College Football Rankings Week 11: This Year's Biggest Busts, Big Ten Edition
Big Ten football teams like the Michigan State Spartans and Penn State Nittany Lions have had good seasons, while players like Wisconsin Badger Russell Wilson and and Illinois Fighting Illini A.J. Jenkins are tearing it up.
However, the Big Ten has its fair share of busts during this 2011 college football season.
Whether it is a player, a unit or a team, these nominees have not executed well, lived up to their potential or had off-the-field issues,
Who are the Big Ten's biggest busts this year? Read on to find out.
12: Nebraska TE Kyler Reed
No one else had a surprise 2010 for the Nebraska Cornhuskers than tight end Kyler Reed.
Then a sophomore, Reed had 22 catches for 395 yards and eight touchdowns.
Reed also pulled down a touchdown in the Holiday Bowl.
With freshmen receivers, Reed was expected to be sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez's go-to target in tough situations.
No. 25, though, has not been as consistent as a receiver this year. The junior has 10 catches for 196 yards and no scores.
11: Indiana Hoosiers Football Team
The Indiana Hoosiers football team has never been a great program, but none would have thought the Hoosiers would be this awful in 2011.
After a 5-7 2010 season, the Hoosiers are 1-9 and 0-6 in the Big Ten. First-year coach Kevin Wilson is not making a good impression.
Losses to weaker opponents North Texas and Ball State certainly does not help either.
The offense has been severely stale outside of freshman quarterback Tre Roberson and sophomore running back Stephen Houston. The Hoosiers only score 22.9 points a game (91st).
The defense is even worse as the Hoosiers give up 36 points a game (111th) and 452.6 yards a game (107th).
10: Northwestern DE Vince Browne
Northwestern's Vince Browne has been a major disappointment in 2011.
The senior has 27 tackles (two for loss) and two sacks through nine games.
Widely considered one of the best defensive ends in the league, Browne certainly took a step back this year.
As a junior, Browne had a phenomenal campaign. He had 58 tackles (8.5 for loss) and seven sacks.
9: Minnesota Golden Gophers' Offense
The Minnesota Golden Gophers offense scored just 23 points a game in 2010.
Under new coach Jerry Kill, the Golden Gophers are scoring 18.7 points a game (111th) while being below average in the passing (103rd) and rushing (72nd) attacks.
Against the Michigan Wolverines, the offense mustered 177 yards in a 58-0 blowout loss.
Minnesota converted junior Marqueis Gray from wide receiver to quarterback with mixed results. Gray has 1,235 passing yards for seven touchdowns and six picks.
The passing game has only one true threat in Da'Jon McKnight (628 yards, four touchdowns) while sophomore Malcolm Moulton (170 yards) is the next closest in yards.
8: Penn State's Offense
The Penn State Nittany Lions have a top defense that could carry them to a BCS bowl.
Their offense, though, is something to be desired.
The Nittany Lions score 21.8 points per game (100th) and pass for 194.2 yards a game (88th).
Penn State's scoring is rather inflated, with the Nittany Lions getting 75 points against weaker opponents Indiana State and Eastern Michigan. Subtracting those points, the team scores just 17.3 points.
Probably the team's worst offensive showing was in a 16-10 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana has arguably the worst defense in the nation.
7: Iowa Hawkeyes' Secondary
The Iowa Hawkeyes' secondary has top corners in senior Shaun Prater and junior Micah Hyde.
Prater could have left for the NFL, but he decided to return for his last year.
However, the Hawkeyes' secondary has given up a Big Ten worst 236.8 yards a game.
Iowa gave up 279 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 44-41 overtime loss to the Iowa State Cyclones and 342 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-31 win over the Northwestern Wildcats.
6: Michigan State RB Edwin Baker
Last year, running back Edwin Baker had a great season.
He had 1,201 yards on 207 carries and 13 touchdowns.
Baker even made ESPN.com's 2011 preseason All-Big Ten team.
However, Baker has crashed this year.
The junior has 492 yards on 117 carries and two touchdowns. Baker has 50 or less rushing yards in seven out of nine games this year.
5: Ohio State WR DeVier Posey
Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey is a game-changer when he plays.
However, he has been a no-show this entire 2011 season because of NCAA suspensions.
Posey was involved in selling memorabilia for cash and tattoos scandal and was suspended for five games.
Instead of learning from this, Posey took $728 for non-performed work in a summer job from athletic booster Bobby DiGeronimo. Posey was suspended for an additional five games and will only play two games this year.
Without Posey, the Buckeyes' pass attack has struggled mightily and cost them a chance to compete for a national championship.
4: Michigan WR Roy Roundtree
Michigan junior wide receiver Roy Roundtree had a breakout 2010 with 72 catches for 935 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Wolverines were hoping Roundtree would continue improving and be the team's leading receiver.
In 2011, Roundtree has been almost non-existent.
No. 12 has 14 catches for 278 yards and two scores.
Roundtree had two games without a catch and does not have a game with more than 83 yards receiving.
3: Illinois WRs Outside A.J. Jenkins
The Illinois Fighting Illini have a special receiver in senior A.J. Jenkins.
Jenkins has 68 catches for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns.
Outside Jenkins, the Illini do not have a dependable No. 2 option.
Sophomores Spencer Harris (189 yards, one touchdown) and Darius Millines (168 yards, one touchdown) are the most productive receivers after Jenkins.
The Illini do not have a viable receiver to help Jenkins out, who will continue being double-teamed.
2: Wisconsin Badgers' Defense
The Wisconsin Badgers came into 2011 with winning a BCS National Championship on their minds.
The Badgers started the year a strong 6-0 and was dominating opponents left and right.
But then the defense let the team down not once, but twice.
During the Michigan State 37-31 loss, Spartans senior wide receiver Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard pass for a touchdown that bounced off a teammate's helmet as time expired.
Wisconsin's championship dreams were then forever shattered when Ohio State also beat them 33-29 on a last minute play.
Buckeyes freshman wide receiver Devin Smith grabbed a 40-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left to put Ohio State ahead.
With senior quarterback Russell Wilson and junior running back Montee Ball leaving, the Badgers will have a harder time competing for a title next year.
1: Purdue's Defensive Line
The Purdue Boilermakers' defensive line took a hit when All-American Ryan Kerrigan was drafted.
Purdue's line has been nothing short but awful this year.
The D-line has 9.5 sacks in nine games while being a big reason why the Boilermakers are 77th in rush defense (174.9 yards a game).
The last two games, Purdue has given up 703 rushing yards and 10 ground scores to the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers.
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