Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 28, 2014

Ho-hum. Last night, a Penn State team that was 4-10 in the Big Ten and 13-14 overall beat an Ohio State team that was 9-6 and 22-6. Oh-by-the-way, this was the second time the Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes this season. Don?t try to figure it out. Just enjoy the absolute craziness of this season. And it?s not over yet.

Certainly the Buckeyes didn?t want to lose in State College, Pa. I mean, this was an Ohio State club that had won three in a row and six of seven games. The only loss in that stretch was to Michigan. Respectable. I guess I thought OSU was beyond losing to last-place teams-even on the road. Aaron Craft wasn?t too pleased after the defeat.

How good is this team? I?m confused.

Big Ten Standings (through 2/28)
Conference Overall
Michigan 12-3 20-7
Michigan State 11-4 22-6
Wisconsin 10-5 23-5
Ohio State 9-7 22-7
Iowa 8-7 19-9
Nebraska 8-7 16-11
Minnesota 7-9 18-11
Indiana 6-9 16-12
Illinois 5-10 16-12
Purdue 5-10 15-13
Penn State 5-10 14-14
Northwestern 5-10 12-16
View Full Standings

Iowa?s perplexing season continues. The loss at Indiana was the Hawkeyes? third in a row. It wasn?t too long ago that Iowa still had a shot to win its first regular-season title since 1978-79. Now, this team may end up 9-9. The defense in Iowa City has gone from average to, well, atrocious. The Hawkeyes have allowed 95 and 93 points in their last two games.


Is Illinois postseason bound? It?s a question Mark Tupper of the Decatur Herald-Review posed.

Don?t laugh. It could happen. Credit the coaching of John Groce. The NCAA tourney is a long, long shot. But the NIT and CBI are possibilities. To land in either, Illinois probably needs to .500 overall.  By moving to 16-12 overall, Illinois can finish no worse than .500 with losses in the final three regular-season games and an opening loss in the Big Ten Tournament.


He?s back! That?s right. Michigan State man-child Branden Dawson will return for the Spartans? game vs. Illinois. But how much will he play? Dawson hasn?t laced ?em up since Jan. 21 after breaking a hand. And here is some video of Dawson talking about his comeback.

The Spartans were 18-1 when Dawson broke his hand in a film-session Jan. 23 and are 4-5 in the nine games since. See the connection?


Nice story on Michigan?s unsung Caris LeVert from Brendan Quinn of


Minnesota big man Charles Buggs considered transferring after Tubby Smith was fired. Good thing he didn?t.

Added weight and confidence have made Buggs a contributor on a team that seems to be headed to an improbable NCAA tourney bid. I still can?t believe Minnesota may make the NCAA tourney and Indiana may not.


Looks like Iowa quarterback Cody Sokol is looking to transfer. No big whoop, seeing as how Jake Rudock has solidified the spot. This happens all the time.


New Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is in the process of doing his thing in Ann Arbor with spring drills underway.

Sounds like Nussmeier would like to go at a quicker tempo. He also wants to play multiple backs. This is going to be fun and interesting to watch.



My take: Yep, all of those upsets helped the Huskers.

My take: Sure.

My take: Don?t you love fans?

My take: He should be angry.

My take: Happy birthday, Hayden!

My take: Don?t try to figure it out. Just enjoy the weirdness.

My take: He?s a fine candidate.

My take: Not gonna disagree.

My take: Speaks to how good OSU has been.

My take: Pat Chambers can coach a little, huh? Can?t wait for Wisconsin?s visit to State College this weekend.

My take: Interesting thought.


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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