The bowl season has officially ended for the Big Ten, and with it, the entirety of the 2012 campaign. In the preseason, we looked at who we expected to be the best players this year, and here is a final ranking of the conference’s Top 25.
1. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller: The Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year, Miller deserved it after leading the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 record. The sophomore signal-caller ranked second in the conference in total offense with 275.8 yards per game, rushing for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns while throwing for 2,039 yards and 15 scores in boasting a pass efficiency rating of 140.46.
2. Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier: A coaches’ second-team all-league performer, Shazier made a bigger impact than Penn State’s Michael Mauti and should have been named the Big Ten’s top linebacker this past season. In 12 games, he accumulated 115 stops, leading the league in TFL with 17.0 and ranking first among ‘backers with five sacks. He also had an astounding 11 pass break ups.
3. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball: With 100 yards on the ground in Wisconsin’s bowl game, Ball led the Big Ten in rushing for the second consecutive season, finishing with 1,830 yards and a conference-high 22 touchdowns in averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Named the conference’s top running back and a first-team all-league selection, Ball had 10 100-yard efforts this season and excelled down the stretch for the Badgers, averaging 160.4 yards per game and scoring nine rushing TDs over UW’s final five games.
Continue Reading: The Big Ten’s top 25 players of 2012 – Michigan (Rivals)