It's time once again for us to reveal our rankings of the Top 25 players in the Big Ten.
This is a twice-a-year exercise, done once in the preseason and again after the season has concluded. The criteria for each list is a little different. We are basing these postseason rankings on performance in the 2012 season only, not future college or pro potential or anything like that.
As a refresher, here's how we ranked the players in the preseason. You're going to see a lot of changes. And the list starts off with a guy who's always a lightning rod for debate among fans ...
No. 25: Denard Robinson QB, Michigan, Sr., 6-foot, 197 pounds
2012 preseason rank: No. 6
2012 numbers: Completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 1,319 yards, with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. Ran 177 times for 1,266 yards and seven touchdowns.
Why he's here: There's little doubt that Robinson is one of the most electrifying talents to ever come through the Big Ten. How many players, after all, could play quarterback for three-and-a-half years, then switch to running back at the end of their senior seasons and average 107 yards rushing in their final three games, as Robinson did? He ended his career with the most rushing yards by a quarterback in FBS history, even if he wasn't playing the position down the stretch.
But the change to running back, which was necessitated by an arm injury, also highlighted another thing about "Shoelace": He just wasn't always an outstanding quarterback. Though he worked hard on his mechanics in the offseason, Robinson's completion percentage in 2012 was his lowest since his freshman year. He infamously threw four interceptions in the loss at Notre Dame, a game that Michigan otherwise controlled statistically. He tossed another pair of interceptions in the opener versus Alabama. The Wolverines' passing game struggled for most of the season until Devin Gardner magically revived it -- and the team's receivers -- after Robinson went down.
Still, there's no denying how special Robinson could be with the ball in his hands, such as when he ran for 235 yards against Purdue, 122 yards against Ohio State or an even 100 in the Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina. He'll try to catch on as a receiver or at some other position in the NFL. Michigan will miss his playmaking skills and flair for the dramatic, but the Wolverines can now move on to a more conventional passing offense without Robinson.