On Monday, the Big Ten will announce its All-Big Ten teams as well as an array of special award winners during a special broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
All-Big Ten candidates include OSU's Braxton Miller, Wisconsin's Montee Ball and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez
There is obviously one more weekend of Big Ten regular season action still to play. We thought today would be a good day to share our All-Big Ten team and special awards winners.
To be clear, I asked the SIDs at each school for their nominations. I also polled the 247 Sports Big Ten publishers that we have as well for their help. So, while I did have the final say to break all ties, this was a collaborative effort.
Here we go with our look at the 2012 All-Big Ten team:
All-Big Ten Offense
* Quarterback – You could probably make a case for four guys for the first team: Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez, Penn State’s Matt McGloin and Michigan’s Denard Robinson. Robinson missed several games due to injury, so I took him out. Martinez and Miller are very close in total offense and passing efficiency. But Miller has been the driving force behind OSU’s 11-0 team, which also beat Nebraska head-to-head.
I would go Miller first team, Martinez second and then a whole host of honorable mentions, including McGloin, Robinson, Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell, Northwestern’s Kain Colter and maybe even Michigan’s Devin Gardner as a hybrid receiver/quarterback combo.
* Running Back – The top two spots are easy between Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (1,417 yards, 17 TDs) and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell (1,382 yards, 10 TDs). My second team would be Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde and Northwestern’s Venric Mark. I considered Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, but Hyde has been slightly better in Big Ten play.
* Wide Receiver – Penn State’s Allen Robinson (73 catches, 11 TDs) and Nebraska’s Kenny Bell (44 catches, 8 TDs) are my first team. Second team would be Indiana’s Shane Wynn and Purdue’s Antavian Edison. Honorable mentions include OSU’s Corey “Philly” Brown, Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis, Nebraska’s Quincy Enunwa, Indiana’s Cody Latimer, Iowa’s Keenan Davis and Iowa’s Kevonte Martin-Manley.
* Tight End – My first team is Penn State’s Kyle Carter (36 catches) and Michigan State’s Dion Sims (32 grabs). My second team is Indiana’s Ted Bolser (39 catches) and Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz (39 catches). Honorable mention goes to Wisconsin’s Jacob Pedersen and Nebraska’s Kyler Reed.
* Offensive Line – I do not rate these guys positions. I am just using five offensive linemen on the first and second teams regardless of position.
My first team would be OSU’s Jack Mewhort, Penn State’s Matt Stankiewitch, Wisconsin’s Travis Frederick, Michigan’s Taylor Lewan and Nebraska’s Spencer Long. My second team would be Indiana’s Jason Spriggs, OSU’s Andrew Norwell, Wisconsin’s Ricky Wagner, Michigan’s Elliott Mealer and Nebraska’s Justin Jackson.
Honorable mentions include Illinois’ Hugh Thornton, Indiana’s Will Matte, Indiana’s Dan Feeney, OSU’s Corey Linsley, MSU’s Chris McDonald, Nebraska’s Jeremiah Sirles, Iowa’s James Ferentz, Iowa’s Brandon Scherff, Iowa’s Matt Tobin, Northwestern’s Patrick Ward and Northwestern’s Brian Mulroe.
All-Big Ten Defense
* Defensive Line – Again, no distinction between ends and tackles. My first team is OSU’s John Simon (leads Big Ten with nine sacks, 14-1/2 TFLs), Indiana’s Adam Replogle (13 TFLs), Purdue’s Kawann Short (6 sacks, 14 TFLs) and Nebraska’s Eric Martin (7-1/2 sacks, 11-1/2 TFLs).
Honorable mentions include Illinois’ Akeem Spence, Illinois’ Michael Buchanan, Penn State’s Jordan Hill, Penn State’s Deion Barnes, Michigan State’s Marcus Rush, Nebraska’s Baker Steinkuhler, Iowa’s Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa’s Steve Bigach, Minnesota’s RaShede Hageman and Minnesota’s D.L. Wilhite.
* Linebacker – A lot of great competition here. My first team is OSU’s Ryan Shazier (110 tackles, Big Ten-high 14-1/2 TFLs), PSU’s Michael Mauti (96 tackles, 3 INTs), Michigan’s Jake Ryan (75 tackles, 13 TFLs) and MSU’s Max Bullough (95 tackles, 11 TFLs).
Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor (104 tackles, 12 TFLs) would be next and would head up the second team with PSU’s Gerald Hodges (102 tackles), Iowa’s James Morris (100 tackles) and Nebraska’s Will Compton (93 tackles).
Honorable mentions include Illinois’ Jonathan Brown, Illinois’ Mason Monheim, OSU’s Etienne Sabino, OSU’s Zach Boren (combo fullback/linebacker pick), Wisconsin’s Chris Borland, Michigan’s Kenny Demens, Michigan State’s Denicos Allen, Northwestern’s Damien Proby, Northwestern’s David Nwabuisi, Iowa’s Anthony Hitchens and Iowa’s Christian Kirksey.
* Cornerback – My first team is Ohio State’s Bradley Roby and Iowa’s Micah Hyde. The second team is OSU’s Travis Howard and MSU’s Darqueze Dennnard. Honorable mentions include Illinois’ Terry Hawthorne, PSU’s Stephon Morris, Purdue’s Josh Johnson, Wisconsin’s Devin Smith, MSU’s Johnny Adams, Nebraska’s Ciante Evans, Minnesota’s Michael Carter and Minnesota’s Troy Stoudemire.
* Safety – My first team is MSU’s Isaiah Lewis and Northwestern’s Ibraheim Campbell. The second team would be OSU’s Christian Bryant and Indiana’s Greg Heban. Honorable mentions include OSU’s C.J. Barnett, Nebraska’s Daimion Stafford, Minnesota’s Derrick Wells and Michigan’s Jordan Kovacs.
All-Big Ten Special Teams
* Kicker – This would be between MSU’s Dan Conroy (18 of 26 field goals, long of 50), Iowa’s Mike Meyer (17 of 20, long of 50) and Nebraska’s Brett Maher (16 of 22, long of 54). I will go Maher first team and Meyer on second.
* Return Specialist – Northwestern’s Mark and OSU’s Brown each have two punt return touchdowns. Mark is averaging 20.1 yards per return to 13.6 for Brown, so Mark on first team and Brown on second. Iowa’s Jordan Cotton (28.2 average on kick returns) is the best kick returner and an honorable mention pick.
Here is what our 247 panel came up with for the special award winners:
* Offensive Player Of The Year – OSU’s Braxton Miller had the most votes, so he would get the nod. A big game against Michigan would probably cinch this. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez would be next with Wisconsin’s Montee Ball and Penn State’s Matt McGloin tied for third.
* Defensive Player Of The Year – The voting here was widespread, but OSU’s Ryan Shazier was the top vote getter. Also mentioned were MSU’s Max Bullough, OSU’s John Simon, Michigan’s Jake Ryan and Penn State’s Michael Mauti.
* Freshman Of The Year – The top two here were Illinois’ Mason Monheim and Penn State’s Deion Barnes. Tough call, but we will go with Barnes (six tackles, 11 TFLs) over Monheim (81 tackles).
Ton of other candidates here including Wisconsin QB Joel Stave, Indiana QB Nate Sudfeld, Michigan WR Devin Funchess, Minnesota QB Phillip Nelson, Northwestern WR Dan Vitale and Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge.
If Meyer’s Buckeyes can go from 6-7 last year to 12-0 with a win over Michigan in his first year, he has to win this right?
But Penn State, if it can beat Wisconsin, would be 8-4 after the worst year in the history of that great university. So he has to win this right?
This would be a perfect time for a co-coach of the year award. The debate on this one could rage forever. If OSU beats Michigan, I’d take Meyer. If they don’t, I might take O’Brien. (How is that for diplomacy?)