Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 8, 2015

In case you missed this, Athlon ranked Big Ten coaches. Who is No. 1? Do you have to ask? A hint: His initials are U.M.

Mike Riley No. 7? Kirk Ferentz No. 8?


The preseason honors will be thick for Michigan State QB Connor Cook. Here is a nice one to add to the pile: lists him No. 1 in the nation among senior quarterbacks.

The article referenced Cook throwing for more than 6,000 yards with 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions over the past two seasons.

"He has the prerequisite size, athleticism, anticipation, toughness, and football intelligence to excel at the next level," the story said.?He hasn't cracked the 60 percent completion barrier in his career as of yet (58.1 percent last year) and has a new receiving corps for his senior year.

"Cook is the most intriguing senior prospect this year. If he can lead an inexperienced passing game in his final collegiate season, he'll be in line for a very high draft slot."


Rutgers needs to upgrade its facilities. I think we all can agree on that. N.J. Sen. Raymond Lesniak is for it.

But how is it going to be paid for?

"Who's going to pay for all those enormous benefits? The state? Or the Rutgers academic programs?? said Prof. Mark Killingsworth, a long-time critic of athletics spending at RU. ?I'd say that the academic programs produce enormous benefits to the state. For some odd reason, no one is talking about funneling more money into that. Why not?"

Hmmm. He may have a point.


Good to see the great Dan Duggan of have the same derision for the addition of three more bowls as I do.

Duggan notes that just 20 years ago, there were 18 bowl games for 108 teams. Qualifying for a bowl game meant something back then. Now, a team has to beat a Division 1-AA team, a few other cupcakes from non-power conferences and maybe one or two cellar dwellers in league play, and voila: You?re off to some Who Cares Bowl in rural Louisiana. Lucky you. America continues to watch, though.


Meet Boone Myers, the next man in at left offensive tackle for Iowa.

Rick Brown of notes that Iowa's last four multi-year starters at left offensive tackle have been first-round NFL draft picks. Myers, a sophomore, will head into fall camp No. 1 on the depth chart at that position. The opportunity to be a multi-year starter and join the first-round quartet of Brandon Scherff, Riley Reiff, Bryan Bulaga and Robert Gallery is there for the taking. This, of course, makes Myers a real BMOC.


This is interesting: former WR Indiana Shane Wynn says a high school fight with Ted Ginn, Jr. put him on the right path. Really. notes that Ginn mentored Wynn growing up, and Wynn followed Ginn's footsteps to Glenville High in Cleveland as an undersized athlete with a sprinter's speed and a dancer's footwork, which added up to numerous touchdowns and state track medals for both. Wynn grew up and still lives on the Cleveland-East Cleveland border.

"He always showed tough love to me and didn't let me do stuff," said Wynn, who signed an undrafted free agent deal with Atlanta. "When I was in high school, he fought me because he didn't let me do something I wanted to do."

Ginn is about to begin his eighth season in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and continues to be a role model for Wynn.


Matt Daniels of the Champaign News Gazette is ready for Illinois? game at North Carolina ? already. Daniels takes a look at the top non-con Big Ten games for 2015. All eyes will be on the Wisconsin-Alabama game in Arlington, Texas, to open the season on Sept. 5. Sorry, Matt.


Kevin Trahan of has a nice story on Northwestern?s inconvenient rebuilding year, as the Wildcats now have back-to-back losing seasons.

Trahan wonders what if NU doesn't get back to a bowl in 2015? Because despite the increase in talent, there's a lot working against NU this year. The most obvious issue is that the Wildcats have a distinct possibility of opening the season up 1-2, with early games against Stanford (at home) and Duke (on the road).


The great Gregg Doyal of says there are great expectations from the media for Indiana and Tom Crean.

This is also an interesting nugget from Doyal?s piece: Crean went to Brian Kelly's 2015 Notre Dame coaches clinic.

"Hearing how guys command a room," Crean says. "The average concentration span for a 19-year-old is seven seconds. It's all about how you're getting your point across and what they're able to absorb and retain and apply.

"It was one of the most productive days I've had in a long time, and if you're putting that front and center, that (as a coach) you're working all the time, there's no reason for anybody on your team not to go above what's expected of them. That's how you create internal expectations."


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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