Latest Tom Dienhart News

Friday's links: What's with these schedule changes?

Schools are changing and massaging schedules all the time. So, don’t flip out over recent revelations about Vanderbilt opting out of upcoming games with Ohio State and Northwestern. Now, the manner in which Vanderbilt informed each school (through the mail) wasn’t appropriate. But canceling a series? Not a big deal.

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Dienhart: My 12 questions for your 12 teams

Saturday is almost here. Here are my most pressing questions for each school as we kick it into overdrive and head into the second half of the 2012 football season. Also, catch “The Football Report” tonight at 7 p.m. ET as I’ll be making an appearance with Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin, and Tony banks.

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Week 8 Previews: Big Ten Legends battle brewing

In my preview of Saturday’s six games, I take closer looks at one big rematch (Nebraska at Northwestern), a pair of major rivalries (Michigan State at Michigan, Minnesota at Wisconsin), two more with some intriguing recent history (Penn State at Iowa, Purdue at Ohio State), and a non-conference game with a Big Ten team hungry for a win (Indiana at Navy).

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Debate it: Will Michigan State go bowling?

A week or so ago, it would have been crazy to entertain such a topic. But with a 4-3 record and a grueling slate of games remaining, will Michigan State get bowl eligible? It’s a fair question, especially when one takes a look at the team’s final six games: at Michigan, at Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern and at Minnesota.

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Big Ten Links: On 'backers, buckets & big battles

In today’s batch of Big Ten Links, I open with a good look at Ohio State’s struggling defense, which allowed a combined 87 points the last two weeks. That’s no secret, and as Bill Rabinowitz writes today in the Columbus Dispatch, a big reason for the struggles is the lack of strong linebacker play. Attrition through transfers, injuries, and position switches has chipped away at the unit’s depth.

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Mailbag: What's up with Ohio State's defense?

You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my prediction on who will meet in the second annual Big Ten title game and address Ohio State’s struggling defense. And don’t be afraid to send questions for future Mailbags. Or you can send them my way on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).

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Big Ten Links: What will season's second half bring?

The second half of the Big Ten season has to be better than the first half, right? Well, that’s what Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald is thinking. There have been few—if any, honestly—impressive non-conference victories. Michigan State over Boise State is probably about it, but there have been plenty of embarrassing losses. And when the first BCS standings were released last Sunday, not one Big Ten team appeared in them.

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Week 8: We predict all six Big Ten games

Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After seven weeks, it’s Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 8 predictions and choose your winners in this post.

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Heisman watch: Mark gets back in conversation

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller continues to strengthen his Heisman candidacy—not just in the Big Ten, but nationally. West Virginia’s loss at Texas Tech hurts the resume of quarterback Geno Smith, but he remains in the race. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein continues to roll, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o also is in the mix.

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Big Ten links: Another Wrigley game would be fun

Nebraska plays at Northwestern this Saturday in Evanston, but that venue could change in the future. Why? Money. A lot of people could make a lot of it if Nebraska played Northwestern in venerable Wrigley Field. And, it could happen, according to Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald.

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Best of Week 8: It's Denard v. Narduzzi Part III

This shapes up as an interesting week, with two key Legends Division clashes on a Big Ten menu that has six games. The headline clash is Nebraska at Northwestern.

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Dienhart: My Week 8 Big Ten bowl projections

Northwestern became the first Big Ten team to reach bowl eligibility with its 21-13 win at Minnesota. Wisconsin also enhanced its bowl prospects with a dominating 38-14 win at Purdue, as the Badgers now look like the clear favorite to represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten title game.

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Dienhart: Mark Weisman latest AIRBHG victim

Looks like the Iowa running back hex continues. Sophomore sensation Mark Weisman didn’t appear on the depth chart released today by the school. He apparently hurt his right ankle in the Hawkeyes’ 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State last week after running 26 times for 116 yards.

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Big Ten Links: What's ahead for contenders?

My first Big Ten Links of the weeks takes a look at how Wisconsin reloads on the offensive line. Losing star left tackle Ricky Wagner with a knee injury at Purdue hurts, but the Badgers front didn’t skip a beat with left guard Ryan Groy slipping into the spot. The result: Wisconsin ran for almost 500 yards on the Boilermakers.

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Power Rankings: Badgers, Ball making moves

Montee Ball and the Wisconsin offense sure look like they are back. While still not nearly as explosive as last season’s unit, the offense has found its footing. After all, it went for 645 yards of offense in its 38-14 win at Purdue.

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