Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 21, 2015

Surely you saw Plaxico Burress blast Nick Saban last week. Quickie recap: Burress, the former Spartans All-Big Ten receiver, tweeted that Saban advised him to stay in school following his junior year because he was not projected to be a first-round draft pick.

Plax didn?t stop there. He also tweeted that in his departure for LSU, Saban "committed to the program" in a meeting with players and then reversed course and "was gone the next day" It was delicious stuff.

Well, Saban has responded in typical Saban fashion.


Surely you noticed the barrage (avalanche?) of watch lists recently unfurled on an unsuspecting America. I am still buried in emails. The only player in the U.S.A. not on a watch list is the fourth-string holder at Rutgers.

So silly.

Regardless, Ohio State can bask in having the most nominees. So, there?s that. One guy even counted it up. Really. His name: Doug Lesmerises of And he notes Ohio State was handed 19 watch spots, followed by UCLA and Notre Dame with 16 and Alabama with 12.

I hope this isn?t the peak of the 2015 season for Ohio State.


Want proof that time flies? Northwestern?s 1995 Rose Bowl team gathered for a 20-year reunion.


Nebraska going back to the Big 12? Ha! The great Lee Barfknecht says the stability of the Big Ten trumps the drama of the Big 12. But, it?s fun for some fans to think about ? I guess.

Barfknecht notes that the conference-realignment gossip wheel got oiled again this month when Oklahoma President David Boren told his regents the Big 12 is lagging other Power Five leagues by having the fewest members: 10.

?When we look at football playoffs, our conference is bumping up against conferences with 12 and 14 members,? Boren said, ?I believe that we are psychologically disadvantaged because we are a smaller conference.?

?Psychologically disadvantaged?? Interesting. Call me crazy, but if Texas and Oklahoma had tied for the Big 12 title last season instead of Baylor and TCU, I bet you $2 that the Longhorns or Sooners would have slipped into the playoffs.


Nice story by Rick Brown on Iowa?s Drew Ott, who could be poised for a big season. Brown calls Ott a free spirit. How free?

In May of 2013, Ott got on his moped for the 400-mile journey from campus to his hometown of Trumbull, Neb. The six-hour drive took twice that long on his moped. It's a story he can't escape.

"Usually, if someone meets me, they usually ask how long it took," Ott said.

And Brown notes that Ott is not afraid to tell you what he thinks. Remember this spring when quarterback Jake Rudock announced he'd finish his career at Michigan after Ferentz named C.J. Beathard the starter?

"I thought he had a little more fight in him than that," Ott said then.

More delicious stuff. Thanks for being you, Drew!


That Joe Paterno beer is selling like hot cakes.


Not a big shock to see that Michigan football tickets top the secondary market. Hiring that Harbaugh guy already is paying off. And not one chinstrap has been buckled yet.

The demand for tickets has pushed fans into the secondary market where this story from estimates they have already spent $1.7 million on tickets. At this point last year, $1.1 million dollars had been spent on Michigan tickets on the secondary market. Notre Dame has the second most active market with $1.4 million spent, and Alabama is third with $1 million spent.


Count ex-Indiana running back Tevin Coleman among players who aren?t pleased with their Madden NFL 16 and EA Sports rating. How mad is he? Check out this video.


It?s never too early for some 2016 NFL draft talk, right? takes a look at Purdue?s top prospects.

Dane Brugler notes that over the last 17 years, Purdue has only one conference championship in the trophy case, but at least one Boilermaker has been drafted each year over that span, an active streak that is longer than Ohio State, Penn State and several other Big Ten teams. Bet you didn?t know that.


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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