Latest Tom Dienhart News

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

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Al Borges Film Session

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

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MarQueis Gray Talks Spring Football

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 Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Youngstown State Penguins at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Andrew Maxwell Interview - Michigan State Spring Football Game

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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Reader mail: IU-UK hoops & football answers

What about Indiana vs. Kentucky going away? How do think Wisconsin will do this year with a new quarterback? Wjhat do I think about the Penn State quarterback slot? Do I think the Big Ten will expand soon? You have questions, I have my answers in this week’s mailbag.

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Dream Team: Building My Best Big Ten Staff

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Al Borges Film Session

You just got hired to be a head coach at a Big Ten school. Your head is spinning as you give you’re opening remarks at a press conference, but there is no time to be giddy. You must build a coaching staff—and you only can do so by taking assistants from other Big Ten schools.

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Dienhart: Q&A With Minnesota's Jerry Kill

Minnesota Gophers head coach Jerry Kill looks on during warmups before a game against the Miami Redhawks at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Spring Game - Football Highlights

No matter where Minnesota’s Jerry Kill has coached, there has been one constant: winning. His eclectic head coaching resume includes Saginaw Valley State (1994-98); Emporia State (1999-2000); Southern Illinois (2001-07); Northern Illinois (2008-2010), and Kill has won at each and every stop.

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All-Spring Defense & Special Teams Honorees

Minnesota's Mike Rallis

Minnesota Spring Game - Football Highlights

Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart released his All-Big Ten Spring Offensive Team. Today, it’s time to recognize the best on defense and special teams. Which players shined the most from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa.? Dienhart talked to media, coaches and college officials across Big Ten country to get their views.

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All-Big Ten Spring Offensive Team

Michael Thomas

Ohio State Spring Game - Football Highlights

Big Ten spring practices officially ended last Saturday, with Michigan State and Wisconsin playing their spring games. What players shined from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa.? I talked to media, coaches and college officials across Big Ten country to get their views. With that, I unveil my All-Big Ten Spring offensive team. My defensive team will follow. See my offensive stars in this post.

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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Undrafted Team

Northwestern's Dan Persa

Dan Persa Feature

The 2012 NFL Draft came and went this past weekend, with a grand total of 41 Big Ten products being selected during the three-day event. Iowa’s Riley Reiff was the first player off the board, at No. 23, while Illinois, believe it or not, accounted for four of the Big Ten’s first six draft picks. But what about those players who went undrafted? They began signing contracts immediately following the draft. Here’s a complete list of Big Ten free-agent signees. In this post, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart compiles his All-Big Ten Undrafted Team.

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Monday's Football Headlines Worth a Look

The Spartans had an upbeat weekend scrimmage while the debate over a certain Michigan jersey stays alive. Two writers discuss Ohio State’s football outlook while another writer examines the Wisconsin kicking situation.  Here what I think about the football headlines buzzing around Big Ten nation on this Monday.

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Spring Game Central: Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Bret Bielema

Wisconsin Spring Game - Football Highlights

Wisconsin played its annual spring game Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, and while several key Badgers were on the sidelines, including stars Montee Ball and Chris Borland, it still looked strong. Watch highlights now and see our sideline interviews with Ball, Borland and former wide receiver Nick Toon, who was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draft, in this post. Also, see what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned from Saturday’s action and check out some of the best in-game tweets. You can watch the game again at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on BTN.

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Spring Game Central: Michigan State

Michigan State Celebration

All Access - Michigan State Spring Football Game

The Michigan State football team held its annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. It was an entertaining and insightful day in East Lansing, Mich., as Mark Dantonio gave BTN an all-access pass to the scrimmage. Watch now as Lisa Byington was allowed into the Michigan State huddle, plus get interviews and highlights from Saturday’s 14-2 decision in this post. Also, see what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned from the spring game and read some of the best tweets that were sent out during the action.

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Spartans & Badgers Spring Game Preview

Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell (24) celebrates after scoring a touchdown with center Travis Jackson (63) during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Badgers, Spartans Share Their Hail Mary Memories

The Big Ten wraps up spring drills this Saturday with Michigan State and Wisconsin being the last two schools to finish. And, in some ways, it’s fitting they punctuate spring practices in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans and Badgers met last season in the inaugural Big Ten title game, with Wisconsin pulling an exhilarating 42-39 victory. Earlier in the season the teams played perhaps the game of the year in the Big Ten, with Michigan State claiming a 37-31 win in East Lansing on a last-second Hail Mary pass from Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol that forever will be part of Spartan lore.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Indiana's Kevin Wilson

Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson walks sidelines during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Spring Football Roundup

No one told Kevin Wilson that the Indiana job was going to be easy. When he arrived from a highly successful stint as offensive coordinator prior to the 2011 season, Wilson found a Hoosier program that had been to one bowl (2007) since 1993. In that time, Cam Cameron, Gerry DiNardo, Terry Hoeppner and Bill Lynch came and went after Bill Mallory left after the 1996 season.

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