Latest Tom Dienhart News

Hit the Links: Surfing Across Today's Big Ten News

Delivered my usual Big Ten news analysis and links this week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Now, it”s Friday. So before you try to cut out early to avoid this guy asking you to come to work over the weekend, check out these extra-super-terrific Big Ten grid links. Your life will be changed forever.

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Dienhart: My Top 10 Big Ten Tight Ends

The tight end spot continues to evolve into a more prominent position across the football landscape, as teams are featuring them more often as vertical passing threats.

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Analyzing Wisconsin's 2012 Schedule

In my last Big Ten football schedule analysis post, I examine Wisconsin, your defending Big Ten champions. What will be the Badgers’ toughest non-conference and conference games? Where does the schedule get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post to what else I picked.

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Thursday's Links: More Big Ten Meetings Buzz

News continued to pour out of Chicago as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league’s athletic directors wrapped up meetings highlighted by discussions of a playoff—among other juicy topics. Let’s dig in.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten WRs

Who will be the best receiver in the Big Ten? It’s a difficult question. The position lost a lot of good talent after last season. How much?

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Analayzing Purdue's 2012 Schedule

Next up in my schedule analysis series: Purdue. What will be the Boilermakers’ 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. You can find all of my Big Ten schedule analysis posts here. All of the teams are included except for Wisconsin, which you can look for Thursday.

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Wednesday's links: More playoff talk

We are talking playoffs today. That’s correct, Jim Mora … playoffs. An honest-to-goodness playoff. Feel free to rub your eyes and shake your head.

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Dienhart: One-on-one with UW's Chris Ash

When you think of Wisconsin, offense usually comes to mind. Big, tough physical lines blocking for a strong running game. But the Wisconsin defense deserves credit for the program’s consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. The Badgers had the Big Ten’s No. 3 defense (316.4 ypg) in 2011 and allowed just 19 points per game (13th in the nation). I talked with co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash—who is in his second as co-coordinator working in concert with Charlie Partridge–to get his breakdown of the Badger defense. See the Q&A in this post.

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Dienhart: 'Frazier gets the nod from me'

The outcry came about a nanosecond after the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductees were announced: How come Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier didn’t get elected? I wish I had an answer. But, alas, I don’t. It remains a mystery of the universe—and a Titanic miscarriage of justice. I am a member of the National Football Foundation, and thus a voter for the Hall. And Frazier gets the nod from me. The guy, without a doubt, is the greatest quarterback in the history of one of America’s greatest college football programs.

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Analyzing Penn State's 2012 Schedule

In my latest Big Ten schedule analysis post, I take a look at the Penn State Nittany Lions, which are under the direction of a new coach for the first time since 1966. What will be Penn State’s 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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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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