Big Ten Football: Picking Every Team’s MVP For 2015

College Football

No other Power-5 college football conference has experienced as much criticism in recent years as the Big Ten has.

In a time when most of the high-profile high school football talent is being cultivated in the south and along both coasts, many prognosticators have declared that the largely Midwest-based league is headed for a steep decline in the years to come.

Well, the Big Ten managed to shut up its critics and quell fears about the league slipping behind the other power conferences when Ohio State blasted through the sport’s first ever four-team playoff and claimed a national title back in January.

It was the Big Ten’s first national championship trophy since the Buckeyes beat Miami all the way back in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State has helped put the Big Ten back on the map so to speak. Now it’s up to the rest of the league to help restore the conference to a prominent level. Luckily, there’s plenty of great up-and-coming talent at all 14 of the Big Ten’s programs; not just in Columbus.

Here’s a look at every team’s most valuable player for the 2015 season.

2015 NFL Draft: Post-Combine Big Board and Prospect Rankings

2015 NFL Draft

The NFL Combine may be over and done with, but the buzz that many of the event’s top performers were able to generate is still dominating the headlines.

Top prospects such as West Virginia WR Kevin White, Michigan State CB Trae Waynes and Clemson edge rusher Vic Beasley all proved to be elite athletes, while other less heralded prospects such as UConn CB Byron Jones, Hobart OL Ali Marpet and Texas LB Jordan Hicks all gave a big boost to their stock with tremendous showings in workouts as well.

With the Combine now in the rear view mirror and the NFL free agency period right around the corner, draft weekend continues to inch ever closer. It’s now time to to delve deep and figure out which players truly have what it takes to become impact players at the next level.

So how does the stock of the top prospects stand at this point in the process?

With just a little over two months to go before draft weekend, here’s a look at the updated Top 100 big board along with positional prospect rankings for the 2015 NFL Draft class,

Pac-12 Football: Picking Every Team’s MVP For 2015

College Football

The Pac-12 ended this past season on a disappointing note, when conference champion Oregon proved to be overmatched in a lopsided 42-20 loss to Ohio State in the national championship game.

The loss was certainly a tough pill for the league to swallow. Still, just the fact the the conference had a representative in the title game for just the second time since 2005 is encouraging enough.

Although the Pac-12 lost many of its biggest stars from 2015 such as Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Javorius Allen, Leonard Williams, Danny Shelton, Shaq Thompson and Nelson Agholor, the league still returns plenty of intriguing talent.

Here’s a look every team’s most valuable player for the 2015 season.

Big 12 Football: Picking Every Team’s MVP For 2015

College Football

The first ever college football playoff turned out to be a widely embraced success. Unfortunately, though, there was one conference that had a major gripe with the selection committee.

The Big 12 had two worthy contenders—TCU and Baylor—who each had a resume that warranted consideration for a playoff berth. However, both the Horned Frogs and the Bears were shut out of the four-team playoff and not able to compete for a national title.

The fact that the selection committee downgraded the Big 12 was not a surprise, since 2014 was a rather down season for the league. A 9-4 Kansas State squad was the only Big 12 team besides TCU and Baylor that finished ranked in the final AP Top 25.

Heading into the 2015 season, the conference as a whole will be looking to prove itself on the national scene with a big bounce back season. Luckily, the league is loaded with plenty of talent.

Here’s a look at every team’s most valuable player for the 2015 season.

SEC Football: Picking Every Team’s 2015 MVP

College Football

Amari Cooper, Shane Ray, Landon Collins, Senquez Golson, Benardrick McKinney and La’el Collins are just a few of the many big-name players that the SEC waved goodbye to this offseason. However, as is always the case with college football’s most talent-stocked conference, no matter how much talent the league loses in a given year, there are always new stars waiting to be born next season.

After a two-year championship drought, the SEC is an unfamiliar position heading into the 2015 season. The most talked-about league in college football will be looking to reassert its dominance this fall. Luckily, there’s plenty of star power sprinkled throughout the conference once again.

So who will be the spotlight standout players on each of the 14 teams?

Here’s a look at every SEC team’s most valuable player for 2015.

The Complete Blueprint For a College Football Superconference System

College Football

The 2014 college football season marked the beginning of a bright new era for a sport which had already been experiencing a rapid recent growth in popularity. For years, countless fans and analysts had one major gripe that they continually clamored about: the lack of a playoff system to determine a true champion.

This past season, their wish was finally granted when the sport introduced its new four-team playoff system. Although the first ever playoff wasn’t without its fair share of controversy (TCU and Baylor fans certainly didn’t appreciate the fact that their teams were left out), the overall consensus was that it was a remarkable success. 33.4-million people tuned to ESPN to watch Ohio State beat Oregon for the national title, which was the second highest audience ever for a college football championship game.

With profits, television ratings and fan interest all on the upswing, the future of the sport looks as a bright as ever. Still, no matter how successful an industry may be, there’s always room for continual improvement, and college football is no different.

Ever since I became a college football writer back in 2010, I’ve always had an avid interest in coming up with ways to make changes to the sport’s conference structure, postseason system and other important facets of its overall framework.

Since then, the main pet project in my life has been coming up with ways to improve and strengthen college football and help come up with ways for the sport to grow and prosper into the future. Since coming up with an original power-conference plan back in the summer of 2010 (one I admittedly now consider quite dated and flawed), I’ve filled countless notebooks, folders and computer files with maps, stats, bowl scenarios, schedules, imaginative conferences and all sorts of different season formats, all while trying up to come up with a system I felt could actually be applicable and successful in the real world.

Recently, after years of continual evolution, the plan has finally reached a stage that I’m sufficiently satisfied with. I’m excited enough about a few of the creative breakthroughs and revelations I’ve had to want to publish it and share it with the sports world. Still, I view this article as something comparable to a rough draft. It’s a starting point and by no means a finished product. It does, however, encompass most of the main points I want to convey about the changes I believe should be made to the current system.

So here it is: The complete college football super conference system blueprint.

Terry Beckner Jr. Could Be Mizzou’s Next Sheldon Richardson

College Football, College Football Recruiting

When trying to project what type of player a highly rated blue-chip high school football recruit will eventually become once he reaches the collegiate level, often times the comparison game can reach dangerous levels. Unfortunately, many young athletes are saddled with the pressure of having to be “the next (insert current star)” before ever even enrolling in college.

Sometimes, however, obvious parallels between a proven star and a young up-and-comer whose displayed tremendous potential are just too difficult to ignore.

Such is the case with Jets DT Sheldon Richardson and All-American DT Terry Beckner Jr.

Back in 2009, Richardson—then a dominant All-American standout for Gateway High School in St. Louis—was being showered with accolades and hailed as one of the best overall high school recruits in the nation. The highly touted tackle was ranked as a 5-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout and projected to be a difference-making defender in college.

Six years later, it’s now Beckner who is soaking up the spotlight as one of the premier prospects of the 2015 college football recruiting class. The heralded 5-star prospect hails from East St. Louis, Illinois, which is just a few miles east over the Mississippi River from where Richardson grew up.

On National Signing Day, Beckner followed in Richardson’s footsteps and opted to sign with the University of Missouri, giving the Tigers another potential stud defensive lineman to cultivate for the future.

The fact that both defensive tackles grew up in the greater St. Louis area and opted to go to Colombia to play their college ball is just the starting point for their correlation.

Recorded measurements of both players’ physical statures are about as equal as you can get. Richardson currently measures in at 6’3’’, 294-pounds, while Beckner stacked up at 6’3’’, 298-pounds at Nike’s “The Opening” event this past summer.

Equivalency in terms of size and stature is clear but it’s the natural combination of quickness, power and instincts that both possess which truly jumps off the screen when you turn on their respective game films.

That combination made Richardson a star for Mizzou during his junior campaign in 2012, when he recorded 75 total tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. It was that breakout performance that led the Jets to pick him with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

It’s too early to say that Beckner will follow the same path as Richardson and become a future first-round NFL draft pick. But it’s certainly not too early to admire the type of rare physical traits and potential he has to offer. During the last two seasons, the tenacious tackle dominated his often over-matched peers, racking up over 100 tackles as both a junior and a senior, while displaying the type of complete skill-set that made recruiting analysts salivate.

Beckner’s decision to pick Missouri over the many other prestigious power programs that courted him will likely prove to be very beneficial in the long run. The Tigers have a well-documented recent history of developing standout defensive linemen such as Richardson, Shane Ray, Aldon Smith, Michael Sam, Kony Ealy, Ziggy Hood and Markus Golden. Plus, playing in the SEC will give the young blue-chip prospect the opportunity to prove himself against some of the best offensive linemen that the collegiate ranks have to offer.

Luckily, Beckner won’t have to take the long road to Colombia like Richardson, who had to spend two years in junior college to work on his grades before enrolling at Missouri. That means ESPN’s No. 2 overall recruit in the 2015 class will have the chance to make an instant impact as a freshman for the Tigers this fall. His presence will be a welcome addition to a defensive line that loses its top four performers from this past season, most notably Shane Ray, who will likely be a top-10 pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The freakish physical ability that the gifted young DT has to offer already has folks around the SEC buzzing. Now, it’s up to Beckner to prove he can handle the pressure and the hype that comes along with being a top-rated blue-chip recruit.

If he can do that, the Tigers may have just found their next Sheldon Richardson.