Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big Ten [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Dayne edges Brees to advance to final

By Adam Rittenberg

You'll have to wait until Sunday to learn the complete Final Four in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. We won't test your patience that much with the Big Ten players tournament, which features top performers from the past 15 seasons.

One-half of the tournament final is set as Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne outlasted Purdue quarterback Drew Brees in a close semifinal vote. Dayne ended up with 52 percent of the vote, while Brees received 48 percent. Nearly 5,000 votes were cast. The matchup featured two of the Big Ten's top offensive players in recent memory, both of whom set numerous records during their careers.

Here are some comments from those who voted:
Dustin from Minneapolis: this is a tough match for a 1 vs 4, but I think Dayne should run away with it. Seems most people reflect on Dayne's NFL career (which wasn't as bad as some would say) too often and forget how dominant of player he was. He wasn't just a bowl dozer and had more agility than some guys half his size. What he accomplished in college may never be matched nor will the consistency he did it with. Not to mention he carried over to his bowl games. People love to hate, but go back and watch the tape. Manimal.

Mick from Philadelphia: Brees was definitely prolific with Tiller's quick-hitting passing game. But Dayne was an unstoppable force. Career AVERAGING 150 yds per game and the way he decimated would-be tacklers rightly justifies his no. 1 seed. Had great vision, feel, patience, niftiness in the hole, and unparalleled power - a man among boys not seen in college footbal since the days of Herschel Walker.

Brandon from Chicago: Football career as a whole: Obviously Brees. College career only: Has to be Dayne. Brees left with a handful of Big Ten records, a 3rd place showing at the Heisman, a single Rose Bowl appearance, and a bunch of individual awards. Dayne won the Heisman, still has a standing NCAA record to himself and shares another with the likes of Ricky Williams and Marcus Allen, had over 200 yards rushing in each of his two Rose Bowl wins, is listed as one of only 5 players to rush for at least 1000 yards in 4 seasons, and took home a similar smattering of awards. Dayne takes it.

David from Gulf Coast, Texas: These two squared off in a battle for Rose Bowl and the Heisman in West Lafayette. The train known as Dayne ran UW to a victory and likely cemented his trophy winning season. I do respect Brees'career and it was a good one. But again Dayne won. Ron proved it on the field.
Dayne, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, advances to face the winner of the Ndamukong Suh-Antwaan Randle El matchup in the tournament final. So far, Suh has a commanding lead against Randle El, but voting continues through 9 a.m. ET Thursday.