Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 30, 2014

The anticipation for Jim Harbaugh?s arrival at Michigan builds. This will be a huge get for the Wolverines, a move that should alter the pecking order in the Big Ten.

Harbaugh wasn?t always an in-demand $8-million man. Here is a nice photo gallery of him growing up in Ann Arbor. (Start the sentimental music.)


No shock at all to see Indiana RB Tevin Coleman go pro. The guy has done all he can in college. And the shelf life for a running back is only so long.

Coleman became Indiana's first All-Big Ten player since 2010 and set school records for yards in a season, yards per carry in a season (7.5) and career (7.1). He finished seventh in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Bravo, Tevin! But is he a first-round pick? Probably not. Still, he had to go.


It?s good to see that Michigan State QB Connor Cook will be back for his senior season.

It makes sense. Cook can use another season of seasoning. But quarterbacks coach Brad Salem could depart to be offensive coordinator at Pitt for Pat Narduzzi. Stay tuned.

"Coach Salem is my favorite coach I've ever had playing the game of football," Cook said. ?He?s like a father figure a little bit, you can literally talk to him about anything — school, personal life, girlfriend, family whatever it is.

"You come off the field after three handoffs, and he's coaching you up, no matter if it's a run, pass or whatever it is," he said. "He's in your ear telling you what you need to do, what you haven't done, always there providing insight."


I was a bit surprised to see Penn State OT Donovan Smith leave early for the NFL.

This is a Nittany Lions o-line that has some serious work to do. It did even if Smith had opted to come back. notes that Penn State will return just three starters — center Angelo Mangiro, tackle Andrew Nelson, and guard Brian Gaia — in 2015. Reserves Brendan Mahon, Derek Dowrey, and Wendy Laurent also return, and each started at least one game in 2014.  The program will also welcome a pair of tackles, Pittsburgh Baldwin's Sterling Jenkins and Lackawanna JC transfer Paris Palmer, into the program in January.


Minnesota is getting amped for its matchup with Missouri. The Gophers are the underdog vs. the SEC East champs. Here is how Minnesota can beat the Tigers.

A big key: Make Missouri throw the ball to win. Another key: Minnesota must run well. This could be a very fun game.


For the second time in three years, Barry Alvarez is leading Wisconsin in a bowl game. He didn?t do so well the last time, as the Badgers lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl after the 2012 season. This time, Alvarez says he won?t be as passive. I know, it sounds funny: Barry Alvarez was passive? He says so.

?I won?t be afraid to insert myself more,? he told reporters after practice Tuesday morning. ?I was a little reluctant last time and I kick myself now. That is one thing I won?t hesitate to do this time around.?

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Alvarez acknowledged his involvement could include play-calling, though he is allowing coordinators Dave Aranda and Andy Ludwig to build the game plans for the bowl game. Wow. I find that hard to believe.


Iowa opened up its quarterback back job after the Nebraska game, offensive coordinator Greg Davis acknowledged.

Now, Iowa plans to use both QBs Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard in the TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Tennessee. No one is saying who will start. Does it really matter? Both quarterbacks will take snaps in each of the first two quarters, Davis says.

"Then we'll sit down at halftime and decide if we want to continue to do what we're doing, or if we're going to let one take the second half and go," Davis said.


So, with Jim Harbaugh set to become Michigan coach, what does that mean for former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano?

Keith Sargeant of says it's possible that Schiano's name resurfaces for another collegiate job, but with Pitt, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan now off the table, it doesn't appear as if Schiano's next destination will have a major impact on Rutgers. Sargeant guesses Schiano gets mentioned for a few NFL head coaching jobs (Jets, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons) and defensive coordinator positions (the Philadelphia Eagles would make sense if that job opens).


Just how tough is Northwestern?s Big Ten hoops schedule? The conclusion by schedule-makers have done the Wildcats no favors.