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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Dienhart: Here's a look back at Minnesota's 2015 season

Coming off back-to-back 8-5 seasons—including the program’s first New Year’s Day bowl since the 1961 season in 2014—Minnesota fell … hard. The Golden Gophers were thought to be a legit contender in the Big Ten West. Instead, the team sunk to near the bottom of the standings with a losing record and made a bowl only because of a good APR and the fact there weren’t enough 6-6 teams to fill a bloated postseason system that needs 80 teams. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big

Citrus Bowl preview: Michigan, Florida will bring the defense

Two of college football’s top brands square off led by two of the nation’s most successful first-year coaches. Jim Harbaugh was a revelation at his alma mater, engineering a nine-win season for a program that missed the postseason last year. He had the Wolverines in contention for the East title deep into November. Jim McElwain arrived from Colorado State and has breathed life into a Florida program that stumbled badly under Will Muschamp. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines

Dienhart: Here's a look back at Michigan State's 2015 season

The 2015 season was further validation of the elite program Mark Dantonio has constructed since arriving in 2007. The 12 wins this season mark the fifth time in the last six seasons that Michigan State has won at least 11 games. The Spartans also took home their third Big Ten title under Dantonio, while earning the program’s first playoff bid. [ MORE: Full bowl schedule | Polls: Pick bowl winners | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls | Big Ten bowl bags | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] But, 2015 often was not

TaxSlayer Bowl preview: Penn State looks to end on high note

When this matchup was announced, many folks who have been around awhile flashed back to 1983. That’s when these programs met in the Sugar Bowl after the 1982 season for the national title. Penn State beat Herschel Walker and the Bulldogs to win the championship. [ MORE: 2015-16 bowl schedule | Best of the Bowls | Ranking bowls, 1-40 | Big Ten bowl bags | Big Ten bowl factoids | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] Neither team is championship-caliber this season. The Bulldogs had high hopes in August, and the defense did its part. But

Big Ten links: Catch up on Friday's football & basketball headlines

Our interview with new Rutgers football coach Chris Ash tops off Friday's Big Ten headlines roundup. Also, read how Kirk Ferentz's long-term contract wound up being great for Iowa, see a video that shows off one Big Ten receiver's amazing hands, and catch up on a report about a possible Big Ten basketball doubleheader in Chicago. Dive in and read all of the links.

Dienhart: Here's a look back at Maryland's 2015 season

Year Two in the Big Ten did not go smoothly for Maryland. A season after going 7-6 (4-4 Big Ten) and to a bowl, the Terrapins flopped to the basement of the Big Ten East. The problems were numerous and ultimately cost Randy Edsall his job in October.

Holiday Bowl: Wisconsin takes on Southern Cal in San Diego

Back in August, neither school envisioned being here. But, that’s the cold, hard reality. The Holiday Bowl isn’t a bad place to be. It’s just not a playoff game or Selection Committee bowl. [ MORE: 2015-16 bowl schedule | Best of the Bowls | Ranking bowls, 1-40 | Big Ten bowl bags | Big Ten bowl factoids | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] Now, who really wants to be here and will play like it? That may be the biggest key to this game. The Badgers have had to deal with injuries but still excelled,

Big Ten links: How would this 68-team football playoff shake out?

What if college football had a 68-team tourney like basketball? Ah, it’s fun to dream, isn’t it? Well, Athlon Sports has put together a bracket if we all lived in Fantasy Land. I don’t need a full-blown fantasy 68-team tourney. Still, Look at what the four-team playoff has done to drive weekly debate. Have a look at one publication's projections, the catch up on the rest today's news from around the Big Ten.

Pinstripe Bowl preview: Indiana, Duke eye long-awaited bowl win

This is a battle of two schools known more for their illustrious basketball programs. But the football fortunes of each are on the rise. And they get to show their wares on the grand New York City stage in iconic Yankee Stadium. [ MORE: 2015-16 bowl schedule | Best of the Bowls | Ranking bowls, 1-40 | Big Ten bowl bags | Big Ten bowl factoids | Bowl storylines | Get all of our bowl coverage ] IU is making its first bowl trip since 2007 and just its second since 1993. Duke has become a postseason staple under David