Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 31, 2015

Fun story from Bob Flounders of on Penn State DT Anthony Zettel. Is there anything he won?t try? He can whip Christian Hackenberg in golf. What else?

"I am a better golfer," Zettel told Flounders.?I beat [Hackenberg] by two strokes. We both didn't play that great. He's very competitive. He's got a big ego and he loves golf, he enjoys it. We both do. But it's just how it is."


Hey, looky here: Ex-Michigan Heisman winner Desmond Howard has picked Michigan State to win the Big Ten.


How about this: Illinois football games now will be broadcast in Mandarin Chinese.

This reports says there are 43,603 students at the University of Illinois. Around 10 percent of those students hail from China. So what better way to get those students excited about Fighting Illini football than by broadcasting home games in Mandarin.


Rutgers coach Kyle Flood came under fire recently for emailing a professor. Would that behavior had gotten him in trouble at other Big Ten schools? takes a look.

Kelly Heyboer writes that most schools, including Rutgers, employee academic services personnel to serve as a liaison between student-athletes and professors to help arrange for making up assignments and classes missed due to travel, practice or games. Several schools told Heyboer they forbid coaches from talking directly to professors because even innocuous conversations about a player's well-being could be interpreted as pressure to improve a player's grade.

It will be interesting to see how Flood?s case is resolved by RU.


The great Tom Shatel of has his prediction for Nebraska for the 2015 season.

It?s all about positive football in Mike Riley?s first year, Shatel says. The chalk pick this season is 9-3 or 8-4, and Nebraska right now is a chalk program ? so says Shatel. And, he?s correct. NU should beat who it should-and lose to who you would expect. Still, Nebraska has the talent and physical presence up front to win its division, win the game at Minnesota, handle Wisconsin and, yes, Michigan State at home.


Good read on Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell, who has matured in a captain playing in a good Buckeye secondary.

"My first impression was that I thought he was kind of a clown," OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash told the Northeast Ohio Media Group this summer. "Because until you really get to know Tvyis, that's the impression you get. Because he is very intelligent, he's very witty and he makes good jokes."

This will be a very good Buckeye defense with Powell and Vonn Bell at safety.


I got a chance to meet with Wisconsin strength coach Ross Kolodziej during our camp tour. He is impressive and is reshaping the Badger roster. notes that the hiring of Paul Chryst as the 30th coach in program history meant not only the return of a recognizable - and successful - offensive system, but also the arrival of a familiar approach in the weight room for some of UW?s veteran players.

?It seemed much more like the old days,? senior wide receiver Jordan Fredrick said. ?It was much different. As a whole, it felt much better.?

?It?s just kind of a new vibe in there and it?s kind of refreshing and exciting for everybody,? junior center Dan Voltz said. ?We had a great summer. Guys busted their butts and it?s carried over into camp.?


Michigan opens 2015 with a game at Utah on Thursday. And Jim Harbaugh admits "We have ground to make up.?

Nick Baumgardner of notes that the Wolverines haven't won a Big Ten title since 2004, they've suffered three losing seasons since 2008 and their chief rivals — Ohio State and Michigan State — are currently the top two teams, respectively, in the conference. During a portion of his interview with FOX Sports 1's Dave Wannstedt, Harbaugh discussed the team's current situation.

"We have ground to make up," Harbaugh said. "You ask me to evaluate where our team is and where the rest of the Big Ten is, we've got to make up ground.

"Ground's a hard thing to make up, and that's what we're working extremely hard at."
You know what that means: more sateliette camps.


Indiana hoops continues to see players have issues off the court. Gregg Doyel of has a good look at the issues: It?s everybody?s fault, he says. No doubt, the run of incidents is concerning. Something within the program needs to be tightened.


Purdue will be the second-to-last Big Ten school to kick off, playing on Sunday at Marshall. Until then, enjoy these 15 fun facts about the 2015 Boilermakers.

Reason for optimism: Seven head coaches won six or more games in their third season at Purdue: Noble Kizer (seven in 1932), Jack Mollenkopf (six in 1958), Bob DeMoss (six in 1972), Jim Young (10 in 1979), Leon Burtnett (seven in 1984), Joe Tiller (seven in 1999) and Danny Hope (seven in 2011). This is Darrell Hazell?s third season.


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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