Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 17, 2013

Pelini-gate is sweeping the nation, as a secret recording of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini surfaced yesterday. And, it wasn?t flattering to the Cornhusker boss. In addition to crude language, Pelini is heard disparaging Nebraska fans. The reactions have been interesting.

Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star says if Nebraska is gonna get rid of Pelini, it should do so over his record-not this tape.

Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette thinks secretly taping Pelini is worse than the coach?s F-bombs. It is dastardly.

The great Lee Barfknecht of says that Pelini?s biggest mistake was to insult fans.

Yep. Coaches, you can rip the media all you like. That?s OK. We can take it. And, sometimes, we deserve it. But never, ever, EVER rip the fans.

Still, the timing of the release of this tape is dubious. The recording has been around almost two years but yet it is only NOW released? No, I?m not excusing Pelini?s behavior. But, the timing of the recording?s release is kinda fishy, if you ask me.


Minnesota A.D. Norwood Teague says he is 100 percent behind Jerry Kill.

?I have full faith that we can move forward with the program,? Teague said while addressing the media: "What I go back to is that I support him 100 percent. He's an epileptic. He has seizures. We deal with it and we move on. If I felt like it was affecting things, it would be different."

Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wondered recently if maybe Minnesota needed to examine if it was prudent to keep Kill on the job. And, apparently, there was some backlash.

Souhan?s take remains the same: Coaching big-time college football is a highly visible, competitive and stressful job. I don?t believe the head coach who is the face of such an enterprise can handle the duties while frequently suffering public seizures.

Now, the Star Tribune?s editorial board has weighed in on the subject of Kill. Its conclusion: epilepsy doesn?t define Jerry Kill.

I love this part of the editorial: ?It?s possible to imagine that Kill?s coping with his illness while building a successful team could be just the heroic narrative that college football needs right now. The game is swimming in scandal and hypocrisy. If Frank Capra were still alive, he?d be pitching Kill?s story all around Hollywood.?


Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde is back from a three-game suspension. Did you even know he was gone? The Buckeyes have a deep well of talent at running back, as Jordan Hall stepped in the first three games and excelled. But, no doubt, Hyde is Ohio State?s top back, a physical force who can carry a big load between the tackles. He needs to knock some rust off vs. Florida A&M on Saturday.

But even more interesting storyline has been the continued strong play of backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. Should he continue to get some action even when Braxton Miller returns from a knee injury?

I think so. Poor Florida A&M is likely gonna see the Buckeyes? full arsenal this Saturday.


This is why I love Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. He?s STILL furious about Saturday?s near-catastrophic loss to Akron.

"We will not come out like this again," Lewan said.

For Michigan to avoid any disasters, it must run better. Perhaps the team took its first step toward that with a full practice on Sunday, which is atypical. The d-line also needs a better rush and containment, and the secondary allowed too many yards after contact. You know, this near loss may be the best thing to happen to Michigan, as Hoke now has his teams? undivided attention.


Yes, Purdue lost to Notre Dame. But Darrell Hazell saw some things he likes. And, perhaps the biggest thing he saw: the players fought back from adversity.


Iowa has a new starting receiver. His name: Tevaun Smith, who replaces Donald Shumpert.

This offense can run but still needs more juice in the passing game.


Tackling was an issue for Penn State in its loss to UCF. That has caused some to wonder if the Nittany Lions? ?THUD? tackling in practice–in which they hit but don?t full bring down a player to avoid injury–played a role in the poor effort.

I don?t think so. This is just a good UCF team.


Nice piece by the great Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal who opines on the notion that Michigan State?s Big Ten schedule appears to be manageable. And big things could be in the offing, despite offensive struggles. Really.

I have to agree. If the Spartans can win at Notre Dame-which isn?t out of the question, as this doesn?t appear to be a formidable Irish squad-the early-season grumbling in East Lansing soon may be a distant memory. MSU may have found some hope at quarterback in Connor Cook-but I?m not gonna get too carried away with a 55-point outing vs. a FCS foe. Still, it?s a start and big improvement. And the Big Ten, frankly, doesn?t look to be loaded. So, smile, Sparty!


There seemingly is never a shortage of storylines in the Big Ten. Get caught up here.

As Gillian Van Stratt of points out: ?This past weekend did not help change the perception of those who question the strength of the league. Other than Ohio State's win at Cal, the Big Ten was plagued by collapses (Nebraska), controversy (Wisconsin) and downright upsets (Penn State).

Some teams who won (Michigan State and Indiana) weren't challenged enough, while other teams (Michigan and Northwestern) were challenged more than expected.?

Yes, the Big Ten will have to wait until bowl season to impress America.


My take: I have no idea.

My take: I don?t want to think about it.

My take: Well, I know this: It certainly won?t help recruiting.

My take: Yep.

My take: Big head syndrome.

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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