Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 11, 2015

An Indiana-Louisville hoops series? Yes, please. It sounds like conversations are taking place.

But, honestly, I want Indiana-Kentucky to come back. Can?t we all just put egos aside and make this happen?


Looks like Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory thinks he should be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft.

"I think I'm worthy of the No. 1 pick. I would hope anybody in the draft would want to be the No. 1 pick. I know how I am as a player. I know my potential. I know what I can do. I know what I bring to a team. And I understand that this position is a premium."

Like the confidence and like Gregory's game, but I'm not sure an undersized end who basically is just a pass rusher will be the top pick.


Speaking of Gregory ? he came oh-so-close to being a Purdue Boilermaker. But bad grades forced him to a JC, where Nebraska swooped him up. The rest, as they say, is history.


Big game tonight in College Park, Md, with Indiana at Maryland. Wisconsin basically is running away with the Big Ten, but play along, OK? The Hoosiers and Terrapins-both tied for second in the conference with 7-4 marks–are teams fighting to stay within shouting distance of the Badgers while also polishing NCAA resumes. And Maryland is thinking ?payback? after it got drubbed, 89-70, in Bloomington last month.

Is this a must-win for Maryland?s NCAA hopes? I think that may be a bit of an overstatement. Lots of hoops remain to be played. And the Terps have a solid resume already.


I was kinda bummed to see that Ralph Friedgen no longer will be offensive coordinator at Rutgers. No doubt, he had a big impact in one season on the job, getting a lot out of quarterback Gary Nova and helping RU to a bowl in its first Big Ten season. At least he?ll remain as a special assistant to Kyle Flood, who is still working through details on what Friedgen?s role will be. Hey, just having him around is good, right?

Wideout coach Ben Daniels will be the new OC. Oh-by-the-way: He?s the younger brother of Josh, the OC for the New England Patriots.


Good news for Michigan football: Linebacker Desmond Morgan says his fifth year of eligibility has been cleared by the NCAA.

Nick Baumgardner of notes that Morgan missed the final 11 games of the 2014 season due to an arm injury, and qualified for a medical redshirt — as he was a true senior last season. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound Morgan was a starter during portions of his first three years, and a full-time starter as a sophomore (2012) and junior (2013). He made 229 tackles during his first four years and ranks No. 24 on the school's all-time total tackles list. Morgan will be part of what should be a pretty good Wolverine front seven.

In that same vein, Michigan got more awesome news: Jabrill Peppers was granted a medical redshirt for 2014 and will be classified as a redshirt freshman in 2015.

The former mega recruit began last season as the team's starting nickel. An ankle injury in the first half of the season opener forced him to miss the second game, at Notre Dame. Peppers returned against Miami (Ohio) and played vs. Utah in Week Four, but an injury to a knee prior to a Week Five matchup against Minnesota ended up shutting him down for the rest of the season. He only appeared in parts of three games, which qualified him for a medical hardship waiver.


Interesting piece here from Rick Brown of, who wonders if the Big Ten West is in a recruiting crisis mode.

The recruiting game has changed. BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo thinks schools such as Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota, all located miles from fertile recruiting turf, will be left in the dust if rules aren't changed. That's because more and more prospects are picking schools based on unofficial, not official, visits.

"If the Big Ten doesn't get a rule change, eventually it will be a crisis," DiNardo said. "Especially in the Western Division. Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, they'll survive. Maybe nobody else will."


Lots of hub-bud when Ohio State running backs coach Stanley Drayton bolted for the same job with the Chicago Bears days after Signing Day, when he wooed top Michigan running back Mike Weber. He was considering signing with the home-state Wolverines-to whom he once was committed–but picked OSU. If Weber felt jilted after signing and then seeing Drayton depart, he is over it.


File this away, as it will all be an interesting subplot leading into the start of the Harbaugh-Meyer era.

Drayton?s replacement has been officially named: Tony Alford of Notre Dame. A nice get for the Buckeyes.


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.