Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 2, 2015

Wednesday is Signing Day. And no lead-up to the big day would be complete without the requisite ?do recruiting stars really matter?? story. Here you go.


More Signing Day scuttlebutt: Check out this video with Barton Simmons of 247 Sports, who looks at how some big-time programs-including Michigan–are scrambling with Signing Day near.


How much of an investment is Rutgers making in recruiting?

Between the 2007 and 2011 seasons, Rutgers spent an average of $322,062 annually on its football recruiting budget, according to a review of the university's athletics department fiscal year reports since 2008.

That line item has increased 40.6 percent over the last two fiscal years, according to figures reviewed by NJ Advance Media. For the 2012-13 academic year, Rutgers spent $423,285 and topped that figure by spending a record-high $482,220 in 2013-14, according to the school's annual fiscal reports for athletics.

This is good to see, as RU needed to step things up with the move to the Big Ten.


Can you believe that Jim Harbaugh already has been on the job for a month? Nick Baumgardner of takes a look at the first 31 days of the Harbaugh regime.


The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its most recent class. And two former Huskers made it: offensive linemen Mick Tingelhoff and Will Shields.

Together, they started 463 consecutive NFL games and combined for 18 Pro Bowls and eight first-team All-Pro awards. I was especially happy to see Tingelhoff-a former Viking great from the 1970s-make it.


Great win for Purdue at Northwestern on Saturday. If you are scoring at home, that?s three victories in a row for the Boilermakers who find themselves in a tie for second place. Up next: a huge visit from fellow second-place club Ohio State on Wednesday.

Can Purdue keep counting on 7-footer A.J. Hammons playing with the passion and purpose he has displayed of late? If so, Purdue could make a run for an NCAA bid.


This isn?t good news for an already-short manned Michigan team: point man Derrick Walton will be out for the foreseeable future.

"We don't anticipate him being back for a while … it will be some time," John Beilein told "We're going to give him great rest and the good news is the foot will get better and hopefully the turf toe as well, but we don't have a definite date (for his return)."

Walton has been battling a sprained toe since a late November loss to Villanova and is now bothered by a sore foot as a result of overcompensation for the injured toe.

The Wolverines-already without Caris LeVert–are 6-4 in the Big Ten. But you get the feeling they could slide. Two of the next three games are on the road.


Looky here: Ohio State is introducing ?dynamic? pricing for football games in 2015. You knew this was coming.

What is ?dynamic? pricing, you ask? Basically, fans will play more to see quality opponents. On the 2015 OSU schedule, you could see Hawaii twice ($130) for less than it will cost to see Michigan State once (150). It makes sense.


Here is a good podcast from Bruce Feldman of FOX called ?The Audible? with Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand, maybe the most famous o-line coach in America. And also one of the best.

Hand discusses many subjects, including the Big Ten East:

"I would say that you can make the argument that the Big Ten East, our division, with us, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana had a decent year this year; our division is arguably the hottest division in college football right now.

"The SEC West the last several years has been on the upswing and very hot, but right now with the teams we have in our division, I think you can make the argument that our division is right up there with them."


The hub-bub about Iowa?s Adam Woodbury meeting Wisconsin has come and gone. The Hawkeye center alleged intentionally poked the eyes of two Badgers in the Jan. 20 meeting at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. ESPN analyst Dan Dakich called the move cowardly and called for Woodbury to be suspended, which created a social-media firestorm.

"I just told them I had no intention of whatever they had heard," Woodbury said.

Personally, I?m glad this is over.


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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