Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 11, 2015

We all know about Penn State?s offensive struggles by now. It?s old news. The real story: What are the Nittany Lions gonna do about it? One thing: The offensive line will rotate and be reshuffled.

"It won't be one group the entire game. It will be a combination," James Franklin said. "I prefer not to do that, but that's just kind of where we're at. We'll have one group to start with, and depending on how they play as the game goes on, they could stay, or we could do some sort of a rotation. I think we have to gain some experience and some depth, and moving guys around could be a part of that."

This Saturday?s game vs. Buffalo is HUGE. That?s all I?m gonna say about that.

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You may not have noticed, but there is a new ?crop top? rule when it comes to college uniforms. Players? shirts must cover their bellies. No skin can show. Rutgers RB Paul James was one of those players who liked to show his abs. No more.

"I was a little shocked that they were going to ban that," James said. "I didn't see what the need was for banning it. I enjoyed it. It was my thing to do. It really was my style. It was really just shocking at first. I didn't want to believe it. Once I realized it was true, it was just a little heartbreaking."


Well this isn?t good: Two Minnesota tight ends could miss the season.

Lincoln Plsek and Duke Anyanwu might miss the entire season because of back and knee injuries, respectively. But this is positive: Offensive tackle Josh Campion has returned from his concussion and is expected to play Saturday. Good, because he may be needed at Colorado State.


Maryland better be careful this Saturday taking on Bowling Green, which plays at a frenetic pace. If the Terps get behind and have to throw a lot to catch up ? can they do it?

Last year, Bowling Green ran a whopping 113 plays in a win over Indiana. Randy Edsall got hacked off last year when West Virginia ran 108 plays against Maryland. Remember that? Edsall said that was a "problem with college football." What will he think of BG?

"There's always an issue," said Maryland defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski. "Through camp and all the practices that we have, the guys have been pushing themselves. They understand the challenge. The numbers speak for themselves with what they do: 85 plays, 500-plus yards against Tennessee. The guys are well aware of what the challenge is."


If you are like me, you were bummed when the Notre Dame-Michigan series was nixed. Well, Irish coach Brian Kelly says he thinks we?ll see it happen again. I hope he?s right.

"I think it's trending up," Kelly said during an appearance on "The Rich Eisen Show." "It's something that we need to get obviously in line to get that going. I think that's something that everybody wants to get going and get Michigan back on the schedule.

"… I think that sentiment is coming back to the forefront of where college football needs to be. Some of those classic rivalries coming back together. I know we're going to be working hard to see if we can get that done."


The gang at kicked around this topic in a roundtable: Is Northwestern the favorite to win the Big Ten West? Hey, why not? This division doesn?t look to have a proverbial 10,000-pound gorilla.

And then there is this: Is a New Year?s Day bowl in store for Northwestern? Hmmmm.

All of this based on a win over No. 21 Stanford. Who cares! This is the time of year to dream big. All things are possible!


Did Urban Meyer pick Cardale Jones to start at QB to appease the Glenville High pipeline coached by Ted Ginn, Sr.? And interesting piece from Doug Lesmerises of explores the topic.

FOX college football analyst Joel Klatt floated that idea in The Audible, a podcast with college football reporters Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman. He said he thought Meyer's choice of Cardale Jones over J.T. Barrett was about more than performance.

"This is total speculation," Klatt said, "but unfortunately, I think this was more homage to the Ginn bus and where Cardale is from, to keep those recruiting trails open, rather than what is actually best for the team. Now, that's a wild theory, but …"

The reference to the Ginn bus is the summer camp circuit that Ginn has taken so many Glenville football and other Cleveland players on. Feldman said that idea had been suggested by someone else as well.

I can buy this argument.


This was pretty neat: IU?s Max Bielfeldt sent a letter to fellow Peoria, Ill., native and ex-Hoosier star A.J. Guyton. Bielfeldt apologized for a run of bad publicity from the hoop program. Classy for a guy who just transferred to IU from Michigan.


Good story here on Hail Mary plays, with a look at the 12 games decided on a last-play pass of 40 yards or longer since 2000, according to STATS. Is there anything better in sports? Nope.

I still am amazed when they actually work. We all are! That?s what makes Hail Marys great!


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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