Big Ten mailbag: 2016 football questions keep rolling in

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

“How long do you think it will take D.J. Durkin to make a difference at Maryland?” “What is the ceiling for Michigan State football next year?” “What is the one thing that Iowa can get better at in 2016?” “Who replaces Michigan’s Jake Rudock?” These are a few of the football questions readers sent in. Tom Dienhart answers them and more.

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Big Ten links: Read Thursday's football, hoops headlines

Jan 20, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Andrew White (3) lays the ball up over Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) and guard Bryn Forbes (5) during the 2nd half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center.

Spartans drop third in a row

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With that loss to Nebraska, Michigan State has dropped three straight. One writer is comparing Iowa’s basketball team to another pretty good recent Big Ten squad. Meanwhile in football, Nebraska added a familiar foe to the schedule. And contract details are out for Michigan’s new defensive coordinator. Catch up on Thursday’s headlines in this post.

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Tom Dienhart's top 5 players to replace: Ohio State Buckeyes

Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrates with the trophy following the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott runs all over Indiana

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer has lived a charmed life since taking over Ohio State in 2012, posting a 50-4 overall record and a 31-1 Big Ten mark. His crowning feat was winning the 2014 national championship, and last year’s team looked poised to repeat before a late-season stumble at home vs. Michigan State.

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