My Big Ten Player of the Week picks


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The league office will have its choices out in a few minutes, but here are my picks for the final round of Big Ten Players of the Week. There were a lot of strong candidates on the offensive side this week, making for a very tough decision.


Penn State QB Daryll Clark -- After admittedly losing his confidence in recent weeks, Clark had his best game of the season against Michigan State. The junior passed for a career-high 341 yards and four touchdowns -- Penn State's first 300-yard passing performance since 2003 -- and added as rushing touchdowns as the Nittany Lions routed the Spartans to reach the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1994 season. Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter (448 pass yards, 5 TDs) also deserves some recognition here.


Northwestern DE Kevin Mims -- It took a team effort to squash Illinois, but Mims led the way with his best career performance on Senior Day. Mims racked up a career-best 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble that set up a fourth-quarter field goal. Special mention also goes to Iowa cornerback Amari Spievey and Hawkeyes safety Tyler Sash, both of whom had interception returns for more than 50 yards against Minnesota. Spievey had a 57-yard return for a touchdown with 27 seconds left in the first half, sparking Iowa to a 27-0 lead.


Ohio State WR Ray Small -- After a two-game suspension for violating team rules, Small made an impression in his first game back. With Ohio State leading Michigan 21-7 in the third quarter, the junior had an 80-yard punt return that set up another touchdown. Small ended the game with 110 yards on five punt returns.