Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 5, 2013

It?s Tuesday. Not sure about the significance of Tuesday. There never really has been significance to Tuesday. So, let?s just jump right into daily links. The lack of quarterbacking heft in the Big Ten has been fairly well documented the last few years. But, in case you have forgotten, here is this little reminder: Davey O?Brien award announced its 16 semifinalists. And only one Big Ten quarterback made the cut: Ohio State?s Braxton Miller.

Doug Lesmerises of points out that it was another reminder that Ohio State really may have the two best quarterbacks in the conference. (Yes, Kenny Guiton is that good.) And it's another reminder why the Big Ten hasn't seen a quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since Kerry Collins in 1995.

[ MORE: Watch Guiton & Miller's unconventional Week 10 TD passes ]

The Big Ten has not been a quarterback league, which is part of the reason why it's no longer among the best leagues in the country. The SEC had five QBs among the semifinalists: Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Alabama's AJ McCarron, South Carolina's Connor Shaw and Georgia's Aaron Murray. The Pac-12 put three in the top 16: Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Oregon State's Sean Mannion and UCLA's Brett Hundley.


Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan ruffled some feathers by grabbing the facemask of Michigan State safety Isaiah Lewis last Saturday. At least Lewan owned up to it and admitted he was wrong. That?s one thing I like about the guy. He?s always honest.

"I'm not trying to make any excuses for it, absolutely not, what I did was wrong," Lewan told reporters Monday. "There's always a different way to go about (a situation), and I should have gone about it a different way.

"But I can't take it back now."


Fun read from Rich Kaipust of, as he looks at Husker hero Ron Kellogg in the aftermath of his Hail Mary chuck. The guy is third-string former walk-on. You can?t make up stuff like this. Now, he?ll never be forgotten in Nebraska lore.

This is really funny: Kellogg found out his dad almost got kicked out of a Buffalo Wild Wings for screaming after the 49-yard touchdown gave Nebraska its improbable 27-24 win over Northwestern.

Watch our #BTNLive interview with Kellogg III:

While the Hail Mary pass by Nebraska vs. Northwestern was a miracle, the continued steady play of running back Ameer Abdullah is something the Huskers can build on. The guy is emerging as perhaps the top back in the Big Ten. It may be true, Melvin Gordon and Carlos Hyde. I mean, Abdullah is now the top rusher in the Big Ten.

Sam McKewon of says Abdullah's teammates can duplicate the individual effort he showed in converting a huge 4th-and-15 on the last drive that allowed the Hail Mary to happen. It's mostly what NU will have to rely on from here: great singular efforts piled into a game. The first 59 minutes of Saturday's win proved that. McKewon says the Huskers are beat-up on offense, young on defense and generally flawed in enough ways to risk beating themselves weekly. Coach Bo Pelini knows it; the phrase ?a lot of mistakes? comes from his mouth after nearly every game. Nebraska's mistake-prone. It has been for most of the Pelini era. When those mistakes ?snowball? - another Pelini word - it looks a little like what happened when NU went to Michigan in 2011. Oh, and that?s where Nebraska plays next.


With two-thirds of the season in the books, who is Wisconsin?s MVP? Rock the vote here. Hey, it is election day.

C?mon. It has to be Melvin Gordon. Or, maybe it?s Chris Borland. Now, I?m confused.


Andrew Logue of says Iowa is better, but it?s not a big jump from last season?s 4-8 mark.

Still, remember this summer, when prognosticators were picking the Hawkeyes and Minnesota to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten?s Legends Division? Who?s looking silly now? Huh? Well, I am. The Gophers improved to 7-2 last weekend with a win over Indiana - making Iowa?s 23-7 rout at TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 28 a signature moment in the rebuilding process. And Iowa appears headed to a bowl. Nice stories.


Mike Griffith of says Michigan State isn?t perfect after all following its commanding effort vs. Michigan. In fact, it has something to work on during its bye week: Special teams. I know. It?s a luxury problem.

Griffith says Michigan State's special teams play has not collectively performed at a championship level, and there's no better time than now for the Spartans to focus on improvement, both from a technique and personnel standpoint. There is certainly no issue with the punter or the kicker - both Mike Sadler and Michael Geiger are performing at all-conference if not All-American levels. But the return game and coverage games? They need work. So, there you go.


Nice look at some hoop happenings from the always informative and always entertaining Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

While most pundits are fawning over Michigan State and Michigan, Hlas likes Ohio State. A lot. I guess I do, too. What?s not to like about Aaron Craft, LaQuinton Ross, Amir Williams, Lenzelle Smith Jr., Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson? Exactly.


Get to know new Minnesota coach Richard Pitino in this neato feature by Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

?I tried to talk them all out of coaching, every one of them,? Rick Pitino said of his children, shaking his head as he tried to keep his lips from curling into a smile. He stopped and motioned his head toward Richard.

?He?s the only son that doesn?t listen to me.?

There?s always one of them.


My take: Get ready for a lot of fouls, people.

My take: A little trash talk?

My take: Is this a jab at Michigan State?

My take: Nice to know I'm not the only person in the galaxy who feels the same way. Do kids REALLY pick a school based on uniforms? Really?

My take: He has my vote.

My take: Production is way down for a position that?s loaded with talent.

My take: Not bad for a former receiver.

My take: Stunning.

My take: A good, young coach.

My take: Hey, at least it would be a bowl for the Wildcats, right?

My take: A school has to do what a school has to do.

My take: I would like to see Mizzou vs. Purdue. Hope it happens.

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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