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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

Photo: Will Ohio State be wearing a matte black helmet this season?

That @zone6_osu swag is official… 👌🏼🎩 A photo posted by Zach Smith (@coachzachsmith) on Aug 18, 2015 at 3:26pm PDT Ohio State has one of the most well-recognized jerseys in college football. However, it is possible the Buckeyes may be mixing it up this season. OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith posted a photo on Instagram today, which shows a matte black Buckeye helmet with a red and white stripe down the middle. The helmet features two Buckeye stickers on the front, as well as a “Zone 6” decal, which refers to OSU’s wide receivers. Check out the photo on

Nebraska's De'Mornay Pierson-El out 6-8 weeks with foot injury

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley announced on Wednesday that Huskers wide receiver and return specialist De’Mornay Pierson-El will be out six to eight weeks after suffering a foot injury in Tuesday’s practice. Nebraska Athletics released the news via email on Wednesday afternoon. The release also confirms that Huskers freshman receiver Lavan Alston will be out for the season after suffering a knee injury during Tuesday’s practice. Pierson-El ranked second nationally in punt-return average last season (17.5 yards per return), and he tied for the national lead with three returns for touchdowns. On offense, Pierson-El caught 23 passes for 321 yards

Countdown to kickoff: Big Ten West breakout player

Our countdown to kickoff series chugs along, and today it’s all about Big Ten West breakout players. [ MORE: Top non-conference game | Top under-the-radar game | East must-see game | West must-see game | East most underrated player | West most underrated player | East surprise team | West surprise team | East breakout player ] There are no shortage of candidates this season, from as far east as Purdue to as far west as Nebraska. Who is your leading Big Ten West breakout player candidate? See BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s selections below. Update: De’Mornay

Finish the sentence: Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun

When it comes to Big Ten football personalities, there aren’t many bigger than Shilique Calhoun. [ GET TO KNOW: Drew Ott | Jordan Lucas | Nate Sudfeld & Joshua Perry | Mason Monheim | Joe Bolden | Leonte Carroo | Corey Clement | Tommy Armstrong | Theiren Cockran | Nick VanHoose ] The Michigan State defensive end is comfortable in so many roles, on and off the field. Calhoun has shown this at Big Ten media days each of the last two seasons, more than happily grabbing the mic and interviewing teammates and rivals (2014 example | 2015 example). He’s

3 things Tom Dienhart will be watching at Michigan practice

The arrival of Jim Harbaugh has sent the Michigan program into a new stratosphere. Harbaugh is being hailed as a savior, as the program looks for its first Big Ten title since 2004. Harbaugh inherits a team that has talent. It just needs some direction, leadership and swagger, all of which Harbaugh can provide. The defense is ready-made for success. It’s the offense that needs a lot of attention. Here are three things I’ll be watching at Michigan. 1. Who will be the quarterback? This is a question that has been nagging since the equipment was put away after last

Football tour notebook: Fun takes from Michigan State practice

The BTN bus just left Michigan State practice, and now it’s time to share some nuggets I gathered while I watched the Spartans in action Tuesday morning. [ MORE: 5 things Tom Dienhart learned | See our team’s MSU practice tweets ] In his eight seasons, Mark Dantonio has had just two punters: Aaron Bates and Mike Sadler. Now, Jake Hartbarger takes over. He’s a banger. Backup QB Tyler O’Connor also is the team’s backup punter. Michigan State has a tradition during camp under Mark Dantonio of having all personnel wear their names on their shirt written onto white tape. O-line

Twitter: See our team's tweets from Michigan State practice

Halfway home, Tuesday marked the seventh stop on our annual summer football tour across the Big Ten. [ MORE: 5 things Tom Dienhart learned | Fun notes from MSU practice ] Stop No. 7 of 14 had us visiting East Lansing, Michigan, to watch the Spartans’ training camp Tuesday morning. Michigan State, the reigning Cotton Bowl champs, return plenty of top-end talent, headlined by quarterback Connor Cook and defensive end Shilique Calhoun. Get BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo and BTN host Dave Revsine’s tweets from the practice below. @GERRYDINARDO *** @BTNDAVEREVSINE