Big Ten awards race tracker: Week 4

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
3:00
PM ET
We're only one-quarter of the way through the regular season, but let's have some fun in seeing where the Big Ten individual awards races stand:

Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year

1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: Miller has to be considered the Big Ten MVP to this early point, having virtually carried the entire offense for the 3-0 Buckeyes. He leads the league in rushing, with 377 yards, and has been responsible for 12 touchdowns.

2. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan: Robinson is back in a familiar place: leading the Big Ten in total offense. After a disappointing showing against Alabama, he has resumed his usual stat-stuffing ways the past two weeks. This week's game against Notre Dame will likely rest on his shoulder pads.

3. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: People scoffed when Martinez said his goal was to complete 70 percent of his passes. It's only been three games, but look at his rate: 70.9 percent. He's leading the Big Ten in passing yards, with a 7-to-1 touchdown to interception ration.

4. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State: Bell's performance against Notre Dame last week (19 carries, 77 yards, a couple of dropped passes) hurt his stock a bit. But he's still a force who will only become more difficult to stop if the Spartans can get a legitimate passing game going.

5. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: Robinson is leading the Big Ten in receiving by a wide margin. He's got 24 catches for 322 yards and four touchdowns. He has nearly 90 more receiving yards than the next-nearest pass-catcher in the league. He's clearly the top offensive weapon for the Nittany Lions.

Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year

1. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue: Until someone else steps forward to claim the lead, we'll stick with Short in the No. 1 spot. He's tied for second in the league in sacks with three and is the leader of what has been an outstanding defensive line so far.

2. Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State: Finally healthy, Mauti is performing like a star once again. He was the Big Ten's defensive player of the week last week and ranks third in the league in tackles while leading the Penn State defense on and off the field.

3. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Hageman is living up to his immense potential and is changing the Gophers defense as a result. He's got three sacks, and he and D.L. Wilhite have given Minnesota a strong pass rush at long last.

Hayes–Schembechler Coach of the Year

1. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: It's ridiculously early and so much can change. But Fitzgerald has led his team to a 3-0 start against all BCS AQ opponents. More impressively, the Wildcats' defense and running game looks much stronger, and he has managed to successfully rotate two quarterbacks.

2. Jerry Kill, Minnesota: The competition hasn't been impressive, but it's hard to deny the Gophers' improvement over a year ago. They have already matched their 2011 win total in a 3-0 start.

3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State: The league's only other 3-0 coach obviously makes the cut. But the Buckeyes have had a pretty advantageous schedule so far. The rubber will hit the road once Ohio State does the same.

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