Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: It's Big Ten Mailbag time

Stagg Trophy

Big Ten Blast: Jan. 5th Afternoon Update

You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. Many of you are still in football mode, wondering about the recently completed bowl season—while also wanting to sneak a peek toward 2012. Here we go.

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Dienhart: Early NFL entrants may be few

The Big Ten already has seen two top underclassmen officially declare for the draft: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. And one report has Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy bolting (read the report), while many speculate that Wisconsin RB Montee Ball will opt for the NFL, too.

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Dienhart: My Big Ten Bowl Honor Roll

The bowl season is over, with the Big Ten forging a 4-6 mark in the postseason. Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois all scored victories. Wisconsin and Ohio State lost close games, while Northwestern’s comeback against  Texas A&M came up just short and Iowa fell as well. Penn State? Nebraska? Maybe they will do better next season. Here’s a look at the best of the bowl season in my Honor Roll. Tell me what you think in the comments at the end of my post.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the Sugar Bowl

Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Michigan’s exciting overtime victory over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday in this post.

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Sugar Bowl Preview: Michigan vs. Va. Tech

Michigan's Denard Robinson

Brady Hoke 24 Hours Before Sugar Bowl

Brady Hoke has Michigan back in a BCS bowl game for the first time since a Rose Bowl berth after the 2006 season. The Wolverines, a BCS at-large selection, take on Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See everything in this post. Also, read all of Dienhart’s bowl columns and catch up on all the bowl action thus far, including the Big Ten’s first nine games, on our 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the Outback Bowl

Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Michigan State’s thrilling triple-overtime victory over Georgia in the Outback Bowl on Monday in this post.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the Gator Bowl

Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Ohio State’s loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Monday in this post.

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Dienhart: Rose Bowl matchup analysis

The Rose Bowl is nearly 24 hours away. All the talking has stopped and it’s time to focus on the game. Find Tom Dienhart’s breakdown and analysis of the matchups that will take place on Monday in the Rose Bowl between Wisconsin and Oregon in this post.

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Rose Bowl Preview: Wisconsin vs. Oregon

Wisconsin and Oregon are no strangers to the Rose Bowl. The Badgers are making their second consecutive trip to the Granddaddy of Them All, while the Ducks are back for the second time in three seasons. Both teams are fresh off their respective conference title games, and both can score points in a hurry. Like many seasons before, the Rose Bowl should be one of the more exciting bowl games of the year. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Gator Bowl Preview: Ohio State vs. Florida

There’s a good chance the Gator Bowl will be the most talked-about and viewed bowl involving a pair of six-win teams since, well, ever. The Buckeyes (6-6) are still led by Luke Fickell despite Urban Meyer’s hiring, and they’ll play Meyer’s old team, Florida, at 1 p.m. ET Jan. 2. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Capital One Bowl Preview: Nebraska vs. SC

Nebraska entered the season with dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl, but following a three-loss season, it gets a pretty nice consolation prize: The Capital One Bowl. The Huskers will face South Carolina, of the mighty SEC, at 1 p.m. ET Jan. 2. It figures to be a good game between two talented teams and two respected head coach, Bo Pelini and Steve Spurrier. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Outback Bowl Preview: MSU vs. Georgia

Ten wins. A Legends Division title. And no BCS bowl. For the second consecutive season, Michigan State won 10 games, claimed some kind of Big Ten title – a division crown this year – and is left on the outside looking in when it comes to the BCS. The Spartans will play Georgia on Jan. 2 in the Outback in a game that pits the Big Ten and SEC title game losers. It’s also a rematch of the 2009 Capital One Bowl. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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TicketCity Bowl Preview: PSU vs. Houston

It’s been an historic year for the Penn State football program but for all of the wrong reasons. The Nittany Lions head into Dallas to face the high-octane offense of the Houston Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl at noon ET on Jan. 2. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Dienhart: Breaking down the Car Care Bowl

Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Northwestern’s loss to Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Saturday afternoon in this post.

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Dienhart: 12/31 Rose Bowl Notebook

Wisconsin's Montee Ball

Bret Bielema - Rose Bowl Media Day Interview

LOS ANGELES – A win in the 98th Rose Bowl would serve as missing validation Wisconsin and Oregon have been searching for in recent years. Each program has league championships and myriad victories to show off over the last 10-12 years. But BCS bowl victories?

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Fight Hunger Bowl Preview: Illinois vs. UCLA

Illinois raced out to 6-0 start and a national this season only to lose the next six games before Ron Zook was dismissed as head coach.  The Fighting Illini (6-6) take on UCLA (6-7) in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. Like Illinois, UCLA fired their head coach this season. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Dienhart: Car Care Bowl of Texas Preview

Northwestern makes a school-record fourth straight bowl trip when it plays Texas A&M at noon ET Dec. 31 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post. Also, view our entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.

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Dienhart: Breaking Down the Insight Bowl

Iowa fell to Oklahoma 31-14 in Friday night’s Insight Bowl and the Hawkeyes really missed RB Marcus Coker, who was suspended earlier this month for breaking team rules. Coker was the nucleus of the Hawkeye attack, ranking 14th in the nation in rushing (115.3 ypg) with 15 touchdowns. Iowa went with a running back-by-committee approach that had mixed results, running 37 times for 76 yards (2.1 ypc). My pregame prediction was Oklahoma 34-21 – not too shabby – but I also learned a few things from this game.

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Dienhart: Odd protest for Illini assistant coaches

News that three Illinois assistant coaches may boycott Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is disappointing, as reported late Friday by the Chicago Tribune. Joe Gilbert, Chip Long and Jeff Brohm may not coach in the bowl against UCLA on Saturday because they claim they were unaware that they had signed one-year deals. Instead, the trio says it had been told it had inked two-year contracts.

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