The Big Ten's Best
Carimi, Badgers were league's best OL. But who else garnered Big Ten awards?
By: Braden Gall | 12/6/10, 11:00 AM EST
Robinson was the Big Ten's most valuable player.
Athlon will be awarding postseason honors to each BCS conference in the country. Today we look at the Big Ten’s best for 2010.
For the sake of this exercise, the Heisman and Bednarik will function as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Outland will be given to the offensive lineman of the year while the Lombardi will be given to the defensive lineman of the year. Two fictitious awards, the Adrian Peterson Freshman of the Year honor and the Desmond Howard return specialist of the year award, will be given as well.
Heisman Trophy (MVP/POY): Denard Robinson, Michigan
The definition of the Heisman is the “Most Outstanding Player.” While Robinson might not be the toughest or most efficient player in the league, he certainly was the most outstanding. He is the only player ever to rush for 1,500 and throw for 1,500 yards in a season — and he actually topped 2,300 and 1,600.
Chuck Bednarik Award (Def. POY): Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
The Boiler defensive end led the conference in sacks (12.5) and tackles for loss (26.0) while posting 70 total tackles. In a conference loaded at the defensive line (JJ Watt, Cameron Heyward, Adrian Clayborne), Kerrigan showed up as the best one in 2010.
Davey O’Brien Award (QB): Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
How can the MVP of the league not be the best player at his position? Because Robinson wasn’t the best quarterback in the league. In fact, this was a toss-up between Pryor, Scott Tolzien and Dan Persa. Tolzien was the most efficient and won a conference title. Persa was clearly more valuable but missed some time late. Pryor is easily the most talented, won a title and posted the most productive season (other than D-Rob). In a controversial decision, TP2 gets the nod as the best quarterback in the conference.
Doak Walker Award (RB): Mikel LeShoure, Illinois
I really wanted to vote Denard Robinson as the best running back in the league. He led the conference in rushing, leading LeShoure by nearly 300 yards. In the purest form, however, LeShoure was the best running back in the league. He was second in the league with 16 total touchdowns and helped carry/develop a freshman quarterback for a middle of the pack team.
Fred Biletnikoff Award (WR): Dane Sanzenbacher, Ohio State
The gritty, little (5-10, 180) wideout made the tough catches all season long. He led the conference with 10 TD receptions, was second in yards with 889 and sixth in catches per game with 4.3. He also had one of his best games of the year (6 rec., 102 yds) in a tough spot against Iowa.
John Mackey Award (TE): Lance Kendricks
This was one of the few easy selections as Kendricks is the best tight end in the nation. Despite missing time, Kendricks still led the highest scoring offense in the conference in catches (3.25) and yards (52.3) per game. His blocking is wildly underrated as well.
Outland (O-Lineman): Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Carimi, a national Outland finalist, helped lead the Badgers to a conference-leading 45.2 ppg and 242.2 rush yards per game — the second time a team has averaged more than 45 points per game in conference play since 1936 (Penn State, 48.1 ppg, 1994).
Jones was the Big Ten's best linebacker.
Dick Butkus Award (LB): Greg Jones, Michigan State
The preseason All-American finished with a team-leading 98 total tackles, his first two INTs, three forced fumbles and 8.0 tackles for loss. The Spartans rush defense was third in the Big Ten and 20th nationally, and their scoring defense was also third in the league and 24th nationally.
Jim Thorpe Award (DB): Chimdi Checkwa, Ohio State
The most talented shutdown corner in the league was a first-team all-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media. Checkwa led the team in interceptions, was used as a blitzer from time to time, had 42 total tackles, four solo TFL and had eight passes defended.
Lombardi Award (D-Lineman): Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
See The Bednarik Defensive Player of the Year award above.
Adrian Peterson Award (freshman): James White, Wisconsin
The freshman from Florida finished fourth in the league with 108.6 rushing yards per game and led the Badgers in rushing with 1,029 yards. He averaged 7.0 yards per carry and scored 14 times on the ground. He was the game-changer at tailback for Wisconsin.
Lou Groza Award (K): Dan Conroy, Michigan State
Conroy had made 14 straight field goals before missing his first kick in nearly two full seasons when he missed his only field goal of the year against Northwestern. He missed only one of 45 extra points on the year.
Ray Guy Award (P): Anthony Santella, Illinois
The Illini punter was sixth nationally and led the conference in punting at 45.7 yards per punt.
Desmond Howard Award (KR/PR): Keshawn Martin, Michigan State
This was a tough call because a few names could have been picked. David Gilreath’s opening kickoff for a touchdown against Ohio State was easily the biggest return of the year in the league. DJK from Iowa led the league in kick returns, but only Martin was used as both a punt and kick returner. He scored once on a punt return and led the league in that category.
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (HC): Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
Wisconsin was picked third in the preseason, but wins against No. 1 Ohio State and on the road at Iowa in back-to-back weeks probably won Bielema this award. Oh, and that likely trip to Pasedena gives him the nod over fellow Big Ten champ Mark D'Antonio.
Broyles Award (Asst Coach): Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
The Badgers led the league in scoring (43.3 ppg) and dropped at least a 70-spot three times this year — twice in conference. All of this with star tailback John Clay and tight end Lance Kendricks missing time throughout the season. This was the best scoring attack in Big Ten (45.2) play since the 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions (48.1).
Most Popular Articles
Contests & Promotions
Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing!
Enter the Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing game. Just head over to athlon.myfantasyracing.com and register for your chance to win a chance to watch a 2014 race from the grandstands. You'll also have a chance to win other amazing prizes such as an autographed Kyle Busch helmet.