Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 10, 2015

How good are spring drills going for Michigan State? Mark Dantonio thinks his team could go out and play a game tomorrow.

"We're going to make mistakes, but we're game ready," Dantonio said. ?We?ve practiced enough, we do enough things from a live standpoint and tackling standpoint. There's risk in that, there's a catch-22 in that at times, but when we hit the field we're moving, and we have a lot of guys back with experience, and we play like it."

I can?t wait to watch this Big Ten East race.


Michigan?s hoop season didn?t go as expected. But, there?s always next season-and it looks promising with players like Zak Irvin, Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman, Caris LeVert, Spike Albrecht, Aubrey Dawkins and Derrick Walton Jr. back. Until then, here are five things to watch this offseason from Brendan F. Quinn of

No. 1 on the list: Will LeVert turn pro?


Good news for Ohio State: Braxton Miller won?t lose any eligibility over his Instagram photo.

If you recall, Miller posted a photo of himself with a local trainer with which he has been working in late March next to AdvoCare nutritional products on his Instagram account. Miller also had links on his Instagram to where people could buy the products through him. He deleted the post shortly after.

Let this be a lesson, fellas.


Anyone who has seen Iowa play knows the receiving corps needs work. The group is still the ultimate work in progress, according to Rick Brown of

Gone are Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa's career receptions leader, and Damond Powell, the team's best deep threat. But there's one reason why the Hawkeyes' passing game in 2015 should stretch the field more than it did a year ago, according to Brown. C.J. Beathard has replaced Jake Rudock as the starting quarterback. Beathard has a bigger arm.

"I was under the belief that we had two really good quarterbacks," said Iowa WR coach Bobby Kennedy. "And now C.J. is the guy. I'm fully supportive of that decision. There's a tempo change. That thing comes and you better be ready."


Is this the year Indiana breaks through to its first bowl since 2007? Maybe. To do so, the defense will need to get better. So far, so good, this spring. Last season, the Hoosiers ranked No. 13 in scoring defense (32.8 ppg); No. 11 in total defense (433.3 ypg); No. 10 in rushing defense (182.7 ypg); No. 14 in pass defense (250.7 ypg); No. 11 in sacks (23) in the first year under coordinator Brian Knorr and his 3-4 defense.


It sounds like the Penn State o-line is coming together.

And, that?s a good thing after a rough 2014. Remember when Brian Gaia blocked fellow lineman Andrew Nelson?

Oh, brother.

"No. 1, I think people made way too big of a deal out of that," Nelson said. "There's obviously a technique that we have that if you're pulling through and you see (someone) hanging in the hole where the play needs to develop, you swab the hole, which means you go through there and make a hole so that the running back doesn't get tackled for a loss.


Rutgers has many good options at running back. But Desmon Peoples is undeterred and wants to move up a crowded depth chart.

"I think it's a good thing," Peoples told of the running back depth. "We all obviously can play. We've played in games during the season. We have a lot of weapons in the backfield. So I feel like it makes us better as a team."

Are there enough carries to keep everyone satisfied?

In addition to Peoples, RU has Paul James, Robert Martin, Justin Goodwin and Josh Hicks, among others. Stay tuned.


I will leave you with this Richard Pitino Q&A from Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. You?re welcome.

The 32-year-old Pitino eschewed rebuffed Alabama and perhaps other programs in late March and early April and said he is focused on developing what is a young but intriguing Gophers bunch - almost all his own recruits now - for the 2015-16 season.


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.