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Latest Tom Dienhart News

2016 football schedule analysis: Wisconsin Badgers

The debut for Paul Chryst was a success, as Wisconsin posted a 10-win season capped by a nice bowl win vs. USC. But the Badgers failed to win the West despite playing a favorable Big Ten schedule. Now, the schedule flips on Wisconsin, which has one of the most challenging slates in the nation. [ MORE: Dienhart: Wisconsin Badgers’ offseason to-do list ] Can the Badgers overcome the myriad hurdles while breaking in a new quarterback and with a new defensive coordinator? Here is a look at Wisconsin’s 2016 schedule. Toughest non-conference game: vs. LSU, Sept. 3 (Lambeau Field). No

Big Ten links: Scroll through Tuesday's best headlines

Oakland coach Jack Del Rio thinks Connor Cook has a perfect situation with the Raiders. He just may be right, as Cook can develop behind Derek Carr. “It’s a perfect situation, he does not have to come in here and be the face of our franchise right away,” Del Rio told SiriusXM. “He has a chance to come in here and learn the playbook and become a good teammate and join this organization and do everything he can to help us be a better team by being at his best every day. That’s what we’re expecting from him.” Could Carr

Dienhart: My 4 biggest assistant coach hires in East Division

When Chris Ash arrived to help run the Ohio State defense as co-coordinator in 2014, he had an immediate impact—especially on the pass defense. [ MORE: A look at the West’s four biggest assistant hires ] Ash took over a defense that placed 112th in pass defense and 47th in total defense in 2013. In his first season, OSU’s defense ranked 19th nationally in total defense and 29th in pass defense. The Buckeyes also ranked fourth in the country with 24 interceptions en route to Big Ten, Sugar Bowl and national championships. In 2015, the Ohio State defense continued its

2016 football schedule analysis: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers is looking for a new start. And, it’s getting just that with the arrival of Chris Ash, who continues to put his stamp on the program after taking over for Kyle Flood. [ MORE: Dienhart: Rutgers Scarlet Knights’ offseason to-do list ] Ash has work to do after arriving from a gig as defensive coordinator at Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights need a lot of help, as Rutgers ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten in total defense in 2015 (462.0 ypg) and 12th in scoring (34.9 ppg) in 2015. The offense will be undergoing a scheme change, adding

Big Ten links: It's time scroll through Monday's best headlines

Lots of holes to fill on Michigan State’s defense, especially upfront with guys like Shilique Calhoun, Lawrence Thomas and Joel Heath gone. A key guy who needs to step up: redshirt freshman DT Raequan Williams. “Raequan Williams has serious athleticism for his size, and he has been getting better and better with his consistency and technique,” MSU co-defensive coordinator Mike Tressel said toward the end of spring drills. “When we got him he was, quite honestly, a little bit raw,” Tressel said of the Chicago product. “Any high school interior defensive lineman is not used to going against the guys

Dienhart: My 4 biggest assistant coach hires in West Division

Justin Wilcox. Jay Johnson. John Parrella. Ross Els. If you don't know their names now, you will next football season. BTN.com's Tom Dienhart writes why these four are the biggest assistant coach hires in the West Division this year.

Big Ten links: Catch up with Friday's news digest

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany talks (a little) about the ongoing TV negotiations saying, "We're interested in having great partners with great platforms who are interested in marketing and promotion." Also, Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes is stilling mulling over his NBA decision. And Jerry Kill has a new job at Kansas State. More in this post.

2016 Football Schedule Analysis: Penn State Nittany Lions

This is a big season for James Franklin, who has done a lot of good things his first two years in State College. But he’s just 14-12 overall and 6-10 in the Big Ten. And Penn State finished last season with four consecutive losses. The roster is now mostly full of his players and he has tweaked his staff. Will this lead to the Nittany Lions moving up the ladder in the rugged Big Ten East? A tough schedule looms, which only complicates matters. Here is my look at Penn State’s 2016 slate. [MORE: Penn State’s offseason to-do list ]

Big Ten links: Catch up with Thursday's Big Ten news digest

Minnesota’ football coach sees eight to ten wins in 2016 - agree or disagree? The Big Ten athletic directors met this week and expansion came up, of course. Hey look - Chris Spielman is coming to Fox! And a look at one school's plan to keep top football recruits from leaving that school's state. Catch up with our news digest.