Top 10 Big Ten Football Players of the Decade

By Paul M. Banks

To conclude the 2006 Big Ten regular season, bitterest of rivals Ohio St and Michigan met as #1 vs. #2, and both undefeated for the first time in the well decorated history of the series. Basically, if you weren’t excited about that game, you were a terrorist. And unlike your typical game of the century, it actually lived up to the hype!  However, Big Ten football in the 2000s has been like the life story of Benjamin Button, it peaked somewhere in the late middle, and then descended horribly. Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes got utterly destroyed in their BCS bowl games that year, starting a nightmarish trend for the league.

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All-Big Ten All-2000s Team

By Paul M. Banks

The 2000s was a great decade for a few programs in the Big Ten. Indiana, Ohio State and Illinois all had a national runner-up season. In 2005, the Illini tied the record for the most single season victories. Wisconsin and Ohio State treated us to an epic #1 vs. #2 game during one of their two 2007 meetings. And Michigan St. started the decade off with a national title and also ended 2009 playing for the title, and threw in two more Final Four seasons between 2000 and 2009. So clearly Tom Izzo was the conference coach of the decade.

And when you take a look at the list of the decade’s top individual performers you’ll see that…these Big Ten programs won with coaching and the stressing of team concepts. The conference clearly LACKED when it came to marquee stars, and if I composed a list like this for the ACC, Big East or Pac 10, the names on it would certainly be more impressive than those listed here.

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