Latest Tom Dienhart News

Illinois: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012

Illinois' Terry Hawthorne

Tim Beckman - Gerry DiNardo Conversation Part 1

This is the best time of the year. This is the time of year when every team has a shot to win the Big Ten. The possibilities seem limitless, right? The games have yet to begin—heck, practices haven’t started—but great expectations loom from Minneapolis to Bloomington, and from Lincoln to State College. As a way to fuel the aforementioned enthusiasm on each campus, I will offer 10 reasons–in no particular order–to be excited for each Big Ten school. First up: Illinois.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part V

Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint

Ohio State at Michigan - Football Highlights

My ranking of all 96 2012 Big Ten football games has reached the finish line. It was a fun journey (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV), but now it’s time to take a look at the season’s top 20 games. Here’s an interesting fact: nine of the top 10 games involve a team from the state of Michigan. But which one is No. 1? Find out in this post.

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Reader Mail: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

A statue of Joe Paterno

PSU Board of Trustees Press Conference

You have questions, I have answers in the latest installment of my Big Ten reader mailbag. And this week, you want to discuss the bombshell developments out of the Freeh Report at Penn State in addition to some questions about the college football playoff and football schedules scheduling in the wake of the Big Ten/Pac 12 alliance dissolving. Read on and send me your thoughts and questions at the bottom of this post.

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Big Ten Links: Rounding Up Penn State Reactions

General view of Beaver Stadium as the lights illuminate the field to remember former Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Freeh Report

With the release of the Freeh Report and all of its damning revelations yesterday, reaction was swift and blunt.You know how I feel about the whole story. If you missed it, you can read it here. Each weekday I usually post a collection of links and tweets about stories worth a read – you can find my daily posts here. Today’s edition of my daily links focuses on Penn State. Here’s a look at how the Big Ten’s and nation’s leading pundits reacted. And, as you would suspect, it wasn’t pretty.

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Dienhart: 'I thought I knew ya, JoePa'

Joe Paterno died back in January. Today, his legacy perished. That makes me sad. And it should make you sad, too. Less than a year ago, Paterno was an American icon. He was one brick away from finishing a castle of coaching greatness as he zeroed in on the all-time win record for Division I coaching.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Nebraska OC Tim Beck

Nebraska's Taylor Martinez

Film Session with Nebraska's Tim Beck

The numbers last year for the Nebraska offense were decent. The Cornhuskers ranked fifth in the Big Ten in total offense (379.9 ypg); third in rushing (217.2 ypg); fourth in scoring (29.2 ppg) during a 9-4 season. The number that wasn’t so pretty? Passing, as Nebraska ranked 10th in the Big Ten (162.7 ypg). Only two schools (Penn State and Minnesota with 10 apiece) threw fewer touchdown passes than the Huskers’ 13 in 2011. Coordinator Tim Beck knows that. And he knows the overall numbers can be better.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part IV

Northwestern's Kain Colter

Northwestern at Nebraska - Football Highlights

Another day, another step closer to the finale of my countdown of the top 2012 Big Ten football games. Today, I’m looking at games 21-39. And tomorrow, of course, it will 1-20. Which game will be No. 1? You’ll have to wait. Earlier this week, I did games 40-59, 60-79 and 80-96. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units.

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Dienhart: 12 Newcomers to watch in 2012

Josh Ferguson

Lavonte David Breakdown

Every season, there are fresh faces that make impacts–true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers from four-year schools, junior-college transfers. And often times, the newcomers seemingly come out of nowhere to make big impacts. Perfect example: Lavonte David two seasons ago. Following is a look at one newcomer from each Big Ten team who has a good chance to make a significant impact this season. Consider this your chance to learn about these guys now.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part III

Penn State's Silas Redd

Penn State at Temple - Football Highlights

The countdown of my top 2012 Big Ten football games continues with games 40-59. That’s right, I’m ranking all the Big Ten games for this upcoming season. Yesterday, I did games 60-79, and the day before it was 80-96. I’ll continue to work my way to the top games each of the next two days. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Wisconsin OC Matt Canada

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

The Ultimate Montee Ball Highlight Reel

Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada realizes the situation he’s stepping into in Madison. He’s taking over an attack that ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in total offense (469.9 ypg), No. 1 in rushing (235.6 ypg) and No. 1 in scoring (44.1 ppg) last season under former coordinator Paul Chryst, who left to become head coach at Pitt following consecutive Rose Bowl trips in the 2010-11 seasons.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part II

Minnesota's MarQueis Gray

Illinois at Minnesota - Football Highlights

The countdown of my top 2012 Big Ten football games continues with games 60-79. That’s right, I’m ranking all the Big Ten games this season. Yesterday, I did games 80-96, and I’ll continue to work my way to the top games each of the next three days. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part I

Purdue's Robert Marve

Ohio State at Purdue - Football Highlights

Here’s a fun project: I am ranking each 2012 Big Ten football game, from 96 to 1. Up first today: 80-96. In the next four days, I will send in groups of 20. If you see anything crazy, let me know. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Illinois' Billy Gonzales

Billy Gonzales is ready for this. He’s ready to take the Illinois offense to the next level under new Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman. The Illinois attack struggled in the second half of last season in what was a bizarre campaign that saw Illinois open 6-0 and then lose six in a row before ending the year with a bowl win over UCLA.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan DC Greg Mattison

Michigan's Jordan Kovacs

Brandin Hawthorne Interception - Michigan Spring Game

No assistant coaching hire may have had as much impact as the arrival of Greg Mattison to Michigan as defensive coordinator prior to last season. Brady Hoke plucked Mattison from the Baltimore Ravens, where he served as defensive coordinator. And the results were swift and immediate during an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech.

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