Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 6, 2015

Ohio State?s biggest loss from 2014 may not be any player-it may be offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who left to become head coach of Houston. But Urban Meyer tabbed a good replacement for the job in Tim Beck, who pushed the buttons on Nebraska?s offense. Beck is smart and well-connected in recruiting circles in Texas and Ohio.

"I think when Tom had his opportunities to go they were looking for a guy that coaches quarterbacks, and maybe had the Ohio roots, recruiting Texas, possibly, knowing the Big Ten conference," Beck said. "So I think it was a pretty good marriage." notes that Beck had great success as Kansas' passing game coordinator in 2007 under current Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, who was the Jayhawks' OC and quarterbacks coach at the time. That team finished 12-1 and shattered Kansas offensive records. If Beck and Warinner can do that at KU, what can they do at Ohio State? Exactly.


Recruiting ?flips? are always a big part of Signing Day. Some people get so fired up about someone changing their mind. Why is it a crime for a kid to have a change of heart? Schools have been known to pull scholarships from players in advance of Signing Day. The door swings both ways. Listen to Kirk Ferentz discuss the issue.


With Signing Day in the rear-view mirror, we can begin to point toward spring ball. Nice. At Northwestern, that means anticipating some good competition at quarterback.

NU needs better production from this spot after departed Trevor Siemian endured his ups and downs. Zack Oliver, Matt Alviti, and Clayton Thorson will battle to replace Siemian. And it sounds like there?s a chance the Wildcats could use a two-QB system. Looking for a fav to be No. 1? Bank on Thorson.


Eight quarterbacks on the roster at Wisconsin? Yep.

Six are holdovers - Joel Stave, Tanner McEvoy, D.J. Gillins, Thad Armstrong, Bart Houston and Connor Senger - as well as two recruits - Alex Hornibrook and Austin Kafentzis - who enrolled at UW in January for spring practice.

?If we?re going to be stacked at one spot, I kind of like it being at the quarterback,? Paul Chryst said.

Chryst will get this sorted out.


The great Bob Flounders of takes a look back at the best Penn State recruiting classes from the last 15 years.

Flounders? No. 1 Class: 2006. Future first-round picks Jared Odrick, Aaron Maybin and Phil Taylor were part of a group that also included Navorro Bowman, Andrew Quarless, Evan Royster, Ollie Ogbu, Johnnie Troutman and Maurice Evans. Not bad, huh?


Glad to see former Rutgers? offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti primed to become OC of the St. Louis Rams.


Sam McKewon of says new Nebraska coach Mike Riley set himself up for a good 2016 recruiting haul by avoiding the ?biggest mistake.? What is that?

?The biggest mistake you can make being brand new and being anxious to fill a class is to rush into judgment about a player and not know enough,? Riley said. ?There?s a tendency to want to do that because you have some depth needs, but you?re better off with a blank spot than you are with a guy who?s not good enough to play. You?ve got to hold yourself back a little.?


Which freshly-minted Spartans are best equipped to have an immediate impact? Mike Griffith of has seven of them for you.

Griffith?s group is headed by four cornerbacks. No. 1: Josh Butler. I am intrigued by RB L.J. Scott. Here is what Mark Dantonio said about the 6-1, 225-pound Scott on Signing Day: ?He has the capability to play next year. I believe that. Reminds me very much of (Le'Veon) Bell … He'll have an outstanding career here.?



Gotta drop some hoops knowledge on you: What is up with Maryland? The Terps have been in a loss-win-loss-win pattern. Is this the second-best team in the Big Ten? No doubt, more consistent production from the big men would help Maryland down the stretch and prove it is second banana to Wisconsin.

On the subject of Maryland and its big men, here is a nice story on Jon Graham and his father, who both have learned from each other.


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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