All-Big Ten ballot

The All-Big Ten football team comes out later this afternoon. We got a ballot. It looks like this.

Quarterback

1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State

2. Devin Gardiner, Michigan

Explanation: Illinois’s Nathan Scheelhaase and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg got consideration here, but Miller wins because he’s second in the conference in pass efficiency only to his own backup and third in total offense and because his team will probably play for a national championship if it defeats Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game. Gardiner’s team was mediocre, but he was second in the conference in total offense and his team still won more than Illinois. 

Running Back

First Team — Carlos Hyde, Ohio State; Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Second Team: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin; Tevin Coleman, Indiana.

Explanation: As the top three per-game rushers in the conference, Hyde, Abdullah and Gordon were all obvious choices, and Hyde might have been offensive player of the year if not for the early season suspension. Coleman gets the fourth vote here by a hair over Wisconsin’s James White, because Coleman had White beat in yards per rush by margin of 7.3 to 6.4.

Wide Receiver

First Team — Allen Robinson, Penn State; Jeremy Gallon, Michigan.

Second-Team — Cody Latimer, Indiana; Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin.

Explanation: These four wideouts were clear cut choices. The only difficult decision was between Gallon and Latimer for the second-team spot. Could’ve gone either way, but Gallon gets the edge in part because he was Michigan’s only real weapon at receiver which meant he attracted a lot of attention and — even at 5-foot-8, still finished second in the conference in yards and receptions. Case could obviously be made for Latimer because he didn’t have the luxury of playing against Indiana’s defense, which of course swelled Gallon’s numbers.

Tight End

First Team — Devin Funchess, Michigan

Second Team — Ted Bolser, Indiana.

Explanation: Funchess was basically a wide receiver, ranking seventh in the conference in receiving yards with 727. Bolser gets the slight edge over Jacob Pedersen here after setting every tight end receiving record in Indiana history.

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Taylor Lewan, Michigan; Jack Mewhort, Ohio State

Second Team: Jason Spriggs, Indiana; Tyler Marz, Wisconsin

Guard

First Team: Andrew Norwell, Ohio State; John Urschel, Penn State

Second Team: Blake Treadwell, Michigan State; Ryan Groy, Wisconsin.

Center

First Team: Jack Allen, Michigan State

Second Team: Corey Linsley, Ohio State.

Explanations: Not going to lie. Sort of took a guess here.

Defensive Line

First Team: Randy Gregory, Nebraska; Noah Spence, Ohio State; Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; Ra’Shade Hageman, Minnesota.

Second Team: Theiren Cockran, Minnesota; Michael Bennett, Ohio State; Frank Clark, Michigan; C.J. Olaniyan, Penn State

Explanation: Split hairs between Hageman and Cocrkan for Minnesota. Cockran had great numbers, but Hageman kept the line together. Bennett also had a first-team argument. Wisconsin’s Beau Allen, Northwestern’s Tyler Scott among a list of snubs at a good position.

Linebacker

First Team: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State; Chris Borland, Wisconsin; Denicos Allen, Michigan State

Second Team: Max Bullough, Michigan State; A.J. Hitchens, Iowa; James Morris, Iowa

Explanation: Allen and Bullough were a toss-up and were both critical to Michigan State’s success. Allen gets the edge with 15.0 tackles for loss.

Defensive Backs

First Team: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; Brandon Roby, Ohio State; Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State; Blake Countess, Michigan.

Second Team: Eric Murray, Minnesota; B.J. Lowery, Iowa; Ricardo Allen, Purdue;  Jordan Lucas, Penn State.

Explanation: Dennard had a defensive player of the year argument and Michigan State’s secondary was outstanding. Murray and Countess were a close call.

Kicker

First Team: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern

Second Team: Mitch Ewald, Indiana.

Explanation: Budzien was 23 for 25 on field goals, so he gets the nod. Ewald might not get much consideration, but gets additional pub here for his kickoff coverage unit, which was Big Ten’s best.

Punter:

First Team –. Mike Sadler, Michigan State

Second Team — Corey Webster, Purdue

Explanation: Both outstanding, but Sadler better at pinning opponents deep.

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State

2. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

3. Allen Robinson, Penn State

Defensive Player of the YEar

1. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

2. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

3. Chris Borland, Wisconsin

Coach of the Year

1. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

3. Jerry Kill, Minnesota

Freshman of the Year

1. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

2. Joey Bosa, Ohio State

3. Corey Clement, Wisconsin