Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 24, 2015

If you have a TV or check the internet, you've likely heard at least one SEC coach spew some kind of excuse the last week or so.

Well, FOX Sports' Stewart Mandel has a great piece on it, one in which he says this about the conference that hasn't won the national title in either of the last two seasons after wining the previous seven crowns:

"So you'll have to forgive us if we're not exactly spilling tears over all the apparent slights that are keeping down the S-E-C, where the "E" apparently now stands for "Excuses."

Thought Big Ten fans would get a kick out of this.


The Internet lit up last night with news that Braxton Miller was moving from quarterback to receiver. Big shock, I know. It was a smart move by Miller to help salvage his career with an eye on perhaps getting paid one day to play football.

So, that helps clear up the OSU signal-caller situation a bit, with the race now down to J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. Get my thoughts.


Speaking of OSU QBs, how about Jones giving an obnoxious Ohio State a Twitter knockout punch? This speaks for itself.


When it comes to hitting, few-if any-DBs can match the wallop of Michigan State?s Montae Nicholson.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nicholson attributed that hard-hitting mentality to his Western Pennsylvania roots.

"I hit people the most out of any DBs," Nicholson said. "My outlook on contact isn't like everybody else's."

You have been warned, receivers.


If you can believe it, it has been three years since Penn State was handed severe NCAA sanctions. takes a look at the program then and now.

At the time in the summer of 2012, it looked like the NCAA hammer was going to cripple Penn State football for years. But, the program has been remarkably resilient. In fact, it looks poised for a rise under James Franklin after never bottoming out the last three years. David Jones says PSU?s survival was a study in patience and diligence.


Anyone who watched Michigan in recent years knows the struggles of the offensive line. I think the unit will be a strength this season. But is new line coach Tim Drevno the man to push the unit over the top?


Nebraska?s unveiling of an alternate uni went viral yesterday. Fashion experts weigh in.

Me? I like the black look.


Had a link yesterday on the cash NU is paying Pat Fitzgerald. As noted, lots of compensation comes in the form of loans. Here is why.


Rick Brown of has been ?going around? the Big Ten. Here is a good look at Maryland, which needs some playmaking wideouts.

Junior Stefon Diggs (62 catches, 792 yards, five TDs) entered the NFL Draft a year early, and No. 2 receiver Deon Long (51 catches, 575 yards, two TDs) is also gone. Maryland looked to have plenty of capable replacements. But Marcus Leak, the star of the spring game with three touchdown catches, left the program for personal reasons in June. He had 20 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns last season. Jacquille Veii, a running back/slot receiver, left the program in April. And sophomore Juwann Winfree (11 catches last season) was suspended indefinitely in June. Running back Wes Brown is the team's leading returning pass catcher (21 receptions, 198 yards), though Levern Jacobs (47 catches in 2013) is back from a one-season suspension.


A little hoops for you. Wisconsin has some big holes to fill but can build around Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes.

Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Josh Gasser, Traevon Jackson and Duje Dukan combined to play 9,896 minutes over the past two seasons, both of which ended with trips to the Final Four.

?It?s a different feel,? Hayes said last week to ?We?re not as close with these guys as we have been. You can definitely tell that when we play our open-gym games. It?s not that same clicking and chemistry that it was.

?We just have to get the new guys acclimated to what we do and then we have to become how we were the past two years. We just have to form that bond that we had last year.?


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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