- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ohio State has a bowl ban and Wisconsin already has locked up a spot in the Big Ten title game.
But don't tell either team that Saturday's game in Madison lacks significance.
One subplot is whether star players like Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball can improve their stock for national awards. Miller has been on the Heisman Trophy radar for much of the season. Ball entered the fall as a top Heisman candidate after being named a finalist in 2011. While his chances faded after Wisconsin's turbulent start on offense, Ball once again is finishing strong and getting noticed.
Both Miller and Ball appear on the "Players to Watch" list for the Walter Camp Award. The list of 15, released Tuesday, includes nine quarterbacks, three running backs, one wide receiver and two defensive players. Three finalists for the award will be named Nov. 28, and the winner will be announced Dec. 6 during the Home Depot College Football Awards.
Miller seems to have the more realistic chance for the Walter Camp Award, especially if he can finish with big performances against both Wisconsin and Michigan. Ball shouldn't be counted out, though. He needs one touchdown to tie Travis Prentice's NCAA career record of 78, and he ranks 11th nationally in rushing (122.6) and leads the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns (16).
Both Ball and Miller can help themselves with strong performances Saturday afternoon.
2dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy