Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 26, 2014

For the second season in a row, Nebraska coach Tim Miles is in the market for an assistant coach, as Craig Smith is set to become the top man at South Dakota. Last year, Nebraska saw assistant Ben Johnson take an assistant's job at Minnesota.

What?s this all mean? Miles hires and develops good coaches. Try to get on his staff if you aspire to be a head coach.


The collapse of Iowa this season makes you wonder about next season, right? Well, if not, it should.


In the midst of a run for the Final Four, Michigan State?s Tom Izzo is dealing with rumors connecting him and the Detroit Pistons.

The Izzo-to-the-NBA rumors are an annual occurrence, people. I find it had to believe Izzo would bolt and potentially tarnish his glowing coaching resume. Jumps to the NBA by successful college coaches often have been disastrous.


When it comes to prep work for Michigan, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin isn?t consulting with ol? Purdue buddy Matt Painter, who almost beat Michigan this season.

?I didn?t (ask) to totally be honest with you,? Martin said to Tennessee reporters at his weekly press luncheon. ?Just out of respect for their league, and that?s the truth. Some people probably wouldn?t believe it, but I didn?t because it is the same thing, if somebody called me and wants some information on Kentucky or Florida, I can?t do it because they are in our league, but I didn?t, I really didn?t.?


On the subject of opposing coaches, Virginia?s Tony Bennett will get a cool $250,000 if he beats Michigan State.


Minnesota?s season marches on in the NIT. The win over Southern Miss pushes the Golden Gophers to the Final Four in their first season under Richard Pitino. Check out Austin Hollis cracking a smile after tallying 32 points in his final home game.

Frankly, I didn?t see this coming for the Gophers this season. Take a bow, Goldy.


The air has been pumped into the footballs at Iowa. Hallelujah! Spring ball has sprung! And the major area of concern is the linebacking corps with starters Christian Kirksey, James Morris and Anthony Hitchens gone. The trio combined for 35.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in 2013.

Into the void steps Quinton Alston in the middle, Reggie Spearman on the weak side and Travis Perry on the strong side. Good luck, fellas. But, I think the Hawkeyes may be OK here. Now, about those receivers ?


Spring drills also have begun at Michigan State, and there are some questions to answer. One of them isn?t quarterback, as Connor Cook is back. But Mark Dantonio wants more from the position.

Michigan State would be pleased if Cook shows more consistency with his throws and develops a better sense of when to run and when plays break down. Cook has a strong arm and play-making skills, but his decision-making can improve.

Here are five things to watch.

The development of personnel at defensive tackle is critical. And the linebacking corps also should be scrutinized.


Jeremy Fowler of has a nice Q&A with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Fowler, of course, was the famous target of a Meyer rant a few years ago. Anyway, on to the wide-ranging Q&A.



My take: This just doesn?t feel right.

My take: Ed Warinner will get that line in shape.

My take: Winning the school?s first Big Ten title since 2004 would be a good start.

My take: Amen to that.

My take: So there is that.

My take: Fair enough.

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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