Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 12, 2012

All the Big Ten football news that is fit to link to is right here. Just page down and ? presto!

TALKING HEISMAN: In case you missed this, the great Mike Huguenin of Yahoo! Sports unveiled his top 10 Heisman candidates for 2012.

No Big Ten surprises. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is No. 2 and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is No. 3 behind No. 1 candidate: USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Are there any other possible Heisman contenders from the Big Ten? I think Michigan State?s Le?Veon Bell, Nebraska?s Rex Burkhead and Iowa?s James Vandenberg are dark horse candidates.

My man ?Hugs? also has several Big Ten players among his ?top three? for various trophies:

Doak Walker: No. 1 Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Davey O?Brien: No. 2 Denard Robinson, Michigan
John Mackey: No. 3 Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
Outland: No. 3 Kawann Short, Purdue
Lou Groza: No. 3 Brett Maher, Nebraska

VICTORS IN COLUMBUS: Did you see this, Michigan and Ohio State fans? During a recent Red Hot Chili Pepper?s concert at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the drummer belted out part of the Michigan fight song ?The Victors? before bolting stage left. Needless to say, it wasn?t well received in Buckeye Country.

Scratch Ohio from the Peppers next tour. Come to think of it: Why are they still touring? It?s not 1991 anymore.

OFFENSIVE MIND: Greg Davis is the most critical hire in Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz?s tenure. His goal: update a tired and predictable Iowa attack.

Knowing that, it?s important for Hawkeye fans to know what makes the new offensive coordinator tick.

Yes, we know that Davis plans to implement multiple formations that feature myriad receivers with a variety of personnel formations. He also will run some no-huddle and generally ?jazz up? the passing game. But did you know Davis also is a speed reader? And a history buff? Plus, the man knows all about cowboy boot etiquette, which I didn?t even know existed.

OPTIMISTIC THINKING: Harrisburg Patriot-News writer David Jones has another reason why Penn State could win the Leaders Division: Ohio State?s postseason ban.

Jones notes: By the time Ohio State visits State College on Halloween weekend, the lack of a clear season-end goal could be kicking in and motivation could be a problem for the Buckeyes.

So, there you go, Nittany Lion fans: Another balloon of hope to lift your spirits this summer.

DEPTH ON THE LINE: Most Michigan State watchers think the school?s 2012 offensive line will be the best of the Mark Dantonio era, even with top guard Joel Foreman gone. The unit looked set coming out of spring drills, but Jack Allen is trying to claim a starting spot at center from Travis Jackson or left guard from Blake Treadwell. Tackle Skyler Burkland is another current reserve who eventually could crack the starting lineup for this deep and talented unit that?s led by right guard Chris McDonald.

This, ladies and gentlemen–is what great programs are about-constant competition and pressure to keep your job.


My take: I don?t know if I am a big fan of this. The number was retired for a reason.

My take: This sounds about right, although some think this is the No. 1 team in the nation. I doubt that. Yes, Michigan may be better than last season, but its record may not reflect it. 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.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.