Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 21, 2015

Seeing which school can have the biggest spring game attendance sometimes is more fun than the actual ?games? themselves. So far, the Big Ten has the top three attendances in the nation. So, take that.

Ohio State is No. 1 with 99,391; Nebraska No. 2 at 76,881 and Penn State No. 3 with 68,000. Michigan is No. 6 at 60,000.


Ohio State was feted at the White House for winning the 2014 national title. Pretty sweet. Here is the complete transcript of what President Obama said to the team.

And, of course, here is Twitter reaction and photos from the grand event.


Which Michigan State players are emerging as the spring game looms this weekend? Mark Dantonio tells us.

The d-line already is looking strong with Shilique Calhoun, Lawrence Thomas, Joel Heath and Malik McDowell back. But, it gets better.

"(Defensive end) Montez Sweat, and (Demetrius) Cooper has been very, very sudden, so we have a lot of guys like that playing well," Dantonio said.

I already can?t wait for the Michigan State-Ohio State game.


Penn State almost saw DC Bob Shoop leave for the same post at LSU after last season. But, he stayed. Good thing. Shoop is one of the best in the business.

Penn State?s defense was among the best in the nation in 2014. Look at these national rankings in 2014: 2nd in total defense (278.7 yards), 2nd in fewest first downs allowed (190), 2nd in team passing efficiency, 3rd in rushing defense (100.5 yards), 6th in third down conversions allowed (30.2%) and 7th in points allowed (18.6 points). And Shoop?s unit has a chance to be formidable again this fall as the program regains its full footing after NCAA probation.


The No. 1 RB spot at Wisconsin will go to Corey Clement. But Taiwan Deal is making a push for playing time at one of college football?s marquee positions.

?He?s certainly shown some things,? Paul Chryst said. ?He?s talented. When he trusts himself, I think he?s even better. That?s natural, just hearing plays, calls for the first time, understanding kind of the rhyme or reason behind some of the blocking schemes or protections. But I think he?s done some good things and certainly has to learn from the ones he hasn?t. He?s shown some runs where he?s running with a purpose.?


Iowa A.D. Gary Barta has addressed fans? football concerns coming off a disappointing 2014.

Chad Leistikow of says three things happened in the last seven days to help the school combat any lagging interest. Iowa was awarded two home night games; Barta joined a conference call with uncertain ticket holders; and alcohol-related tailgating restrictions were relaxed. Iowa ranked 22nd nationally in 2014 with an average home attendance of 67,512 fans, a slight uptick from 2013. A dip is expected this year, especially with the marquee visiting attraction (maybe) being Minnesota - there's no Iowa State, Wisconsin or Nebraska on the schedule to pad the numbers.

"Compared to our peers, we're doing a great job," Barta said. "That said, we want to have it sold out every game. In order to that we know, No. 1, we have to win."


This is a nice piece remembering Brook Berringer 19 years later after his untimely death in a plane crash. Hard to believe it has been this long.


Rutgers has just eight healthy offensive linemen this spring. Good thing one of them is stud left tackle Keith Lumpkin.

"Me being a veteran player, I know that's nothing compared to a game when you might go a 20-play drive and then there might be a fumble and then you go back out there and go another 20 plays," Lumpkin said. "I'm trying to get everybody's spirits up because obviously with seven guys, people are going to be like, 'Oh, man, I'm so tired. I need something to drink.' So me being out there knowing how it feels to be in the game and be in practices, I try to boost everybody's confidence up so you're not really thinking about being tired. You're thinking about doing the next play and working harder for the guy next to you."


Good Q&A with Purdue hoop coach Matt Painter, who talks about finding a point guard and grad transfers.

The return of big man A.J. Hammons was a boon for the program, but Jon Octeus must be replaced at the point. Otherwise, the Boilermakers return all of their other key contributors from last year?s NCAA tourney team. This could be a very good team in 2015-16.


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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