The Big Ten was mocked throughout much of the BCS era for its style of play, the ineptitude of its "boring," pro-style offenses and the low-scoring nature of its games.
But what if that had less to do with offense and more to do with defense? What if, as fans of the conference would no doubt contend, the games feature so few big plays and so little points because the defenders are the class of the nation?
Players like J.J. Watt have gone on to rewrite the NFL record book since leaving the Big Ten Conference—and he, while dominant in his own respect at Wisconsin, didn't even make it on the back part of this list.
If perhaps the most fearsome player in professional football was not even one of the 10 most terrifying defensive players from the Big Ten in the BCS era, doesn't that mean—at least in some ways—that the conference was functioning on a higher, more-efficient defensive plane?
The following 10 players certainly think so.
Note: All stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com