Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 21, 2016

Lawdy! Lawdy! What is going on at Michigan State? Three losses in a row! Wasn?t this team once ranked No. 1 in the nation this season? I hate finger pointers when it comes to dealing with problems. That?s why I give Tom Izzo credit. He says, ?Blame me.?

"We're just going to have to do a better job as a staff," Izzo said. "I know how to get to this team and this team will bounce back, but it's been shaken. There's no question about it."

Watch the video here.

Up next for Michigan State: Maryland. Not ideal.


It has been neat to see former Penn State assistant/good guy Charlie Fisher take over the FCS Western Illinois program.

Working as an assistant under Bill O'Brien, Fisher played a key role in stabilizing the program in a post-NCAA sanctions environment. He guided quarterbacks Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg to career seasons in 2012 and '13, respectively. More importantly, Fisher played his part on a transcendent 2012 team that helped keep the program together.


Nebraska has added two foes to future schedules. And one is Oklahoma. How sweet is that? I long for the day when Nebraska-Oklahoma was one of America?s great rivalries.


Athlons has a look at potential breakout players in 2016, and Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard made the cut. Could he be the next Joey Bosa? The Buckeyes have a lot of holes to fill along the d-line.

Physically, Hubbard looks like Hubbard. He even walks like Bosa.


Some nice cash for new Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown. obtained Brown's term sheet via a Freedom of Information Act request. Per the sheet, Brown's deal will be a three-year pact worth $2.7 million. He's scheduled to be paid $850,000 in 2016, $900,000 in 2017 and $950,000 in 2018. Brown was hired by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in December after ex-defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin left to take Maryland's head coaching job. Michigan paid Durkin $800,000 last season.

Time for your daily ?Isn?t Jim Harbaugh crazy?? recruiting story. The guy is brilliant, as the media tracks all of this wacky moves. That's exactly  what he wants. Great free publicity. Man bites dog stuff.


Nice story on former Rutgers OT Keith Lumpkin, one of the biggest men you?ll ever meet. But, he needs to get a little meaner. He will have a chance to impress at the East-West Shrine Game this weekend.

"This week is very important for me just to show the scouts that I can play hard every play and do what I can do against good competition on every play," Lumpkin told reporters at Shrine practices. "It's very important that I go out there and give it my all and keep pushing forward."


Northwestern DE Dean Lowry is also at the Shrine Game practices. And, he?s looking good. No doubt, getting a thumb?s up from Mike ?He Has Good Short Area Explosion? Mayock is huge.


Good story from Chad Leistikow of that says Iowa resembles a team that is coached by ? Bo Ryan. Pretty high praise for Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery.

There are two key statistics that remove pace as a factor, courtesy of nationally respected stats guru Ken Pomeroy, and give validation to a Wisconsin/Iowa comparison: Adjusted offensive efficiency and turnover rate. In 2014, Wisconsin?s adjusted offensive efficiency — points per 100 possessions — was scored at 120.8. The Badgers? turnover rate was 12.7 percent of possessions. Both numbers ranked No. 2 in Division I.

In 2015, which for Wisconsin was highlighted by a Big Ten Conference championship and national runner-up finish to Kentucky, the Badgers led the nation in both categories, at 127.9 and 12.3 percent.


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