HawkeyeNation.com's All Big Ten Football Team

HawkeyeNation.com Senior Writer Rob Howe does not have an official say in the selection process behind the All Big Ten teams, but Howe has attended each and every Iowa game this year for Hawkeyenation.com and <i>Hawkeye Nation</i> magazine, so he has seen most of the top performers in the Big Ten up close and personal. Sometime on Tuesday, the Big Ten will announce the official All Conference teams. We give you Rob Howe's 'unofficial' picks in advance of the release from the conference.


QB – John Navarre, Michigan:Say what you want about this kid, he came through in the conference's game of the year with more pressure on him than Barry Bonds being tested for steroids. Completed 62.4 percent of his passes in Big Ten play for 2,120 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. Had 23 touchdowns and 3,060 yards overall with nine interceptions.

RB – Chris Perry, Michigan:Averaged 132.4 yards per game and 5.0 per carry overall with 17 touchdowns (126.8, 4.5, 10 in conference). Also had a 50-carry game and beat up a tough Ohio State defense. In a less than spectacular season for running backs in the Big Ten, Perry was the best.

RB – Marion Barber III, Minnesota:This was a tough choice. There were several backs you could argue deserve this spot, including Iowa's Fred Russell. But Barber was the only other back other than Perry to top century mark (103.4) in yards per game in league games. He also averaged 5.9 yards per carry in conference contests.

WR – Lee Evans, Wisconsin:The most dangerous receiver in the Big Ten averaged 20.0 yards per catch and a conference-best 92.5 yards per game in Big Ten action. This guy will make somebody every happy on Sundays.

WR – Braylon Edwards, Michigan:The Wolverine junior gets the nod over the Purdue pair in large part because he had a nose for the end zone. His 11 touchdowns in conference play were three more than Evans, who finished second.

OL – Robert Gallery, Iowa:If Kirk Ferentz says that Gallery is the best lineman in the country, I'll take his word for it. It was an honor to watch The Mountain crush opponents this season. He also made two touchdown saving tackles. Impressive.

OL – Tony Pape, Michigan:Anchored the line that helped guys like Navarre and Perry succeed. The Wolverines were among the leaders in fewest sacks allowed.

OL – David Baas, Michigan:First-team all-Big Ten last year, Baas moves people out of the way at will.

OL – Greg Eslinger, Minnesota:The anchor of the most explosive offense in the Big Ten. Not the biggest guy in the world but is fast and perfect for the Gopher scheme.

OL – Kelly Butler, Purdue:A force on an underrated line, Butler is just starting to come into his own. AT 6-8, 320 pounds, few defenders want to get in his path.

TE – Ben Utecht, Minnesota:A weapon who sometimes gets lost in the wide array of talent on the Gophers offense. But, he's no Dallas Clark.

K – Nate Kaeding, Iowa:Proved that '02 was no fluke. Money in the bank on field goals and his value on kickoffs is often overlooked.


DL – Shaun Phillips, Purdue:Few Iowa fans can argue this pick. Super quickness makes him tough to block and tougher to keep blocked. Led conference in sacks and tackles for loss.

DL – Will Smith, Ohio State:Anchors a defense that has been the best in the Big Ten for the last two seasons. Ranked second in tackles for loss and second in sacks in Big Ten.

DL – Howard Hodges, Iowa: The Texas Tornado dropped the quarterback 11 times and racked up 12 tackles for loss. His numbers were a little below teammate Matt Roth, but Hodges was more consistent.

DL – Greg Taplin, Michigan State:Keyed a very athletic defensive line that brought a lot of pressure on opposing signal callers. Among conference leaders in sacks and tackles for loss.

LB – Alex Lewis, Wisconsin:A very active backer that is tough to contain. His eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss are a testament to that.

LB – Abdul Hodge, Iowa:The call man on a defense that carried the Hawkeyes to another super season. Oh yeah, and he averaged a conference best 11.1 tackles per game. That is not a misprint.

LB – Chad Greenway, Iowa:I had reservations about naming two sophomores, let alone two from the same team. But you know what? They both deserve it. Together, they had 261 tackles.

DB – Bob Sanders, Iowa:The straw that stirs the drink. Sanders puts fear in the opposing offense. Led the conference in forced fumbles despite only playing in nine games.

DB – Jim Leonhard, WisconsinLed the Badgers in tackles, ranking 12th in the Big Ten. Led the Big Ten with six interceptions.

DB – Stuart Schweigert, Purdue:Hardest hitting safety this side of Bob Sanders.

DB – Jeremy LeSueur, Michigan:Had the best season among conference cover corners. Great mix of size and speed. Ranked fourth in the league in passes defended.

P – B.J. Sander, Ohio State: Punted an amazing 75 times for a 43.6 average. One of the biggest weapons on the team.

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