Big Ten Preseason Media Picks - No Surprises

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 2nd, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Rittenberg reports that OSU, Iowa, Wisconsin have been selected by the Big Ten media as the top 3 teams in their pre-season poll and Pryor and Jones were selected as pre-season POYs.

For the third straight year, Ohio State has been picked as the Big Ten preseason favorite. No one will be surprised by Ohio State's selection. The bigger drama came at the No. 2 spot, as media around the country seem to be split on Iowa and Wisconsin. Iowa got the nod from the Big Ten press corps, coming in at No. 2 after an Orange Bowl championship in January. Wisconsin rounds out the preseason poll at No. 3 (unlike other leagues, the Big Ten only reveals the top three teams in preseason voting).

The media's selections for preseason players of the year mirrored last year's choices: Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (offense) and Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones (defense). It marks the first time this has happened since 1998, when Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne and Ohio State linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer received the honors.



August 2nd, 2010 at 8:44 AM ^

Pryor being selected for preseason POY still boggles my mind. I understand he's got all of the physical tools in spades, but he's had a single, solitary great game. He's been good, but never fantastic. I just don't see him having the mental tools to put together an entire great season.

Unfortunately, since everyone just slobbers over him constantly, he could have a couple of terrible games and still be revered.


August 2nd, 2010 at 8:59 AM ^

I'm a big believer in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and I think that there's a lot stronger case to be made that the 2nd best QB in the Big Ten is almost as good as Pryor, or that he isnt even the best, compared to any case of a RB as dominant as John Clay.

Not a Blue Fan

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

I think there's a really good argument to be made along those lines. I think that you could put, say, Stanzi in for Pryor and OSU holds steady on their record. On the other hand, there is literally nobody in the conference who is better than Pryor on third down. The guy has an insane ability to convert by scrambling.

However, that alone doesn't make him the best offensive player in the conference. He's got all the tools yada yada yada, but I think that if you apply the WAR rule to any given team in the conference and compare hypothetical Pryor vs Clay results, right now Clay wins. Of course, that could change by the end of the year...but this is preseason, not postseason.

In short, I'm not sure I buy him as the preseason OPOY. OTOH, I think that fans of most (all?) teams in the conference would take Pryor in a heartbeat. So TIFWIW.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

I'm surprised and pleased that an Ohio State fan agrees. And I agree that Pryor is probably the best player in the conference on 3rd and medium, but I'd be surprised if anybody did better than Clay on third and short. I mean, is there a single defense in the conference thats going to consistently stuff Clay on Third & 2 or less? OSU is probably the closest but I have my doubts about anybody.

Fans go for highlights from players on good teams, and media goes for fans. Same reason why Ingram won the Heisman last year because he was a highlight reel on a good team, even though his offensive line did 95% of the work.

Not a Blue Fan

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

...there are stats!

A little math reveals that Pryor, Clay, Adam Robinson, and Ralph Bolden (?!) are the best in the conference at converting 3rd downs by rushing. Of the guys with more than 20 3rd down rushes, these are the only guys at (or above) 50% conversion rate. Factor in that Pryor's rushing stats also include sacks (of which there are many; he's got 20 more 3rd down rushing attempts than the next closest player - Tate Forcier), and you have a pretty strong argument for Pryor.

Then again, John Clay is splitting carries with Monte Ball and Zach Brown. You can call it a dead heat, more or less.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

So Pryor isn't the best because the second best is almost as good as him and he's not a RB. Brilliant. 

He's the best player on the best team and he had his best game in his last game. Congrats on your meaningless preseason award. 


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:37 AM ^

Geez, aren't we defensive.  You said that:

He's the best player on the best team

I was simply pointing out that Pryor was not the best offensive player on that team, so he probably shouldn't be awarded as such.  Jake Long probably deserved it, too, but he was never "the best player on the best team," simply the best player on a team


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

Yes, and Pryor may be worse than Terrelle Pryor ever was last year.  You are aware that the media voted him preseason OPOY last year, right?  They said things like:

Pryor may be better than Troy Smith ever was this year.

He was not.  The guy has all the physical tools in the world, and he is a decent passer.  That does not mean he is going to win the Hesiman trophy, or even be offensive player of the year in the conference.  I, and others, have doubts about his ability to deal with the mental aspects of the game.  We'll see who's right very soon.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

Uh, you missed the point entirely. The point was that just because Ohio State was the best team in the conference does not mean that they should have a player as the offensive player of the year. Their defense is what drove much of their success, not their offense.

Think of Ohio State as the college version of the Ravens. A solid upper-tier team most years, but with an unspectacular offense.


August 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

And the Ravens won the 2000 Superbowl with Trent Fucking Dilfer at Quarterback. Are you really too thick to understand the concept of good defense or does Ray Lewis need to smack the shit out of you?


August 2nd, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

Pryor DID NOT have the green light after the Purdue game.  If you compare OSU's rushing stats and passing stats in their games down the stretch (psu, iowa, UM) you will see over 50 rushing attempts and under 20 passing attempts.  They took the chains off Pryor against Oregon and he had a great game.  He can win OPOY if Tressel lets him chuck it and run it.  No way he lets Pryor take a lot of hits though.  They don't have a ton of depth behind Pryor do they?


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:59 AM ^

Picking Iowa over Wisconsin makes no sense to me. Iowa had a better defense last year (277 ypg) but Wisconsin's was no joke (306 ypg). The Badgers have lost more on Defense than Iowa, but Iowa also loses two very key players (Spivey, Angerer). Wisky's offense is obscenely better than Iowa's and will help protect their D, whereas Iowa's O will hurt their D and probably put them in a couple of bad spots every game.

Wisconsin is hands down better tha Iowa in my book.


August 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 AM ^

It's possible but I have severe doubts. Stanzi is a fifth year senior and a will be 4 year starter, if he hasn't shown refinement yet, I doubt he'll get there. Better than last year? Probably. Good by mature QB standards? No. Better than Tolzien? Hell no.

I also think losing Bulaga and two other starters on the O-line will hurt them in a non-trivial matter.


August 2nd, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

Preseason predictions are largely based on past results. Iowa was better than Wisconsin last year, beat Wisconsin handily in Madison, and played a much better game against OSU.  Iowa still has a solid running game, defense, and a veteran QB returning. That said, preseason predictions mean nothing when the season starts.

steve sharik

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^ where the comparison begins and the contrast begins.  That roster was loaded with experienced players who would go on to the NFL.  Our current roster, maybe there's future NFLers on there, but they sure aren't that experienced.  And if there are guys as talented as Woodson and Hutchinson on this roster, I can't wait to watch them play.

Fall of the Ho…

August 2nd, 2010 at 11:24 AM ^

It's not Jones' fault, but I can't give him any credit because he won the '09 POY over Brandon Graham.  Credit to Jones if he has a hell of a season this year that gets him in the top half of the 1st round of the draft next April.


August 2nd, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

"The only way that [Terrell Pryor] could meet the fans' expectations would be if he was throwing 80-yard touchdown bombs to himself." - Jim Rome, before Pryor's debut as a Buckeye.


Because of these ridiculous expectations and what everyone wants to see out of him, as long Pryor has a pretty good/above average game, fans think, "Wow, he really is as good as we thought," and he will be hailed, saluted, and fellated by Buckeyes and bandwaggoners alike. Although I will say that he is pretty damn hard to stop, mostly because of his ridiculous size accompanied by the speed of most small scat-backs.