It's major award time!! Yes, we've now hit the college football award watch list circuit. So, let us all take a moment to reflect on the glory of college football award watch list announcements.
O.k., with that out of the way... It's time to give you the good news. Nine Big Ten players were put on the Maxwell Award watch list. Every year this award is given to the most outstanding college football player in the country. Last season the award went to Manti Teo of Notre Dame.
This year the Big Ten's hopes for the award rest on the shoulders of Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), Devin Gardner (Michigan), Carlos Hyde (Ohio State), Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Venric Mark (Northwestern), Taylor Martinez (Nebraska), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), James White (Wisconsin), Zach Zwinack (Penn State).
Overall this list was just about what you'd expect out of the Big Ten contingent, but interestingly the list did not include the likes of Bradley Roby, Allen Robinson, or Kain Colter - three names that should've been under consideration considering where they came from last season.
2014 Big Ten member Maryland put a name on the list as well in wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
The Big Ten's last Maxwell Award winner was Larry Johnson back in 2002, so it's been quite the drought for the conference to get the nation's most outstanding player.
Additionally the Maxwell club released their Bednarick Award watch list, which honors the nation's best defensive player. Ten Big Ten players made the cut:
Deion Barnes (Penn State), C.J. Barnett (Ohio State), Chris Borland (Wisconsin), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Max Bullough (Michigan State), Darqueze Denard (Michigan State), Ra'Shede Hageman (Minnesota), James Morris (Iowa), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), and Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
This list is about as dead on as one could come up with on the national scale from the Big Ten's perspective.
Up tomorrow? The Mackey Award (Tight Ends) and Rimington Award (Centers) watch lists will be announced.