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BTN's Tom Dienhart

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart covers Big Ten football all year. Check out these links:

Big Ten Links | 1-on-1 | RSS | @BTNTomDienhart | Facebook | Tom's Mailbag

Dienhart: Four observations from Michigan's spring game

Year Two under Jim Harbaugh gained more momentum with the spring game on Friday. And, excitement continues to grow coming off a 10-win debut for Harbaugh. But questions loom for a Michigan program that is looking for its first Big Ten title since 2004. Here are four observations. 1. It looks like Wilton Speight—yes, Wilton Speight—has emerged as the leader in the quarterback race to replace Jake Rudock. The 6-6 Speight engineered two TD drives to lead his squad to victory in the spring game. The sophomore hit 5-of-6 passes for 46 yards with a scoring toss to star tight

Scott Shafer steps down as Maryland DC for personal reasons

MARYLAND RELEASE — Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin announced Friday that Scott Shafer has stepped down as the team’s defensive coordinator for personal reasons. “I want to thank DJ Durkin for the opportunity to be on his staff, but at this time I feel it’s best to step aside to tend to personal matters,” said Shafer. “I’m sincerely appreciative of his support and friendship.” “I, along with the entire Maryland football family, will continue to support Scott in every way that we can,” said Durkin. Shafer originally joined the Terrapins football staff on December 9. Read more at umterps.com.

Four Big Ten football teams in Joe Schad's Preseason Top 25

Michigan is set to kick off this year’s Spring Football slate tonight at 6 p.m. ET on BTN (Watch on BTN2Go). [ MORE: Watch Michigan’s Spring Football game on BTN/BTN2Go ] Fans are already looking forward to the 2016 college football season, which means preseason rankings are taking over the internet. The latest set of rankings comes from ESPN”s Joe Schad, who has four Big Ten teams listed in his Preseason Top 25 for 2016. Leading the way is Ohio State, who Schad has pegged at No. 6 on this list. He ranks Michigan at No. 8, with Iowa coming

Jay Johnson Q&A: 'This is a really neat place'

Change is brewing in the air at Minnesota. The Tracy Claeys era has begun, and he quickly put his stamp on things by shaking up the staff.

NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon visits University of Michigan

NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon spent the day Wednesday at the University of Michigan. Gordon was on campus as part of a partnership announcement between Hendrick Motorsports, Axalta and the school that will bring research and development of coating technology to the university. According to mlive.com, the organizations have a five-year partnership that will allow the students to conduct research on a variety of challenges facing the coating industry, while also providing opportunities for the students to explore the world of professional racing. In case you were wondering, yes, Gordon found Jim Harbaugh on campus. No trip to Ann Arbor, celebrity

Josh Whitman Q&A: 'We want to ignite and inspire our fan base'

New Illinois A.D. Josh Whitman is a lot of things. He’s smart, engaging and hard-working. He also is a man of action. To wit: On his first day on the job, he fired Bill Cubit and within a few days, he was introducing Lovie Smith as his new coach.