Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 13, 2013

Let?s start daily links here with Ohio State?s Braxton Miller winning the Silver Football from the Chicago Tribune as the Big Ten MVP. Not a big surprise but still impressive when you consider he missed almost three games with a knee injury. Had Miller posted big numbers in a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, I think he would have been a Heisman finalist.


Doug Lesmerises of lays out five reasons why Miller should return for his senior season. And here are five reasons why the junior should turn pro.

Me? I think he should stay. I just don?t see Miller being a good NFL quarterback. People love to yammer on about how he has improved his pass; and, he has. But Miller is still a quarterback who largely gets by with his feet. And those guys never excel in the NFL, where you have to work from the pocket.


Interesting item from the great Tom Oates of, who says the continued inconsistency of quarterback Joel Stave means Wisconsin must open competition at the position.

Oates notes that though Stave ranks near the middle of Big Ten quarterbacks in most passing categories and has had stretches in games where he gets hot and takes the offense on long drives, he has been alarmingly inconsistent. His penchant for missing wide-open receivers has made him a lightning rod for criticism and led many to wonder if he can hold onto the job next season.

But the other options don?t seem tantalizing. Tanner McEvoy arrived from JC and was moved to defense. Bart Houston remains in the fold but didn?t make much headway in recent competition. A prep player plans to enroll in January. Stay tuned.


Penn State is going to play Princeton in old Rec Hall on Saturday. I sure wish I was going. But reading this story from Ben Jones of is the next best thing.


Nebraska has a bright young star linebacker in Michael Rose, according to Jon Nyatawa of He?s correct. In fact, the Huskers have many good, young linebackers.

?We need a field general,? coordinator John Papuchis said 11 days after an FCS running back (South Dakota State's Zach Zenner) had racked up 202 rushing yards on NU, the third most by an opponent in Memorial Stadium history. ?Until we get that, we're not going to be the defense we want to be.?

A month went by before Rose emerged at middle linebacker. Now, watch him become a star.


The gang at College Football News has its Freshman All-American Team out. And the Big Ten has some reps.

Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin is gonna be a stud. Who am I kidding: He already is. There also is Wisconsin center Dan Voltz and Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa among first-team honorees.


My take: The guy has made an amazing rise.

My take: The guy is good.

My take: Just absurd. What coach wouldn?t put Braxton Miller first, second or third on this ballot?

My take: Yes, Waynes will be a special CB.

My take: How good is this guy gonna be? So many good young tight ends in the Big Ten.

My take: Hmmmm. My guess: Not many have been sold. But, it?s just a guess.

My take: I still think he should have been at least a finalist for the Biletnikoff.

My take: Iowa is a coaching factory.


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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