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Who are the top Heisman contenders from the Big Ten? Shockingly after one week, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead aren’t on my list for one reason or another. But, it’s very early, of course. Here are my top three Big Ten candidates after one week of play.
With Week 1 behind us, it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Again, I’m doing these a little different this year. Whereas I used to rank the top 10 players – a practice that was tough due to all the talent on both sides of the ball – I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week.
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 1? Find out in this post. Also, watch our network’s Week 1 Sights and Sounds feature now.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez never threw more than two touchdowns in any game last season. In Saturday afternoon’s season opener against Southern Miss, the oft-criticized junior doubled that number with four scoring strikes. It was a career day for Martinez, who tied a career-high with five touchdown passes – also did it as a freshman against Oklahoma State – and set personal records for completions (26), completion percentage (76.5 percent) and yards (349). Watch all of Martinez’s scoring strikes now.
Two stops down, two Big Ten football player signatures added to the BTN tour bus. The BTN Football Tour was in Lincoln on Thursday night, and that meant it was time for Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez to sign his likeness on our bus. If you haven’t seen the bus yet, either in pictures or on the streets across Big Ten country, a Big Ten player from every team is represented on it. Martinez, a junior, is Nebraska’s representative. See the picture inside this post and watch our interview with Martinez now.
Tuesday night on “Big Ten Football Report,” Dave Revsine sat down with Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. The rising junior enters his third season as the Huskers’ starting signal-caller, and he and his teammates will showcase their talents in Nebraska’s spring game at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday on both BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network. A season ago, Martinez accounted for 2,963 total yards and 22 touchdowns, although his completion percentage dropped three percent, to 56.3 percent. Watch Martinez’s interview now.
Nebraska entered the season with dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl, but following a three-loss season, it gets a pretty nice consolation prize: The Capital One Bowl. The Huskers will face South Carolina, of the mighty SEC, at 1 p.m. ET Jan. 2. It figures to be a good game between two talented teams and two respected head coach, Bo Pelini and Steve Spurrier. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
The Big Ten offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week and freshman of the week for games on Oct. 8 were announced this morning by the Big Ten Conference. Who do you think won them? Find out inside and watch our latest edition of the Big Ten Blast.