and Facebook. See my Ohio State analysis in this post.

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Monday's Links: Who Makes College HOF?

On Tuesday, the College Football Hall of Fame will announce its latest round of enshrinees. And three Nebraska players are on the ballot: quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier, along with linebacker Trev Alberts. Crouch likely won’t make it since this is his first time on the ballot. But Frazier appears to have a good shot. In fact, I am flummoxed by the fact he didn’t make it last year. Just a shameful omission, as detailed by the Lincoln Journal Star’s Brian Christopherson.

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Analyzing Northwestern's 2012 schedule

Now I turn my attention to Northwestern as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Wildcats. They’ve got two challenging home games and a back-to-back set on the road that rivals any two-game stretch in the Big Ten. I circle the game on the calendar that could be the toughest and easiest for Pat Fitzgerald and his team this fall.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten QBs

The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?

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Week In Review: Where Does Your Coach Rank?

Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars.  And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here.

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Analyzing Nebraska's 2012 schedule

In my latest schedule analysis, I take a look at the Nebraska Cornhuskers. What are going to be their toughest non-conference and conference games? Where is the schedule seemingly easiest, and then when does it get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post and see what I picked.

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Big Ten Q&A: Michigan's Al Borges

Michigan was one of the nation’s most surprising teams last season under first-year coach Brady Hoke. The Wolverines finished 11-2, capping the remarkable season with a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech. Some of the credit for Hoke’s remarkable debut has to go to offensive coordinator Al Borges.

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Dienhart: WR Arnett Cleared to Play by NCAA

Michigan State received great news today when the NCAA granted a waiver to receiver DeAnthony Arnett that will allow him to play this fall after transferring from Tennessee. A native of Saginaw, Mich., Arnett wanted to play closer to home to be near his father who has had health issues.

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Thursday Links: More Football Playoff Chatter

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. Good idea? Bad idea? I’ll tell you what I think, then you tell me what you think, but only after you check out my take on Thursday’s selected Big Ten football headlines.

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Let's Rank 2012's Big Ten Backup QBs

On one hand, he’s often the most popular player on campus. On the other hand, you may not even know his name. He’s the backup quarterback. If he’s pressed into duty, it usually means one of two things: 1. The starter got hurt. 2. The starter was, ahem, ineffective. Knowing all this, it’s time for you to get to know your school’s No. 2 signal-caller. Here’s is how I rank ‘em.

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Analyzing Minnesota's 2012 schedule

Jerry Kill enters his second year as Minnesota’s head football coach and the challenges of the 2012 season are clear. What is one must-win game? When could the Gophers possibly pull off an upset?  What could be the bumpiest stretch for Kill and Company? I lay it out here in my latest team-specific schedule analysis.

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Analyzing Michigan State's 2012 Schedule

Michigan State’s 2012 football schedule is an interesting one, partly because of what happens right from the start. And you can be sure there is a very rugged three-game stretch in the second half of their season. This post on the Spartans is just the latest in my series analyzing the upcoming schedules by Big Ten school. Have a look at my previous posts, and I’ll have the rest of them rolled out in the coming days.

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Dienhart: Ranking My Top Big Ten Tandems

When it comes to fabulously famous tandems, there have been many over the years. TV’s Captain Kirk and Spock. Literature and film’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. You see where I’m going. Each individual helps make the duo’s value greater than just the sum of their parts. What are the best tandems in the Big Ten? Glad you asked.

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Analyzing Michigan's 2012 Schedule

The latest in my series examining the 2012 football schedules: Michigan. Previously, I covered Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Find them all right here now and moving forward

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Reader mail: IU-UK hoops & football answers

What about Indiana vs. Kentucky going away? How do think Wisconsin will do this year with a new quarterback? Wjhat do I think about the Penn State quarterback slot? Do I think the Big Ten will expand soon? You have questions, I have my answers in this week’s mailbag.

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Which Football Playoff Idea Do You Prefer?

While America is falling in love with the possibility of a four-team playoff, the Nebraska president favors a plus-one. Really. In fact, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman says a plus-one is the favored format among many leaders at Big Ten and Pac-12 schools.

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Dream Team: Building My Best Big Ten Staff

You just got hired to be a head coach at a Big Ten school. Your head is spinning as you give you’re opening remarks at a press conference, but there is no time to be giddy. You must build a coaching staff—and you only can do so by taking assistants from other Big Ten schools.

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Dienhart: Analyzing Illinois' 2012 schedule

In the coming weeks, I will take a close look at each Big Ten football team’s schedule, offering insight and analysis on what is ahead for each school. Up first: Illinois.

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Ready, set, click Wednesday's best web links

What’s going on around the Big Ten football landscape today? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart links you to Wednesday’s best Big Ten headlines in this post.

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Dienhart: Q&A With Minnesota's Jerry Kill

No matter where Minnesota’s Jerry Kill has coached, there has been one constant: winning. His eclectic head coaching resume includes Saginaw Valley State (1994-98); Emporia State (1999-2000); Southern Illinois (2001-07); Northern Illinois (2008-2010), and Kill has won at each and every stop.

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All-Spring Defense & Special Teams Honorees

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart released his All-Big Ten Spring Offensive Team. Today, it’s time to recognize the best on defense and special teams. Which players shined the most from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa.? Dienhart talked to media, coaches and college officials across Big Ten country to get their views.

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All-Big Ten Spring Offensive Team

Big Ten spring practices officially ended last Saturday, with Michigan State and Wisconsin playing their spring games. What players shined from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa.? I talked to media, coaches and college officials across Big Ten country to get their views. With that, I unveil my All-Big Ten Spring offensive team. My defensive team will follow. See my offensive stars in this post.

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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Undrafted Team

The 2012 NFL Draft came and went this past weekend, with a grand total of 41 Big Ten products being selected during the three-day event. Iowa’s Riley Reiff was the first player off the board, at No. 23, while Illinois, believe it or not, accounted for four of the Big Ten’s first six draft picks. But what about those players who went undrafted? They began signing contracts immediately following the draft. Here’s a complete list of Big Ten free-agent signees. In this post, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart compiles his All-Big Ten Undrafted Team.

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