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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: An early 2016 football Top 25? Yes, please!

AthlonSports.com has a very early football Top 25 for 2016. Yes, you knew it was coming because they come every year and we roll our eyes at them and then read them anyway because they're fun to talk about. The national title game for this season hasn’t even been played and college players still can declare for the NFL draft until Jan. 18. Regardless, early, early, early Top 25 lists wait for no one.

Big Ten links: Take a spin through Thursday's headlines

In Thursday's roundup of Big Ten headlines, we've got a good look Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class - how did they turn out? Plus, Michigan State has some holes to fill on offense. Rutgers has a new offensive coordinator who had a near-death experience. And a story on the legacy of Penn State's Christian Hackenberg. Catch up in this post.

BTN LiveBIG: Living 'B1G' in 2015, Part II

Beyond athletics, 2015 was a big year for the Big Ten. On Monday, we looked back at several of the best stories from the previous year from universities in the East Division of the conference. Now, we turn our attention to the West Division. This roundup features Big Ten universities taking on issues that range from world hunger to apocalyptic asteroid strikes. Take a look below. ILLINOIS Illinois professor works to prevent asteroid armageddon Illinois’ Orange Krush drops dimes for team, local community IOWA Hawkeye homecoming queen takes on engineering, international aid and triathlons Hawkeyes get inspirational leadership from ‘Captains’

Big Ten football: Five questions facing Michigan State next season

Michigan State closed out its season with an uninspiring 38-0 loss to Alabama in this year’s College Football Playoff semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Despite the loss, this was an outstanding year for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans, finishing 12-2 and winning a Big Ten championship. With the graduation of Connor Cook, Shilique Calhoun, Jack Allen and several other key players from this year’s team, the Spartans will have a number of important questions that need to be addressed heading into next season. Here is a look at five burning questions facing Dantonio and the Spartans in 2016. Who

Dienhart: Take a stroll down Big Ten quarterback memory lane

Playing quarterback in the NFL is a one of the most demanding jobs in sports. In 2015, five of the NFL’s 32 teams called former Big Ten quarterbacks their starters for more than half of their 16 regular season games. Take a moment to test your knowledge and see if you can name all five of those Big Ten names and their teams before reading the rest of my story here. So how did you do? Of course, we have Michigan’s Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and Purdue’s Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints). More recently, the Big Ten has produced

Mail call: Wrapping up your Big Ten bowl season questions

It's so very early but who do you see making the 2016 Big Ten football title game? What's the outlook for Michigan in 2016? These are a few of the questions readers sent in, and BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart tackles them all in his weekly mailbag.

Desmond King announces he will return to Iowa for senior season

Feels good to finish my education and to be with my brothers for my senior year. There will be those that say my decision is wrong but it's what's best for me. Let's make it a good one fellas🏈 A post shared by Desmond E King II (@iiam_blaqbadger14) on Jan 5, 2016 at 11:15am PST The 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner is coming back to Iowa City, Iowa. [ MORE: These Big Ten stars have declared for 2016 NFL Draft ] Iowa junior cornerback Desmond King announced he will return to school for his senior season in an Instagram post

Tom Dienhart's top 5 players to replace: Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana enjoyed a breakthrough season in Kevin Wilson’s fifth year in Bloomington, taking the Hoosiers to their first bowl since 2007 and just their second since 1993. Alas, IU still hasn’t finished over .500 since 1994. And it last won a bowl in 1991. But progress is being made. Wilson has built a strong program around a dynamic offense that can run, pass and score points in bunches. The future looks promising for Indiana, as Wilson continues to recruit well. The next order of business: develop the defense, which remains an albatross around the program. The Hoosiers were last in

Big Ten links: Football season takeaways, Iowa's future & more

Penn State is turning the page as it moves to 2016, the third season under James Franklin. Christian Hackenberg is gone, as the offense transitions under a new QB and new coordinator. Those are just two questions facing PSU. Pennlive.com has 16 Penn State-related questions. *** Steve Politi of NJ.com has graded the Big Ten bowl teams and how they impact Rutgers. *** Former Husker Adam Carriker has key some key takeaways from the 2015 Nebraska season. Carriker says that considering that the Huskers’ seven losses came by a combined 31 points, it’s reasonable to believe that this team is