Ranking the Top 15 Players in the Big Ten for 2014 (Experts Poll)

Who ranks as the No. 1 player for 2014?

The Big Ten may have slipped slightly in terms of conference pecking order over the last couple of seasons, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to the league in 2014. Of course, the season-ending shoulder injury to Braxton Miller eliminates one of the league’s Heisman contenders, but Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon is a first-team All-American by Athlon Sports, and there’s star power on defense with ends Shilique Calhoun and Randy Gregory.

 

In order to rank the top 15 players in the Big Ten for 2014, Athlon Sports sought the insight of several experts from the conference. The voting process was simple. Using criteria such as career performance so far, 2014 potential/projection, pro outlook, recruiting ranking, value to team or overall talent, each voter was asked to rank their top 15 players for 2014.

 

A point system was assigned, giving 15 points for a player with a No. 1 vote, 14 points for a No. 2 vote, 13 points for a No. 3 vote and so on.

 

The Voters:

 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), AthlonSports.com

Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina), BTN.com
Jeff Rapp (@RappUp), SportsRappUp.com

Marc Morehouse (@MarcMorehouse), The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88), StateCollege.com

Jesse Temple (@JesseTemple), Fox Sports Wisconsin

Doug Bucshon (@IllinoisRivals), Orange&BlueNews.com

Joe Rexrode (@JoeRexrode), Detroit Free Press
Jeff Potrykus (@JayPo1961), JSOnline.com
Brandon Cavanaugh (@Eightlaces), HuskerCorner.com
Joshua Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke), MaizeNBrew.com
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), AthlonSports.com

Mike Fiammetta (@B5Q), Bucky's 5th Quarter
Mike Babcock (@MDBabs), HailVarsity.com
Jim Weber (@JimMWeber), LostLettermen.com
Pete Volk (@Pete_Volk), TestudoTimes.com
Kevin Noon (@Kevin_Noon), BuckeyeGrove.com

Braden Gall (@BradenGall), AthlonSports.com

Joe Hudson (@HuskerMax), HuskerMax.com

Pat Harty (@PatHarty), Iowa City Press-Citizen

Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOzone), The-Ozone.net

Kevin Trahan (@K_Trahan), InsideNU.com
Ross Binder (@BHGP), BlackHeartGoldPants.com
Travis Miller (@HammerAndRails) HammerandRails.com
Kevin McGuire (@KevinonCFB), CollegeFootballTalk.com
David Fox (@DavidFox615), AthlonSports.com

Jon Firman (@GopherHole), GopherHole.com
Kevin Recio (@KevRecio), OnTheBanks.com
Jim Vainisi (@JVainisi005), TheChampaignRoom.com
Tyler Waddell (@Tyler_Waddell), AACFootballFever.com

Adam Johnson (@CrimsonQuarry), CrimsonQuarry.com
Jon Johnston (@CornNationCornNation.com

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR), Athlon Sports.com

 

Ranking the Big Ten's Best Players for 2014 (Experts Poll)
Rank Player Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Overall
1 Melvin Gordon, RB 15 3 7 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 444
2 Shilique Calhoun, DE 5 7 3 7 8 1 1 0 0 0 405
3 Brandon Scherff, OT 4 8 4 5 4 2 1 2 0 1 397
4 Ameer Abdullah, RB 0 5 7 7 5 4 1 1 1 2 376
5 Randy Gregory, DE 6 4 8 3 3 3 1 2 0 0 374
6 Stefon Diggs, WR 2 1 2 1 2 7 6 1 2 5 301
7 Christian Hackenberg, QB 1 3 2 3 2 4 2 6 4 3 298
8 Michael Bennett, DT 0 1 0 1 1 6 4 2 2 2 204
9 Joey Bosa, DE 0 0 0 2 0 3 4 2 2 0 156
10 Kurtis Drummond, S 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 2 4 2 155
11 Connor Cook, QB 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 6 1 117
12 Devin Funchess, WR 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 3 114
13 Carl Davis, DT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 73
14 Jake Ryan, LB 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 1 1 66
15 Jeremy Langford, RB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 62
16 Trae Waynes, CB 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 2 60
17 Noah Spence, DE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 50
18 Rob Havenstein, OT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 41
19 Tevin Coleman, RB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 37
20 Kenny Bell, WR 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 36
21 Shane Wynn, WR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 27
22 Blake Countess, CB 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 24
23 Jeff Heuerman, TE 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 23
24 Devin Gardner, QB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 21
25 Chi Chi Ariguzo, LB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 18
26 Ibraheim Campbell, S 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 12
27 Jack Allen, OL 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11
28 Taiwan Jones, LB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
29 Andre Monroe, DL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
30 David Cobb, RB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
31 Jabrill Peppers, CB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
32 Kyle Costigan, OL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
33 Corey Cooper, DB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
34 Geno Lewis, WR  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
35 Jesse James, TE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
36 K. Martin-Manley, WR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
37 Darius Hamilton, DT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
38 Maxx Williams, TE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
39 Sean Davis, S 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
40 Mike Sadler, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
41 Josh Ferguson, RB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
42 Matt Robinson, LB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
43 Michael Geiger, K 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
44 Alex Lewis, OT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
45 Maliek Collins, DT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
46 Jordan Lucas, CB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
A Few Observations:
 

* Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had the most first-place votes (15), but the junior did not record a majority of No. 1 rankings among the voters. 18 other first-place votes were cast, including five for Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun.

* Nebraska claimed two of the top five players in the experts poll.

* Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs recorded two first-place votes and ranked the highest among players from the conference’s two new teams (Maryland and Rutgers).
 

* Three Ohio State defensive linemen ranked among the top 17 players.

* Four Michigan State defenders received votes, including two in the top 10.

* 13 teams had players receive votes. Purdue was the only team not to have a player receive a top 15 vote.

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