Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 15, 2015

Today is the day that Ohio State QB Cardale Jones must decide if he?ll return for his junior season or turn pro. I think he should return to Columbus. Three starts aren?t enough even if they were incredibly impressive. Jones needs more seasoning. Then again, his stock never will be higher-and he risks sliding back to third-string. An interesting conundrum.

Update: Jones has announced a news conference today to make his decision. BTN & BTN2Go will carry the event live.

On the subject of Ohio State quarterbacks, here is a nice feature on J.T. Barrett from Ari Wasserman of

After suffering a knee injury in high school, Barrett became an inspiration to teammates through his pregame speeches. This is a nice look into Barrett?s past, a past that shaped what he has become today: A great person and player.


The great Mike DeCourcy has his midseason All-American team out. Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky is on the first team. It?s fitting, though he has dealt with a concussion this season.


It seems the drumbeat continues to grow louder for the NCAA to restore the wins to Joe Paterno?s record that were expunged when sanctions were meted out in the Sandusky scandal.

"I know what Joe stood for, I know what he worked for and I know I wouldn't be in the situation that I'm in today if it wasn't for that man," said former player Josh Gaines. "Some of the things he taught me in life - he got me ready for life and so I can't sit here and look at his wins being taken away when he didn't even get a chance to really defend himself."

I have feeling the Paterno sycophants will get their way in this.


The FWAA announced its Freshman All-American Team. And the Big Ten was well-represented.


Wisconsin trotted out its coordinators under new coach Paul Chryst. Dave Aranda was retained from Gary Andersen?s staff to run the defense. (GREAT move.) Joe Rudolph came from Pitt with Chryst and will run the offense. (Another nice move for Chryst.) This staff is coming together nicely.

?There are a number of similarities with Dave and Joe,? Chryst, said in a statement released by the school. ?Both are obviously terrific football coaches. They care about our student-athletes, not just as players but also people. As coaches, they are committed to helping them become successful and well-rounded adults. The players can sense that and really enjoy playing for them.?

It also looks like Wisconsin will hire Jay Norvell to coach wideouts. He played at Iowa and has coached at Wisconsin. In fact, he?s a Madison native. Norvell was co-OC at Oklahoma and has also run offense at UCLA and Nebraska. This would be a terrific addition for Chryst.


Attention, Northwestern fans: Here is a nice podcast from on Northwestern's loss at Michigan State and the football team's depth chart for 2015, among other things.


You always want to play the best. Well, Rutgers added two games with Virginia Tech in 2023 and 2024. My guess: Frank Beamer won?t be coaching the Hokies. But they?ll still be pretty good.


A pattern has developed against Michigan: When defenses focus on stopping Caris LeVert, the Wolverine offense gets off-kilter. It happened again vs. Ohio State. Michigan needs to develop a counter punch.

"We know that he has so much to do with their offense," OSU?s Sam Thompson said. "If I could disrupt that or if I could throw that timing off, if I could give him a hard time, then we'd have a lot of success on that end, so that's what I tried to do."


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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