Big Ten 2014 Season Awards and All-Conference Team

Melvin Gordon, Ohio State run away with season superlatives

By a handful of measures, the Big Ten had a successful season. The league produced a College Football Playoff team, a Heisman finalist, one of the top defensive players in the country and one of the nation’s biggest surprise teams.

The conference just took an interesting path to reach the finished product.

Writing off the league in Week 2 couldn’t have been more foolhardy, but at the time, the hopes for the Big Ten were dim.

By then, the power programs all lost non-conference games — Ohio State to Virginia Tech, Michigan to Notre Dame, Michigan State to Oregon and Wisconsin to LSU. Some teams recovered (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State). Some did not (Michigan). Minnesota lost early to TCU, too, but the Horned Frogs turned out to be better than we anticipated. So did the Gophers.

If seasons are judged by playoff appearances and Heisman contenders, the Big Ten recovered from that week. J.T. Barrett emerged as a star, and Ohio State never lost again. Melvin Gordon was largely absent from the second half against LSU, but he went on to set the national single-game rushing record (for a week) and then broke the Big Ten rushing record held by Ron Dayne.

League newcomers Maryland and Rutgers will finish the season in bowl games. So will Illinois, which saved the job of coach Tim Beckman. So will Penn State, which saw its bowl ban lifted.

But power programs in this league finished where they started the season — looking for answers. Michigan is out of a bowl and still looking for a coach. Nebraska is in a bowl but has one eye on the Mike Riley era.

 

2014 Season Awards and All-Conference Teams:

ACC | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

 

2014 Big Ten Season Awards


Coach of the Year: Jerry Kill, Minnesota
Minnesota’s trophy case is more full than it’s been in years as the Gophers won both the Little Brown Jug (Michigan) and Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa) in the same season for the first time since 1967. The Gophers, picked by Athlon to finish fifth in the West, came within one game on the last day of the season of playing in the Big Ten championship game. With an 8-4 finish, Kill has led Minnesota to back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time in more than a decade.

Offensive Player of the Year: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
This can go to no one else. It’s hard to think what Wisconsin would be without Gordon. The junior put himself into Wisconsin running back lore — not an easy task given the tradition — by rushing for a then-FBS record 408 yards against Nebraska and breaking Ron Dayne’s Big Ten rushing record. Gordon’s 2,336 rushing yards is the fourth-highest total in FBS history.

Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa, Ohio State
Bosa built upon a standout freshman season to become the most disruptive defensive player in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-5, 278-pound defensive end from St. Thomas Aquinas finished in the top five nationally with 13.5 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss. His four forced fumbles this season contributed to 30 Ohio State points.

Newcomer of the Year: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota
Boddy-Calhoun is a junior college transfer and a player making a return from injury. The wait was worth it as the Gophers cornerback finished the season with four interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Freshman of the Year: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Unless you’re a die-hard Ohio State fan, you probably didn’t know much, if anything, about J.T. Barrett before Aug. 20. That’s when Braxton Miller was lost for the season and Barrett went from unknown to the quarterback of a College Football Playoff contender. The redshirt freshman struggled in his second career start, a home loss to 6-6 Virginia Tech, but led the Buckeyes to an unblemished Big Ten season. His 45 total touchdowns was an Ohio State record and more than Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston during their redshirt freshman seasons.

Coordinator of the Year: Tom Herman, Ohio State
Ohio State entered the season with one sure bet on offense, and that cornerstone, Braxton Miller, never started a game. The 39-year-old coordinator prepped J.T. Barrett to take an unexpected starting role for the season, set the stage for a 1,400-yard season from running back Ezekiel Elliott and then won a Big Ten championship game with another backup quarterback in Cardale Jones. Simply put, Ohio State isn’t in they playoff if the Buckeyes quarterbacks aren’t in position or prepared to flourish on short notice.

Breakout Player of the Year: Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Coleman had a heck of a time overcoming not only Melvin Gordon in publicity or a 1-7 season by Indiana in the Big Ten. Becoming only the third 2,000-yard running back since 2008 was enough to put him on the fringe of the Heisman hunt. At one point, Coleman had rushed for a touchdown in 15 consecutive games dating back to the 2013 opener against Indiana State. Coleman finished with 2,036 yards, more than double his total from a year earlier.


Big Ten 2014 All-Conference Team

 

First Team Second Team

QB J.T. Barrett

Ohio State

QB Connor Cook

Michigan State

RB Melvin Gordon

Wisconsin

RB Ameer Abdullah

Nebraska

RB Tevin Coleman

Indiana

RB David Cobb

Minnesota

WR Tony Lippett

Michigan State

WR Devin Smith

Ohio State

WR Leonte Carroo

Rutgers

WR Mike Dudek

Illinois

TE Maxx Williams

Minnesota

TE Josiah Price

Michigan State

OT Brandon Scherff

Iowa

OT Jack Conklin

Michigan State

OT Rob Havenstein

Wisconsin

OT Taylor Decker

Ohio State

OG Kyle Costigan

Wisconsin

OG Pat Elflein

Ohio State

OG Zac Epping

Minnesota

OG Travis Jackson

Michigan State

C Jack Allen

Michigan State

C Dan Voltz

Wisconsin

   

DE Joey Bosa

Ohio State

DE Randy Gregory

Nebraska

DE Shilique Calhoun

Michigan State

DE Andre Monroe

Maryland

DT Anthony Zettel

Penn State

DT Carl Davis

Iowa

DT Michael Bennett

Ohio State

DT Maliek Collins

Nebraska

LB Mike Hull

Penn State

LB Derek Landisch

Wisconsin

LB Vince Biegel

Wisconsin

LB Taiwan Jones

Michigan State

LB Jake Ryan

Michigan

LB Damien Wilson

Minnesota

CB William Likely

Maryland

CB Doran Grant

Ohio State

CB Trae Waynes

Michigan State

CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun

Minnesota

S Kurtis Drummond

Michigan State

S Nate Gerry

Nebraska

S Michael Caputo

Wisconsin

S Frankie Williams

Purdue

   

K Brad Craddock

Maryland

K Sam Ficken

Penn State

P Peter Mortell

Minnesota

P Cameron Johnston

Ohio State

KR Jalen Myrick

Minnesota

KR R.J. Shelton

Michigan State

PR De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska

PR Jalin Marshall

Ohio State

 

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