Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 25, 2014

Yes, Nebraska is rolling. But no team is rolling better than Wisconsin, which has won five in a row. The Badgers are still two games off the Big Ten pace, but that doesn?t matter. What does matter is the fact Wisconsin is back on track after losing five of six games before going on its recent run. And the Badgers may be headed to Milwaukee to play their first two NCAA games as a No. 3 seed.


After beating Michigan State twice this season (and six of the last eight times) and resting atop the Big Ten standings as we hit the homestretch, Michigan can at least dream of winning the national title ? right? Sure. Why not?


Big Ten Standings
Conference Overall
Michigan 11-3 19-7
Michigan State 11-4 22-6
Wisconsin 9-5 22-5
Iowa 8-5 19-7
Ohio State 9-6 22-6
Nebraska 8-6 16-10
Minnesota 6-9 17-11
Indiana 5-8 15-11
Purdue 5-9 15-12
Northwestern 5-10 12-16
Illinois 4-10 15-12
Penn State 4-10 13-14
View Full Standings

Well, looks like Fran McCaffery has had enough of social media after the weekend Twitter blow up involving Zach McCabe and some fans. McCaffery?s solution: Players must shut down Twitter accounts until the end of the season.


?My overall impressions of social media are negative, for the very reason of what we just experienced,? McCaffery told reporters during the Big Ten teleconference Monday morning. ?It?s not something we can dwell on. I think what we have to do, and what I?ve done, is to tell all of our players to shut down their Twitter accounts until the season is over.?

Listen to the teleconference here:

Pat Harty of thinks this is a good idea.

Hogwash. It?s a horrible idea. Let the players make the decisions on their own. ?Smashing? something because you can?t control it is silly. I can?t help but think of the term ?luddite.?

What?s next?


It was great to see Minnesota give Jerry Kill a new deal recently. The program is on the rise, and Kill seems to be gaining more control over his epilepsy. He?s driving again for the first time in years. But, the university is taking steps to protect itself if Kill struggles with health issues.

According to Kill's contract, his pay will be suspended if he's unable to perform one or more essential functions of the job of head coach, with or without reasonable accommodation, due to his medical condition for 90 continuous calendar days, 70 continuous calendar days during the offseason or 45 calendar days during the football season (from the first day of summer football practice through the last game of the year).


Whoa! Forty-two secondary violations in 2013 for Ohio State? Wow. I guess this isn?t a big deal.


If you are an Ohio State fan, this is a good sign: Sam Thompson is beginning to find his groove. The Buckeyes are gonna need his offense if they wanna make any type of run in March.

It?s been seven games since Thompson was inserted into the starting lineup, replacing Shannon Scott to end a two-point guard system that also included Aaron Craft. Ohio State has gone 6-1 after losing four of its previous five games. The first five games in the new lineup were nondescript as far as Thompson?s performance. Still, his impact is tangible.


The gang at Athlon Sports is at it again with some nice content. This team, the publication ranked the best football-basketball coaching tandems in the nation. Who is No. 1? The Michigan State duo of Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo. Ohio State is No. 2; Wisconsin No. 6.

David Fox of Athlon explains:

"We've being doing this list for two years, and the way I defined it was who has the best duo, in terms of keeping the program in contention from the start of football season until the end of basketball season," Fox said. "If you are a student or fan of Michigan State or Ohio State, odds are you are going to be excited to go those games.

"You look at the last year, and after Mark Dantonio and Michigan State beat Urban Meyer's head to head it was an easy call to move them (Michigan State) ahead."


Nebraska?s wild, wonderful ride just won?t stop. The Cornhuskers have won five in a row and eight of 10 games, inching a half-game out of fourth place and ever closer to earning a bye in the Big Ten tourney and maybe notching an NCAA bid for the first time since 1998.

Please, Basketball Gods, don?t let this end.


Purdue?s already dreary season got drearier with news that Sterling Carter will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.



My take: More incredible info on an incredible season.

My take: Michigan has been doing pretty well without the big fella.

My take: This will be pretty cool.

My take: A high-first-rounder.

My take: Hmmmmm.

My take: Gonna be a fun, wild and unpredictable event.

My take: A nice addition of the former Georgia running back.

My take: And Purdue hoops never really has been the same.


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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