Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, June 30, 2016

It is difficult to believe that former Northwestern coach Randy Walker has been gone for 10 years. I never will forget the day I heard the news of his passing. It was jolting. The suddenness ? the shock ? the sadness. looks at Walker?s best NU squad, the 2000 club that won a share of the Big Ten title. Such a fun, explosive team. Who can forget the win vs. Michigan?


David Jones of says Penn State?s upset of Ohio State in 2005 changed how college football attacked Major League Baseball broadcasts.

"That game did a 5 [rating]. Which was big-time then on cable. We didn't put up those types of numbers on prime-time stuff," ESPN college football programmer Dave Brown told Jones.

Brown said that game changed the way all networks program in October, especially. Specifically, it gave ESPN confidence it could go up against Major League Baseball's postseason and eventually the World Series in prime time if it had a strong enough draw.


From the ?Coulda Knocked Me Over With A Feather? department, Iowa?s season ticket sales are up after an historic 12-2 season and Rose Bowl berth.

The school told that more than 44,000 season tickets have been sold. That includes a 98 percent renewal rate from last year?s contingent of 36,200 public and faculty/staff season-ticket holders. They have been bolstered by 4,800 new season-ticket holders among the public and 4,000 from the student ranks.


The graduate transfer rule has caused some consternation across the nation. Is it time to scrap it? Pete DiPrimio of the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel takes a look. I?d be for dumping it. Its intent is wrapped in academics, but the rule is exploited for athletic reasons. And it sabotages smaller schools who often seen veterans who could help their teams bolt for larger stages.

Here. Listen to Purdue?s Matt Painter:

?I think it messes with the fabric of our game,? Painter says. ?With low- and mid-major kids, if they play well, they?re just leaving. That?s really hurting our low- and mid-major programs. They?ve invested in these kids.

?It started with the NCAA making it an academic rule, but the majority of kids are doing it for basketball purposes. It?s not being used as an academic rule.

?My preference is to throw the rule out.?


How about this: Denzel Valentine has a fan in Denzel Washington, the man he is named after.

"Denzel Washington's always been my favorite actor," said Carlton Valentine, the father of Denzel. "I saw him in Glory, all of his early movies. My favorite was Mo' Better Blues."


In case you missed this, Minnesota forward Charles Buggs has transferred to USC.

Last season, Buggs started a career-best 21 games on the wing, but his position will be the Gophers? most competitive spot this year. Minnesota is adding perimeter players Amir Coffey and Michael Hurt, a pair of freshmen recruits, plus transfers Akeem Springs (Milwaukee) and Davonte Fitzgerald (Texas A&M) are upperclassmen with experience at that spot.

*** has been breaking down Maryland?s 2016 schedule. And, it doesn?t think the Terps will have much of a challenge in its Big Ten opener vs. Purdue. Not gonna argue with this.


The hype surrounding Michigan LB/S/CB/WR Superman Jabrill Peppers continues to build. He supposed recently ran a 4.3. 40. (That?s OK, I?m shaking my head, too.) Ah, let?s keep cranking out the hype. I bet he ran a 4.2 40.


More Michigan. Why? Because. Jim Harbaugh recently offered an eighth-grader from Hawaii a scholarship. This surely set the Internet on fire. Harbaugh ? an eighth grader ? that?s World Wide Web gold. Harbaugh will get TONS of publicity for this. And, it costs nothing.


Why not ask former New York Giants QB Phil Simms what he thinks of the job RU coach Chris Ash is doing!

?I?ve met some of his commitments and I don?t know if they can play because I haven?t seen them yet, but they sure look good up close,? Simms said recently to ?I?ve heard nothing but good things from a lot of coaches. The fact that he?s getting so many players to commit, and that they?re good players, it says a lot about the work he's putting in."


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