Thursday, May 12, 2011
Poll: Big Ten's most irreplaceable player
By Adam Rittenberg
At long last, polls have arrived for the Big Ten blog. Here's your chance to weigh in on the big questions around the conference, so please take advantage.
Let's kick things off with a look at the most difficult Big Ten player to replace in 2011. Every team loses some key seniors, and seven Big Ten underclassmen declared for the NFL draft. The league had six players selected in the first round of the draft, each of whom could be categorized as irreplaceable.
Then again, while Wisconsin will have a tough time filling in for All-American defensive end J.J. Watt, the No. 11 overall pick in the draft, quarterback Scott Tolzien, who was undrafted, might be tougher to replace. Several Big Ten defenders leave major voids, including All-American Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue and Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget.
The league's toughest player to replace might see the field this season. Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor will be eligible to play Oct. 8 against Nebraska, but his presence certainly will be missed during a five-game suspension to begin the fall.
Some teams are in better shape to replace their stars than others, but there are a handful of Big Ten players who definitely will be missed. It's your turn to weigh in.