In case you missed it during the weekend, we here at ESPN.com revealed our 2011 All-America team.
Four Big Ten players made the list, one on offense and three on defense. The SEC led all conferences in selections, and Alabama had four players make the list.
Here are the Big Ten's selections and capsules:
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball: "Moneyball" was a hit book and film about the use of statistics in baseball. Montee Ball had a blockbuster 2011 with some historic stats in college football. The Badgers junior leads the country with 1,759 yards and an astonishing 38 touchdowns, one shy of Barry Sanders' single-season record. And his numbers would be even better if he hadn't sat out so many fourth quarters of Wisconsin blowouts. With merely an average day in the Rose Bowl, he'll break Sanders' record and reach 40 touchdowns on the season. All this "MoneyBall" does is cash in scores.
Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus: Mercilus had the top of his left index finger cut off this spring after a weightlifting accident. Who knew he'd be such a handful for opposing offenses in the fall? In his first full year of starting, the Illinois junior led the nation in sacks (14.5) and forced fumbles (a Big Ten record nine, one shy of the NCAA single-season mark) and ranked sixth with 19.5 tackles for loss. The Hendricks Award winner registered a sack in 10 of 12 games this season and forced a fumble in each of his last four contests. Merciless, indeed.
Penn State DT Devon Still: Still felt like a light clicked on for him in practice leading up to the Outback Bowl last New Year's Day. He posted a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss in that game against Florida and continued his domination throughout the 2011 season. He had 17 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for Penn State, huge numbers by an interior lineman, especially one who faced constant double-teams throughout the season. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said Still's ability to shed blocks "caused just complete and total chaos in the backfield." And it's why Still was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Nebraska LB Lavonte David: Whenever Nebraska needed a big play on defense, David usually delivered it. Whether it was stripping the ball from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to spark an historic comeback or stuffing Penn State running back Silas Redd on a game-defining fourth down, David made the heroic seem routine. He lacks bulk but makes up for it with tremendous speed and natural instincts. Despite playing only two seasons for the Huskers, he ranks fifth on the school's all-time tackles list with 274, including 122 this season. "He's one of the best guys I've ever seen play college football," coach Bo Pelini said.