Week 12 Player Rankings: Ball moves on up

It’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Montee Ball moved up a couple spots following his incredible effort at Indiana, and there’s a new name making the list on the defensive side. Who is it? Find out in this post. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa.

[RELATED: Tom Dienhart’s Week 12 Power Rankings ]

OFFENSE
1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Fresh off a bye week, the Big Ten’s most dynamic player should enter the home stretch refreshed. He’ll have two more games to bolster his worthy Heisman Trophy candidacy, which includes a perfect record,  27 total touchdowns and 2,919 total yards.
Week 11 stats: Bye week | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 1

2. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska – Make it four double-digit late comebacks for Martinez and Nebraska in Big Ten play. Clearly, Martinez has this rallying thing down to an art. And just like last week, the decisive points came on a late scoring strike to Jamal Turner (Watch it).
Week 11 stats: 12-20, 171 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 15 car., 104 yards | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 2

Montee Ball

US Presswire

3. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin – Ball accounted for 198 of Wisconsin’s school-record 564 rushing yards and three of its seven rushing scores (Watch all the rushing TDs) in a rout at Indiana. The senior now stands one touchdown away from Travis Prentice’s FBS record for career touchdowns (78).
Week 11 stats: 27 car., 198 yards, 3 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 5

4. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State – How good has McGloin been this season? So good, Saturday’s 240-yard, one-touchdown, one-interception effort was his worst of the campaign. To no surprise, it came against the stout Nebraska pass defense.
Week 11 stats: 18-37, 240 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 3

5. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern – If there were still people wondering whether Mark was legit, they got their answer in Saturday’s 104-yard effort against Michigan’s stingy defense.
Week 11 stats: 23 car., 104 yards, 1 TD; 4 KR, 126 yards | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 4

6. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State – Since Hyde became Ohio State’s featured back five games ago, the bruising junior has run for 579 yards and totaled 12 touchdowns.
Week 11 stats: Bye week | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 6

Next in line: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

[RELATED: See who won Week 11 Big Ten Game Balls]

DEFENSE
1. Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan – Ryan and the stout Michigan defense came up with big stops down the stretch to allow the Wolverines to rally from 10 down and clinch the win in overtime.
Week 11 stats: 4 tackles
Previous ranking: No. 1

2. Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State – The Penn State senior tallied 10 tackles against Nebraska’s prolific offense and added forced fumble that thwarted a possible Huskers’ scoring drive.
Week 11 stats: 10 tackles, 1 FF
Previous ranking: No. 2

Jake Ryan

US Presswire

3. Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State – Bullough and the Spartans were off this past week, and they need one victory in the final two (vs. Northwestern; at Minnesota) to become bowl eligible.
Week 11 stats: Bye week
Previous ranking: No. 3

4. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio StateThe only thing that can cool off the white-hot Shazier? A bye week. He and the Buckeyes finish up with two of their tougher tests (at Wisconsin; vs. Michigan).
Week 11 stats:
Bye week
Previous ranking:
No. 4

5. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin – Borland suffered another injury – the extent is unknown – but not before he and the Badgers quieted Indiana’s high-octane offense in a 62-14 rout.
Week 11 stats: 8 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 FR
Previous ranking: No. 5

6. Eric Martin, DE, Nebraska – One of the Big Ten’s elite pass-rushers, Martin tallied a sack and tackle for loss against Penn State, bringing his season total in those categories to 7.5 and 12, respectively.
Week 11 stats: 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack
Previous ranking: NR

Next in line: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
Dropped out: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.

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