Everyone knew Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was talented and likely headed for a promising college football career. But few thought he’d have a big impact as a true freshman in 2011. Miller was thrust into the starting lineup early in 2011 and proceeded to enjoy the best season of any Big Ten freshman. This is why the precocious Miller, the Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, headlines BTN.com’s 2011 All-Freshman Team.
Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker announced Sunday that he will retire following the 2011 Insight Bowl. The Hawkeyes (7-5) meet Oklahoma on Friday, Dec. 30 (9 p.m. CT, ESPN) at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium (see our 2011-12 bowl schedule). “I would like to personally thank Gary Barta, Kirk Ferentz, the coaches, and players at Iowa, along with the fantastic fans,” Parker said in a statement. “It has been a great time, one that myself and my entire family greatly appreciate.”
(AP) Joe Paterno fractured his pelvis again following a fall at his home but will not need surgery, a person close to the family told The Associated Press on Sunday. The former Penn State football coach was expected to make a full recovery after slipping Saturday and was admitted to the hospital the next day, the person added. Paterno, who turns 85 on Dec. 21, is also undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for what his family has said is a treatable form of lung cancer. Son Scott Paterno has said doctors are optimistic his father would make a full recovery. Read the full AP recap.
We have a new feature at BTN.com, and it’s called “Did You See This?” Throughout the seasons, the staff of BTN.com will watch all the Big Ten action for the best highlights, whether it’s an incredible catch, an unbelievable dunk or a can’t-miss feature, and immediately publish them here as a post. Check out our Did You See This? archive. Watch one of our latest postings right now.
Find out more about: Gone Viral
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting Saturday night in New York City. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III won the award, with 1,687 total points, followed by Stanford’s Andrew Luck (1,407), Alabama’s Trent Richardson (978), Ball (348) and LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu (327). Ball, who accounted for 2,071 total yards and 39 TDs, including his 25-yard scoring pass to Russell Wilson, received 22 first-place votes, the fifth-most. See tweets and photos from Ball’s trip to NYC in this post.
Find out more about: Montee Ball
There was an iconic Hail Mary pass, a brand new championship game, a new school in the club, Legends and Leaders, a smashing debut by a coach, a touchdown machine named “Ball,” and a sordid off-field scandal the likes we never have seen in the history of college sports. Welcome to Big Ten football 2011.