Latest Tom Dienhart News

Crucial 3-game stretch for Purdue begins

Michigan is coming to Purdue to play a big football game (4 p.m. ET, BTN/BTN2Go). Saturdays like this aren’t commonplace in West Lafayette, Ind. Big basketball games? They happen almost every winter in this hamlet tucked just off I-65 an hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago. But big football games? They have been sparse in the last, oh, generation. So, pardon the natives if they aren’t accustomed to the fuss of a big football Saturday.

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Week 6 previews: Close looks at all 5 games

There are plenty of storylines for this weekend’s batch of games, including a very intriguing game for Nebraska in Columbus. Does Ohio State stay perfect? Is this the weekend when Northwestern and Purdue win over a doubting sports press corps? What’s in store for Illinois when they kick off in Madison? I preview all five Big Ten games in this post.

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Debate it: Best RB not named Le'Veon Bell is ...

When talking best running back in the Big Ten, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina agree it’s Le’Veon Bell. Through five games, Bell leads Big Ten backs in yards (655 – yes, he also has most carries) and ranks in the top two in receptions (20) and receiving yards (125). He’s also a terrific blocker.

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Daily Links: Who's up & who's down this week?

Let’s just say it isn’t a great year for Big Ten quarterbacks. In fact, according to David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the conference’s signal-callers are at the bottom of the barrel. In other headlines in my daily links, we look at stories on Ohio State’s improved linebacker play, Iowa’s defensive uptick, and a fascinating comparison of the Buckeye and Husker programs through the years. Let’s dive in.

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Mailbag: When will Boilers, 'Cats get respect?

You have Big Ten questions, and I have answers. In this week’s Mailbag, I offer my answers on when Northwestern and Purdue will start to get respect and how the Big Ten could fare this bowl season. 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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Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

In many respects, Michigan’s season starts now. The 2-2 non-conference record? The ugly losses to Alabama and Notre Dame? Forget about them.

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Big Ten links: Meyer, Pelini go way back

Bo Pelini vs. Urban Meyer. The matchup has juicy possibilities this Saturday night when they square off at Ohio State. And the two have some history. Meyer was a Buckeye graduate assistant coach in 1986-87, which were Pelini’s first two years as an Ohio State defensive back. The two also have met three times as coaches, from 2005-07, when Pelini was LSU defensive coordinator and Meyer was Florida head coach. And Pelini’s teams went 3-1 against Meyer’s teams.

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Week 6: We predict all five 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.

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Dienhart: Week 6 Big Ten questions

Another Saturday looms. And, I have questions. Here are my most pressing queries for Big Ten teams entering Week 6, the second week of conference play. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.

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Tuesday's Links: How is this race shaping up?

The great Pat Harty of the Iowa City Press-Citizen takes the temperature of the Big Ten race. Did you see that video of Iowa players celebrating Saturday? Urban Meyer says Ohio State did nothing wrong with that game film. And at 0-1 in the Big Ten, Wisconsin seems to be in familiar territory. We take a look at those stories and more in today’s Big Ten Links.

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Week 6 Bowl Projections: Illinois off latest list

Five weeks are in the books, and the bowl picture is coming into a bit sharper focus … a bit. To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.

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Big Ten Links: Huskers prep for Buckeyes

Nebraska’s 30-27 win over Wisconsin offers much to build on, but there also remains a lot to fix following the 17-point comeback, according to the great Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald. The Cornhuskers may not have fallen behind and struggled early against the Badgers if they cut down turnovers and limit penalties. There will be little room for error in the game at Ohio State this Saturday in what shapes up as the latest “Game of the Year” in the Big Ten. Read more Big Ten links in the rest of my post.

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Week 6 Power Rankings: Ohio State stays on top

Ohio State solidified its case for the top spot in my Week 6 Power Rankings, this after going into East Lansing at knocking off Michigan State. But what about the rest of my list? See my latest rankings in this post. Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below or tweet me (@BTNTomDienhart).

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How did we do? Big Ten Week 5 picks revisited

Before we turn our complete attention to Week 6, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 5 predictions. BTN.com fans went 5-1 and Tom and I went 4-2, meaning the fans have moved into sole possession of first place in the season standings. After five weeks, BTN.com fans are 41-11, one game ahead of Tom. I’m bringing up the rear, at 39-13.

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Tom's Top 10: Forget about 'Film Gate'

And then there were two. The first week of Big Ten play saw previously undefeated Minnesota suffer its first loss of the season. That leaves Ohio State and Northwestern, both 5-0, as the Big Ten’s lone remaining perfect teams (B1G standings). See my 10 observations—some whimsical, some fact based, some opinionated—from Week 5.

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