Thursday, the BTN.com panel offered its picks for the Big Ten’s most underrated player entering 2014. Today, it’s time to consider potential breakout players. These are the guys who aren’t household names but have the talent and opportunity to be so in 2014. In other words, guys like Connor Cook, David Cobb and Jeremy Langford prior to last season. See our picks in this post.
We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. Three months from now, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out your team’s toughest non-conference game.
The Gary Andersen era began with success in 2013. In fact, Wisconsin had BCS bowl aspirations before losing the finale to Penn State at home.
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Names such as Ameer Abdullah, Shilique Calhoun, Melvin Gordon, Randy Gregory, Braxton Miller and Brandon Scherff receive plenty of hype, and for good reason. What about the guys who produce but don’t receive the appropriate fanfare, though? You know, the underrated players. The BTN.com team offered its most underrated players entering 2014, and you can see our picks in this post. Spoiler alert: Running backs were a popular choice. [ MORE: View Tom Dienhart’s 2014 Big Ten schedule analysis posts ] TOM DIENHART Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois. When the conversation about top Big Ten backs breaks out, you always hear about Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford, among others. But don’t forget about Ferguson. The diminutive back is a jack-of-all trades who is as well-rounded as any running back in the conference. To wit: He led all Big Ten running backs with 50 catches for 535 yards. Ferguson added 779 yards rushing. Add it all up, and Ferguson finished ninth in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards with 112.6 per game. Yet, he remains largely anonymous because of Illinois’ lack of success. But don’t sleep on Ferguson, who again figures to be a prime weapon in a Fighting Illini attack that continues to improve under coordinator Bill Cubit.
I had to laugh a bit when I read where SEC coaches were hacked off about Penn State taking part in a football camp at Georgia State. Read here, and here.
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Rutgers is ready to take the lid off of its first Big Ten season. And excitement permeates the campus. Great potential looms—as do great challenges.