Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 20, 2014

Ohio State is looking awfully impressive since that stupefying home loss to a Virginia Tech club that now has three losses. This is looking more and more like a potential playoff team.

Like the Big Ten, the Pac-12 and Big 12 no longer feature any undefeated teams, as points out. And the Buckeyes continue to make their best case for a playoff slot. That Va Tech loss? It was a fluke. This is a fast-improving OSU squad.

Everything is clicking. J.T. Barrett has 17 TD passes with just one pick in the last four games with an average of 293 yards passing. Over that same span, OSU is averaging 314 yards rushing. The defense has 12 turnovers and 12 sacks in the last four games. That OSU at MSU game may be for a playoff spot.


There are few better coaches in the nation than Michigan State?s Mark Dantonio. And he has a record that already makes him one of the best in school annals. At 70-30, he is the winningest coach through 100 games in MSU history.

Reaching 100 games puts Dantonio in rare company. Of the 125 FBS college coaches, only 17 have longer tenures than Dantonio.

And of the 23 head coaches in Michigan State history, Dantonio is only the fourth to reach the 100 games mark. How much longer can he go?


Rutgers visit to Ohio State was far from a thing of beauty. Nope, the 56-17 loss was ugly. The Buckeyes poured it on, but the Scarlet Knights say they had no issue with OSU running up the score.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes, leading 56-17, had fourth-and-3 from the Rutgers' 13. Meyer eschewed a field goal and called a pass. Rutgers took over on downs when Barrett's pass fell incomplete. Flood said he wasn't bothered by Meyer's approach.

"Absolutely not," Flood said. "I don't spend any time thinking about that. My job is to make sure that we're doing everything we can for our program."

Meyer explained that he wanted to get Barrett, a redshirt freshman making his sixth start, more reps. More reps? Hasn?t Barrett started every game this season? Oh, well.

RU just has to put this loss behind it and not let it derail what to date has been a nice season.


It wasn?t pretty for Iowa on Saturday at Maryland. In fact, Rick Brown of thinks Iowa should be embarrassed.

The Hawkeyes blew a great chance to secure a prime spot atop the West Division for the stretch run. Now? Iowa has a lot to think about as it enters a bye week. The line play on both sides of the ball must improve. The tackling needs to be sharper. And what to make of the QB spot?


It was difficult not to be impressed with the resolve of Minnesota, as it rallied for a 39-38 win over Purdue after trailing 31-20 at halftime. It was the first time under Jerry Kill that the Gophers had rallied from a deficit at intermission to win.

Now, Minnesota is primed to make a run at the West title, as it has moved into the Coaches Poll.


Indiana?s Tevin Coleman continues to impress, running for over 100 yards for a ninth game in a row last week. No player in the nation has a longer such streak, and Coleman became the first 100-yard runner against Michigan State this season. Check him out in this video.


The Dave Brandon situation becomes more interesting by the day. Nice column here from Nick Baumgardner of on the subject.


Purdue had a hoops scrimmage on Saturday. And big men A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas looked good. It will be fun to see these 7-foot aircraft carriers play on the court together.

"I feel like we can play together," Hammons said, "but I'd like to see how it goes against another team instead of (a scrimmage)."

Me, too.

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.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.