Phil Steele's 2014 Preseason All-Big Ten Team

Rejoice, Big Ten football fans. Phil Steele has released his much-anticipated 2014 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Steele compiles four teams on offense and defense, two more than the official All-Big Ten teams released at the end of the year. See who made Steele’s preseason teams in this post. Here’s his All-America team, too.

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First reaction: Big Ten newbies Maryland and Rutgers add some quality top-end talent, what with three first-teamers and one second-teamer.

Most players: 6 – Ohio State, Northwestern

Biggest surprise: Kyle Prater, a second-team receiver. Look, Prater was a can’t-miss prospect before eventually committing to USC, where he was before transferring to Northwestern, but he’s amassed just 20 receptions and zero touchdowns in an injury-plagued career. Then again, the Big Ten did lose a lot of stud receivers.

Mr. Undervalued: Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois – not listed. The Big Ten is loaded at running back, so someone worthy of inclusion is going to be left out. To me, Ferguson, arguably the Big Ten’s top all-around back, is one of the top eight at his position.

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First reaction: Like running back, the Big Ten is absolutely loaded at defensive line. Carl Davis, a second-teamer? Marcus Rush, a fourth-teamer? Good luck, Big Ten quarterbacks!

Most players: 5 – Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State

Biggest surprise: Five Michigan players from a defense that wasn’t exactly stout last season, and none is highly touted freshman Jabrill Peppers. That said, this unit will improve from a full year of stud LB Jake Ryan.

Mr. Undervalued: Michael Caputo, S, Wisconsin – 4th team. Caputo tallied 63 tackles, second only to stud Chris Borland. Somebody has to replace Borland’s 112 tackles, and it’s a safe bet that the safety will pick up some of the slack.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (19 Comments)
Nick Kalianoff on 6/5/2014 @ 9:09pm EDT Said:

Iowa gets snubbed as usual, but the NFL knows…

Boomer64g on 6/5/2014 @ 9:54pm EDT Said:

Not sure how anyone can leave Josh Ferguson off this list entirely. Steele is usually spot on, but the Ferguson omission is glaring.

Boiler Bear on 6/6/2014 @ 12:42pm EDT Said:

What you mean Iowa was snubbed? There are 7 players on this list unlike Purdue with only 1. If they included special teams, Purdue’s Mostert would be somewhere on this list.

Gurndogg on 6/6/2014 @ 12:46pm EDT Said:

Iowa will have some LB on this list no doubt. But I do think that because some OSU players haven’t played they are being undervalued Like Eze, Thomas, Elflein, our C, Washington (even tho its hard to put a whole DL on this list) Perry or Lee or Kwon, Bell, ETC. but you can’t put a teams whole roster on this list. GO BUCK’s!!!! OH——

Boomers Bane on 6/6/2014 @ 12:56pm EDT Said:

Read the comments Boomer:

Mr. Undervalued: Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois – not listed. The Big Ten is loaded at running back, so someone worthy of inclusion is going to be left out. To me, Ferguson, arguably the Big Ten’s top all-around back, is one of the top eight at his positio

Sam Smith on 6/6/2014 @ 1:04pm EDT Said:

I don’t know how you can put Connor Cook ahead of Christian Hackenberg, when they are saying he is a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy.

Carl Knepfler on 6/6/2014 @ 1:28pm EDT Said:

I totally understand the reasoning with the success of Sparty last year. However, just as QBs get the brunt of the blame when things go wrong, this is a classic example of a QB getting too much credit for success.

John on 6/6/2014 @ 1:44pm EDT Said:

Northwestern had 6 on offense as well

Greg Z on 6/6/2014 @ 2:17pm EDT Said:

Steele has Nebraska linebackers Rose and Santos on the second team. Funny Phil, the Huskers’ best linebacker is Zaire Anderson. By far.

Joe Winn on 6/6/2014 @ 2:22pm EDT Said:

@Nick Kalianoff – I don’t think Iowa was snubbed. All 3 returning OL are on the top 3 teams. Weisman is probably the 4th or 5th best RB on his own team, so the fact he was picked ahead of Josh Ferguson of Illinois is a compliment. Carl Davis is a first team caliber player, but the B1G is stacked at D-Line and only 4 guys can be first team – so not an egregious snub. LTP and King are probably better than 4th team, but they’ll have a chance to prove it on the field. If anyone was “snubbed” maybe it’s Ray Hamilton at TE or Quinton Alston at MLB. Iowa’s No. 1 TE and MLB always put up numbers, and both players would have started for a number of B1G teams last year. The guys selected ahead of them have already proved it on the field and earned this kind of recognition. Again, they’ll have a chance to make names for themselves this year and both should be drafted come next spring.

Matt on 6/6/2014 @ 2:28pm EDT Said:

Just compared the #s from last year, and I agree that Josh should easily be on this list. He may have the lowest rushing output, but if you put him up against the 8 that were selected; he’s 5th in rushing average, 6th in all-purpose yards, 3rd in all-purpose average, 6th in Total TDs. Highest # of REC, and REC TDs.

Take your pick b/w dropping Zwinak, Weisman, or Cobb to add Ferguson.

My completely unscientific Fantasy RBs (all-purpose in parentheses)
1st Team: Abdullah (1922), Langford (1579)
2nd Team: Gordon (1619), Mark * (1470)
3rd Team: Coleman (1151), Ferguson (1314)
4th Team: Cobb (1376), Zwinak (1016)

drop Weisman

I used Mark’s 2012 #s.

Joe Winn on 6/6/2014 @ 2:38pm EDT Said:

Plus, Lowdermilk made 3rd team safety, That’s a pretty optimistic projection.

Big Ten Fan on 6/6/2014 @ 3:54pm EDT Said:

Steele is off his rocker. Why do some even post his stuff. He has been consisetently horrible the last few years and has never been good in the Big Ten. Braxton Miller is a running back that think he can throw. Put him where he belongs. Christian Hackenberg is by far the best QB in the Big Ten. It isn’t close. Gordan and Abdullah are OK choices but why not a fullback since most Big Ten teams still use one. Pathetic. Diggs and Long are good picks but Funchess? There is a reason why he disappeared during the second half of the season. Once defenders got some film, they largely put him in check. Jesse James is hands down the top tight end in the Big Ten. His team mate Kyle Carter is number two. On the O-line, Donovan Smith is the best returning linemen in the conference. He is your first team left tackle. Taylor Decker? He was horrible at right tackle last year.

On defense good lord this man doens’t know what he is talking about. Bennet is not a top eight defensive tackle. Bosa, spence and Frank are clearly behind Calhoun, Gregory, Oliniyan, Barnes and Bars at End. Jake Ryan? Fourth teamer, if that. Mike Hull is the top returning linebacker in the Big Ten by far. In 2012, he was frequetly better than Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges. Mauti was the best defender in the nation in 2012 and Hodges was the top linebacker in 2011. Despite playing injured, Hull was merely better than Big Ten Network favorite and seriously over-rated linebacker Chris Borland. Adrian Amos is the top returning defense back in the Big Ten.

Steel need to just shut up and let him stick to what he is good at.

Matt Craft on 6/7/2014 @ 1:23am EDT Said:

I’m having difficulty figuring out how Mike Daniels of Iowa is left off this list. Check out SPorts Illistrated’s Mock 2015 NFL draft and you will see him as a top 15 pick in the first round. As always, OSU players are always overrated early.

jakeanderson998 on 6/7/2014 @ 6:05pm EDT Said:

A few things:
Devin Gardner does not belong on this list anywhere. That fact is not debatable. He stinks.
How is Kenny Bell not first team?
Isnt Funchess a TE?
Michael Rose will be the top LB in the conference.
The 4th team Rbs are better than the 3rd teamers.

I really like Phil Steele but I find some of these rankings objectionable.

Chaz on 6/8/2014 @ 7:49am EDT Said:

Big Ten Fan needs to get a life. Come on,man! This kind of speculation is just good clean fun. To get your BVDs in a bunch over this stuff shows a disturbing personality trait.

DaveW on 6/8/2014 @ 10:10am EDT Said:

^^^^^ We have a Penn St. blow hard that thinks his team is better than the results… Here’s a clue…. What was your record last year? Yea, not very good. There is a reason why there are other players are ranked ahead of your precious QB and DL. Ryan and Hull are the best LB in the league…. just on crappy teams, as for now. Do you see Curtis Grant at the 3rd team LB… He’s probably going to get supplanted by a freshman… The BIG is weak at LB

Josh on 6/8/2014 @ 6:40pm EDT Said:

@Big Ten Fan
You are one angry PSU fan. You have too long of a post that almost no one will take seriously, let alone Steele. Besides, he is one of the better analysts out there.

Brian Schwartz (@bws258) on 6/9/2014 @ 8:18pm EDT Said:

Jordan Canzeri > Mark Weisman
Derrick Willies will make the year-end list at WR