Latest Tom's Take News

Indiana hopes move to 3-4 scheme helps defense

No one needs to tell Brian Knorr about the struggles of the Indiana defense in recent years. He knows there’s a reason why he’s in Bloomington as the Hoosiers’ new defensive coordinator. The Indiana defense is broken. Badly. And he needs to fix it if this program wants to take the proverbial next step.

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Dienhart ranks his B1G favorites for every award

America is awash in names, as the official “watch lists” have been revealed for the major college football awards. Who will win the Doak Walker Award? The Butkus Award?

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Playoff is here--but I still want more

In some ways, it’s still hard to believe that big-time college football finally will have a playoff. More evidence of that was revealed Wednesday at SEC media days by Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff who discussed some specifics on the event.

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One game a week, it's our expert's Ultimate B1G trip

If time and money weren’t objectives, what Big Ten games would you go to this season? I have built the ultimate 2014 Big Ten schedule, dialing in the game you would need to be at each week. Call it “football nirvana.” See my weekly picks in this post.

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Dienhart reacts to 2014 football preview mags

I finally have had a chance to closely check out my three favorite college football preview mags: Athlon, Lindy’s and Sporting News. It’s fun to compare and contrast the predicted order of finish in the various publications. After considering the three publications’ picks, I decided to offer some reactions.

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Dienhart: Big Ten's marquee events to stay put

While the Big Ten’s borders stretch from the plains of Nebraska to the shadow of New York City, the iconic conference still remains anchored in the heartland of America. And, that’s the way it should be. Today’s announcement quelled any fears to the contrary, as the conference is committed to Chicago and Indianapolis as anchor cities for its marquee events.

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Dienhart: High cost of non-con games is vexing

Here’s a very nice story by Jesse Temple of FOXSportsWisconsin.com that takes an exhaustive look at the rising cost of payouts to non-conference opponents visiting Big Ten schools.

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Penn State camp arrangement rankles SEC

I had to laugh a bit when I read where SEC coaches were hacked off about Penn State taking part in a football camp at Georgia State. Read here, and here.

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How about a 10-game Big Ten football schedule?

You may have read recently about the Big Ten considering scheduling its own league schools as “non-conference” games as a way to fill out schedules in the future.

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Big Ten should say 'no' to any games with Notre Dame

So, there was Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talking at a recent golf outing about how he’d like to see the Fighting Irish’s series with Michigan and Michigan State continue.

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Tom's Take: Too bad there isn't a playoff this year

Michigan State arrived at its first Rose Bowl in 26 years as an underdog to Stanford. But the Spartans left as champs in a thoroughly dominating performance that left no doubt about Michigan State’s status as one of the nation’s top teams.

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Tom's Take: Huskers get revenge vs. UGA in Gator Bowl

Nebraska needed this 24-19 win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl. It doesn’t matter that this was an undermanned Bulldogs team. The Cornhuskers had to taste victory after closing the regular season with two losses in their last three games. And the season-ender vs. Iowa was ugly on many fronts.

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Tom's Take: No shame in Iowa falling to LSU

Yes, Iowa lost, 21-14. But it’s no shame in falling to an uber-talented LSU team, which took the opening kickoff and went 79 yards on 12 plays—all runs—in taking a 7-0 lead en route to a 14-0 halftime edge. That set the tone in a game that was more lopsided than the final score indicated.

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Tom's Take: Michigan's season ends on sour note

The calendar flipped to December, but Michigan’s misery continued. This 31-14 loss to Kansas State on Saturday night in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl was the Wolverines’ third defeat in succession and fifth in six games.

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Tom's Take: Gophers fall in Texas Bowl

Minnesota’s memorable 2013 season came to an unsatisfying close Friday night with a 21-17 loss to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl. Leading 17-14 with just over two minutes remaining in the game, Syracuse got a 70-yard punt return from Brisley Estime, which eventually set up the game-winning score for the Orange with just over a minute remaining.

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Tom's Take: Week 14 honors, grades & stocks

A wild Saturday saw Ohio State push its winning streak to 24 and see its BCS title game hopes receive a massive boost with Alabama’s stunning loss at Auburn. Wisconsin saw its hopes for an at-large BCS bowl slot ruined by a baffling home loss to Penn State. Here’s my recap of Week 14.

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Tom's Take: My Week 13 grades, honors & stocks

Week 13 brought clarity to the Big Ten season, as Ohio State (Leaders) and Michigan State (Legends) wrapped up division titles and will meet in the Big Ten championship game. We also saw Penn State and Nebraska play an overtime thriller, as well as Illinois end a 20-game Big Ten losing skein. Here is my wrap on Week 13.

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Tom's Take: My Week 12 honors, grades & stocks

It’s time to put a wrap on an interesting Week 12 that will be remembered for its blowouts, a wild overtime thriller and a signature victory by Michigan State that clinched at least a share of the Legends Division crown for the Spartans. With that said, here’s a wrap on Week 12 in the Big Ten.

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Tom's Take: My Week 11 honors, grades & stocks

An interesting Saturday of action, with Nebraska being the headline story by going on the road and earning a huge win. The last time the Cornhuskers played in Ann Arbor, Nebraska lost, 45-17. The feel-good story in Minnesota also continued with a fourth victory in a row. Here’s a wrap on Week 11 in the Big Ten.

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Tom's Take: My Week 10 grades, stocks & more

This was one of the best weeks of action, highlighted by Nebraska’s stunning last-second win over Northwestern on a Hail Mary pass. Ohio State rolls on, while Michigan State continues to look like the team to beat in the Legends. And the feel-good vibes continue for Minnesota, which may have killed Indiana’s bowl hopes. Here is my wrap of Week 10.

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Tom's Take: My Week 9 grades, stock report & more

With just four games, it was an abbreviated week of action in the Big Ten. But there was no shortage of excitement. A big revelation: Michigan State looks like the class of the Legends Division. Oh, and Ohio State sent a heck of a message by trouncing a Penn State team that was coming off a win vs. Michigan. Here is a wrap on Week Nine.

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Tom's Take: My Week 8 grades, stocks & more

For the most part, it was business as usual in the Big Ten on this Saturday. Ohio State reasserted its dominance with a 19th victory in a row. Wisconsin dominated Illinois and Michigan State was methodical vs. Purdue, while Michigan beat Indiana in one of the wildest games of the season. Northwestern? I don’t know what to make of the Wildcats. Here is a wrap of Week 8.

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Tom's Take: Week 7 honors, grades, top 10 & more

There were just four Big Ten games on the docket, but there was plenty of action and drama, headlined by the early front-runner for Game of the Year: Penn State’s four-overtime thriller over Michigan. Michigan State sent a statement with a strong home win vs. Indiana, while Wisconsin showed it will be a force to be reckoned with by dominating Northwestern. Here is a wrap on Week Seven.

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Tom's Take: Week 5 honors, grades, top 10 & more

There were just four games this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean there was any lack of action. Ohio State showed that it means business, and Iowa’s methodical victory at Minnesota sent a message: The Hawkeyes are over the doldrums of a 4-8 2012 season. Here is my wrap up on Week 5 in the Big Ten.

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Tom’s Take: Week 4 honors, grades, top 10 & more

Week Four in the Big Ten is over. And, it was a mixed bag in what was the last big full-blown Saturday of non-conference action. The headliner game was Michigan State at Notre Dame. The Spartans came up short, as the Fighting Irish won despite notching a scant 221 yards in a 17-13 victory.

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