Peppers, Barkley land in this week's Big Ten Player Rankings
Week 10 of the Big Ten football season was filled with excitement.
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We saw Ezekiel Elliott top the 100-yard rushing mark yet again. We got to see Connor Cook top the 300-yard passing mark four straight games now.
But, who tops this week’s rankings?
BTN.com Senior Writer Tom Dienhart and Web Editor Sean Merriman provide their Big Ten Player Rankings heading into Week 11 of the college football season.
Here we go.
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. Get out your watch. Now set it to Ezekiel Elliott. He’s that steady. He’s that reliable. The guy has rushed for over 100 yards in 14 straight games. Why isn’t he getting more Heisman love? Elliott has 1,244 yards rushing with 14 TDs.
2. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. Yes, the Spartans suffered their first loss of the season last week, but it wasn’t because of Cook. He hit 23-of-37 passes for 335 yards with four TDs and a pick at Nebraska. The senior’s 21 touchdown passes are three more than any other Big Ten player. And he has only three picks.
3. Jabrill Peppers, DB/WR/RB, Michigan. He is becoming a sensation for the Wolverines because of his multi-faceted abilities. Peppers has seen his role grow as the season has progressed. At Minnesota two weeks ago, he was in on 92 plays as he ran four times for 19 yards and his first TD. He also made three tackles with two PBUs. Against Rutgers last week, he had an 18-yard TD run, caught a pass and made six tackles. Oh, did I mention he also returns punts and kickoffs?
4. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State. The senior still leads America in sacks with 15.5 and tackles for loss with 19.5. Let’s all say it together: “All-American.” How far has Nassib come in a season? Last year, he had seven tackles, 3.5 TFLs and a sack.
5. Desmond King, CB, Iowa. Another week, another interception for King. That’s eight this season, which ties him for the school single-season record. It also is the most in the nation. Want more? King is No. 2 in the Big Ten in passes defended with 14.
1. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. If Michigan State had beaten Nebraska last week, I have no doubt you would be hearing Cook’s name in the Heisman conversation. This guy is on a roll and is playing arguably the best football of any quarterback in the nation right now. Over MSU’s past four games, Cook has thrown for 1,428 yards, an average of 357 per game. In that span, he has thrown 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions. That’s incredible.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State. Another week, another 100-yard game for Zeke. No big deal. To put into perspective how good Elliott has been this season, think of this… He is tops in the Big Ten with 1,244 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns this season. The second leading rusher in the conference is Indiana’s Jordan Howard, who has 961 yards. One word: Amazing!
3. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State. This guy’s numbers are more impressive than any defensive lineman in the nation, and yet three months ago, no one outside of Penn State knew who he was. Nassib leads the nation with 15.5 sacks, which is a Penn State single-season record. When you play for a school that has produced pass rushers like LaVar Arrington, Courtney Brown and Tamba Hali, that’s darn impressive.
4. Desmond King, DB, Iowa. King is my pick for this year’s Jim Thorpe award winner. He recorded his eighth pick last week, which ties the Iowa single-season record. His eight interceptions also lead the nation. This guy is the definition of a “ball hawking” defensive back.
5. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. I’ve been waiting patiently to add this guy to my list, but it’s been tough, until now. After another huge game this past weekend, it’s time for the star freshman to debut on here. Barkley has now topped 100 total yards in five games this season, including two 190-plus yard outings. He ranks third in the Big Ten with 836 rushing yards and is averaging an eye-popping 6.3 yards per carry. What an impressive talent.