Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 27, 2016

As expected, Ohio State and Michigan were the picks in the Big Ten at media days. But, don?t sleep on Michigan State, which continues to always be overlooked. Amazing, isn?t it? Remember, this team won the Big Ten and went to the playoff last year. When will we learn?

"Based on what they've done, Michigan State deserves the right to be included in the conversation of the elite Big Ten football teams," new Rutgers coach Chris Ash said. "They've done it, they've done it well for a number of years now. They made the College Football Playoff last year. If you're a team that's making the college football playoff, and you're not regarded as one of the top teams in your league, something's wrong."


Jim Harbaugh was the pied piper at Big Ten media days the last two days. And, as you would imagine, the Michigan coach was asked often about the rap video he made recently. The classic Harbaugh response: ?Only uptight white people that didn?t like it.?

And Harbaugh finds no need to apologize for insults he has hurled at Ohio State via social media. But he says he has apologized for other stuff since becoming Michigan coach. Just not for personal social media messages from Harbaugh aimed at Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

Check out this video.

Don?t go changing, Jimmy.


Are schools telling recruits that Penn State is going back on probation? Penn State AD Sandy Barbour thinks so, and James Franklin had a couple quotes in a recent story that seemed to indicate it wasn't out of the question.


Speaking of Franklin, let?s all be frank for a second: This is a big season for James Franklin, who is entering his third season in State College, Pennsylvania, looking for a breakthrough. He has a full allotment of 85 scholarships, but is it fair to compare PSU to Big Ten East peers Ohio State, Michigan and MSU just yet? Yes. Yes, it is.

"It goes back to what I said before: unless you're comparing apples and apples; if Penn State played those other teams, and they all had 65 scholarships as well, then it's a fair argument," Franklin began. "If they had 75 scholarships, it's a fair argument. But we're not comparing apples to apples, so; I get it, everybody is looking for that type of win, and those type of signature points that they can find of focus on and say.

"Well, that goes back to something I said before: this is our first year in a similar situation to everyone in the country, and I think it's fair to start making those comparisons now."

*** has the 10 best quotes from Big Ten media day.


The Big Ten West? Unsexy? So says the great Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

How can the West get props? Listen to Northwestern LB Anthony Walker.

?Win in Indy,? Walker said, referring to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. ?For the most part Ohio State, Michigan State, those guys have had the most success. I think the West this year has a chance to be special. The championship game is even better. I remember watching that 18-play drive last year.?

The West looks like it is Iowa?s to win. But does it have enough to take down the East champ if it makes it to the title game?


The Big Ten family is still reeling from the death of Nebraska?s Sam Foltz.

The same goes for former MSU punter Mike Sadler. Who can forget ?Hey Diddle Diddle, Send The Punter Up the Middle,? a fake punt vs. Iowa a few years ago that featured Sadler? It was epic.

Check it out.


For the fourth season in a row, Purdue is auditioning for a QB. Not ideal. But I will be stunned if David Blough isn?t the guy. Facing such a critical year, can Darrell Hazell really afford to give the job to redshirt freshman Elijah Sindelar?


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