Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 8, 2012

Yesterday, senior writer Tom Dienhart and web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten rushing yards leader, the fourth in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up now: Rushing TDs. See Tom and Brent?s email thread in this post and vote for your winner, too.

2011 leader: Montee Ball, 33
Returning leaders: Montee Ball 33; Denard Robinson 16;  Rex Burkhead 15; Le'Veon Bell, 13; Taylor Martinez, 9; Fitzgerald Toussaint, 9; Kain Colter, 9.

[2011 Big Ten rushing TD leaders]

Brent: OK, based on our predictions for the scoring and rushing yards leader posts, I'm thinking we should both type "Ball" and move on. After all, he more than doubled his closest competitor (Robinson, 16) in this department last season.

Tom: "Ball."

Brent: Thank you! Let's say Ball has an unexpected down year or he misses a few games due to injury, is there any dark horse out there who can take advantage?

[Read all of our 2012 Big Ten statistical predictions]

Tom: My dark horse in this category is Michigan?s Denard Robinson. He was second in the Big Ten last season with 16 rushing scores. And each time the Wolverines get near the goal line, Robinson will be a viable weapon for coordinator Al Borges to turn to. Of course, ?Shoelace? is a threat to score every time he touches the ball from anywhere on the field.

Brent: Nice curveball. I thought you were going to go with Le'Veon Bell. Robinson will get his share of rushing TDs, but I think the emergence of Fitz Toussaint may take away some opportunities. I like Stephen Houston as a big-time dark horse. The Hoosier is a powerful runner and, let's face it, someone needs to score in Bloomington. senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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