After covering the Big Ten Conference football season for the first time in my life I have a few awards to give of my own. This will be the Sports Invasion Jitim Young Big Ten Conference Awards, followed by our Big Ten Championship prediction.
Offensive Player Of The Year: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller– Throughout this entire season Miller has shown perseverance, leadership, and a will to win games even despite any pressure situation. Kenny Guiton stepped in his place and performed well, but Miller proved to Ohio State and the world he is the heart and soul of the Buckeyes. The Michigan game last week, Northwestern game early in the Big Ten season, and Wisconsin game, were all victories because of Braxton Miller.
Rookie Of The Year: Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg– This freshman is a beast! Long term, he will probably be the best offensive player to come out the Big Ten since Michigan QB Tom Brady, as well as Purdue QB Drew Brees. Hackenberg has size, intelligence on the field, he has a big arm, a good coach, and leadership ability that has provided another winning season for Coach Bill O’Brien and the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Most Improved Player: Wisconsin QB Joel Stave– Stave is a coachable player who understands the system Wisconsin runs extremely well and his role as a quarterback. In the beginning of the season, Stave played stiff and I questioned if Wisconsin would be a championship contender with only defense and running the football. Each week Joel Stave played with more confidence, making plays down the field and trusting his wide receivers to make plays. We even begin to see more versatility with RB James White and Melvin Gordon’s ability to catch the football out the backfield. Despite the incident at Arizona State, Stave kept his team focused and ready to play every game.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Michigan State Defensive Lineman Shilique Calhoun– Calhoun is the leader of the number one ranked defense in the nation. Some view him as the Ray Lewis of the Big Ten. Calhoun is a versitile defender who can rush the QB, drop back in coverage, read the offense of the opposing team, and he can turn defensive possession into scoring opportunities. Calhoun is talented with size and speed. His leadership and consistent play has earned him the right to play for a Big Ten Championship this upcoming weekend.
Coach Of The Year: Michigan State Mark Dantonio– Two years ago Coach Dantonio lost Kirk Cousins to the NFL and has been looking for a leader to run his offense since then. Making a decision to go with Connor Cook was a great coaching move by Dantonio which is why Michigan State is playing in the Big changed despite any obstacles the Spartans faced last season, or how cloudy things may have looked early on this season. Coach Mark Dantonio has done a tremendous job.
BIG TEN MVP AWARD: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller– Simply put, he is the BEST player in the Big Ten Conference.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
#2 Ohio State vs. #10 Michigan State (Big Ten Championship Game): Michigan State QB Connor Cook has done some amazing things in East Lansing, giving the Spartans balance with the ability to move the football and put points on the boards. Defensively, Michigan State is the best in the business and looks to dominate every game as they have done consistently every game. This weekend will be a little different for the Spartans because they face an offense who can score points fast and consistently make plays. This Spartan defense hasn’t seen a one-two punch all season as they will in Ohio State’s QB Braxton Miller and RB Carlos Hyde. Ohio State undefeated streak is on the line and it will again be in Jepordy facing this opportunistic defense who sufficates the running game, put pressure on the quarterback, and can score points. Braxton Miller of the Buckeyes will be the difference maker because he is not only fast and allusive, but Miller can beat you with his ability to pass the football and keep his eyes down field. Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer understands that National Championship implications are on the line, and will do everything in his power to prepare the Buckeyes to seize the moment. #JYPREDICTION: Ohio State
ALL BIGTEN SELECTION: Click on link http://btn.com/2013/12/02/check-out-the-2013-all-big-ten-football-teams/
Who do you think will win the Big Ten Championship? Can Ohio State win the National Title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!