Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award as a sophomore in 2012 and as a junior in 2013, and he was supposed to declare for the 2014 NFL draft after enjoying so much success, but he surprised many by choosing to return for his senior season in Columbus.
Miller's return suppresses the void atop the conference's offensive hierarchy and makes him the overwhelming favorite to three-peat as its top offensive player. As he is already the first player to receive the honor twice, receiving it thrice would be a spectacular feat indeed.
At first glance, there doesn't appear to be much in the way of quality competition for Miller. Of the 10 quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers on the 2013 All-Big Ten media Teams, only two others are returning to college football in 2014.
However, there are potential competitors beyond that list—some young upstarts, some injury-plagued vets, some transplants to the Big Ten via conference re-alignment—who could threaten to unseat Miller from his throne atop the league; who could ride a successful season (plus some voter fatigue) into being named the Big Ten's top player.
It only takes 12 good games.
Note: Unless otherwise cited, all stats courtesy of cfbstats.com