Latest Football Fix News

Analyzing Penn State's 2012 Schedule

In my latest Big Ten schedule analysis post, I take a look at the Penn State Nittany Lions, which are under the direction of a new coach for the first time since 1966. What will be Penn State’s toughest non-conference and conference games? Where is the schedule seemingly easiest, and then when does it get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post and see what I picked.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten Running Backs

Is there a conference with a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten? Maybe not. The group instantly became one of the best in the nation when Wisconsin’s Montee Ball announced he would return for his senior season. Add it all up, and 12 of last season’s top 13 rushers are back. The only departure: Iowa’s Marcus Coker, who transferred to FCS Stony Brook after ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,384 yards in 2012.

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Analyzing Ohio State's 2012 Schedule

It’s time to turn our attention to Ohio State in my schedule analysis series, as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Buckeyes. My previous schedule analysis posts are still available as we’ve now covered Illinois through Ohio State. The rest come out this week. Agree or disagree with any of my assessments? Come tell me in the comments section, or find me on Twitter and Facebook. See my Ohio State analysis in this post.

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Monday's Links: Who Makes College HOF?

On Tuesday, the College Football Hall of Fame will announce its latest round of enshrinees. And three Nebraska players are on the ballot: quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier, along with linebacker Trev Alberts. Crouch likely won’t make it since this is his first time on the ballot. But Frazier appears to have a good shot. In fact, I am flummoxed by the fact he didn’t make it last year. Just a shameful omission, as detailed by the Lincoln Journal Star’s Brian Christopherson.

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Analyzing Northwestern's 2012 schedule

Now I turn my attention to Northwestern as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Wildcats. They’ve got two challenging home games and a back-to-back set on the road that rivals any two-game stretch in the Big Ten. I circle the game on the calendar that could be the toughest and easiest for Pat Fitzgerald and his team this fall.

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Dienhart: Ranking 2012's Big Ten QBs

The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?

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Big Ten Q&A: Michigan's Al Borges

Michigan was one of the nation’s most surprising teams last season under first-year coach Brady Hoke. The Wolverines finished 11-2, capping the remarkable season with a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech. Some of the credit for Hoke’s remarkable debut has to go to offensive coordinator Al Borges.

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Let's Rank 2012's Big Ten Backup QBs

On one hand, he’s often the most popular player on campus. On the other hand, you may not even know his name. He’s the backup quarterback. If he’s pressed into duty, it usually means one of two things: 1. The starter got hurt. 2. The starter was, ahem, ineffective. Knowing all this, it’s time for you to get to know your school’s No. 2 signal-caller. Here’s is how I rank ‘em.

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Analyzing Minnesota's 2012 schedule

Jerry Kill enters his second year as Minnesota’s head football coach and the challenges of the 2012 season are clear. What is one must-win game? When could the Gophers possibly pull off an upset?  What could be the bumpiest stretch for Kill and Company? I lay it out here in my latest team-specific schedule analysis.

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Catch Up With Wednesday's News Links

Should computers have anything to do with college football rankings? Who cracked the post-spring football rankings? Our colleagues at ESPN.com are posing a buzz-worthy question about the next Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten – for now. Is it William Gholston? John Simon? Gerald Hodges? Someone else?

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Tuesday Links: Who Shines on Offense in 2012?

What is buzzing in Big Ten football circles? Keep reading and clicking your mouse, but here’s one question to ponder:  Is Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg one of the best offensive players in the Big Ten? Hmmm.

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Dienhart: Ranking My Top Big Ten Tandems

When it comes to fabulously famous tandems, there have been many over the years. TV’s Captain Kirk and Spock. Literature and film’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. You see where I’m going. Each individual helps make the duo’s value greater than just the sum of their parts. What are the best tandems in the Big Ten? Glad you asked.

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Analyzing Michigan's 2012 Schedule

The latest in my series examining the 2012 football schedules: Michigan. Previously, I covered Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. Find them all right here now and moving forward

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Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan State's Dantonio

Michigan State is one of the hottest programs in the Big Ten—if not the nation. And the Spartans can thank Mark Dantonio. Since arriving from Cincinnati to assume command in 2007, Dantonio has forged a 44-22 record in six seasons, including a 27-13 mark in the Big Ten. And each season, Michigan State has gone to a bowl, highlighted by a win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl after last season. Dantonio also beat rival Michigan for a fourth consecutive season in 2011, forever endearing him to Spartan fans.

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Dienhart: Analyzing Indiana's 2012 Schedule

I continue to take a closer look at each Big Ten football team’s schedule, and this time I’m diving into Indiana’s 2012 campaign, the second one under Kevin Wilson. Previously, I wrote about Illinois, and as we roll these out you can find them in my Big Ten Football Schedule Analysis series.

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