Big Ten postseason player rankings: No. 1

The journey through the most valuable players in the Big Ten has come to a close, and it once again has arrived at a familiar destination. Even with preseason hype, NFL potential and anything prior to last season tossed aside, the 2013 campaign ended with the same individual building the strongest case and claiming the top spot in the countdown of the league’s best performers. And thanks to his decision to return for one more season, he’s also got a chance to extend that reign for yet another year considering how much room he seemingly still has left to develop.

That’s, perhaps, a conversation for another day. For now, we’ll close the book on a season filled with incredible individual efforts by reflecting on the one that beat them all.

No. 1: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

Previous ranking: No. 1

Making the case for Miller: There are flaws that can be picked on, and nobody at Ohio State really denies them. Miller could still become a better passer. There are times he’s overly reliant on his legs, and he’s not a perfect decision-maker. After missing time with an injured knee in September, the spectacular numbers backup Kenny Guiton put up in his place opened Miller up to some minor criticism because of the suggestion anybody could put up a ton of points leading Urban Meyer’s offense. But in reality that’s just nit-picking, because there was never any serious doubt that Miller’s incomparable talents always made him the first choice for Meyer and the engine for such an explosive attack — and there was hardly any reason to question that the junior was still the most dangerous man in the Big Ten.

If he leans on his legs a bit too often, it’s understandable given his acceleration, cutting ability and a nasty stutter-step move all combined to produce another 1,000-yard rushing season. He may not be a totally finished product as a passer, but he clearly improved in that department in 2013 as he bumped his completion percentage up to 63.5 and led the conference with 24 touchdown tosses. Even in the middle of some outings that weren’t his finest in losses to close the season, Miller dragged the Buckeyes back and into position to beat both Michigan State in the Big Ten title game and Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl before both games slipped away from them.

Make no mistake, even if Miller doesn’t duplicate the strides he made in the 2013 offseason and only gives Ohio State what he provided as a junior, the program would gladly take it and had plenty of reasons to celebrate his decision to return

Continue reading this article at ESPN: Big Ten postseason player rankings: No. 1

One thought on “Big Ten postseason player rankings: No. 1

  1. Matt
    January 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t get why so many supposed fans are complaining about Miller and the team. Braxton Miller’s passing statistics compete with the best QBs in Ohio State history. I’d take him over Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor; the only recent QB that compares is Germaine. Also, Braxton Miller is the best rushing QB I’ve ever seen.
    There are too many critics out there today. Just because you can design a fantasy football team doesn’t mean you are capable of making real game decisions. I trust Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller as our QB. I think we are going to have another great year of Ohio State football. Urban Meyer has already broken most of the offensive records at Ohio State. We just need the defense to come together. I think the only thing that kept us from winning a National Championship was injuries. Christian Bryant was the most important player in our secondary. Also, I think we would have had a great chance at winning the MSU and Orange if Roby wasn’t injured (and if Spence wasn’t suspended). Ohio State needs support from the community, not amateur criticism. Stop believing the ESPN BS and the trash talk of our rivals. If we all support this team, they will achieve greatness.