Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 1, 2015

Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette has some good leftover notes for the recent Big Ten AD meetings.

Among the topics: future site of the Big Ten football title game. Despite the league?s weather-tested image, don?t expect administrators to consider an outdoor facility.

Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez said a cold-weather game has too many disadvantages for both the teams and the league.

?I?d have a hard time voting for a game outside. I really would,? Alvarez said. ?I know purists say, ?Hey football is supposed to be played outside.? But one reason, I don?t want the elements to have a factor in the game, a game of that magnitude. Then you take a look at it for recruiting purposes.

?I?ve seen games at Soldier Field where you can?t kick an extra point and that thing is blown sideways. If you?re recruiting someone from a warm-weather state, and they?re sitting there watching a championship game like that, they?re not real crazy about playing in it.?

*** has a list of the top 100 games of 2015. And Michigan State at Ohio State is No. 2. Good call. Let?s call this a ?de facto Big Ten title game.?

Here is what the site had to say about the Titanic Nov. 21 clash:

The week before they play Michigan, the Buckeyes face arguably their toughest opponent. A ton of talent will be on the field. A big-time individual matchup we're already clamoring for: Ohio State OT Taylor Decker vs. Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun. And there likely will be Heisman statements to be made by Michigan State QB Connor Cook, Ohio State TB Ezekiel Elliott and whoever is playing quarterback for the Buckeyes.


Penn State coach James Franklin is a magnetic personality and rising star in the coaching profession who looks poised for big things in State College, Pa. takes a look at 11 coaches who molded him.


Speaking of Penn State, guess who made the most money at the school in 2013? It was former coach Bill O?Brien, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

O?Brien, who left for Houston Texans early last year, earned total compensation of $3,440,352 in his final year at Penn State. That included base pay of $1,937,779 plus other earnings, most notably $1,350,000 in bonus and incentive compensation, according to federal tax data that Penn State must disclose annually under Pennsylvania?s Right-to-Know Law.


Urban Meyer made some waves recently when he reiterated that Braxton Miller would be a Buckeye in 2015.

That?s all fine and dandy. But, honestly, does it really matter? Do the Buckeyes really need Miller? OSU did just fine without him last year. Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett are all the Buckeyes need. You know what they say: Two is company; three is a crowd.


Keith Sargeant of has a cool story on which Big Ten program has sent the most New Jersey high school players to the NFL since 2009.

Since 2009, no school has delivered more Garden State-grown players to the next level than Rutgers. And it's not even close. In fact, Rutgers has sent more New Jersey high school football products to the NFL Draft than every other Big Ten program combined.


Jim Harbaugh has an upcoming ?Exposure U? camp in Ann Arbor. And the keynote speaker will be Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern. Nice. says the camp is presently open to high schoolers (grades 9-12) and Harbaugh has opened the camp up to every college in America that plays football (regardless of classification). Up to two coaches from each program are invited to attend.


Rutgers A.D. Julie Hermann cut her teeth as an athlete at Nebraska, notes Lee Barfknecht of And she hopes to replicate that Husker experience at RU.

?Playing volleyball at Nebraska, even in the 1980s, was such a phenomenal student-athlete experience,? Hermann said in a recent interview with Barfknecht. ?Everywhere I have gone since then, I?m just looking for an opportunity to duplicate that.

?For me, that was such a game-changing thing for me to get to do - to compete at that level for such a great institution.?

For Rutgers to approach a high level of play, Hermann said, much work lies ahead.

?We knew we would have a big on-ramp in the Big Ten, maybe the biggest in the country,? said Hermann, starting her third year at A.D. ?But we?re able.?


This is an interesting story, as Indiana has reconciled with 10 football players who boycotted over racism in 1969.


While flashing back ? I will leave you with this fun tale from years ago told by Gregg Doyel about how three Indiana students once swiped the Old Oaken Bucket from Purdue. You can?t make up stuff like this.


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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