Latest Tom Dienhart News

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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BCS Takes Step Toward Football Final Four

Be prepared to say good-bye to the old Bowl Championship Series system. Or, perhaps you feel more like uttering “good riddance.” Either way, get ready to say “hello” to a college football playoff.

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Draft Predictions: Who May Get Picked?

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Kirk Cousins on NFL Draft Outlook

The NFL draft starts at 8 p.m. ET Thursday with the first round, continues Friday with rounds two and three before finishing Saturday with the final four rounds. For Big Ten players, questions linger. Which one will be the first off the board? Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff? Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus? Someone else?

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Dienhart: NFL Experts on Big Ten Talents

Iowa's Riley Reiff

Russ Lande Talks NFL Draft

If NFL teams are looking for linemen, they may look to the Big Ten often when the draft kicks off with the first round at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. The Big Ten’s top prospects with the best chance to hear their names called on Thursday are linemen: Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff; Wisconsin center Peter Konz; Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler; Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy; Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

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Dienhart: Tuesday's Best Big Ten Links

The Big Ten grid links that matter are right here. Come inside and get the latest headlines, from Matt McGloin to the YouTube videos John L. Smith doesn’t want any of us to remember to Michigan and Michigan State’s challenging schedules, among other things.

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Rank it: Top B1G non-con schedules

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Arizona State at Illinois - Football Highlgihts

Not all non-conference schedules are created equal, as you can see from my rankings, from 1-12, of the Big Ten non-league menus. Some are high calorie. Some are low-calorie. So, who has the toughest slate? And the easiest? Find out in this post. You can find all of my Big Ten football coverage here. Oh, and if you like rankings like this, you’ll want to check out this archive, where I’m ranking 2012 games, players and schedules.

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Check Out Monday's Best B1G Web Links

Three more spring games are in the books, as Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota punctuated their drills with games on Saturday. Michigan State and Wisconsin are the only schools left playing, with each conducting a spring game this Saturday when the NFL draft still will be going on.

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Dienhart: Gophers make "home run hire"

Norwood Teague

Norwood Teague New Minnesota AD

There’s a new leader at Minnesota. His name is Norwood Teague. And he arrives from VCU with a reputation as an astute handler of people who has business acumen and the all-important ability to raise money. Looks like a home run hire for an athletic department that needs good news, as its football and basketball programs have struggled in recent years.

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