B1G players, coaches up for BTN awards


A group of Big Ten football players, one Big Ten football coach, one Big Ten football team and one unforgettable 7-year-old Nebraska football fan are among the nominees for the BTN awards. The awards show takes place June 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

Here are the football nominees by category ...

  • Penn State's Bill O'Brien is among the nominees for men's coach of the year. He joins Michigan basketball's John Beilein, Indiana soccer's Todd Yeagley, Indiana baseball's Tracy Smith and Penn State wrestling's Cael Sanderson. O'Brien won several national coaching honors after guiding Penn State to an 8-4 mark last season.

  • Northwestern RB Venric Mark and Penn State WR Allen Robinson are nominated for breakout performer of the year. Mark and Robinson are up against two men's basketball players (Michigan's Trey Burke and Indiana's Victor Oladipo).

  • Wisconsin RB Montee Ball and Michigan QB Denard Robinson both are nominated for most dominating performance. Ball had a career-high 247 rush yards and three touchdowns on Oct. 13 at Purdue, as he set the Big Ten's career rushing record. Robinson scored four touchdowns Sept. 8 against Air Force and became the first FBS player to eclipse 200 rush yards and 200 pass yards three times in his career.

  • Jack Hoffman, the 7-year-old brain cancer patient and Nebraska fan who became a household name with his touchdown run during the Nebraska spring game, is nominated for most courageous performance. Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, who continued to play despite a third ACL tear and helped the Boilers reach a bowl game, also is up for the award. Just a hunch: Hoffman wins this one.

  • The fourth-down stop by Michigan LB Kenny Demens on Northwestern RB Tyris Jones in overtime to seal a Wolverines victory is nominated for best finish, along with three buzzer-beating men's basketball plays.

  • Ohio State's 12-0 football team is up for men's team of the year, along with Indiana soccer, Michigan swimming, Penn State wrestling and Indiana baseball.

There are no football nominees for game of the year.

The Big Ten also will announce its best male athlete and best female athlete of the year at the awards. Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell is among the nominees for best male athlete.