The conference season is over and unlike Major League Baseball, the Big Ten wastes no time in handing out its awards. The coaches and media both released their All-Big Ten teams, as well as their picks for various awards (Coach of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, etc. Iowa got no love in the latter categories, which is no surprise -- when you go 7-5, end the season a three-game losing streak, and generally shit the bed, the only awards you're going to win are ones with a "Most Disappointing" modifier attached to them. But in case you're curious:
Offensive Player of the Year: Michigan QB Denard Robinson (media and coaches)
Defensive Player of the Year: Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan (media and coaches)
Freshman of the Year: Wisconsin RB James White (media and coaches)
Coach of the Year: Michigan State's Mark Dantonio (media vote only)
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Wisconsin LT Gabe Carimi (coaches vote only)
Defensive lineman of the Year: Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan (coaches vote only)
Hard to really dispute any of those selections. With the utterly stupid numbers Denard Robinson put up this year (almost 4000 yards of total offense and 30 TDs), it's nigh-impossible to ignore him. It didn't hurt that arguably the Big Ten's most dominant offensive team (Wisconsin) takes an egalitarian approach -- unless the coaches and media wanted to give an award to the entire Wisconsin offensive line and their three stud running backs, there was really no way to honor them for their offensive blitzkrieg on Big Ten defenses. And Kerrigan was rightly named the Defensive Player of the Year -- he led the league in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (26), and forced fumbles (5). There was no defensive player more disruptive than him.
The All-Big Ten teams were also named and considering their November collapse, Iowa was actually surprisingly well represented.
1st team: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (WR), Adrian Clayborn (DL), Shaun Prater (DB), Tyler Sash (DB)
2nd team: Marvin McNutt (WR), Julian Vandervelde (OL), Riley Reiff (OL), Allen Reisner (TE), Karl Klug (DL), Jeremiha Hunter (LB), Brett Greenwood (DB),
Honorable Mention: Christian Ballard, Mike Daniels, Adam Robinson, Ryan Donahue
1st team: Adrian Clayborn (DL), Shaun Prater (DB), Tyler Sash (DB)
2nd team: Julian Vandervelde (OL), Riley Reiff (OL), Karl Klug (DL)
Honorable Mention: Christian Ballard, Mike Daniels, Brett Greenwood, Jeremiha Hunter, Micah Hyde, DJK, Marvin McNutt, Allen Reisner, Adam Robinson, Ryan Donahue
So the coaches love Iowa more than the media and -- I'm sure this will shock you -- both love Iowa way more than any other 7-5 team. If you're looking for a member of this Iowa team, stop by the Underachievers Anonymous meeting in the church basement on Tuesday night -- they should be there. Get there early, though; they tire early and fade easily.
That said, you can certainly tell which selections are based more on reputation (Clayborn, Sash) and which are based more on performance (DJK). It's a little amazing that DJK is a first-team selection for the coaches, but just a HM selection for the media -- but then you realize that the coaches named Denard Robinson the Offensive Player of the Year, but only an Honorable Mention selection when it comes to the all-conference teams. At that point all you can do is throw your hands up and say LAWL WTF.
Oh, and notably absent from any of of those teams? Just the player with the most touchdown passes, the second-best passer rating, the second-most passing yards, and the fewest interceptions. We're not really going to get on a soapbox and wring our hands too much over the fact that any Iowa player got omitted from All-Big Ten recognition after the team just went 7-5 (and after the player in question was pretty unimpressive down the stretch), but... really? Micah Hyde was good enough to be tabbed Honorable Mention, but Ricky Stanzi wasn't? Numerically, Stanzi wasn't that far off from Ben Chappell -- who was an Honorable Mention selection. Again, it's not something worth getting too stressed about when the team collapsed and went 7-5; it's just further proof that All-Big Ten teams can be a little weird.
Anyway, well done to all the players named. Sometimes good play goes unrewarded, and sometimes less-than-great play is rewarded. Such is the nature of all-conference teams.