Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 12, 2012

No better way to get caught up with your daily Big Ten news fix than by surfing my daily links. And there?s no better way to start than by you checking out The Roundup with Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-News. Not familiar with it? It?s a chat where Lee hits all the hot topics. And you?re gonna want his opinion. The guy is good. Really good.

Meanwhile, in other news …


In case you were wondering, Michigan?s dominating win over some school called ?Binghampton? moves the Wolverines to 10-0 for just the third time in school annals. And, if you ask Michigan point guard Trey Burke, he?ll tell you that the Wolverines are ?elite.?

He?s correct, of course.


The AP announced its All-American team. And the Big Ten was well-represented, with Ohio State players leading the way with three selections. Check out all the BMOCs. Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short is on it. But he?s not so sure he merits the honor, as he thinks he endured an up-and-down season. Nonetheless, Short is a second-team choice by the AP.


When Iowa?s hoop schedule came out, the non-conference portion didn?t look daunting. But, overall, the Hawkeyes have a tough schedule-because the Big Ten is so good.

In the latest poll, the Big Ten has six ranked teams. No other league has as many. By the way, the ACC has just three. Remember when the ACC was good? Me neither.


Well, you knew it was gonna happen. And, it has: Bret Bielema has snatched his first assistant from his former Wisconsin staff. And it?s defensive coordinator Chris Ash.

Ash will remain with the Badgers through the Rose Bowl. (Is that a good thing, or should he just go now?) Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal also says linebackers coach Andy Buh and co-defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge are both considering offers from Bielema. And receivers coach Zach Azzanni also is considering an offer to join Butch Jones in Tennessee. But a source close to Azzanni tells me that is false. Stay tuned.

How good are Tubby Smith?s Minnesota Golden Gophers playing? Here, we?ll let the coach of recent victim North Dakota State tell you.

"A top 25 team that comes out and plays with the energy they play with, the intensity they play with, they're not going to lose very often," Saul Phillips said. "They're a legit (No.) 13. Tubby's got them playing very well. For those of you that don't know, yes, we are a good team, and at times they made us look just OK tonight."

It?s gonna be a fun winter, Goldy.


A good video from Harrisburg Patriot-News writer David Jones, who discusses the future of the ultra-fascinating Penn State quarterback situation.

Jones note: Remember how excited everyone was about Paul Jones in the spring? Remember what happened? An ex-walk-on who happened to be hyper-competitive and very smart easily won the job. Regardless of the talk now about 4-star JUCO recruit Jake Waters and 4-star commit Christian Hackenberg, don't be surprised if the winner next August is a onetime 2-star — rising PSU soph Steven Bench.

Speaking of Penn State quarterbacks, the Nittany Lions will find out on Thursday if hot-shot JC signal-caller Jake Waters will commit.

Waters will choose between the Nittany Lions and Kansas State. Hold your breath. ?


What?s wrong with the Purdue hoop team? Losses to the likes of Bucknell, Eastern Michigan, Oregon State? What? What? What? And the Villanova team it lost to isn?t supposed to be that good, either.

Jeff Washburn of the Lafayette Journal Courier may have some answers to the conundrum, as careless play and poor shooting-among other things–have been among the issues threatening to torpedo the season before the calendar even turns to January.


The great Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette says that Illinois coach Tim Beckman hears the grumbling.

Beckman knows his roster needs help after a 2-10 season. That?s good. And that?s why he?s hitting the JC ranks hard. In fact, Tate says Beckman?s goal is to bring in as many as eight JC transfers. In fact, Beckman said his team could have as many as between 10-13 new players on campus in January. It?s all in an effort to address a lack of depth in the upper classes and to get more quality players involved.


If you ask ESPN draft ?expert? Mel Kiper, he thinks Michigan State?s William Gholston should stay another season.

No doubt, Gholston didn?t enjoy the type of season many envisioned for him, but the junior still is a monster talent. Gholston isn?t the lone Spartan with a decision to make. What will running back Le?Veon Bell and tight end Dion Sims do?


Much has been written about the recent additions of Rutgers and Maryland. Well, here?s a monster piece from the Washington Post that takes a close look at the Terrapins? pending move.

Money trumps tradition ? every time.


My take: Agree. Not sure why these guys have been so widely ignored.

My take: True, but we all wanna see Lewan vs. Clowney, too!

My take: It?s hard to argue with Johnny Manziel first team and Collin Klein second. But, perhaps Miller should have been third-team ahead of Alabama?s A.J. McCarron.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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