The Big Ten handed out several individual honors last night, as well as announced the All-Big Ten selections by the coaches and media. On the heels of a disappointing 7-5 season, Iowa didn't have a lot of players honored by the league, but they did have a few standout performers. You can probably guess who they were.
Earning the most love by far was Brandon Scherff, who earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition from both the coaches and the media. Interestingly, he was not a unanimous selection. Scherff also earned the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year Award, handed out to (duh) the best offensive lineman in the league.
No other Iowa player earned first team recognition. Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat were named second team All-Big Ten by the coaches, while Carl Davis and Drew Ott were named second team All-Big Ten by the media. Austin Blythe and Quinton Alston also received second team All-Big Ten recognition by the coaches. Obviously, Alston and Ott play different positions and perhaps the quality of depth of defensive linemen in the Big Ten this year was seemingly much stronger than the quality of the depth of linebackers in the league, but it's still surprising to see Alston getting tabbed by the coaches while Ott was relegated to Honorable Mention. He did finish 9th in the Big Ten (5th among DL) in TFL (12) and t-4th in the league in sacks (7.5); it's a little hard to believe there were 8 defensive linemen better than him this season.
Several Hawkeyes earned Honorable Mention distinction from the coaches, including Andrew Donnal, Jordan Lomax, John Lowdermilk, Ott, and Tevaun Smith. Alston, Blythe, Jake Duzey, Lowdermilk, Desmond King, and Trinca-Pasat received Honorable Mention recognition from the media. Congrats to all the Hawkeyes who were named to the All-Big Ten teams.
A few other thoughts on the All-Big Ten lists and player awards...
- J.T. Barrett was a unanimous first team selection by both the coaches and media and deservedly so; still, that's one hell of a season for a guy that nobody knew anything about back in August.
- As we knew from experience this season, running back was absurdly loaded in the Big Ten: Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Indiana's Tevin Coleman were the first team RB choices by the coaches and media, while Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Minnesota's David Cobb were the second team RB choices by the coaches and media. There have been many years were Cobb and Abdullah would have had rock-solid cases to be first team choices. Poor Jeremy Langford: the Michigan State running back only ran for at least 100 yards in every Big Ten game this season (as he has done for his last 15 straight B1G games, in fact), but he couldn't do any better than Honorable Mention. And here's a sobering thought: how many teams would you have to make before you would include an Iowa RB on one of them? Mark Weisman's 14 rushing TDs ranked 5th in the Big Ten this season, but he ranked 11th in yards (802) and he was just 34th in yards per carry (3.9). It was the Year of the Running Back in the Big Ten this year... but Iowa didn't have anyone close to the top guys at the position.
- Wide receiver was an absolute mess. Michigan State's Tony Lippett earned first team honors from the coaches and media, but Nebraska's Kenny Bell was named to the first team by the coaches... and honorable mention by the media. Rutgers' Leonte Caroo was named to the first team by the media... and honorable mention by the media. There wasn't any agreement on the second team receivers, either: the coaches went with Maryland's Stefon Diggs and Michigan's Devin Funchess, while the media went with Illinois' Mikey Dudek and Penn State's DaeSean Hamilton. Schisms aplenty!
- It was bad enough when Minnesota essentially whupped Iowa at their own game when the two teams played last month, but now this?
The best tight end AND the best punter in the Big Ten?! GIVE US BACK OUR IDENTITY, YOU THIEVING RODENTS.