Here's your Big Ten Bloggers Preseason All-Conference Team:
First Team All Big Ten Offense
QB - Curtis Painter, Purdue
RB - Beanie Wells, Ohio State
RB - Javon Ringer, Michigan State
WR - Brian Robiskie, Ohio State
WR - Arrelious Benn, Illinois
WR - Greg Orton, Purdue
TE/SB - Travis Beckum, Wisconsin
OT - Alex Boone, Ohio State
OG - Steve Rehring, Michigan
C - A.Q. Shipley, Penn State
OG - Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin
OT - Eric Vanden Heuvel, Wisconsin
First Team All-Big Ten Defense
DE- Greg Middleton, Indiana
DE - Maurice Evans, Penn State
DT - Terrance Taylor, Michigan
DT - Mitch King, Iowa
LB - James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
LB - Marcus Freeman, Ohio State
LB - Anthony Heygood, Purdue
S - Anthony Scirrotto, Penn State
S - Anderson Russell, Ohio State
CB - Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
CB - Vontae Davis, Illinois
K - Austin Starr, Indiana
PR - Marcus Thigpen, Indiana
P - Jeremy Boone, Penn State
Look familiar? It should, if you've read Phil Steele.
Here are the positions at which the Big Ten Bloggers differ from Mr. Steele: one of two offensive tackles and punt returner. We really blazed a courageous new trail there, didn't we?
Differing on two positions that are tough to gauge with an expert eye, let alone as the amateurs we are, points to one of two things: (a) we're really damn uncreative, or (b) this is going to be one predictable, boring year for the Big Ten.
I know I haven't posted for some time, and I know that a good number of my picks coincide with Phil's as well. I'm not singling anybody out here—I'm criticizing the group as a whole.
When the inevitable bloggers-versus-MSM thing arises, it's stuff like this that gets pointed out—that the bloggers are recyclers, rehashers...even plagiarists. We need to offer something new.
And it's entirely possible that we have. Maybe, like the BlogPoll, the sum total of these picks winds up looking like the same thing the MSM churns out, but it arises from a wonderful array of differences in opinion. Not many invididual ballots have been posted yet, so it's impossible to say at the moment.
But do keep in mind, bloggers, that our niche is the original, the minute. We sate the cravings of those who want to know more. More than USA Today, more than your local sports section, sometimes even more than your own athletic department is giving away. Giving away what Steele gave away weeks ago won't cut it.