Latest Tom Dienhart News

Chat archive: Dienhart discussed Bowls, Heismans

BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart talked bowls and Heisman trophies in his latest online Q&A. BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina joined him an they took reader questions. Read the transcript below and check back in with Dienhart all week on his mailbag page.

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Dienhart: Quick Look at Big Ten Bowl Matchups

The Big Ten is bursting with bowl teams, as a record 10 schools are headed to the postseason. The Big Ten has two teams in the BCS for the seventh season in a row. And its 10 bowl eligible teams are the most since 2007.

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Dienhart: Two Teams Deliver One for the Ages

INDIANAPOLIS – The notion of three yards and cloud of dust was trashed on this night. Instead, the inaugural Big Ten championship game was a celebration of yards, points–and more yards and points. And a running into the kicker penalty on Michigan State that killed the Spartans’ last hope to score to rally for the winning score.

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BTN.com's Big Ten Title Game Tweets

We followed BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) and Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) live from the site of the first Big Ten Football Championship game as they tweeted details and photos from the event. We spotlighted their tweets in the post below. Click inside and stay in touch with our guys.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Football Notebook

INDIANAPOLIS-Michigan State is hungry for its first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1987 season. It also is motivated to earn some respect. This is a program that has the best league record in the Big Ten over the past four years. This is a program that has won 10-games in consecutive seasons for the first time ever and is aiming for its first back-to-back Big Ten titles since 1965-66.

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Five keys to Saturday's Big Ten Championship

The first meeting between Michigan State and Wisconsin was an epic encounter that most consider to be the game of the year in the Big Ten. The Badgers raced to a 14-0 lead before seeing the Spartans go on a tear to lead 23-14 at halftime. Michigan State pushed its lead to 31-17 early in the fourth quarter before Wisconsin rallied to tie the game, 31-31.

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Dienhart: What Does A Title Game Mean to Big Ten?

The Big Ten finally has a showcase event to cap its football season, kicking off the inaugural Big Ten championship game this Saturday at 8:17 p.m. ET in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with Legends Division champ Michigan State playing Leaders Division champ Wisconsin.

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Dienhart: Which direction will Illinois' search go?

Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas hired two football coaches when he ran Cincinnati’s athletic department, looking to the MAC ranks on each occasion in first tabbing Brian Kelly from Central Michigan and then Butch Jones from the same school. But he’ll surely have an open mind in replacing Ron Zook.

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Dienhart: Examining Penn State's coaching needs

The shadow of Joe Paterno will forever engulf the Penn State head coaching job as the man spent the past 46 years roaming the sidelines in State College, Pa., as head coach. One thing is for sure about the next coach, at least in my mind: I don’t think there can be any ties to Penn State or Paterno. Sorry, Tom Bradley. It also would shut the door on Al Golden, a former Penn State tight end and assistant coach who recently signed an extension at the University of Miami.

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Dienhart: Experts give title contenders scouting report

Intriguing matchups abound in the Big Ten title game. How will Michigan State’s stellar defense deal with Wisconsin’s super-charged ground game? Can the Badgers slow down the hot hand of Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins? Will Michigan State be able to run against an underrated Wisconsin defense? I talked to some Big Ten coaches to get their frank, off-the-record comments about how they attacked and defended the two Big Ten teams that will meet on Saturday night in Indianapolis in the inaugural Big Ten title game.

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Dienhart: My Pre-Championship Big Ten Mailbag

You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag leading up to the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship. Questions about Michigan State’s All-Big Ten picks, Big Ten expansion and, of course, the league title game highlight this week’s mail bag.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the matchups II

Yesterday, I compared the offensive and defensive lines, offensive backfields and receiving corps for Michigan State and Wisconsin as they prepare for the Big Ten title game (read the post). Today, I look at the linebackers, defensive backfields, special teams, coaching staffs and intangibles for the Spartans and Badgers. Which team holds the edge in each category?

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Dienhart: Meyer is Ohio State's man

There is no arguing with Urban Meyer’s resume. It’s sparkling. It’s glistening. Meyer is 104-23 (.819 winning percentage) in 10 seasons as a head coach. And on the big stages, he’s even better, boasting a 7-1 bowl mark (4-0 in BCS games) with national championships in 2006 and 2008.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the matchups

With the Big Ten championship game matchup set, it’s time to start looking at Wisconsin and Michigan State from a unit by unit standpoint. Who has the edge on the offensive line? Defensive line? Offensive backfield? Receiving corps? We take a look today.

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Live chat: Answers from BTN.com's Dienhart

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart chatted with readers Monday (check out his previous chats in the BTN.com chat archives).  Look back at the Q&A he conducted with Big Ten football fans and be sure to read his work all week long.

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Meet the 2011 Big Ten Title Game Teams

P4RB. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It doesn’t mean anything to you. But it means everything to Michigan State. Its meaning: Prepare For the Rose Bowl. And it has become a motivating acronym for the Spartans in their improbable quest for the Big Ten championship and trip to Pasadena.

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Illinois fires head coach Ron Zook

In the end, Ron Zook couldn’t make Illinois a consistent winner. So, the school announced today that it’s turning the page by firing him after seven seasons. The Zook era will be remembered for tremendous highs and lows, finishing with a 34-51 mark and two bowls. The zenith of his tenure was a trip to the Rose Bowl following the 2007 season, the program’s first junket to Pasadena since the 1983 season. That year, Illinois finished as Big Ten runners-up and knocked off an unbeaten Ohio State team on the road.

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Dienhart: Spartans, Badgers by the numbers

So, the stage is set. It will be Michigan State, representing the Legends Division, and Wisconsin, representing the Leaders Division, in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday in Indianapolis. The two teams met earlier this season, with the Spartans winning a last-second thriller on Oct. 22. To help preview the rematch, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart considers most important numbers for each team in this post.

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Dienhart: Michigan Wins "The Game"

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – None of the Michigan players were allowed to forget how many days had passes since the Wolverines last beat Ohio State. A countdown clock in the Michigan locker room screamed out the embarrassing fact: 2,926 days.

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Dienhart: Week 13 Snap Reactions

Following the action every Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down what every game, every result means for the teams involved and the Big Ten itself. See Tom’s Week 13 Snap Reactions in this post.

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Dienhart: What to Watch for Saturday

There are many things to keep your eyes on this weekend. Can Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson pass effectively vs. a tough Penn State defense? Is Ohio State’s defense capable of slowing down Michigan’s ground game? Can Nebraska slow down Iowa RB Marcus Coker? Those are just a few of the things to watch for on Saturday. I offer up 12 things to look for Saturday, the final weekend of the Big Ten football season.

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Dienhart: Big Ten Football Picks

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart rolls out his final week of regular season picks for all of the Big Ten football games.

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Dienhart: Previewing Saturday's Games

This is it, the final weekend of the season. Penn State will play at Wisconsin to decide which school will represent the Leaders Division vs. Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten title game. Michigan is looking to end Ohio State’s run of seven wins in a row in their iconic rivalry. Purdue is looking to win back the Old Oaken Bucket and become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007. Iowa and Nebraska kick off the start of what could become a great rivalry. And Illinois is looking to end a five-game losing streak before the postseason. Following below is my look at all six Big Ten games this Saturday.

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One-on-one: Ryan Van Bergen, Michigan

The turnaround has been remarkable. Last year, Michigan finished last in the Big Ten in passing defense (261.9 ypg) and scoring defense (35.2 ppg) and 10th in rushing defense (188.9 ypg). This year, the Wolverine defense is No. 5 (316.0) in the Big Ten overall, vs. the run (131.6) and vs. the pass (184.4). And one of the reasons for the turnaround is end Ryan Van Bergen.

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Dienhart: My Weekly Mailbag is Up

As we get closer to the Big Ten Football Championship, I’m seeing more and more mail on the end-of-season awards, bowl games and tiebreakers. I even got my first basketball question! I love to get your notes and encourage you to keep them coming. The more mail the better. Now let’s get to this week’s answers …

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