Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, October 8, 2012

With Week 6 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.

Why six of both? Because it opens up the field, plus there are six teams in each division. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa.

[RELATED: Tom Dienhart's Week 7 Power Rankings]

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Here's a sentence we'll probably read again: Miller broke his own school record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback. The new mark is 186 yards, which Miller set Saturday night against Nebraska. The sophomore led the Buckeyes on a ridiculous seven touchdown drives.
Week 6 stats: 7-14, 127 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 16 car., 186 yards, 1 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 1

And in case you're wondering, here are Miller's games to date this season:

Passing Rushing
Date Opp Cmp Att Yds Pct TDs Int Long Car Yds Avg TDs Long
9/1/2012 Mia-O 14 24 207 58.3 2 0 44 17 161 9.5 1 65
9/8/2012 UCF 18 24 155 75.0 1 1 15 27 141 5.2 3 37
9/15/2012 Cal 16 30 249 53.3 4 1 72 12 75 6.3 1 55
9/22/2012 UAB 12 20 143 60.0 0 0 25 11 64 5.8 2 19
9/29/2012 @ MSU 16 23 179 69.6 1 1 63 23 136 5.9 0 20
10/6/2012 Neb 7 14 127 50.0 1 0 35 16 186 11.6 1 72

2. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State – It isn't always pretty, but McGloin continues to tear it up every Saturday. The senior leads the Big Ten in passing yards (1,499), is tied for first in touchdown passes (12), and is tied for the fewest interceptions (2) among Big Ten among quarterbacks who have started at least five games. What's more, McGloin has five touchdown runs.
Week 6 stats: 35-51, 282 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT; 1 rush TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 6

Venric Mark

3. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern – Up against his stiffest test of the season, Mark averaged a solid 5.5 yards per carry and scored a touchdown versus Penn State's talented defense. The athletic junior also took his second punt of the season to the house, this one of the 75-yard variety (Watch the return), and now has nine total touchdowns.
Week 6 stats: 13 car., 72 yards, 1 TD; 75-yard punt return TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 2

4. Mark Weisman, RB, Iowa – The Big Ten's biggest surprise, Weisman is averaging 169 rushing yards and 2.3 touchdowns the last three games. Fresh off a bye week, the walk-on gets to take on Michigan State's physical and athletic defense.
Week 6 stats: Bye week | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 5

5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State – Another week, another hurdle (Watch the hurdle). That's Bell's third hurdling run, if you're interested in that kind of thing. The highlight aside, Bell wasn't as efficient as most expected against Indiana's weak run defense. The 121 yards and two touchdowns were great, but it came on 37 totes (3.3 yards per carry).
Week 6 stats: 37 car., 121 yards 2 TD; 3 rec., 7 yards | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 4

T-6. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska – For the first time this season, Martinez looked uncomfortable and made the awkward throws that left so many scratching their heads last season. Much of the credit goes to Ohio State's defense, in particular John Simon. Still, even on a bad night, Martinez accounted for three scores.
Week 6 stats: 15-25, 214 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; 18 car., 40 yards, 2 TD | 2012 stats
Previous ranking: No. 3

T-6. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan – No doubt, Robinson will never be an above average passer. But what he does on the ground is nothing short of remarkable. Thanks to his 235 rushing yards at Purdue – the fifth 200-yard rushing performance of his career – Robinson is the Big Ten's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks.
Week 6 stats: 8-16, 105 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 24 car., 235 yards
Previous ranking: NR

Next in line: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

[RELATED: See who won Week 6 Big Ten Game Balls]

1. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue – Denard Robinson and the Wolverines torched Purdue for 44 points, the second consecutive game the Boilers have surrendered at least 41 points. The recent struggles are becoming cause for concern, but Short is doing his part.
Week 6 stats: 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 pass breakup
Previous ranking: No. 1

2. Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State – Unlike previous weeks, Mauti wasn't forcing turnovers or making big-time plays behind the line of scrimmage. He still made a big impact, though, registering nine tackles.
Week 6 stats: 9 tackles
Previous ranking: No. 2

Chris Borland

3. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin – Considering the way Borland's played this year and that he was facing Illinois' struggling offense, a big game was pretty much a guarantee. And Borland delivered.
Week 6 stats: 10 tackles, 1 FF, 1 pass breakup
Previous ranking: No. 3

4. John Simon, DE, Ohio State – Simon saved his best for prime time, terrorizing Taylor Martinez and Nebraska's offense all night Saturday. Perhaps this is the game that gets Simon on track as a feared pass rusher.
Week 6 stats: 7 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 FF, 2 sacks
Previous ranking: NR

5. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State – Two games ago, Roby blocked a punt; this past week, the exciting sophomore picked off two Taylor Martinez passes, one of which he took back for six points. This is a big-play guy who can cover with the best of them.
Week 6 stats:  4 tackles, 2 INT, 1 TD
Previous ranking: NR

6. Derrick Wells, S, Minnesota – Wells and Minnesota were off this past week following its first loss of the season. The bye week came at a good time, too, because Northwestern's diverse offense is up next.
Week 6 stats:
Bye week
Previous ranking:
No. 4

Next in line: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
Dropped out: Will Compton, LB, Nebraska; Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his latest work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.