Vince Biegel and T.J. Watt have immediate NFL futures, same with the likes of left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and running back. But you likely wouldn’t know it from the 2016 Big Ten football awards handed out over the past two days.
Watt, who was a big favorite in some circles for both Linebacker of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year won neither. Same with Ramczyk, whom many scouts believe is a first-round NFL draft pick and easily the best tackle in the Big Ten this season.
Instead, it was Michigan’s much-hyped linebacker/returner/wildcat quarterback Jabrill Peppers winning both the defensive awards and Ohio State center Pat Elflein winning Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Let’s just say the Big Ten’s awards were a far cry from some of the other media awards put out there. Over at talking10, Watt was the pick of the staff voters for Linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year, while Ramczyk also took home Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Things were a bit brighter when All-Big Ten awards were handed out. Wisconsin had four offensive players make All-Big Ten teams, with Clement and Ramczyk named to the first team and right guard Beau Benzschawel along with tight end Troy Fumagalli named to the second team by the coaches.
Clement could only muster second-team honors from the media, while Benzschawel and Fumagalli were on the third team.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s top-rated defense fared about the same in terms of individual all-conference honors. T.J. Watt was the only member of the coaches first-team, while fellow linebacker Vince Biegel was picked to the second team along with Sojourn Shelton. Perhaps most interesting was the love for Wisconsin on the third team, as defensive lineman Conor Sheehy was picked by the coaches and Biegel, Leo Musso an D’Cota Dixon were picked by the media.
No seriously, Vince Biegel was no better than third-team All-Big Ten according to some in the media. The exact same criminal underrating of his play as last season and his sophomore year in 2014 too.
Talk about ridiculous for a guy who racked up 55 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and had one interception, one defensive touchdown and 10 quarterback hurries. Julius Peppers? Let’s let Eleven Warriors do the talking…
Sure, he had more raw tackle numbers and two more tackles for loss, but Peppers wasn’t a sack machine and for a former cornerback his one interception certainly seems lacking. Oh, and the video evidence from 11W was pretty compelling to.
I mean did you ever see Watt getting turned around on a play to the weakside? Chances are Watt was either the one making the tackle or the one blowing the play up until the calvary arrived behind him (and that was usually pretty quick).
So, congrats on missing out on those award winners Big Ten. We’re guessing Vince Biegel and Co. aren’t going to have any more personal motivation in this Big Ten championship game, but if they needed it, the voters just gave it to them.