Big Ten postseason player rankings: No. 14

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
1:00
PM ET
The Big Ten postseason player rankings are based solely on what happened on the field in 2013-14. Plenty of Spartans had the chance to elevate their rankings because they had the Big Ten championship game and the Rose Bowl to boost their images. This player lessened his chances by violating team rules and missing the Rose Bowl, but he still makes the list and becomes the fourth Spartan to do so.

No. 14: Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State

Previous ranking: No. 15

[+] EnlargeMax Bullough
Mike Carter/USA TODAY SportsMax Bullough's contributions to Michigan State's defense go beyond the statistics.
Making the case for Bullough: Considering his career and legacy, it’s unfortunate for Bullough (and the Spartans) that there will forever be a “but” when discussing his MSU career. He was the quarterback of the defense but he violated team rules leading up to the Rose Bowl and was suspended by coach Mark Dantonio for that game. He was a straight-talking guy and a fantastic leader for the Spartans but he never owned up to his mistake, at least publicly. He was a tremendous player but he missed the biggest game in recent school history.

That will follow him forever. However, in the 13 games that he did suit up for Michigan State in 2013, Bullough was critical to the defense’s success. He finished the season with 76 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for a loss. He registered 1.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. The defense would not have been able to rack up its statistics (251.9 yards per game, 4.04 yards per play, 2.61 yards per rush) without Bullough on the field.

Those defensive stats are impressive, but his biggest contribution can’t really be measured in numbers. His true value to the team came in his knowledge of opposing offenses and the confidence that allowed his team to have going into games. There seemed to be absolutely no fear for defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to stack the box against any team because Bullough was on the field telling his teammates what would happen and where they needed to be.

The countdown

  • No. 25: Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase
  • No. 24: Indiana WR Cody Latimer
  • No. 23: Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
  • No. 22: Iowa LT Brandon Scherff
  • No. 21: Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon
  • No. 20: Michigan State QB Connor Cook
  • No. 19: Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis
  • No. 18: Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
  • No. 17: Michigan State LB Denicos Allen
  • No. 16: Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
  • No. 15: Iowa MLB James Morris

Chantel Jennings | email

Oregon/Pac-12 reporter

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