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BTN's Tom Dienhart

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

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Quick Lane Bowl preview: Minnesota vs. Central Michigan

Minnesota is one of three teams in the nation that is in a bowl despite having a losing record. Regardless of your opinion about 5-7 teams bowling, it’s a chance for the Golden Gophers to finish the season on an up-note after they lost five of their last six games coming off consecutive 8-5 seasons that had fueled optimism. [ 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 ] Minnesota also is looking to end

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

Illinois’ season took a bizarre twist before the first kickoff, as Tim Beckman was fired a week before the opener amid allegations he had mistreated players. The school quickly turned to sage offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, who did a good job keeping the program on track. Alas, he was unable to get the Fighting Illini back to a bowl game after making it in 2014. There were issues on both sides of the ball. The offense struggled to run the ball, ranking last in the Big Ten in rushing (129.3 ypg) with only 13 TDs on the ground. That short-circuited

Dienhart: My player on the spot in every Big Ten bowl game

The Big Ten has 10 bowl teams, headlined by Michigan State’s trip to the playoffs to take on Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. And each team has one guy, one solitary figure who most likely needs to have a big game if his team wants to win. [ 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 ] Here are my picks for those players: Indiana: QB Nate Sudfeld. The senior is No. 1 in the

Drew Brees passes Dan Marino on NFL passing touchdowns list

Another week of NFL action, another opportunity for a former Big Ten quarterback to pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino on the all-time passing touchdowns list. One week after Tom Brady (Michigan) surpassed Marino’s 420 career scoring strikes vs. Philadelphia, Drew Brees (New Orleans) did the same Sunday afternoon in a win at Tampa Bay. Brees tossed a pair of touchdowns in the 24-17 victory to give him 421 in his brilliant career. The total trails just Peyton Manning (539), Brett Favre (508) and the aforementioned Brady (425) in NFL annals. Kind of cool that two of the four all-time

Seventeen Big Ten football stars earn 2015 AP All-America honors

The Big Ten placed 17 standouts on the 2015 AP All-America Team, released Sunday. First-teamers Taylor Decker (Ohio State), Jack Allen (Michigan State), Carl Nassib (Penn State), Desmond King (Iowa) and Vonn Bell (Ohio State) pace the Big Ten representatives. Eight Big Ten schools had at least one player recognized, headlined by Ohio State (5) and Michigan State (3). Indiana, Michigan and Iowa all had two players receive laurels. See all 17 honorees, plus the full AP All-America Team, below: FIRST TEAM Offense Quarterback — Deshaun Watson, sophomore, Clemson. Running backs — Derrick Henry, junior, Alabama; Leonard Fournette, sophomore, LSU.

Photo: Eddie George photobombs Heisman Trophy finalists

Eddie George won the 1995 Heisman Trophy, one year before Stanford do-it-all star and 2015 Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey was born. [ MORE: View the complete 2015-16 bowl schedule | Get all of our bowl coverage ] That doesn’t mean the former Ohio State and NFL standout doesn’t know how to have some fun with today’s current stars. George photobombed McCaffrey, Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson as three Heisman finalists were getting ready to board a plane to New York City for Saturday night’s announcement. @StanfordFBall captured the moment, which you can see at the top of this

Fordham's Joe Moorhead named Penn State offensive coordinator

Joe Moorhead was a record-setting quarterback at Fordham and returned a decade and a half later to become a record-setting coach. [ MORE: GoPSUsports.com: Penn State names Moorhead offensive coordinator ] Penn State is betting on him having a similarly positive impact on its offense in Happy Valley. Moorhead has agreed to become the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator after leading his alma mater to the FCS playoffs in the past three seasons of his second four-year stay at Fordham – this one as the architect of the Rams’ program rather than the on-field general who set single-season school records for

Greg Schiano joins Ohio State coaching staff

Chris Ash recently accepted the head coaching job at Rutgers, which left a void in Urban Meyer’s coaching staff. [ MORE: Full 2015-16 bowl schedule | Best of the Bowls | Ranking the bowls, 1-40 | Big Ten bowl bags | Big Ten bowl factoids | Get all of our bowl coverage ] Now, it looks like that void has been filled. Former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano will replace Ash and work alongside Luke Fickell coordinating the Ohio State defense, coach Urban Meyer announced today. According to OSU’s Athletic Department, Schiano’s hire is pending completion of a background check and

Debate it: Way-too-early picks to win the Big Ten in 2016?

The 2015 Big Ten football season is in the books. With Michigan State defeating Iowa in the conference championship game just six days ago, Big Ten fans will have to wait another two-plus weeks for bowl games to get underway.

Michigan State miracle fumble recovery TD wins 'Play of the Year'

This year’s 2015 college football season was filled with plenty of incredible plays. [ MORE: Iowa’s Desmond King wins Jim Thorpe Award ] But it was Michigan State’s miracle finish in the Big House that took home the award for the College Football Play of the Year. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio accepted the award Thursday night at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show. On Oct. 17, leading 23-21 with 10 seconds remaining , Michigan lined up to punt on the fourth down. UM punter Blake O’Neill bobbled the low snap and attempted to punt it while being