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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

Beat writers select 2015 Big Ten West sleeper teams

On Wednesday, we took a look at potential sleepers in the Big Ten East. Now, let’s take a look at the Big Ten West. I asked writers from the division who they felt could be a sleeper in the West.

Big Ten links: 'Excuses' out of SEC, Braxton Miller reaction & more

If you have a TV or check the internet, you’ve likely heard at least one SEC coach spew some kind of excuse the last week or so. Well, FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel has a great piece on it, one in which he says this about the conference that hasn’t won the national title in either of the last two seasons after wining the previous seven crowns: “So you’ll have to forgive us if we’re not exactly spilling tears over all the apparent slights that are keeping down the S-E-C, where the “E” apparently now stands for “Excuses.” Thought Big Ten

Tonight on BTN/BTN2Go: Spartans stun Badgers on 'Rocket' in 2011

At 8 p.m. ET tonight on BTN/BTN2Go, we are replaying Michigan State’s memorable 37-31 win over Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten football season. This game will be remembered by one simple word: “Rocket.” That is the name Mark Dantonio tabbed Keith Nichol’s game-winning Hail Mary catch to top Wisconsin and knock the Badgers off from the ranks of the unbeaten. After Montee Ball punched in a game-tying touchdown run with 1:26 remaining in the contest, Michigan State got the ball back and had one last shot to win it. With four seconds left, MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins heaved a

If current Big Ten football players formed a basketball team

How good would that guy be at basketball? If you’re an avid sports fan, chances are you’ve probably asked yourself that very question when watching a college football game, or vice versa. Last year, around this time, I wrote a story about if Big Ten basketball players could form a football team. Now, let’s flip the switch. I went ahead and put together a starting five and a sixth man made up of current Big Ten football players. There are so many good choices, so if I missed one, tweet me @BTNSean. Here we go! PG: Drake Harris, Michigan Harris

Mike Phair Q&A: 'We have a ways to go, but there is some young talent'

Illinois has made steady progress under Tim Beckman, going from two victories his first season in 2012, to four in 2013 to six wins last season along with a bowl bid. Now, to take the proverbial next step, the Illini need to improve on defense. That’s why Mike Phair is in town. Beckman tabbed Phair from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to coach the defensive line and serve as co-defensive coordinator alongside coordinator Tim Banks. Phair spent the last 13 seasons in the NFL. He was with the Buccaneers the last three seasons, where he helped coach a front that notched

Ranking 2015 Big Ten league games: Tom Dienhart's list, 30-11

Yesterday, I started my three-part series of ranking all 56 Big Ten league games, with games 56-31. Now, it’s time for the second installment, taking a look at games 30-11. Here we go: 30. Iowa at Indiana, Nov. 7. Iowa lost three in a row to Indiana from 1998-2000. Since then, the Hawkeyes have gone 8-3 in the series. But Iowa lost the last time it visited Bloomington in 2012. 29. Illinois at Iowa, Oct. 10. Illinois will be making its first trip to Iowa City since 2007 because of scheduling quirks. No matter the venue, the Hawkeyes have dominated

Tonight on BTN/BTN2Go: Nebraska's 2014 Gator Bowl win over Georgia

At 8 p.m. ET tonight on BTN/BTN2Go, we are replaying Nebraska’s 24-19 win over Georgia in the 2014 Gator Bowl. This was a huge game for the Huskers, who gave Bo Pelni his first bowl win as a Big Ten coach. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown, while Quincy Enunwa added four catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Nebraska’s defense was outstanding in this contest, holding Georgia’s all-world running back Todd Gurley to 86 yards on 21 carries. Here is a breakdown of Nebraska’s memorable win over Georgia. Top moment: Late in the third quarter, Nebraska

Nebraska will wear new black alternate Oct. 24 vs. Northwestern

Nebraska will wear a new adidas alternate uniform Oct. 24 vs. Northwestern, the company and team announced Thursday morning. [ PROGRAM ALERT: Watch the 2014 Gator Bowl at 8 ET tonight on BTN ] Like previous Nebraska alternates, this is not a look that makes anyone think of the program’s proud past – despite adidas calling the design”a tribute to history.” Whatever, if history is any indication, recruits and players will really like this design, and that’s what matters. Why so much black, you ask? It’s a nod to the defense’s “Blackshirt” moniker, which adidas has done previously for Nebraska