- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Big Ten individual awards will be revealed next week. But if you've been following us here all season long, you should know exactly who the favorites and top contenders are.
This is our last one of the season, and since we've pretty much exhausted all the competitive bonus categories, we've added a special holiday-themed one to get you ready for tomorrow.
Away we go ...
Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year
1. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon (six first-place votes): When Wisconsin absolutely needed Gordon to come through in the fourth quarter at Iowa, he did just that. Not much more left to say about this special player and his historic season.
2. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett: The records keep falling for the Buckeyes' redshirt freshman, who'd probably be a runaway winner if Gordon had been born a couple of years earlier or later. Barrett will likely settle for the quarterback of the year trophy -- not a bad consolation prize.
3. Indiana RB Tevin Coleman: He's 94 yards away from 2,000 for this season. Unbelievable season, but again, just bad timing for a major award.
4. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah: He showed his heart by rushing for 98 yards despite a bad knee and shoulder vs. Minnesota. I think he would have made a run at 2,000, too, if not for those unfortunate late-season injuries.
5. Minnesota RB David Cobb: He injured his hamstring in the second half at Nebraska and is questionable for the finale at Wisconsin. The Gophers need their workhorse back.
Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year
1. Ohio State DE Joey Bosa (six first-place votes): Simply the most destructive defensive player in the Big Ten all season. He'll be back as a true junior for the Buckeyes next season, which is scary.
2. Penn State LB Mike Hull: On pace for a 130-tackle regular season, Hull has been as consistently good as it gets from the linebacker position.
3. Michigan LB Jake Ryan: He was named a finalist for the Butkus Award on Monday. Hull has had a better season overall, but Ryan has still been outstanding as a senior.
5. Minnesota CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun: The Big Ten co-defensive player of the week, he has a been a big-play machine all season, including his forced fumble and recovery to seal the win at Nebraska.
Pilgrim-Pocahontas Thanksgiving Dish of the Year
1. Stuffing (four first-place votes): That's right. It's almost Thanksgiving, so we're ranking the best dishes on Turkey Day. And in perhaps a slight upset, preseason favorite turkey did not come in first. Stuffing pulled off a J.T. Barrett-like surprise. Because it is awesome. Especially my grandma's.
2. Turkey (two first-place votes): It is the featured back, if you will, of the entire Thanksgiving attack. Says Josh Moyer: "You guys haven't lived until you've tried it deep-fried."
3. Pumpkin pie: Dessert is kind of like the special teams of Thanksgiving meals; you can't win with it alone but it can't be forgotten, either. Pecan pie also received one vote (from Dan Murphy), though I'd argue it's too sweet unless part of a Derby Pie. Austin Ward voted for "any kind of pie." I like where his head's at.
Also receiving votes: Mashed potatoes, grilled potatoes, potatoes au gratin and any kind of potatoes.