Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller isn't going to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, and he didn't claim any national awards Thursday, but his strong sophomore season is being celebrated in the Big Ten.
Miller already has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, and he added another piece of hardware Thursday in being named the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football Award winner as the Big Ten's best player. He's the second sophomore quarterback to win the Silver Football in the past three seasons as Michigan's Denard Robinson claimed it in 2010. Miller is the first Ohio State player to win it since former quarterback Troy Smith (2006), who also won the Heisman that year, and the 16th Buckeye overall.
Click here for information on the history of the Silver Football Award, launched in 1924.
Big Ten coaches vote for the award, and I've confirmed that former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and former Purdue coach Danny Hope both voted before their departures. Coaches cast a first-place vote (2 points) and a second-place vote (1 point).
Here's how the voting went:
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller: 15 points (5 first-place votes, 5 second-place votes)
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball: 10 points (3 first-place votes, 5 second-place votes)
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez: 8 points (4 first-place votes, 0 second-place votes)
Penn State QB Matt McGloin: 1 point (1 second-place vote)
Penn State LB Michael Mauti: 1 point (1 second-place vote)
Penn State DT Jordan Hill: 1 point (1 second-place vote)
The coach voting sheds some light into how Miller, despite all these awards, wasn't the first-team All-Big Ten quarterback on the coaches' squad. Martinez clearly had a contingent of strong supporters that put him over the top, but it still looks pretty ridiculous to have your offensive player of the year, quarterback of the year and Silver Football winner on the second team.
Ball won the Silver Football in 2011.
Miller definitely deserves the honor after passing for 2,039 yards, rushing for 1,271 yards, accounting for 28 touchdowns (15 pass, 13 rush) and leading Ohio State to a 12-0 record, the team's sixth unbeaten, untied season in history.