Big Ten rankings: No. 19, Scott Tolzien

The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 19: Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin, Sr., 6-3, 208

2009 numbers: Led the Big Ten in pass efficiency with a rating of 143 in his first season as Wisconsin's starter; Tolzien finished second among Big Ten starters in completion percentage (64.3) and passed for 240 yards or more in six games.

Most recent ranking: Unranked in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Tolzien: An afterthought in Wisconsin's quarterback competition last spring, Tolzien made his coaches look like geniuses with his play during the season. Aside from a two-week stretch where he threw five interceptions -- not surprisingly, in two of Wisconsin's three losses -- Tolzien was a model of efficiency for the Big Ten's top scoring offense. Tolzien was extremely accurate for much of the season and spread the ball around, as four Badgers players had 39 or more receptions. Wisconsin doesn't ask its quarterbacks to do too much and Tolzien welcomed that role as he provided enough of a threat for defenses to respect. Tolzien knows he needs to win games from the neck up, and if he performs well against the Big Ten's best teams this fall, he might lead Wisconsin back to Pasadena for the first time since the 2000 Rose Bowl.

The rundown

  • No. 25: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

  • No. 24: Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure

  • No. 23: Iowa DT Karl Klug

  • No. 22: Northwestern LB Quentin Davie

  • No. 21: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins

  • No. 20: Ohio State LB Brian Rolle