The SEC has become this big bad conference that has taken over college football, while the Big Ten has lost some of its swagger recently. Players in the SEC are put up on a pedestal, and most players in the Big Ten struggle to receive as much national attention.
This doesn't mean that some of these guys can't hang with the big boys. Many of these players were recruited by SEC programs and could start for some of the powerhouse schools down south. Don't let the rankings, media hype and propaganda fool you; the Big Ten has some players who are more than capable of holding their own against college football's best.
Here are some of the Big Ten players who would thrive if playing in the SEC.
The SEC brags about how much bigger, stronger and faster it is compared to other conferences. Well, good luck finding somebody as strong as Tyler Scott. The Northwestern defensive end put up incredible numbers in the weight room, and that power translates to the football field.
Scott finished last season with nine sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss and 42 tackles. He is physical at the point of attack, is capable of playing inside or outside, and he is one of those players who doesn't stop playing until the whistle blows.
The senior defensive end is the star on the Wildcats line, but he would easily become a household name in the SEC where linemen rotate quite often.
Allen Robinson is somebody who should soon appear on NFL draft boards. He isn't the fastest receiver in the world, but he runs nice routes, has sure hands and solid size at 6'3".
His great body control and leaping ability allowed him to lead the Big Ten last year with 77 receptions, 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns. Truly a breath of fresh air for a Penn State team that lost a lot of talent, Robinson is a wonderful outside receiver and gives the offense hope heading into the upcoming season.
This current Nittany Lion would have no problem being effective in the SEC.
Ryan Shazier was recruited by many SEC programs but turned them all down to attend Ohio State. Making a name for himself as one of the best Big Ten defenders, Shazier would make plenty of SEC teams happy if somehow he could suit up for them.
The junior linebacker relies on athleticism and speed to make plays, as he flies to the ball and is terrific in blitzing the quarterback. Last season he finished with 114 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and broke up 10 passes. There is no question Shazier could play in any conference, and he should have many NFL scouts' attention at this point.
Now the only concern is if his small frame (6'2", 220 lbs) will hold up at the next level.
If Johnny Manziel can succeed in the SEC, Devin Gardner would have little problem doing the same. Maybe he isn't as athletic as Johnny Football, but he is more than capable of making plays with his legs and may even be able to throw the ball with more accuracy than the Texas A&M signal-caller.
Last season Gardner stepped in the final five games and provided a spark to the Wolverines offense that was missing for most of the year. Giving Michigan a chance to win all of the games he started, Gardner made play after play and showed that he has what it takes to become that next dual-threat quarterback that will soon be plastered on your television.
There are plenty of SEC schools that would start Gardner right now.
Jared Abbrederis has that SEC mindset heading into a game. He knows he has had to work for everything, and he takes nothing for granted. With that said, the Wisconsin wide receiver goes out there and plays like a man child.
Not afraid to go across the middle or take a hit, Abbrederis is just one of those players who will do anything to help his team win. He makes plays on special teams, keeps his legs turning after contact and has that explosiveness to turn nothing into a big play.
Abbrederis has been a productive player for the Badgers and would have no issues fitting in the SEC, even though the defenses are a lot tougher and faster.
Bradley Roby could have entered the 2013 NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore, but he decided to return for another season. Likely the best choice for him, Roby should be one of the first names called in next year's draft.
Roby is a fabulous athlete with terrific cover skills. The ability to keep up with a receiver stride-for-stride shows that there is potential for him to be a true lockdown corner at the next level. He displays great hip flexibility and is more than capable of making a play on the ball, as he led the Big Ten last year with 19 passes defended.
The scary thing is that the Ohio State corner still has room to improve. Whether he is covering Big Ten receivers or guys in the SEC, Roby will make life difficult for anybody.
Taylor Lewan showed just how great he is in the bowl game against South Carolina. For the most part, the left tackle was able to keep Jadeveon Clowney in check, which is something that isn't done often.
Lewan is simply your prototypical left tackle with his combination of size, strength and athleticism to be effective in both run and pass protection. He could have easily left school early and been a top-10 pick last season, which is something not many college players can say heading into the new season.
The Wolverines left tackle is about as NFL-ready as a college player can get. With that being the case, put this kid on any SEC team and he would have no problem holding his own.