Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 7, 2012

A national playoff? Proposed by the Big Ten? Maybe the Mayans are right-the world will come to an end in 2012. Until then, enjoy all the Big Ten news that?s fit to be linked to. Isn?t life great? My, my, how the times are changing: The Big Ten is mulling the idea for national four-team grid playoff, writes Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. So here's my take on that.

Also, Big Ten coaches vary on how to fill gaps in the Big Ten schedule, writes Aaron Brenner of the Quad City Times. And the  Big Ten?s dance card could be loaded, says LaMond Pope of the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette. Get more of my Tuesday links in this post.

Big Ten
Any good salesman will tell you: sell the sizzle, not the steak. Which Big Ten salesmen rate among the best in the nation? tells us.

Among other things, the Illini lacked ?emotional zip? in that horrid home loss to Northwestern, writes Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune.

Only Illini consistency? It?s inconsistency, writes legendary Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette.

Is the Hoosier?s road record REALLY that bad? Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star offers some comparisons. Interesting.

Is there a more underrated freshman in the Big Ten than Aaron White? Nope. He just continues to impress, writes Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register.

No one likes to say ?goodbye.? But that?s exactly what former offensive coordinator Ken O?Keefe is doing, writes Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Looks like Iowa has a new defensive line coach: LeVar Woods. At least that?s what a recruit says, writes Steve Batterson of the Quad City Times.

It?s no time to panic, Wolverines. There?s still have time to get your act together before the Big Dance, writes Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.

Count John Beilein among those who are impressed by Denard Robinson?s Maize Rage participation, writes Nick Baumgardner of

How is Michigan celebrating its 2012 recruiting haul? By recruiting 2013 prospects, says Kyle Meinke of

Michigan State
That missing swagger? Michigan State has found it, writes Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.

Brandon Wood is what coaches like to call a ?team player.? For the senior, that means adjusting to coming off the bench, writes Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News. And Mark Dantonio says the unethical comment he uttered recently wasn?t aimed at Ohio State, says Charboneau. Hmmmm.

The Spartans are following a vintage formula, says Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal. Whatever it is, keep mixing it up.

In a word: palatial. That?s the only way to describe Nebraska?s sparkling hoops facility. And it gives Minnesota a glimpse of what it hopes for, writes Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. William Randolph Hearst would be impressed.

That sound you hear? It?s mounting criticism of Doc Sadler and the Huskers, says Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal Star.

Doc Sadler?s career is tracking similar to Moe Iba, Barry Collier, writes Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. And that?s not a good thing.

NCAA hope floats in Evanston thanks to John Shurna?s big week, says Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

Ohio State
The Buckeyes are emphasizing the power game over long-range shooting, writes Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And, I have to say, the results are good.

When it comes to a home-court advantage, the Buckeyes have, well, a big advantage, says Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch.

Listen up, Big Ten. Urban Meyer is showing you how to compete with the big boys, says Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch.

Penn State
Bill O?Brien?s hire is ranked the fourth worst new FBS coaching hire, according to Brett McMurphy of Harsh, Mr. McMurphy. Check back in four years, Bub.

Boilers need to take aim at their poor shooting, writes LaMond Pope of the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette.

Recent efforts? They have been lacking in West Lafayette, writes Jeff Washburn of the Lafayette Journal-Courier. If you are scoring at home, that three losses in a row in Mackey Arena.

Purdue?s struggles? They were years in the making, writes Ken Thompson of the Lafayette Journal-Courier.

Average won?t be good enough in what looks like a difficult month for the Badgers, says Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Bret Bielema has hired his sixth and final assistant: Eddie Faulkner, who returns to coach tight ends, says Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Lower numbers don?t have Jordan Taylor down, writes Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They shouldn?t. He?s still an All-Big Ten player in my book. Love the guy.

A disturbing story continues to unfold, as Wisconsin examines a new allegation against a former associate athletic director, writes Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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.