Did Terrelle Pryor Get Screwed Out of 2nd Team All-Big 10 Honors?

I realize that talking about the selections of the 2nd Team All-Big 10 teams is nitpicking to say the least, but it's also a good way to discuss what statistics and skills are really valued by football fans. Its also another excuse to go over the just finished Big 10 season, especially when I feel like some good arguments remain over which players truly excelled this year.

Something I wrote about Isiah "Juice" Williams in my Final Edition of Quarterback Rankings seemed especially relevant when I saw that the Illinois QB had garnered 2nd Team All-Big 10 honors from the Media:

This turnover machine has disappointed constantly this year, but his mom loves him, so I'll be gentle. Negatives: Subpar offensive line (not his fault), locks onto wide receivers, throws BAD picks. Positives: Improved mechanics, great escapability, most passing yards in the Big 10. Blew the Western game with horrendous throws, but the O Line didn't help.

I predicted that Juice would not make any All Big 10 teams because of his erratic and turnover prone performances against Western Michigan, Wisconsin, and Northwestern. Williams has not perfected the ability to put his "head on a swivel" when he drops back to pass, resulting in forced throws and a Big 10 leading 16 interceptions. This former 5 Star recruit also hangs onto the ball too long and got sacked 25 times, 2nd most in the Big 10. Most damning to Isiah's season was the Illini's 3-5 Big 10 record one season after a Rose Bowl season. But he did lead the Big 10 in passing yards, yards per attempt, completions, and passing touchdowns...

In the Coaches All-Big 10 2nd Team, Adam Weber received the nomination. Weber's early offensive consistency was ruined after Minnesota began playing decent teams (witness the four consecutive losses to finish Big 10 play). And while the Golden Gopher's "worst to mediocre" run was inspiring, once Weber began facing decent defenses, his QB rating and completion % nosedived. This was an unconscionable pick - Weber wasn't making hard downfield throws like Williams or orchestrating a BCS contender like Ohio State.

That leads me to Terrelle Pryor, my pick for 2nd Team QB. I fear that the Coaches and Media sat around and said, "Oh that Pryor is certainly spectacular, but he's got plenty of time in Columbus to win awards, his supporting cast was so good and he didn't throw the ball much...Let's just give him Frosh of the Year and vote the veteran's ahead of him." Or these folks decided he did not accumulate enough statistics to give him the edge - Pryor only threw the ball 15 times per game as the Bucks rode their ground game all year.

Note: The stats below represent each quarterbacks numbers in Big 10 play only. I highlighted statistics that I believed were extremely relevant to the QB's play.

Cmp/Att Pass TD Total Int Pass Yards
Rush Yards W/L Record Signature Moment

 

 Pryor

 

74/119

 

8

 

3

 

1019

 

365

 

7-1

Led 4th Quarter comeback v WI @ Camp Randall...Ran for 110 yards against Ill...Lost fumble v Penn State to set up game winning drive...

 

Juice

 

144/244

 

14

 

9

 

2123

 

432

 

3-5

3 Int game sealed loss to WI...503 total yards v Minn, 431 total yards v UM...Led 51 yard 4th quarter drive for GW FG against Iowa...

 

Weber

 

157/266

 

7

 

7

 

1618

 

99

 

3-5

380 total yard v NW...3 TD passes v Wisc...Threw Int that was returned for GW TD v NW...

So make your own decision. I am obviously making a big deal out of Pryor's Big 10 record (7-1), his ability to lead as a freshmen, the comeback drive against Wisconsin in Madison, and his mobility. An argument can be made for Juice because of his sheer statistical dominance and his rushing yards. Also, I do not know if All-Big 10 is determined by only Big 10 games or out-of-conference games too. If its the latter, Juice threw for 451 yards and five touchdowns against Mizzou, which is indicative of his improved mechanics and talent.

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