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In its short two-year existence, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year has been very kind to its recipients. The inaugural winner, Russell Wilson, went on to have an All-Pro NFL rookie season, and last year’s winner, Braxton Miller, is a preseason Heisman Trophy favorite. Not bad, huh?
Here’s what we know: There will be no repeat winner for the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year. Last year’s winner, John Simon, is in the NFL, leaving a pool of worthy candidates to fight for the award now in its third year. Who’s the top candidate entering the season? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss it in this post.
Braxton Miller is kind of good. We all saw what he did a season ago in his first year under Urban Meyer, and it all resulted in the 2012 Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. Back under center as a junior, Miller is the favorite to repeat in 2013. Will he do it? Who are his biggest competitors? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina discuss it in this post.
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Sporting News and BTN correspondent Mike DeCourcy has been busy compiling his top 10 position lists. With all the talent the Big Ten returns in 2013-14, it’s only fitting that the conference boasts its share of representatives.
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Tackles are an inexact science, to be sure. Teams award them differently, so it’s not always as simple as comparing Player A from School A to Player B from School B. Whatever the case, the Big Ten returns several of its top tacklers, including 2012 leader Anthony Hitchens. Who will lead the Big Ten in tackles this fall? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
Last year was hardly the season of the sack. For the first time in at least a decade, no Big Ten player recorded double-digit sacks. Nine was good enough for the 2012 lead, shared between Northwestern’s Tyler Scott and Ohio State’s John Simon. Who will lead the Big Ten in sacks in 2013? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
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No category, it seems, is more difficult to predict on a yearly basis than interceptions. Sure, we know who the best cover guys are in the league every year, but that’s not always who finds himself on top of the leaderboard. Last year, there was a quartet of guys who led the Big Ten, with four interceptions. Only Landon Feichter returns from the group. Will he repeat in 2013? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks.
Raise your hand if you thought Allen Robinson would lead the Big Ten in touchdown receptions a year ago at this time. No hands, right? That’s what we thought. Robinson entered last season with a grand total of three receptions before breaking out to pace the Big Ten with 77 catches, 1,013 yards and 11 TDs. Will there be another Robinson-like breakout this fall in the receiving TD category? Or will it be a familiar name? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks.
While the Big Ten doesn’t boast a laundry list of all-world wide receivers, it’s not like it is void of talent at the position. Guys such as Allen Robinson, Kenny Bell and Jared Abbrederis steal most of the headlines, but there’s also plenty of other productive guys. Who will lead the Big Ten in receiving yards this season? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
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There used to be a time when the rushing touchdown leaderboard always came down to the elite running backs. These days, the running backs receive stiff competition from dual-threat quarterbacks. More specifically, in the Big Ten, Kain Colter, Taylor Martine and Braxton Miller. Will a signal-caller lead the Big Ten in rushing scores this fall? See Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post.
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Get familiar with your team’s bitter rival, Michigan and Ohio State fans. Athlon Sports picks the Buckeyes and Wolverines to meet in the 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game, meaning the two powerhouse programs would face off in back-to-back weeks (Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium; Dec. 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium) for the first and last time.
The Big Ten is known for churning out 1,000-yard running backs. That’s still the case in 2013, with talents such as Ameer Abdullah, Carlos Hyde, Venric Mark and James White, among others, calling the Big Ten home. In recent seasons, however, quarterbacks have joined the mix, too. And that only makes predicting the rushing yards leader even more fun. See our guys’ picks for this season’s rushing yards leader in this post.
If we had told you prior to last season that Matt McGloin, Taylor Martinez, Robert Marve, Braxton Miller and Cam Coffman would finish 1-5 in touchdown passes, you would have thought we were crazy. Point is, at this time of year, it’s difficult to predict a category like this.
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A year ago, few, if any, would have pegged Penn State’s Matt McGloin to lead the Big Ten in passing yards. He did, and did so in dominating fashion, finishing 395 yards ahead of Taylor Martinez despite playing two fewer games. Will another unexpected, under-the-radar guy lead the Big Ten in passing yards in 2013? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
Good news, Big Ten offensive players: Montee Ball is gone, meaning the conference’s scoring title is wide open. Ball, the 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist and 2012 Doak Walker Award Winner, ruled the category the last two seasons, scoring a combined 368 points. Now that Ball is in the NFL, who will assume the Big Ten scoring title? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
This time of year, it’s always fun to look at the rosters and try to pick out the conference’s breakout stars. A year ago, if you had your eye on, say, Venric Mark, Allen Robinson, Jake Ryan or Ryan Shazier, you hit it out of the park. It’s time to go out on a limb and offer my top five candidates for who will go from an under-the-radar player to a household name in 2013.
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Once the college football yearbooks hit the newsstand—and it has to be any day now—I expect to see six Big Ten teams in most Top 25s. And look for them to be in this order: Ohio State; Nebraska; Michigan; Wisconsin; Northwestern; Michigan State.
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Yesterday, I took a stab at my way-too-early 2013-14 All-Big Ten teams. Today, it’s time to take a way-too-early look at next season’s Big Ten statistical leaders. From scoring to steals, I offer the top candidates for each category and pick my winners. You have a say, as well. Choose your winner for each category in the polls in this post.
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Adreian Payne is staying at Michigan State, which means we know exactly who will be back on campus in 2013-14. Knowing this, it’s time for my annual way-too-early look ahead to next season’s All-Big Ten teams. See my teams in this post. Did I miss someone? Feel free to post your teams in the comment section below.
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As we still await Adreian Payne’s NBA draft decision, I thought it would be fun to take another way-too-early look ahead to the 2013-14 season. This time, I’ll do it in prediction form, offering five things I’m confident about in 2013-14. See all five in this post. Have a prediction of your own? Feel free to leave it as a comment.
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There are four schools that I think have legit shots to win the Big Ten as we enter the final five weeks of the season: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. (Yes, Wisconsin still has a shot, but I don’t think it can match the other four.)
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Every week this season, Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) and myself (@BTNBrentYarina) offered our predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We continued it this bowl season, and BTN.com fans and Dienhart each went 7-0, meaning the former claims the 2012 crown.
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And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post.
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Minnesota kicks off the first of seven football bowl games involving Big Ten teams when the Gophers face Texas Tech on Friday night. On Saturday, Michigan State plays TCU. On Sunday leading up to five Big Ten bowls on New Year’s Day, watch our “Bowl Preview Show” at 7 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
Every week this season, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offered their predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We’re doing the same this bowl season. Heading into the games, BTN.com fans are atop the season standings, two games ahead of Dienhart. See our bowl predictions and choose your winners in this post.