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Dienhart: Big Ten Assistants Primed To Move Up

In recent years, several assistants have gone directly from Big Ten schools to launch head coaching careers. Wisconsin and Michigan State have been the most fertile proving grounds of late as Pitt’s Paul Chryst (Wisconsin offensive coordinator) and Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren (Wisconsin defensive coordinator) came directly from Bret Bielema’s Badger staff the last two seasons. Miami of Ohio’s Don Treadwell (Michigan State offensive coordinator) and Central Michigan’s Dan Enos (Michigan State quarterbacks coach) came from Mark Dantonio’s Spartan staff in recent years. Others who recently have made the jump directly from Big Ten staffs to head coaching positions: Florida

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 8

I continue to explore each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season with a look at Week 8. Check out these games: Michigan State at Michigan. Penn State at Iowa. Nebraska at Northwestern. Yeah, it’s a going to be another good one. If you want to look back at the first seven weekly schedule previews, look at my Schedule Analysis section. Find Week 8 in this post. Storylines: This is one of the better weeks of the season, especially for the Legends Division. Michigan State’s 52-mile junket to Michigan is at the top of the list. And Nebraska plays

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 7

Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’m taking a super-early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. I’ve already completed the first six weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6 – and now it’s time to take a look at Week 7. Find it in this post. Storylines: Another abbreviated Saturday, as there are only five games on the menu with Penn State and Nebraska being off. All eyes will be on

Dienhart: Ranking the 2012 Defensive Backs

The secondary looks like a strong position in the Big Ten in 2012. Four of the eight defensive backs named first- or second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches in 2011 are back: Michigan State’s Johnny Adams and Isaiah Lewis, Ohio State’s C.J. Barnett and Purdue’s Ricardo Allen. Three named first- or second-team by the media return: Iowa’s Micah Hyde, Lewis and Adams. With three selections, Michigan State is well-represented in my ranking of the top 10 defensive backs in the Big Ten for 2012. The Spartans also had three players ranked among the top 10 linebackers. Bottom line: Michigan State

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 6

Football season can’t come soon enough. To help get everyone ready for the 2012 season, I’m taking a very early look at each week’s slate of games. I’ve already done the first five weeks – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5 – and now it’s time to consider Week 6. Find it in this post. Storylines: The second week of conference action lacks pizzazz. It’s also a light week of action with just five games, as Minnesota and Iowa are off. The only captivating matchup is Nebraska’s visit to Ohio State. The last time the

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 5

People keep telling me they’re ready for football.  OK, but don’t ignore summer just yet. Still, I’m going to keep rolling out my 2012 Big Ten football season schedule analysis by week with Week 5 right here. Oh, you missed the first four? Then please allow me to introduce you to Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4. Storylines: Welcome to the opening Saturday of conference games. And there are two whoppers to kick off Big Ten action with Ohio State playing at Michigan State and Wisconsin traveling to Nebraska. Thank you, football gods! In case you are wondering:

Big Ten Teams Take Aim At NCAA Titles

A number of Olympic sports have hit the postseason and many of them feature Big Ten teams. NCAA.com does a great job of providing fast updates on live events, so we’ve pulled together a quick guide to touch on all of the sports. And when NCAA.com is live streaming any event, you can watch them here. The women’s golf teams from Purdue, Michigan State and Ohio State are on the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship leaderboard from the event in Nashville. The pairing are also out for the men’s tournament. There are also a few Big Ten names competing in the

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 4

I’m continuing my super-early look at each week of the 2012 Big Ten football season as a way to preview the entire campaign. Here’s my Week 4 schedule analysis in this post and watch our feature on Michigan State’s memorable 2010 win over Notre Dame now. And you can catch up by looking back now at my Week 1, Week 2 Week 3 posts. Storylines: The last week of full-scale non-conference games, as Purdue (Sept. 27 Marshall) and Indiana (Oct. 20 at Navy) still will have non-league contests. … Be careful, Illinois. Led by rising star coach Sonny Dykes, Louisiana

Thursday's Links: Dreaming Up A Penn State Start

Just like clockwork, your daily Big Ten football links are here. Some interesting stuff, including talk of Penn State perhaps being a sleeper and a look at Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten grid teams. Life is good, people. Fast starters? Could Penn State be a sleeper this season? It seems like a long shot, given the new schemes to learn and personnel issues at quarterback, receiver, tight end and in the secondary. But some feel the Nittany Lions could—COULD—start 9-0. Check out what Patriot-News writer Bob Flounders crafted. Really. I’m not making this up. Their first nine games are: Ohio At

Look ahead to 2012 season: Best of Week 3

Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’m taking a super-early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. Find my Week 3 schedule analysis in this post and watch our feature on Michigan State’s memorable 2010 win over Notre Dame now. Here’s my Week 1 and Week 2 posts, too, if you missed them. Storylines: Arkansas State will be Nebraska’s third foe in a row with a new head coach, with former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn in control. The Cornhuskers need