Steele names preseason All-Big Ten team

May, 24, 2010
Phil Steele's college football preseason Bible hits newsstands June 8, but he's giving us a sneak peek at his All-Big Ten teams.

Check out Steele's four all-conference teams and let me know what you think.

I have no hidden agenda regarding Steele or any of the other preseason prognosticators, but I really think he did a nice job with his first-team picks. In fact, you'll see a lot of the same names when my All-Big Ten teams come out a little closer to the start of the season.

Some folks undoubtedly will take issue with Terrelle Pryor as the first-team quarterback, but the Ohio State junior left us with a strong impression at the Rose Bowl and made strides this spring. While it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien or Michigan State's Kirk Cousins finished the season as the first-team All-Big Ten QB, Pryor isn't a bad choice at all right now.

Some more thoughts about Steele's selections:
  • Iowa had the most total All-Big Ten selections (19), though Ohio State had the most first-team picks (9).
  • He went with potential rather than track record by putting Ohio State tackle Mike Adams, Wisconsin tackle Josh Oglesby and Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson as on the second team. All three players were heralded recruits who have yet to live up to the hype at the college level. Steele thinks 2010 will be their breakout season.
  • I really like Steele's first-team picks for defensive line and linebacker. The secondary gets a little more interesting. Iowa safety Tyler Sash is the league's only obvious pick for the first team. Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne is a bold choice for the first team, but I like the pick after the boost he provided last year as a true freshman.
  • The All-Big Ten teams reflect something I plan to touch on later this week in the blog. The Big Ten should be much stronger at the wide receiver position in 2010. When players like Ohio State's Dane Sanzenbacher are considered fourth-team wideouts, you know it's a pretty strong group. It was also interesting to see Michigan State's Keith Nichol, a converted quarterback, make third-team All-Big Ten ahead of teammates Mark Dell, B.J. Cunningham or Keshawn Martin. (Martin was selected as a first-team kickoff returner and punt returner.)
  • Who did Steele leave out/snub? Here are a few names: Ohio State defensive lineman John Simon, Iowa running back Jewel Hampton, Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree, Penn State running back Stephfon Green and Penn State linebacker Nate Stupar.
  • Iowa had all four starting defensive linemen selected to the team, although it was a little surprising to see Broderick Binns ranked behind both Christian Ballard and Karl Klug.
  • It was interesting to see Purdue backup running back Al-Terek McBurse make the fourth team. McBurse likely will be Purdue's primary ballcarrier this fall after Ralph Bolden's knee injury, though the Boilers aren't ruling out Bolden's return. Wonder where Bolden would have ended up had he remained healthy this spring.

Here are the team-by-team breakdowns for total selections (first-team picks in parentheses):

Illinois: 6 (1 first team)
Indiana: 4 (1)
Iowa: 19 (4)
Michigan: 8 (0)
Michigan State: 11 (3)
Minnesota: 3 (0)
Northwestern: 9 (1)
Ohio State: 17 (9)
Penn State: 9 (2)
Purdue: 9 (2)
Wisconsin: 16 (5)



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