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Thursday, July 26, 2012
Big Ten names players to watch

By Brian Bennett

CHICAGO -- The Big Ten doesn't do an official preseason media poll. The league doesn't even announce a preseason All-Big Ten team.

But it does have -- wait for it -- a list of players to watch, whatever that is. It's the second straight year that the conference has named five players to watch from each division. What does that mean, exactly? Should we only watch these players and no others? I'll leave that to you to decide.

Anyway, here is the list, which was selected by a media panel (Note: Adam and I were not involved in the selections):

Legends Division
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska

Leaders Division
John Simon, DL, Ohio State
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin

So there you go. Interesting that no Penn State players, not even star linebacker Gerald Hodges, made the list. Miller was a bit of a surprise, and Iowa's James Vandenberg seems like a snub. Overall, four teams -- Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan and Wisconsin -- make up eight of the 10 selections.

Sure would be nice to have a full preseason team, though, wouldn't it? Don't worry. We'll have one in the blog before the season kicks off.