Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, November 12, 2015

It?s not even Thanksgiving, but USA Today has some mock NCAA tourney brackets! America is a great place to live. Her's how the
Big Ten teams shake out in this early look:

  • No. 1 Maryland
  • No. 3 Michigan State
  • No. 4 Indiana
  • No. 5 Purdue
  • No. 6 Wisconsin
  • No. 8 Michigan
  • No. 12 Iowa

This seems about right. I mean, for a bracket filled out weeks before Thanksgiving, that is.


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While Michigan fans are rightly jacked about how this season is unfolding, the future could be special, too, because of John O?Korn, a stud QB who is sitting out 2015 after transferring from Houston.

"He's been awesome. We see him every day, John's a competitor and a great quarterback who doesn't take any B.S. from the defense at all," defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said this week. "That's why I like him. He's got a little feistiness to him.

"I think he's got a really bright future at quarterback. That guy's a good player."

O'Korn transferred to Michigan after spending his first two years as a college player at Houston. As a true freshman starter for the Cougars in 2013, O'Korn was named the American Athletic Conference's freshman of the year. The guy is good.


Rutgers? season hasn?t gone as expected, as it teeters on the brink of bowl extinction. That has caused the great Dan Duggan of to cast his eyes to last season and to tab the 10 players that the Scarlet Knights miss the most from 2014. We are talking about guys like Gary Nova, Darius Hamilton and Michael Burton.

Ohio State is having another boffo season. And some of the credit goes to the assistants, some of whom would make good head coaching candidates this offseason.

The three who seem most ready to lead programs are offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and defensive coordinators Chris Ash and Luke Fickell. Warinner is my fav to move on. He?s really ready.


Wednesday was the beginning of the early signing period for basketball. (See that, football. Basketball has an early-signing period. It can be done.) And no Big Ten school brought in a better collection of talent than Michigan State. How good is this class? Tom Izzo calls it the best of this MSU tenure.

Michigan State received letters of intent from the four members of its recruiting class ranked No. 2 in the country by the 247sports composite. It includes a pair of five-star players ranked among the top 25 in the country in forward Miles Bridges and guard Joshua Langford. It also has a pair of four-star recruits in point guard Cassius Winston and forward Nick Ward. The rich get richer.


There is lots of excitement and anticipation around Purdue?s hoop season. More so in several years. And sharpshooting freshman Ryan Cline will be part of the action after heavy consideration was given to redshirting him.

Matt Painter believes his team to be capable of competing for a Big Ten title and making an NCAA run now. He said he felt like he "owed" it to this team right now to use Cline, even though Rapheal Davis, Kendall Stephens and Dakota Mathias project to eat up big minutes at the position(s) Cline plays.

"I feel like we have a really good team, a team that going into that last week of Big Ten play can be right there. We have to get some breaks, stay healthy and stay together, but I like our team."

*** has five good and bad takeaways that have shaped Penn State?s season to date. Oh, you bet the emergence of freshman RB Saquon Barkley is on this list.


It seems that there are a lot of fake Ohio State jerseys being sold-and it?s impacting the school. M-O-N-E-Y.


Tough blow for Northwestern, which has lost rising talent Vic Law for the upcoming hoop season to a shoulder injury.

Law embodies Chris Collins' philosophy when it comes to playing style and scheme. Now, he?s gone. And the impact could be significant for a NU program that is on the rise.


Riding a five-game winning streak, Wisconsin is off this week, catching its breath as it tries to catch Iowa in the Big Ten West. The Badgers? fate is out of their control. They must win out-and hope the Hawkeyes lose two of their last three games. It hasn?t been easy for UW, as injuries at tight end and to RB Corey Clement, a lack of offensive playmakers and spotty offensive line have made 2015 a challenge.