Are you ready for some preseason award watch lists? You'll be getting a steady diet during the next two weeks or so, beginning with today's announcement of the Maxwell Award preseason candidates.
Eight Big Ten players are on the Maxwell preseason watch list, which are put together by the award's selection committee. For those who don't know, the Maxwell Award goes to the most outstanding player in college football.
Here are the Big Ten candidates:
Iowa QB James Vandenberg
Michigan QB Denard Robinson
Michigan RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell
Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Penn State RB Silas Redd
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball
The Maxwell list only includes quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and the Big Ten appears to be covered here. It's good to see some players with strong 2012 potential, such as Toussaint, Miller and Bell, make the list along with more proven players like Ball, Redd and Burkhead. It's also good to see Vandenberg get some recognition after being snubbed by some of the preseason publications.
There aren't any obvious snubs here, considering that the Maxwell Award has gone to a quarterback, running back or receiver every year since 1980, when Pitt defensive end Hugh Green won. The Big Ten hasn't had a winner since former Penn State running back Larry Johnson in 2002.
The semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 29, and the three finalists will be revealed Nov. 19. The winner will be announced Dec. 6 as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show.