Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 16, 2015

Possible big doings here: According to a report released last week, the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) will vote soon on the proposal of early football signing period.

The start date for the proposed change is Dec. 16, and it will last for three days, if the vote passes. The addition would be up for review in two years, allowing the CCA a large enough sample to test the efficiencies of the amendment.

I, for one, hope this passes. But, the ?elite? schools don?t want an early signing period so they can poach commitments from lesser programs late in the recruiting process.


Henry Bushnell of has a good piece on football attendance and the effect of Northwestern A.D. Jim Phillips? marketing, which has done a good job to boost the Wildcats ticket sales.

Inside NU is often quick to point out empty patches of bleachers in Ryan Field, especially in the student section. But what a lot of fans fail to realize, Bushnell says, and what many more experienced fans do realize, is that it used to be worse. A lot worse. Check out some of the numbers in this excellent piece.


Nebraska announced recently that it had 1,500 season tickets still available. By the end of the business day Monday, that availability had dipped below 1,000 tickets.

Although NU spokesman David Witty said Monday afternoon that season ticket renewal rates are around 95 percent - similar to previous seasons - NU still has so many tickets available because the Big Ten has now reduced the number of tickets - from 4,000 to 3,000 - that have to be held back for opposing fans.


The six most likely Big Ten champs? According to CG Technology, they are Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State.

*** has the top 75 draft prospects for 2016. Plenty of Big Ten names dot the list, including Michigan State?s Connor Cook and Ohio State?s Taylor Decker.


The recruiting controversy around Ohio State freshman Mike Weber-a Michigan prep phenom–lives on.

"It was really upsetting. It just felt like I wasn't satisfied," Weber told Northeast Ohio Media Group on Friday. "It just felt like I couldn't trust anything or anybody. I had to realize that this is a business, a part of the game. It woke me up a lot. I am at Ohio State now, and hopefully these three or four years (will be great) and make it to the NFL."

The situation was harder considering that he's a Detroit kid who turned his back on Michigan for Ohio State.

"It was really tragic," Weber said. "It's hard living in the state of Michigan, being the top player, and going to the rival school. It's been a really hard journey, but I'm really happy about being at Ohio State, national champions, and we can do it again many more times."


Count Larry Bird among those who are impressed with Frank Kaminsky.

?We have seen him play a number of times; we followed his career,?? Bird said. ?He?s a hell of a player. He?s come a long way in two years.

?I?m pretty proud of him for the work he has put it. It looks like the type of kid who is going to keep working and get better.?


Kevin Ryan of has a ranking of the top five Big Ten defensive backs for 2015.

Ohio State safety Vonn Bell is No. 1. I may have gone with Maryland CB Will Likely at No. 1; he was No. 2 on this list.


Nick Baumgardner of says Michigan has the most experienced depth chart in America-at least according to one measuring tool.

According to Phil Steele's annual national two-deep depth chart breakdown, Michigan is the most experienced team in the country at the moment. Michigan has 14 returning seniors with starting experience, and another nine seniors who appear on the two-deep depth chart. Additionally, Michigan returns four juniors with starting experience, and nine juniors with two-deep experience. So, that should ratchet up expectations even more for Jim Harbaugh?s debut, right?


Iowa arguably hasn?t had top-flight WR since Marvin McNutt. Now, Tevaun Smith is the No. 1 option. And he likes it.

"I take a lot of pride in that role," Smith said. "I feel I can do a lot with the ball. And I feel C.J. can help the other receivers as well."


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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