Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 11, 2013

I know, I know ? Michigan fans would just as soon put the Rich Rodriguez era in their rear-view mirror. In a word, it was ?disastrous.? But Wolverine fans and others may find this interesting on an otherwise slow ?Football Friday? as Michigan prepares to play Bill O'Brien and Penn State on Saturday.  It seems Rodriguez thinks the NCAA violations incurred under his watch in A-squared were, shall we say, a little smelly.

?I get mad when I think about that,? he said. ?To me, and I don?t mind saying it, I thought it was a bunch of B.S. We got in trouble for having, in the offseason, a strength coach putting a rubber ball on a stick to use as a get-off thing, as a thing when (the players) do the running. They said that?s using football equipment. A rubber ball on a stick. Now think about that, I could?ve put a hat on a stick. And that was something I got in trouble for.

?Another thing we got in trouble for is letting some of the interns, or quality control guys, sit in the room with the coaches while we watched film. Not giving any input, just sit there and learn … and that?s a violation. There are schools now that are hiring ex-NFL coaches and scouts to do that full-time for them. And I got a violation because of that.?

Here is the video of Rodriguez:


This will be the 500th game at Spartan Stadium on Saturday when Michigan State welcomes Indiana. And here are the top five moments played in the edifice-at least according to some luminaries who cover the team.

Speaking of the Spartans, the defense is great, but the staff would like to see it get more sacks. Stud end Shilique Calhoun has just two sacks on the year. That?s one less than his touchdowns scored in 2013.

Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press notes that the Spartans have just nine sacks. But the defense is getting pressure as evidenced by 33 quarterback hurries. MSU had just 34 all of last season.


Ohio State has finalized its 2015 non-con schedule. Not sure how much it will augment its strength of schedule for a playoff push. Still, I love the Virginia Tech game.


Bob Flounders of takes one last, painful look back at the Nittany Lions? loss at Indiana. The defeat in Bloomington could just be the beginning of an 0-3 start in the Big Ten for PSU. After Michigan?s visit this Saturday, Penn State goes to Ohio State. Feel free to pull the covers up over your head.


Jerry Kill announced yesterday that he?s taking time off to deal with his health. Good move. As Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out, it?s time that Kill?s health takes a priority.

Powers points out that Kill probably hated to do it. And that if Kill had his way, he'd probably continue to shrug off the seizures and keep trying to plow forward. The guy is fearless. But had he been allowed to proceed, it would have demonstrated that everyone's priorities were out of order.

I wonder when this will become more about what?s best for the Minnesota program and not about Jerry Kill. At some point, the Gopher program needs questions answered and a more firm future so it can proceed.

Watch Thursday's Minnesota press conference about Kill's leave of absence below.


I love Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. And so should you. With hoop season almost here (really), he sneaks a peek at March Madness. He has Iowa as a No. 4 seed. Hmmm. Seems about right.



My take: This is the deal of a century. Well, it?s at least the best deal in Indiana this week.

My take: I think Nebraska will be just fine with Tommy Armstrong under center at Purdue. Let Taylor Martinez heal more. NU is off next week.

My take: This is a nice streak.

My take: Well said.

My take: That?s harsh ? but probably true.

My take: This unit only will get better. And just think: Michigan has been playing without its best player in LB Jake Ryan.

My take: That?s ?money.?

My take: He also may be a future No. 1 overall draft choice. There, I typed it.

My take: I wonder if and when he returns.

My take: This is incredible.


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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