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O'Brien semifinalists: 4 from Big Ten

The quarterback position is on the rise in the Big Ten.

Simply check the list of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, which was announced today. The Big Ten represents one-fourth of the list, and at least two more signal callers have legitimate gripes at being left off.

Here are the selections:

All four players are deserving, and Stanzi is one of only four repeat semifinalists from 2009. The Big Ten and Big 12 lead all conferences with four candidates apiece.

It's too bad that Northwestern's Dan Persa and Indiana's Ben Chappell aren't on the list as well. Persa leads the nation in completion percentage, ranks fifth in total offense and eighth in pass efficiency. His only crime is playing for a team that isn't on the radar for many voters. The same holds true for Chappell, who leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in passing average, and ranks 10th in total offense.

Three finalists will be selected Nov. 22, and the winner will be announced Dec. 9 on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show.