Midseason Best of the Big Ten
Purdue DT Kawann Short
Purdue DT Kawann Short
Posted Oct 9, 2012

The college football season is mid way over in the heartland and CFN's lead Big Ten writer Phil Harrison stops by to hand out some midseason awards, reflect on the best moments so far, and provide a primer for the rest of the season.

Big Ten Midseason Awards and Thoughts
By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

Offensive Player of the Midseason
Braxton Miller, QB Ohio State

Defensive Player of the Midseason
Kawann Short, DT Purdue

Ten Best Big Ten Players At The Midseason
1. QB Braxton Miller, Soph. Ohio State
2. QB Denard Robinson, Sr. Michigan
3. RB Le'Veon Bell, Jr. Michigan State
4. DE Kawann Short, Sr. Purdue
5. LB Michael Mauti, Sr. Penn State
6. QB Taylor Martinez, Jr. Nebraska
7. LB Mike Taylor, Sr. Wisconsin
8. RB Ameer Abdullah, Soph. Nebraska
9. RB Venric Mark, Jr. Northwestern
10. LB Anthony Hitchens, Jr. Iowa

2012 CFN Midseason All-Big Ten Offense
QB - Braxton Miller, Soph. Ohio State
RB - Le'Veon Bell, Jr. Michigan State
RB - Venric Mark, Jr. Northwestern
WR - Jared Abbrederis, Jr. Wisconsin
WR - Allen Robinson, Soph. Penn State
TE - Dion Sims, Jr. Michigan State
OL - Ricky Wagner, Sr. Wisconsin
OL - Taylor Lewan, Jr. Michigan
OL - Chris McDonald, Sr. Michigan State
OL - Spencer Long, Jr. Nebraska
OL - James Ferentz, Sr. Iowa
PK - Jeff Budzien, Jr. Northwestern
KR - Dennis Norfleet, Fr. Michigan

2012 CFN Midseason All-Big Ten Defense
DL - Johnathan Hankins, Jr. Ohio State
DL - Kawann Short, Sr. Purdue
DL - Eric Martin, Sr. Nebraska
DL - Joe Gaglione, Sr. Iowa
LB - Michael Mauti, Sr. Penn State
LB - Anthony Hitchens, Sr. Iowa
LB - Mike Taylor, Sr. Wisconsin
DB - Bradley Roby, Soph. Ohio State
DB - Travis Howard, Sr. Ohio State
DB - Josh Johnson, Sr. Purdue
DB - Derrick Wells, Soph. Minnesota
P - Mike Sadler, Soph. Michigan State
PR - Ameer Abdullah, Soph. Nebraska

Three Biggest Surprises
1. Penn State. Left for dead after the first two games of the season, the Nittany Lions have found their roar again on the football field.
2. Ohio State being ahead of schedule. All signs pointed to next year, but Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes clicking more and more each week.
3. Minnesota's pre-conference run. Their first game in conference play didn't go so well, but the Gophers started out 4-0 in the non-conference and could make a run for a bowl game.

Three Biggest Disappointments
1. Wisconsin's offensive line. The inability to gel along the O-line have been THE reason why the Badgers have hit a slide this year.
2. Michigan's woes in the spotlight. The Wolverine's ineptitude against both Alabama and Notre Dame have more to do with the black eye of the Big Ten than anything else this year.
3. The state of the entire conference. Big game bomb-outs and sloppy play, the Big Ten hit rock bottom at the midway point of the season by having exactly zero teams ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time ever. Things can only go up from here.

The Big Ten Champion Will Be......Nebraska over Wisconsin

Three Best Games of the First Half
1. Sept. 1 - Northwestern 42 … Syracuse 41
2. Sept. 8 - at UCLA 36 … Nebraska 30
3. Sept. 22 - Central Michigan 32 … Iowa 31

Worst Game of the First Half
Sept. 1 - Alabama 41, Michigan 14

Coach of the Midseason
Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Three Best Performances So Far
1. Denard Robinson completed 14 of 25 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns, and ran the ball 20 times for 218 yards and two more scores on the ground against Air Force.
2. Braxton Miller threw for 249 yards and four touchdowns on 16 of 30 passing, and ran for another 75 yards on 12 carries against Cal.
3. Le'Veon Bell touched the ball 50 times against Boise State. Included in those touches were 44 rushing attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns to go along with six receptions for 55 yards.

Top Freshman
RB/KR Dennis Norfleet, Michigan

Best Play of the First Half
Ohio State's Devin Smith one-handing a TD reception against Miami (OH).

Worst Play of the First Half
Denard Robinson throwing to the wrong area code, then sticking his head into a brick wall.

Hardest Hit of the First Half
Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier laying the wood on Cal QB Eric Maynard.

Superhero Moment of the First Half
Le'Veon Bell hurdling a Boise State defender.

Strangest Moment of the First Half
Nathan Scheelhaase left hanging by the ref on a high-five attempt after scoring a touchdown.

3 Big Calls For The Second Half
1. Wisconsin will get its sea-legs back and represent the Leaders Division in Indianapolis.
2. Braxton Miller will get an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony. It's Smith's to lose, but Miller will be dynamic enough and bust through the voters' stubbornness to include a guy on a team that is ineligible for the postseason.
3. Danny Hope could be looking for employment when all of the shouting stops this season. In a down year, anything short of a trip to the Big Ten Championship game will be a bust for the coach that received a two year contract extension last year. Purdue won't make it to Indy so....

Best Remaining Conference Game
Nov. 24 - Michigan at Ohio State