Big Ten players who just missed being the best at their number

Earlier we revealed our list of the best current players in the nation to wear each jersey number, from No. 1 to No. 99.

The Big Ten can't complain much about its representation on that list, as nearly a third of the players hail from the league. Still, there were others who just missed the cut. Let's take a look at some of the toughest exceptions:

No. 5: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

This number is loaded, with Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche getting the nod over a field that also included Florida State's Everett Golson and Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas. Nkemdiche is an outstanding talent, but it's tough to leave out the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

No. 11: Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State

The Buckeyes were all over the final list. But with Miller and Bell, there could have been more. Bell had 92 tackles and six interceptions last season and should be a first-team All-Big Ten performer -- if not an All-American -- in 2015.

No. 29: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB, Minnesota

The Gophers' cornerback had a breakout campaign in 2014 with five interceptions. He narrowly missed out to Florida State's Nate Andrews as the top No. 29.

No. 47: Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin

Biegel was one of the best players on one of the nation's top defenses last year, finishing with 7.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He missed out on the list to UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes, a big-time talent who hasn't accomplished as much on the field yet as Biegel. Just another day in the life of the Badgers' no-name defense.

No. 70: Dan Voltz, C, Wisconsin

An All-Big Ten center, Voltz missed out to a Bret Bielema-coached offensive lineman in Arkansas tackle Dan Skipper.

No. 78: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

Spriggs is a four-year starter, an NFL prospect and still one of the most underrated players in the country. But No. 78 was loaded with standout offensive linemen, including eventual winner Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss.

No. 91: Darius Hamilton, DT, Rutgers

Hamilton is an outstanding player. He just happens to wear the same number as Notre Dame's Sheldon Day, who got more respect from our voting panel.

The No. 7 was also a popular, if ultimately unlucky one, for Big Ten candidates. Players who wear that number include Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo, Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins, Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner and Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld.