Midseason All-Big Ten Offense 2013
All-Big Ten: Offense
We are now in week eight of the regular season and the Big Ten teams are starting to battle for position in their respective divisional standings. The Ohio State Buckeyes are, by far, the best team in the Big Ten so far and almost a lock to stay unbeaten until the final week of the season in which they are set to face off against the Michigan Wolverines.
Although the Big Ten isn't necessarily known for its top offensive talent and teams that put up points in bunches, there is still some top talent on the offensive side of the ball. Whether it's at quarterback, running back or wide receiver, the talent at the skill position is plentiful even though some quarterbacks and running backs haven't lived up to the hype in 2013.
Taylor Martinez was expected to do big things in 2013 for the Nebraska Cornhuskers at quarterback, but injuries and average play have kept him out of Heisman talks. Same goes for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner who has struggled to hold on to the ball and make good decisions this season for the 5-1 Wolverines. Not all top offensive players have been disappointing, as there have actually been some pleasant surprises at offensive positions on the season.
The Wisconsin Badgers were looking to keep their run game going without Montee Ball and they have done so with the deadly combination of James White and Melvin Gordon. Braxton Miller suffered an injury earlier in the season, but has still be impressive in avoiding the superstar syndrome that makes college athletes feel entitled to playing average football.
Take a look at the players who have excelled through the halfway point in the Big Ten season thus far. Here is your Rant Sports All-Big Ten offense for 2013.
QB: Kenny Guiton/Braxton Miller, Ohio State
I know this is technically cheating, but no quarterback has really stood out in the Big Ten other than the duo of Kenny Guiton and Braxton Miller. Both have been solid this season and Guiton had looked like a solid starter in Miller's absence earlier in the year. The two combine for 1,273 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions for the unbeaten Buckeyes. Oh yeah, and add another 319 rushing yards and a touchdown to those stats. They combine for one solid QB.
RB: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
When Montee Ball left Wisconsin, people were worried about the negative impact it would had on the run game of the Badgers. However, Gordon has picked up right where Ball left off, rushing for 870 yards and eight touchdowns on over nine yards per carry -- he could be a serious Heisman contender.
RB: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Abdullah is, once again, one of the best running backs in the conference in his junior season. The running back for Nebraska has picked up the inconsistent pass game with 137 receiving yards as well as taking pressure off of Taylor Martinez. Don't forget his run skills as he has 816 yards and six touchdowns on 114 carries this season.
WR: Allen Robinson, Penn State
This kid can be the next big receiver at the next level if he puts his mind to it and keeps progressing at the rate he already is. Penn State's Allen Robinson is a stud and the junior has shown it with his 43 catches for 705 yards and five scores -- can you believe we still have half a season to go?
WR: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Abbrederis has taken some serious pressure off the pass game and young quarterback Joel Stave as he has been the go-to target for the sophomore QB. Abbrederis has 35 catches for 646 yards and five touchdowns for the high-powered Badgers offense.
TE: Devin Funchess, Michigan
As a freshman, Funchess was set to be one of the best and most talented Big Ten tight ends. As a sophomore, he has become the top tight end in the conference and he is oozing with talent. Catching 19 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, he has shown the talent in the receiving game that Michigan needs.
LT: Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Lewan is one of the best left tackles in the nation and could easily be a top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Great pass protector and run blocker.
LG: Ryan Groy, Wisconsin
It's hard to not put a guy from one of the best offensive lines out there on this list. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in rushing yards per game with almost 300 and Groy is a huge reason for the success.
C: Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern
Northwestern hasn't been known for producing top offensive line talent, but Vitabile has been the most consistent center in the conference and leads the line who has contributed to the 22nd-ranked rushing offense in the nation.
RG: John Urschel, Penn State
Just look at the picture. This guy is a destroyer who has excelled in the run game as well as the pass game in blocking terms. He has helped the Penn State offense accumulate 440 yards per game this season.
RT: Jeremiah Sirles, Nebraska
Sirles has been a leader on the offensive line of Nebraska that is known for its run game and ranks second in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game with 284. Ameer Abdullah can thank this guy for the success he has had.