Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 18, 2014

If you are holding your breath for the Michigan-Ohio State game to be played at night, keep holding it.

?It won?t be (at night) this year, nor in following years," said OSU A.D. Gene Smith. ?We have really been firm on that. I think our (TV) partners understand our position. We haven?t gotten any pressure this year at all. As people change, we?ll probably end up getting pressure down the road. But we?re not changing. We think that game should be played in the daytime, and we?re going to keep it that way.?

Amen to that. Keep this iconic game under god?s brilliant sunshine where it belongs.


There are a lot of good rivalries in the Big Ten, headed by such clashes as Michigan-Ohio State, Wisconsin-Minnesota, Michigan-Michigan State and Iowa-Minnesota, among others. Add Ohio State-Michigan State to the list, as these programs have developed into the premier teams in the Big Ten. When they meet, a lot is on the line.

"We've had two great games (with Ohio State), and we lost by one in one game (2012), which I thought we should have won," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. "And then we won by (34-24), really we opened it up at the end with a big run, but it was a very close game as everyone knows. They did an outstanding job coming back and then we bounced back. It was just a great football game."

Just how big is the Ohio State at Michigan State game on Nov. 8? The gang at already is breaking down who has the edge.

One thing is clear: Most people expect the Buckeyes and Spartans to be the two best teams in the Big Ten in 2014. A second thing is even clearer: Unlike last season, they won't play for the Big Ten title since they are in the new East Division. So, their clash likely will have to settle for being a de facto East Division title game.

I can?t wait.


Penn State has announced future football games with Kent State and Georgia State. Don?t everybody stand up and cheer at once.


Nice feature on Iowa QB Jake Rudock, who is a man of many friends-in addition to being a player on the rise and perhaps THE key to the Hawkeyes? season. Can he develop into a playmaker who can throw downfield?


Speaking of Iowa, much has been made about their supposedly cushy schedule.

But before fans get ahead of themselves and fast-forward through the non-conference schedule, consider this: In 15 previous seasons under coach Kirk Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have gone undefeated though the non-conference schedule just three times (2003, 2006 and 2009). And those years featured some close calls, as recalls:

On Sept. 9, 2006, Iowa needed a late goal-line stand to escape Syracuse 20-13.

On Sept. 5, 2009, two blocked field goals preserved a 17-16 win over Northern Iowa.

?I was actually at that game,? said linebacker Travis Perry, who grew up in Urbandale. ?I was in the stands. It was definitely nerve-wrecking, to say the least.?


Remember Michigan State Rose Bowl star Kyler Elsworth? Sure you do. Well, the gritty linebacker has inked with the CFL?s Montreal Alouettes.

He is my new all-time favorite Alouette behind Vince Ferragamo.


The Taylor Lewan case continues to drag on. But, an end appears to be in sight.

Lewan, facing three misdemeanor assault charges, appeared in Ann Arbor's 15th District Court for a pretrial hearing on Thursday. At the request of Lewan's attorney, John Shea, the case is moving forward to a jury trial set for Oct. 28.


The star of Nebraska?s Terran Petteway continues to rise. This guy is a legit NBA prospect, people.

The Big Ten's reigning scoring champ, who averaged 18.1 points last season, was ranked 29th on The Big Lead's list of Top 50 college basketball players released Thursday.

Frank Kaminsky (No. 6) and Sam Dekker (No. 9) paced the Big Ten on the list. Other Big Ten players: Caris LeVert (No. 11), Branden Dawson (No. 37) and Nigel Hayes (No. 47).

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.