staff, December 9, 2011

After being named one of the five finalist or the 2011 Heisman Trophy earlier this week, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball won the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football Awards as the best player in the Big Ten. He finished ahead of teammate Russel Wilson and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins.

2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska QB
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin RB
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan DB/WR
1995 Eddie George Ohio State RB
1991 Desmond Howard Michigan WR
1983 Mike Rozier Nebraska RB
1975 Archie Griffin Ohio State RB
1974 Archie Griffin Ohio State RB
1973 John Cappelletti Penn State RB
1972 Johnny Rodgers Nebraska WR
1955 Howard Cassady Ohio State HB
1954 Alan Ameche Wisconsin FB
1950 Vic Janowicz Ohio State HB
1944 Les Horvath Ohio State QB/HB
1941 Bruce Smith Minnesota HB
1940 Tom Harmon Michigan HB
1939 Nile Kinnick Iowa HB
1935 Jay Berwanger Chicago HB

The vote wasn?t even close, the Tribune reported, as the Badgers back was named on all 11 eligible ballots. Coaches cannot vote for their own players.

Read the full story from the Chicago Tribune here.

Going into Monday night's Heisman Trophy finalist announcement, unsure that he would be named a finalist.

"You have your doubts," Ball told the Associated Press. "I'll honestly tell you what I was thinking, I was like, `I have to make it, I have to make it. I had a great season.' But then I also had my doubts, saying maybe I didn't do good enough. But thank God I made it." Read the full AP story here.

For more on Ball, check out Ball's season and career stats and dive into our Ball video archive packed with highlights and interviews.

And find much more on Ball on his player page at And don't forget: The Wisconsin running back is on Twitter. He's @M_Ball28.

What did he tweet around lunchtime this Friday?!/M_Ball28/status/145187151687057408