Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Q&A with Northwestern's Mike Hankwitz

Northwestern is riding an unprecnedented wave of success that has seen the Wildcats go to a school-record four bowls (Alamo, Outback, TicketCity, Meineke Car Care) in a row. But to take the next step and become a contender in the rugged Legends Division, the Wildcats need to improve on defense under sage coordinator Mike Hankwitz.

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Debate it: 2012 Big Ten interception leader

Purdue's Ricardo Allen

Brandin Hawthorne Interception - Michigan Spring Game

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten reception leader, the eighth in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Next up: Interceptions. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader, too.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten special teams

Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah

Fresno State at Nebraska - Football Highlights

It’s the third component of every team. It’s also the most overlooked component. It’s special teams. And it’s often the difference between winning and losing. So, pay attention to these rankings, from 1 to 12, of the Big Ten special teams. Oh, and don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings. Don’t agree with the rankings? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me: @BTNTomDienhart.

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Debate it: 2012 Big Ten reception leader

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten receiving TDs leader, the seventh in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up next: Receptions. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader, too.

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Debate it: 2012 Big Ten receiving TD leader

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten receiving yards leader, the sixth in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Next up: Receiving touchdowns. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader.

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Dienhart: What makes Michigan-Alabama even bigger

How big is Michigan’s season-opening game vs. Alabama in Arlington, Texas? It’s huge. It’s gargantuan. It’s Titanic. It’s epic. It’s a monstrosity. Not just for the Wolverines, but for the Big Ten and its image.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten secondaries

Michigan State's Johnny Adams

Christian Bryant Interception - Ohio State Spring Football Game

Big Ten defensive backfields are loaded with talent, including cornerbacks like Michigan State’s Johnny Adams, Iowa’s Micah Hyde and Purdue’s Ricardo Allen, along with safeties like Ohio State’s C.J. Barnett, Michigan State’s Isaiah Lewis and Michigan’s Jordan Kovacs. And some of the units figure to rank among the best in the nation, including those at Ohio State, Michigan State and Nebraska.

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Reader Mail: Big Ten Fans Review Our Rankings

You have questions? Yes, you do. And, of course, I have my answers. It’s time for my latest Big Ten Mailbag and my readers brought some great heat this week. What’s burning your brain? My myriad player and unit rankings, which seem to have rankled some of you who think I have gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Not true. I’m sane … and I’m a Quisp man.

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Today's Big Ten Links: News, notes & more

Here’s a question to ponder before logging off today and heading to Joe’s American Bar and Grill for some margherita flatbread, ahi tuna salad and karaoke: Can Ohio State go unbeaten this season? I’m serious. The guys at ESPN.com are asking. Also in today’s Big Ten headlines, I can’t think of a better way to end your work week than by reading this fantastic story on Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and the son who helps him keep life in perspective. A moving piece by the great Matt Hayes.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Linebackers

Chris Borland

Chris Borland interview - Wisconsin Spring Football Game

Linebacker play in the Big Ten should be strong this season, led by players like Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor, Penn State’s Gerald Hodges, Illinois’ Jonathan Brown and Michigan’s Kenny Demens, among many others. But which Big Ten schools have the best linebacking corps? Find out in my Big Ten unit rankings in this post. Don’t agree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings.

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Debate it: 2012 Big Ten rushing yards leader

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor and blogger Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten leader in passing TDs, the third in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Now up: Rushing yards. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Defensive Lines

Illinois' Michael Buchanan

Pat Narduzzi Film Session

The trenches are where games are won–ask any coach. And the Big Ten, led by a strong crop in the Leaders Division, has some good defensive fronts that will rate among the best in the nation. Where does your Big Ten school’s defensive line rank? Check out my entire list in this post. Don’t agree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Minnesota's Matt Limegrover

It’s a building process. Minnesota offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover knows that. He’s been through this before with Golden Gopher head coach Jerry Kill at Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Emporia State, where he joined Kill in 1999 and hasn’t left. Limegrover became offensive coordinator in 2001, when Kill and his staff took over at Southern Illinois. I caught up with Limegrover to talk about his offense and how it’s developing as he heads in Year Two with the Golden Gophers.

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