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Latest Tom Dienhart News

2016 spring football preview: Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin is aiming to get back to the summit in the Big Ten West. But there is work to do as Paul Chryst begins his second season in Madison coming off a 10-3 debut and second-place finish in the West. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten spring football coverage ] Key personnel is gone. And the coaching staff has been impacted with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaving for a fat raise and the same post at LSU after leading a unit that led the Big Ten in scoring defense (13.7 ppg) and total defense (268.5 ypg) in

Big Ten links: Big Ten tourney talk, Big 12 expansion & much more

This upcoming Big Ten tourney looks to be a wide-open affair … so says Tom Izzo. “Do I think we’re good enough to be one of the teams considered? One hundred percent,” Izzo said. “Do I feel comfortable? Zero percent. I just don’t.” Izzo is correct. This looks to be an open race in Indy. MSU, IU, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa all have legit chances to win. *** Jarrod Uthoff is Iowa’s first All-American in 19 years. How about that?! Uthoff was named a third-team all-American by USA TODAY on Monday, the first of many honors expected to be

Bracketology: A look at experts' mock brackets as we head to Indy

The regular season is over. Let’s check to see how the Big Ten looks in the mock brackets of Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Joe Lunardi of ESPN. [ MORE: Big Ten tourney bracket | BTN analysts pick award winners | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Bracketology | Standings | Stats | Scores ] Indiana was a big winner this week. Conversely, Michigan has fallen off the brackets and will have work to do in the Big Ten tourney. So, for now, the Big Ten is a six-bid league. JERRY PALM No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 16 Hampton,

Dienhart: Lovie Smith hire means 'future is now' for Illinois

New Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman showed the league he means business about exacting change—now—by firing Bill Cubit on his first day on the job and hiring Lovie Smith two days later. [ MORE: Twitter: Illinois football family reacts to Love Smith hiring ] The future is now. No sense in waiting to turn the page. It’s all about authoring a better tomorrow in Champaign for a consistently underachieving program. So, Whitman felt Cubit wasn’t the future. And, he acted. With lightning speed and authority by inking Smith to a six-year deal that will pay him $2 million annually for

Big Ten links: Lovie Smith hire, Ohio State replacements & more

In the span of three days, Illinois fired and hired a coach. Lovie Smith brings instant credibility. Bob Asmussen has pros and cons to Smith’s hiring. There is great opportunity in Champaign. It will be key how Smith shapes his staff. Who will be his coordinators? And key recruiters are ultra-vital. And, the guy who got fired, Bill Cubit, was shocked—to say the least—about getting canned after making over his staff in the offseason. “Just shock, it really is,” Cubit told IlliniInquirer.com on Saturday afternoon. “My biggest thing really is No. 1 the players and then No. 2, it’s the

Dienhart: My best of final week of Big Ten regular season

The regular season is over. Now, it’s off to Indianapolis for the Big Ten tourney, where top seeds Indiana and Michigan State look like the teams to beat. [ MORE: View the official Big Ten tourney bracket ] Before we turn all of our focus to the tourney at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, let’s take a look at the best of the last week of the regular season. Best win: Rutgers vs. Minnesota. There were several big wins by the contenders, but it has to be the previously winless Scarlet Knights’ 75-52 win vs. Minnesota on Saturday. The blowout victory snapped

Dienhart: 'This is a fun, exciting ... and scary time for Illinois'

Illinois is turning the page … again. [ MORE: Miss Josh Whitman’s press conference? Watch it on BTN2Go ] New A.D. Josh Whitman isn’t wasting any time in putting his stamp on the program, dropping a bomb by firing Bill Cubit on Saturday, his first official day on the job. What’s next for Illinois, a school that since 2011 will have had four football coaches, three athletic directors and two hoops coaches? Illinois’ football program remains mired in tumult. Just last August, then A.D. Mike Thomas fired Tim Beckman a week before the season started amid allegations he had mistreated

2016 Spring Football Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Change is the operative word at Rutgers, as Chris Ash continues to put his stamp on the program after taking over for Kyle Flood. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten spring football coverage ] Ash has work to do after arriving from a gig as defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Good thing his area of specialty is defense, as the Scarlet Knights need a lot of help on that side of the ball. Rutgers ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten in total defense in 2015 (462.0 ypg) and 12th in scoring (34.9 ppg). The back seven

Big Ten links: Catch up on Friday's football headlines

Athlon ranked the top 25 football players in the Big Ten - can you guess who is No. 1? Also, Jim Harbaugh got some more attention on Twitter. One writer says Minnesota made a mistake keeping Jerry Kill involved in the program. These stories and more in Friday Big Ten news digest.