Big Ten: B1G players poll 12

Big Ten players' poll: Part V

August, 10, 2012
8/10/12
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The Big Ten players' poll wraps up with a question about Penn State, the top offseason story in college football. Since the NCAA handed down severe sanctions to the program July 23, including a four-year postseason ban, much of the attention has been on who's staying in State College and who's leaving for other programs.

So we put the question to players from other Big Ten schools: If you played for Penn State, would you stay in State College or go elsewhere?

As a reminder, these interviews took place in recent weeks with 28 Big Ten players representing 11 teams. Because of this question, we didn't survey Penn State players for the poll. Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett, WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein, BuckeyeNation's Austin Ward and myself interviewed 2-3 players per team. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

Results

Stay -- 17 votes
Depends on class (freshman, senior, etc.) -- 4 votes
Leave -- 2 votes
Depends on what teammates do --1 vote
Don't know -- 4 votes

Comments

"It would depend on what year. If I was a senior, I'd stay. Anything else, I'd probably leave."

"You should be loyal to your school."

"I'd look to see what my teammates are doing. If a bunch of starters left, I'd leave."

"Stay. That's my team and it would be my senior year."

As you can probably guess, most of the players we polled are juniors or seniors, and several are star players. My sense is if we asked more freshmen or sophomores, we would have received more "leave" votes. The eligibility component seemed to be a big factor here, and it has been at Penn State, too. A portion of players felt leaving would be a breach of loyalty, and that it would be important to finish what you started. Others really felt the circumstances would dictate their decision -- how many years they had left, what their teammates were doing. We did poll some Ohio State seniors, who are essentially in the same situation, although these players already had pledged to stick with the Buckeyes despite a postseason ban for 2012.

We hope you enjoyed the players' poll. We realize it's not scientific and can be improved, but it's something we wanted to try and likely will try again in the future.

In case you missed the previous questions ...

Previously

Part I: Big Ten coach you want to play for the most
Part II: Big Ten coach you want to play for the least
Part III: Big Ten's dirtiest player
Part IV: Big Ten's toughest stadium

Big Ten players' poll: Part IV

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
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The fourth installment of the Big Ten players' poll examines the iconic venues where games take place on fall Saturdays. No league has a better collection of stadiums, and going on the road can be a very difficult experience in the Big Ten.

As a reminder, these interviews took place in recent weeks with 28 Big Ten players representing 11 teams. Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett, WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein, BuckeyeNation's Austin Ward and myself interviewed 2-3 players per team. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

Here's Question No. 4: What is the Big Ten's toughest stadium for an opposing player?

Results

Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin -- 9 votes
Beaver Stadium -- 8 votes
Kinnick Stadium, Iowa -- 4 votes
Ohio Stadium, Ohio State -- 3.5 votes
Michigan Stadium, Michigan -- 2.5 votes
Spartan Stadium, Michigan State -- 1 vote

Every player surveyed provided an answer, and one player called it a tie between the Big House and The Shoe. It's no surprise to see Camp Randall on top, as Wisconsin has gone 50-4 on its home field in the past eight seasons. Beaver Stadium also creates an intimidating environment for opposing players. It will be interesting to see if the scene in State College changes at all during the next few seasons, which could be rough for the Nittany Lions. I'm a little surprised Ohio Stadium didn't receive more votes, given the Buckeyes' success there and the intimidating setting. While some might be surprised Nebraska's Memorial Stadium didn't receive votes, keep in mind the Huskers have played just one year in the Big Ten and only four groups of opposing players (Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa) have been to Lincoln. Five other stadiums didn't receive votes -- Illinois' Memorial Stadium, Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium, Indiana's Memorial Stadium and Northwestern's Ryan Field.

The players' poll wraps up Friday with a question about the top offseason story in college football: Penn State.

Previously

Part I: Big Ten coach you want to play for the most
Part II: Big Ten coach you want to play for the least
Part III: Big Ten's dirtiest player
The 2012 Big Ten players' poll marches on, and now it's time to get down and dirty. Dirtiest players, that is.

As a reminder, these interviews took place in recent weeks with 28 Big Ten players representing 11 teams. Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett, WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein, BuckeyeNation's Austin Ward and myself interviewed 2-3 players per team. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

After conducting two surveys about Big Ten coaches, we shift the focus to the players.

Here's Question No. 3: Who's the dirtiest player(s) in the Big Ten?

Results

Former Purdue offensive tackle Dennis Kelly -- 2 votes
Michigan State defensive end William Gholston -- 2 votes
Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland -- 2 votes
Illinois' offensive line -- 1 vote
Former Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy -- 1 vote
Iowa's offensive line -- 1 vote
Illinois center Graham Pocic -- 1 vote
Indiana center Will Matte -- 1 vote
Anyone on Michigan State's defense -- 1 vote
Anyone on Purdue -- 1 vote
Former Michigan center David Molk -- 1 vote
Nebraska defensive end Eric Martin -- 1 vote
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o -- 1 vote
No one/don't know/declined to answer -- 12 votes

The overall results are a little disappointing because nearly half the group didn't offer a specific answer. While some players were hesitant, despite the anonymity of the poll, some honestly couldn't name a player or players they found to be overtly dirty. Michigan State did pretty well in the coaching poll questions, but the tables turned here as no team received more votes (individually or collectively) than the Spartans. While it's not surprising that linemen on both sides of the ball received votes, given the nature of play at the line of scrimmage, it's notable that Big Ten centers (current and former) racked up votes. It sounds like Big Ten defensive linemen are happy to see Purdue's Kelly gone to the NFL. One player who named Wisconsin's Borland said the Badgers' linebacker is more annoying than dirty. And finally, we know Notre Dame's Te'o doesn't play in the Big Ten, but we listed the answer provided to us.

Coming up Thursday: the toughest Big Ten stadium to compete in as an opposing player.

Previously

Part I: Big Ten coach you want to play for the most
Part II: Big Ten coach you want to play for the least

Big Ten players' poll: Part II

August, 7, 2012
8/07/12
9:00
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The Big Ten players' poll debuted Monday with a look at which Big Ten coach the players would want to compete for the most. Now it's time to look at which coach they'd want to avoid suiting up for on Saturdays.

As a reminder, these interviews took place with 28 Big Ten players representing 11 teams in recent weeks. We interviewed 2-3 players per team. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

Here's Question No. 2: Which Big Ten coach would you least like to play for?

Results

Danny Hope, Purdue -- 4 votes
Bret Bielema, Wisconsin -- 4 votes
Kevin Wilson, Indiana -- 3 votes
Urban Meyer, Ohio State -- 2 votes
Brady Hoke, Michigan -- 2 votes
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa -- 2 votes
Bo Pelini, Nebraska -- 2 votes
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern -- 1 vote
Bill O'Brien, Penn State -- 1 vote
Tim Beckman, Illinois -- 1 vote
Jerry Kill, Minnesota -- 1 vote
No one/decline to say -- 5 votes

Player comments

On Ferentz: "He's a Type A personality and I'm a Type B."

On Meyer: "It seems like it's all about him."

On Wilson: "He seems a little animated, to say the least."

On Hope: "I really wouldn't want to play there."

On Pelini: "He's a screamer."

Unlike the first poll question, this one yielded a wider range of responses. In fact, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio is the only Big Ten coach not mentioned. Several of the players simply picked the head coaches of their rival program, and some noted that they wouldn't want to play at certain schools, not necessarily for certain coaches. I think several coaches, namely first-year bosses O'Brien and Beckman but also possibly Hope and Wilson, were hurt by not being as well known throughout the league as some of their colleagues. Bielema's total again seems a bit surprising and might have more to do with what his teams do to Big Ten opponents (beat them soundly) than his personality. Among the five players who didn't answer or declined to, effort was made on our part, but they wouldn't budge. And, just in case you're wondering, no player voted for his own coach here.

Coming up Wednesday: Dirtiest opposing player(s)

Previously

Part I: Big Ten coach you want to play for the most

Big Ten players' poll: Part I

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
9:00
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In recent years, several of you have asked for some type of Big Ten players' poll. Finally, it has come to fruition, and in an election year, no less.

Thanks to help from WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein and BuckeyeNation's Austin Ward, Brian and I surveyed 28 Big Ten players in recent days. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

Eleven of the 12 Big Ten teams are represented in the poll (Penn State's players weren't surveyed because of one of the poll questions directly pertains to PSU).

Let's begin with Question No. 1: Besides your own coach, which Big Ten coach would you like to play for the most?

Results

Urban Meyer, Ohio State -- 8 votes
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa -- 6 votes
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State -- 4 votes
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern -- 3 votes
Brady Hoke, Michigan -- 3 votes
Bo Pelini, Nebraska -- 2 votes
Jerry Kill, Minnesota -- 1 vote
Wouldn't play for anyone else in Big Ten -- 1 vote

Player comments

On Ferentz: "He seems like a nice man, real down to earth." ... "I like the Iowa program, the work ethic and the way they play."

On Kill: "It seems like he'd respect you."

On Dantonio: "He's a great coach and runs a pro-style defense." ... "He seems like a pretty solid players' coach."

On Fitzgerald: "He's a young guy and likable."

It's interesting to see a coach entering the league (Meyer) gets the most votes among the players. Meyer's two national championship rings certainly helps his popularity. It's not surprising to see Ferentz's name high on the list as well. His reputation for getting players to the NFL is known around the Big Ten. It's a bit stunning to see Wisconsin's Bret Bielema get shut out in this category. He has had tremendous success in Madison, winning back-to-back Big Ten championships, and seems to be very popular among his own players.

Feel free to get excited if your team's coach received votes. But not too excited. Several of these men also received votes for our second poll question: Which Big Ten coach would you least like to play for?

Those results will be posted Tuesday, so check back.

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