Latest Tom Dienhart News

Week 1 Preview: Michigan State vs. Boise State

In a great non-conference matchup of ranked opponents, Michigan State hosts Boise State on Friday night. Let’s take a look at some quick notes. This year at BTN.com our editors are rolling out something a little different when it comes to game coverage where we create a new post for each quarter of every football game. For this Minnesota game, those posts will live in the Michigan State vs. Boise State section and that page will be updated after each quarter.

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Debate it: Who has best shot at BCS title game?

The Big Ten has gone four consecutive seasons without fielding a team in the BCS title game. Is this the year the streak gets snapped? The Big Ten enters the 2012 season with four teams ranked in the top 16 of the Coaches Poll, led by No. 8 Michigan, so the opportunity is there. But which team is most likely to make this season’s BCS title game?

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Week 1 Preview: Minnesota at UNLV

Here’s a quick look at Thursday night’s season opener in Las Vegas as Minnesota travels to play at UNLV. This year at BTN.com our editors are rolling out something a little different when it comes to game coverage where we create a new post for each quarter of every football game. For this Minnesota game, those posts will live in the Minnesota vs. UNLV section and that page will be updated after each quarter.

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Let the Big Ten football predictions begin

The 2012 Big Ten football season kicks off with Minnesota visiting UNLV late Thursday night. The Week 1 slate continues Friday, as Michigan State takes on always dangerous Boise State, and wraps up Saturday with the conference’s remaining 10 games, including Michigan battling reigning national champ Alabama.

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Q&A: Nebraska's Rex Burkhead

Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead (22) in action against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first quarter of the 2012 Capital One Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Rex Burkhead Fall Tour Interview

When the discussion of top Big Ten running backs comes up, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball almost always is mentioned first—and rightly so, coming off a spectacular 2011 that saw him be a Heisman finalist. Michigan’s Fitzgerald Toussaint and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell usually are mentioned next. And then there is Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead, who seemingly always gets lost in the conversation. The senior may be the top back in the Big Ten this season.

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Big Ten Mailbag: Big Test Ahead for Michigan

I’ve enjoyed answering questions in my mailbags since I started as BTN.com’s senior writer. Now that the 2012 football season is upon us, I’ll be posting them every Wednesday right through the Big Ten Championship.You can always send a question to me on this mailbag page 24/7 because we love to hear from fans. Don’t have a question but you do have a comment? I welcome those as well.

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Dienhart: Week 1 To Answer My Big Ten Questions

This is the first edition of a new weekly post where I will look at one key question for each team in a piece called: 12 Teams, 12 Questions. I’ll roll these out every Tuesday and look forward to hearing what you think about your team and your team’s games.

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Dienhart: A fun look back at the BTN bus tour

Penn State Practice

Tom Dienhart's Take Away on Wisconsin

The BTN crew spent almost three weeks on the road travelling over 3,000 miles on visits to every Big Ten training camp. We saw a lot of football, talked to a lot of coaches and ate a lot of bananas and beef jerky on our super-deluxe tour bus that was tricked out with two color TVs, two fridges and Wi-Fi that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. Two cases of Red Bull and a box of Twizzlers later, I put a punctuation mark on the 2012 BTN bus tour with a fun look at our circuitous journey from Lincoln to State College—and points in between.

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BTN Tour Mailbag: Iowa in the B1G title game?

Iowa's James Vandenberg

James Vandenberg Fall Tour Interview

Our annual summer journey across the Big Ten is over, and what a trip it was. From Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa., we saw all 12 Big Ten teams practice and had a chance to catch up with all the coaches and players. Read our tour coverage here and watch the video here.

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Dienhart: My thoughts from Michigan practice

The final stop on our annual summer football tour was Thursday, and we spent the day in Ann Arbor, Mich., checking out Brady Hoke’s talented Michigan team. I had many observations from the practice, none bigger than Denard Robinson looked more comfortable than ever under center. He’s such a dangerously quick athlete who can legitimately score any time he touches the ball. His skills were on full display today. But more importantly, Robinson looked better as a passer—when he was able to set his feet, which always is key for him.

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Web Links: A list of college football's powerful people

We’re down to the final stop of the annual BTN summer football tour. Today, we’re taking in Michigan practice, and then we’re headed back home. It’s been an incredible trip across the Big Ten footprint, and it’s been great to see all the teams, all the coaches and all the campuses. Read all my tour coverage here and check out Thursday’s web links in this post.

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Dienhart: What I Saw at Michigan State Practice

The BTN Football Tour took us to Michigan State practice on Wednesday, and I watched for a number of things. First, quarterback Andrew Maxwell is looking good as he threw the ball well today. Maxwell also showed nice touch on his passes. And his arm looked good on passes down the sideline and on posts.

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Web Links: A list of things to watch in Big Ten in 2012

Two stops remain on BTN’s annual summer bus tour. Today, we’re at Michigan State, the reigning Legends Division champ, and then we head to instate rival Michigan before heading back to Chicago. It’s been a fun journey across the Big Ten landscape. Read all my tour coverage here and check out Wednesday’s web links in this post.

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Football Tour: Prepping for Spartans' practice

The BTN bus heads back west, trekking toward East Lansing, Mich., where on Wednesday we will check out a white-hot Michigan State program that has won 11 games in each of the last two seasons. Watch the Michigan State Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Thursday.

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BTN Tour Mailbag: Ohio State & much more

Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We saw Ohio State practice Saturday (recap), and excited Buckeye fans sent me their questions. Read all of my answers to your latest Big Ten questions in this post. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). We’re at Penn State practice Monday (preview).

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Dienhart: Meyer, Ohio State Shaping Up To Be Tough

There were many things to watch at Ohio State today in what was as physical a practice as I have seen on our trip. The practice-ending scrimmage had the intensity of a game and featured a lot of hitting. I spent a lot of my attention focused on an offense since in 2011 Ohio State had the worst passing numbers in the Big Ten. Now, Urban Meyer has installed a spread scheme for a team that opened at No. 18 in the AP poll on Saturday.

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Dienhart: My thoughts from Illinois practice

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase moves well, which he showed today in practice. He always has had good feet and is one of the more athletic signal-callers in the Big Ten. He also threw the short pass well, which is key in this spread offense that is predicated on quick decisions and intermediate toss.

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