Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 27, 2015

The great Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a nice piece on Paul Chryst, who is in good hands with Barry Alvarez.

Alvarez explained why he believes Chryst, who will turn 50 in November, is better prepared to run UW's program than he was before he left Madison.

"I like what I've seen," Alvarez told Potrykus. "How he manages his vision for a program, how he deals with his assistant coaches and how he delegates.

"I love my conversations with him about his vision, what he sees with the players and how he wants to bring them along."


Want a ticket for the Oregon at Michigan State game? It?s gonna come with a twist to help MSU sell more tickets.

Michigan State is selling tickets to the Sept. 12 game initially as part of a three-game mini-pack, instead of as individual game tickets. points out that fans can pick two other home games to combine in the set, but must purchase tickets to all three to receive a ticket to the Oregon game. The strategy is done in part to help Michigan State sell additional tickets to some of its games with lesser demand. It surprises me that a team that has been as good as MSU would struggle to sell tickets to any game. Just a tenor of the times, I guess.


Count legendary Sid Hartman among those who is jacked up about TCU?s visit to Minnesota.

?I think we were much better prepared when we played Ohio State, and we handled their speed better, so our kids are excited about playing [TCU],? Kill said. ?It?s the first game of the year and we?ll both be a little bit rusty. Anytime you play the first game of the year, preparation will change a little bit. In fall camp, we?re going to have to make some decisions early with players and personnel and start preparing for TCU. ? But they?re one that I know our kids are excited about playing.?


The Michigan offense has questions. Among them: The receiving corps. Amara Darboh is legit. Who else?

Nick Baumgardner of notes that outside of one player, maybe two, Michigan's wide receiving corps is almost a complete unknown heading into fall camp — which begins Aug. 7 in Ann Arbor. Michigan knows what it has in Darboh, who at times out-performed current NFL rookie Devin Funchess in 2014, and fellow junior Jehu Chesson has had a few moments here and there during the early portion of his career. Beyond that?


Now that we know Braxton Miller will be a wideout, how will the Ohio State offense look?

Ari Wasserman of says that switch now has Ohio State in position to reach Urban Meyer's complete offensive vision for the first time since he took over, which is crazy to think considering the Buckeyes are already coming off a national championship. Meyer wasn't at all enamored with an offense that relied solely its quarterback to make the majority of the team's biggest plays.


David Jones of loves the move by Miller.

Jones thinks Miller could be an accomplished pro slot guy in the mold of another converted Big Ten quarterback, Indiana's Antwaan Randle El who assembled a very good 9-year NFL career with Washington and Pittsburgh and was an integral part of the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl run as both a receiver and punt returner. Interesting comparison, huh?


Rick Brown of has a great feature on Kirk Ferentz, who eyes a turnaround in the autumn of his career.

"Everybody was happy a couple of years ago," Ferentz said. "If you're going to do this, be prepared for some ebbs and flows. What's important is what can we do to get everybody happy again? We want to put smiles on faces."

Iowa has finished the season in the nation's top 10 four times under Ferentz but not since 2009. In some ways, Ferentz is his own worst enemy due to his past success. But Iowa's 19-19 record over the past three seasons hasn't been top 10 in any way, shape or form.

"I wouldn't describe it as a crisis situation," Ferentz said. "But I would also say this. We're not happy. I guarantee that."

*** countdown of the Big Ten?s Top 50 player is up to No. 9, Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun.


Bob Flounders of takes a look at seven Penn State offensive players who could make an impact with a strong camp.


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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