Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 6, 2015

This is an interesting piece from Yahoo! on the AAC, which hopes to one day join arms with the Power Five conferences. Good luck with that. Even UCF coach George O?Leary has his doubts.

?We can do that (pay cost of attendance) for a couple of years," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "We obviously can't sustain. When you are not getting a $35 million check, it's hard to have that cost of attendance and keep up with everything."


Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio visited ESPN yesterday for a ?car wash.? And, time and again, he was peppered with questions about ? Jim Harbaugh.

Of the 15 questions Dantonio was asked during a pair of morning SportsCenter interviews, six mentioned either Harbaugh or Michigan in general. Another was specifically about Ohio State and Urban Meyer.

This had to aggravate.


The great Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News has ranked the Top 10 all-time players from Indiana. A tough, tough task. It?s like picking your favorite ?Charlie?s Angels.? You just can?t do it. (How is that for a dated reference?)

DeCourcy?s list of angelic Hoosiers, from 1-10:

Isiah Thomas
Steve Alford
Scott May
Calbert Cheaney
Don Schlundt
Kent Benson
Walt Bellamy
Alan Henderson
Branch McCracken
Mike Woodson

Difficult to argue with this list, but I would have ranked Woodson higher. I like that Mike has paid homage to some who played before the Bob Knight era, too. Often, lists like this can be too contemporary.


This is an interesting poll question on How many wins must Mike Riley have to view this season as a success?

I say at least eight-maybe nine. But it also will depend on who Nebraska beats, and who it loses to. Style points also will count.


Speaking of Nebraska, here are 10 true freshmen to watch from Sam McKewon of

No. 1 on McKewon?s list: Linebacker Dedrick Young: A superb two-way player in Arizona, Young enrolled early and looked at home playing weak side linebacker, where range is important against the pass, and downhill toughness is important against the run. He could win a starting job.

*** has five storylines ahead of the school?s upcoming media day and start of camp.

I am intrigued by who will kick and how the defensive end spot works out. Regardless, pencil this team in for eight wins.


Dan Duggan of has the five biggest X-factors for Rutgers this season.


A big upgrade ($135-150 mil) is coming to Kinnick Stadium.

This report in says project planning was green-lit for improvements to Kinnick Stadium?s North end zone that is likely to include more premium seating; construction of a suite-style residence hall on the doorstep of sports facilities; and construction of a new indoor track-and-field building west of Finkbine Golf Course.


Attendance at Purdue games last year? It wasn?t good. And, projections for 2015 look about the same.

Last year, Purdue saw its worst average attendance since the 1951 season. Marketing won?t sell many more tickets. The Boilers have to win.


Hey! Former Ohio State defensive lineman Noah Spence has landed at FCS Eastern Kentucky, a terrific program. And he has detailed his frequent use of Ecstasy while at Ohio State to ESPN. Well, OK.

If you recall, when Spence first failed a drug test before the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2013 season, his family said the drug had been planted in a drink and threatened to sue the Big Ten. (Insert a LOL here) Then Spence failed another test, was banned permanently from playing for the Buckeyes and chose to transfer to EKU. Oh, and Spence was arrested and charged for public intoxication in May. Sounds like Spence has what some in the addiction biz call ?a living problem.? Just because you make a ?geographic change,? it doesn?t mean your life will change. I wish the kid luck.


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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