Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Ten all-decade team

As is my summer ritual, I finally cracked into my first college football preview magazine last week. This seems almost quaint now that we're seeing preseason top 25 rankings on the Internet before the bowl games are even over, but I'm old-fashioned that way.

Here's the first thing I found interesting in the Athlon book: a Big Ten all-decade team. Athlon's rule was that no school could have more than four players represented, and Wisconsin had four: Joe Thomas, Travis Beckum, Erasmus James, and Jamar Fletcher. All worthy choices. Here are the entire teams:

Offense
Drew Brees, Mike Hart (gag), Damien Anderson, Braylon Edwards, Charles Rogers, Beckum, Thomas, Greg Eslinger, Jake Long, Robert Gallery, Levi Brown

Defense
James, Mitch King, Lamarr Woodley, James Laurinaitis, Paul Posluszny, A.J. Hawk, Dan Connor, Vontae Davis, Jamar Fletcher, Bob Sanders, Mike Doss

Special teams
Nate Kaeding, Travis Dorsch, Ted Ginn, Antwaan Randle El

Great teams, not too much to quibble about. Davis on defense is one I question, beating out Marlin Jackson. Lee Evans was the third wide receiver. Hart was apparently a unanimous selection, while I still maintain that he is the most overrated college football player in recent memory. What about Laurence Maroney or Marion Barber? As good as Minnesota's running game was for much of the decade, they should have more than just Eslinger.

The balance of teams represented does clearly illustrate who has been the league's weak sisters this century: Northwestern, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan State.

6 comments:

Duff Beach said...

Beckum over Daniels at TE? Don't know about that one.

Anonymous said...

I think you are blinded by Daniel's successful NFL career. Beckum pretty much owns ever TE record in Wisconsin's history books.

Scott Tappa said...

Didn't Daniels just have one good year at TE? Beckum had two outstanding, record-setting ones. Hope he becomes as good a pro as Owen.

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