Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 19, 2013

Big doings this weekend. The AP poll came out, with Ohio State pacing five Big Ten teams and ranking No. 2. Here is a good side-by-side comparison between the Coaches and AP polls. And Purdue tabbed Rob Henry as starting quarterback, leaving Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State and Penn State yet to name a starter. Here?s what else is going on, as camps march on across Big Ten territory.

Jerry Kill has done a lot of good things in his two-plus years as Minnesota coach. But he?s still looking for a signature win. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at the possibilities for such a triumph on the 2013 schedule.

A win at Michigan, vs. Nebraska or vs. Wisconsin would qualify as a signature win, in my mind, this season. And, it could happen.


Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star has a nice piece on Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who Sipple thinks is primed to move on to a top job.

I agree. Beck is one of the brightest assistants I know. And if his offense is as good as I think it can be-and the Huskers accrue a lot wins in 2013-Beck will be a hot commodity on the fast track to a head coaching job.


Michigan recently had its first scrimmage. And running back Fitz Toussaint looked good, says Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.

But a freshman running back to watch is De?Veon Smith, who is a sleeper. The jury remains out on freshman Derrick Green, who has yet to hit his stride after being dinged earlier in camp. Oh, and sophomore linebacker James Ross looks like a special player on a Wolverine defense that is loaded with young talent.


The hammer has come down at Ohio State, with Urban Meyer recently announcing suspensions from the season opener for CB Bradley Roby and RB Rod Smith; earlier, RB Carlos Hyde and TE Marcus Baugh were suspended. No worries for Game One, which is vs. ? Buffalo.

With Hyde and Smith out, Jordan Hall is slated to start at running back after moving to an H-Back/Pivot spot. But like everyone else in the galaxy, I wanna see freshman Dontre Wilson.


Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal has a good piece on the Michigan State quarterback spot. Earlier, Mark Dantonio said he will play both Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook. And don?t sleep on Tyler O?Connor.

But it will be interesting to see if talented true freshman Damion Terry can forge a role on this team-or if he?ll redshirt. The kid is coming off an impressive scrimmage. I can?t wait to see what MSU?s new co-offensive coordinators-Dave Warner and Jim Bollman–will do this season.


If you haven?t had a chance to get to know new Penn State DC John Butler, you should. The guy is good. Really good. Rick Scarcella of the Reading Eagle has a nice story on Butler.

Butler is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. He?s smart, too. That?s what Bill O?Brien wasted no time in making Butler DC after Ted Roof left for Georgia Tech. Look for Butler to often dispatch five defensive backs because Penn State is thin at linebacker. Adrian Amos and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, who are listed at safety, also have worked at linebacker. This will be interesting and fun to watch.


Nice story from Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the rise and fall of new Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen.


Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette seems to think Jake Rudock may be the man at quarterback for Iowa after an impressive scrimmage.

More Iowa: Another must-listen-to podcast from Scott Dochterman and Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. There is stuff on Kirk Ferentz, Damon Bullock and others. Boffo.


The gang at Eleven Warriors has nice video interviews with Urban Meyer, Ryan Shazier, Michael Bennett and Josh Perry, getting you all caught up on the goings on in Columbus.


Northwestern is already anticipating its game vs. Cal and its prolific passing attack. To combat, the Wildcats know they?ll need lots of d-linemen to rotate.

And, if there was one area of NU that impressed me when we were at Camp Kenosha, it was its d-line.


Nebraska hoops fans, you?ll want to check out this special section in the Lincoln Journal Star on Pinnacle Bank Arena.

I walked around the perimeter of the place on Sunday when the BTN tour reached Lincoln. And the place is spectacular.


My take: When I watched practice, I was very impressed. Minnesota has to get him on the field.

My take: You have to hand it to Bob: At least he?s consistent.

My take: I still think it will be Joel Stave.

My take: Iowa already is pretty loaded at running back.

My take: This bodes well for Northwestern.

My take: I concur. Heck, the entire Michigan State secondary will be very good.

My take: Henry, in a way, reminds me of Billy Dicken, a senior for won the QB job at Purdue in Joe Tiller?s first season in 1997 and led the Boilers on a magical ride.

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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