Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 27, 2012

Here's a quick look around what?s buzzing in the Big Ten while I marvel at Pat Sajak?s ability to work intoxicated. Who would have thought you could host "Wheel of Fortune" under those conditions? Guess the wheel wasn?t the only thing spinning those many years ago. Dive into my links for Friday

It?s getting to be crunch-time in the Big Ten. And Mark Tupper of Decatur Herald-Review feels the same way. Which way is Illinois going to go? Read Big Ten reaching its breaking point.

Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star chronicles the Hoosiers? loss to the Badgers. That?s four losses in the last five games for Indiana. See Hoosiers keep sliding against Badgers.

Is Cody Zeller getting squeezed by officials? Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star takes a look.

A home loss to Nebraska puts Iowa on ropes, according to Marc Hansen of the Des Moines Register. And I have to agree with him. Read Huskers? first Big Ten road win puts Iowa on ropes.

Is there a better freshman in the Big Ten than Michigan?s Trey Burke? Hmmm. Nick Baumgardner of looks at Columbus, Ohio, native?s first return trip home. And they should be impressed.

Michigan State
The price of success? More expensive tickets. That?s what Spartan fans are discovering, says Denny Schwarze, Lansing State Journal.

And uber-athletic freshman Branden Dawson is on a roll. Just stand back and watch-and read Denny Schwarze of the Lansing State Journal?s account of Dawson?s awesomeness in "Freshman Dawson turns up effort".

For Izzo, getting to 400 wasn?t a one-person job. Terry Foster of the Detroit News tells you it?s a team effort. It always is, right?.

Did you see that Huskers? win at Nebraska? Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald saw it. So did I. And I was impressed with how Big Red notched its first Big Ten road win.Huskers rally for road win.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune says it?s time for John Shurna to take over. And I'm right there with Greenstein as NU?s Big Dance hopes are starting to look a bit iffy.

Ohio State
It seems Ohio State may have a scholarship quandary with National Signing Day looming. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer offers details of the numbers? crunch.

Finally: Urban Meyer puts the finishing touches on his maiden staff. Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch tells you about the new guy with a whistle around his neck as Meyer makes final hire.

Penn State
The moving memorial service was first step to relaunching JoePa?s legacy, says Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And I think it is the first of many step. Good read.

True to his school: Former Penn State QB Michael Robinson flies in from Hawaii to speak at Joe Paterno?s memorial service. That?s the respect and power of Paterno. Kudos to Bob Flounders of the Harrisburg Patriot-News for this piece.

It wasn?t always pretty. But it was a win, says Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal in his column entilted Badgers go the distance to win Big Ten knockout game.

Team effort lifts Badgers over Hoosiers is the headline on Jeff Potrykus' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece. More vital: The win was Wisconsin?s fifth in a row. Can you say ?hottest team in the Big Ten?? Sure you can!

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for and will post his Daily Links on weekdays. You can subscribe to the Daily Links RSS here, find Dienhart's work at, follow him on Twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, send a question to his weekly mailbag here, and click here to subscribe to his overall RSS feed.