Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 21, 2015

No Traevon Jackson, no problem for Wisconsin, which used defense and hot 3-point shooting to dismantle Iowa by 32 points on Tuesday night to send a loud message to the rest of the Big Ten. This is the Badgers? conference to lose, if you didn?t already know it.

"I think we were as close to a complete 40 minutes as we've been all year," said Sam Dekker, who fashioned an impressive all-around performance. "Overall I think it was one of our best 40 minutes of the year.?

Sounds about right.


An interesting sidebar from the Iowa-Wisconsin game was ESPN color commentator Dan Dakich calling Hawkeye big man Adam Woodbury ?gutless? and saying he should be suspended. Dakich felt Woodbury used his fingers to intentionally gouge the eyes of Wisconsin players Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery defended his player.

"Danny Dakich is completely out of line," McCaffery said after the game. "He crossed the line. He is out of line. He is not right. It was an accident. Adam Woodbury would never, ever, ever do that. Ever do that."

Later, Dakich tweeted: "I'm not even a little 'out of line."

Check out the Vines in this link and judge for yourself.


I tell ya: Michigan coach John Beilein is amazing. He keeps finding ways to win while dealing with adversity headlined by the loss of star Caris LeVert.

The latest display of Beilein coaching savvy was last night, when he navigated the Wolverines to a nice win at pesky Rutgers. But now, the sledding will get really tough with games at home vs. Wisconsin and Nebraska followed by a trip to Michigan State, visit from Iowa and trip to Indiana. Hey, I?m not counting out any team coached by Beilein.


The Big Ten has seen a raft of top hoops players suffer injuries this season, including Michigan?s Caris LeVert, Illinois? Rayvonte Rice and Wisconsin?s Traevon Jackson, among others. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says it?s because of over-use.

"This is what I think we really have to look at, that is an overused injury," Izzo said. "That was not an injury because something happened. That was an over-used, over-worked injury and you're seeing more of those stress fracture breaks. If you read anything about that kid with (Nik) Stauskas that summer, it was morning, noon and night working on his game. God love him."

And these injuries are hurting teams? chances of winning the Big Ten, Lee Barfknect of points out. It has become the ?Year of the Injury.?

The key injury roll-call:

  • Michigan?s Caris LeVert (foot)
  • Illinois? Rayvonte Rice (hand)
  • Wisconsin?s Traevon Jackson (foot)
  • Indiana?s Hanner Mosquera-Perea (knee)
  • Illinois? Tracy Abrams (knee)
  • Maryland?s Dez Wells (wrist)
  • Nebraska?s Leslee Smith (knee) and Moses Abraham (hand)


Bet you didn?t know this: Rutgers is tied among all schools for the most former players on active Super Bowl rosters.

Dan Duggan of notes that with four representatives, Rutgers is tied with Wisconsin, Texas A&M and Oregon for the most alums on an active roster in the Super Bowl. Rutgers and Wisconsin lead the Big Ten, which has nine schools with alums on an active roster in the Super Bowl. Illinois, Michigan and Purdue each have two alums in the game, while Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State and Penn State have one former player on an active roster.


Sports Illustrated is out with an early Top 10 look at 2015 Heisman contenders.

The Ohio State quarterback-whoever it is, Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones-is No. 2. And Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott is No. 4.


Speaking of Ohio State, Buckeye fans surely remember DE Noah Spence, whose career went sideways in Columbus. Well, he has landed at FCS Eastern Kentucky, where he can play right away. The Colonels traditionally have a strong program.


OK, here is a great repository of links pertaining to the NCAA?s decision last week to restore Joe Paterno?s vacated wins. As you can see, there is a great variance of opinion on the matter.

*** has a good look at JerShon Cobb?s new role in Northwestern?s offense. Lots of good videos to illustrate the story.


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.