Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 31, 2014

With the football season not going as planned at Michigan, the coming hoop season offers hope for big success. The youngsters - freshmen Kameron Chatman, D.J. Wilson, Ricky Doyle, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Aubrey Dawkins and Austin Hatch–must step up. Keep an eye on the interior.

Here?s a nice A-Z look at the season.

Remember the fuss that stirred when Penn State removed the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium? Well, a company is now selling replicas of the statue for the public to buy.

The replica figurine has been labeled "Running onto the field" and is six inches wide, nine inches tall and 18.25 inches tall. It's handcrafted in heavy bronze resin and polished to "emulate a bronze finish," according to its product listing. It weighs 9.55 pounds and is being sold by for $590.


Is the upcoming visit from Illinois a trap game for Ohio State? Ari Wasserman of discusses that, J.T. Barrett?s injury and other things in this podcast. The Illinois game? A trap? For OSU? Nah.


Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was Urban Meyer?s offensive coordinator at Florida. He?s one of several former Meyer assistants who have gone on to big things. Could current OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash and offensive coordinator Tom Herman be next from the Meyer coaching tree to land head coaching gigs? Offensive line coach Ed Warinner is another one to watch, as he has been connected to the Kansas opening.

 *** has five questions with Iowa writer Andrew Logue, one of the best in the business.

This is a big game on Saturday for the Hawkeyes, who welcome Northwestern. Is it a must win? Maybe not, but it?s close to being one for Iowa. The offense has been an issue all year. Check out this question that Logue fielded.

Q: OK, Andrew, I'll put you on the spot. Gut feeling: Is Greg Davis back as offensive coordinator next year?

A: No, unless the offense hits on all cylinders the next five weeks. I'm not sure wins and losses will tell the whole story in regards to Davis, because escaping with a couple of 13-10 victories won't be enough for a fan base expecting more from a unit that returned eight starters. They Hawkeyes were 8-4 last season. The only way they'll do better this fall is by putting more points on the board.


The hoops season hasn?t started, but Minnesota already has booted Illinois State transfer Zach Lofton off the team.


Tom Shatel of is like a lot of people: Stoked about the coming playoff. The initial rankings have set the stage for what should be a wild month, with as many as 16 teams seemingly having a shot at one of the four berths.

Shatel thinks that if No. 15 Nebraska and No. 16 Ohio State still have outside shots at making the final four if they win out and catch some breaks. And, I think he?s correct.


Yes, the Illinois hoops team has some intriguing newcomers. But the success of the season probably will hinge on how the vets perform.

The great Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette notes that Rayvonte Rice and Ahmad Starks are fifth-year collegians. They?ve been through the mill. Nnanna Egwu and Aaron Cosby are fourth-year students. All four have celebrated their 22nd birthdays. They provide a level of maturity, physicality and defensive tenacity that pays dividends in the Big Ten. This may be a sleeper team, people.


Good piece here from the Sporting News on why Indiana?s Tevin Coleman deserves Heisman votes. You don?t have to tell me that. I?ve been on Coleman?s bandwagon since last year.


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.