Midseason Awards – The Big Ten’s Best & Worst of the 2013 College Football Season...so far

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Corn Nation staff hands out their midseason awards for the best and worst of the Big Ten's college football season so far.

It seems like only yesterday "Blurred Lines" was in the midst of its summer long reign as Earworm Champion of the Universe, "The Daily Show" proved it could survive (and thrive) without Jon Stewart, and we were all eagerly anticipating the kickoff of the college football season and all its glory.

Well, believe it or not, we're already halfway through the 2013 edition of the greatest sport on earth. Instead of brooding at the thought we've already knocked out a good chunk of the season, we at Corn Nation thought it'd be a better use of our time to celebrate the best and worst of the Big Ten's year so far.

We present to you, Corn Nation's Midseason Awards...

Biggest Surprise

Indiana 44 Penn State 24

Before Kevin Wilson's breakthrough win against the Nittany Lions, the Hoosiers were a sultry 0-16 all-time against Penn State. The result by itself would probably be enough to make this the runaway choice in this category, but the fact the much-maligned Hoosiers held Penn State to 70 yards on 31 rushing attempts made this selection a no-brainer.

It'll be interesting to see if the Hoosiers can carry this momentum into the second half of the year.

Honorable mention:

  • Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg's immediate impact
  • Michigan State finding a way to score points OFFENSIVELY against Iowa and Indiana
  • Buckeye fans calling for Kenny Guiton to start over preseason Heisman candidate Braxton Miller
  • Northern Illinois essentially being tied for first in the conference after going 2-0 in Big Ten road games
  • Not that Ohio State covered against the spread versus Northwestern, but how they did

Around the nation:

  • Texas Tech and Baylor being the cream of the Big 12 crop

Biggest Disappointment

Big Ten Quarterbacks

In terms of quarterback play, the Big Ten conference was like the Cleveland Browns of the college football world. The conference's signal-callers were either hurt, replaced, or flat-out bad.

The marquee quarterbacks - Taylor Martinez, Braxton Miller, and Kain Colter - all missed significant time due to injury. Minnesota's Phillip Nelson was injured and subsequently replaced by freshman Mitch Leidner. Purdue's Rob Henry performed so poorly they exiled him to defense and pulled the redshirt off of freshman Danny Etling. Devin Gardner was a turnover machine and is clearly uncomfortable with whatever Al Borges is doing up north. Michigan State's quarterback situation was like a game of hot potato.

Gross.

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This is a microcosm of the Big Ten quarterback so far in 2013 (Kirk Irwin)

Honorable mention:

  • Northwestern - A team with seemingly all the pieces, falling apart when it mattered most.
  • Nebraska's third quarter against UCLA - A turtling of epic proportions
  • The "Blackshirts"
  • Purdue - They replaced Hope with Hazell, now they have no hope and 1 win. ZING!

Around the nation:

The Cobby - Rewarding drunkenness, decadence, depravity & general socially unacceptable behavior

Vodka Samm's Got BAC

When the world was first introduced to this classy lady, I joked about what was going to be higher; Vodka Samm's .341 BAC level or Iowa's winning percentage at the end of the year.

Well, the Hawkeyes are 4-2 and only need to win one more game the rest of the year to top Svedka Sammie. NO PRESSURE.

Honorable mention:

  • Al Borges, Michigan's Offensive Coordinator - We have no other explanation for what he's done with Michigan's offense this year other than "Go home Al, you're drunk."
  • Bo Pelini swearing a lot at his own fans
  • Mark Dantonio - For repeatedly giving Andrew Maxwell opportunities to quarterback Michigan State long after it was clear it wasn't working.

Around the nation:

  • Pat Haden breaking up with Lane Kiffin at the airport

The Lane Kiffin Face - The Best Bonehead Move

Joel Stave's new clock-stopping technique against Arizona State

Words don't do this one justice.

Bizarre End To Wisc ASU (via cjzerovids)

Ok, maybe a few words do...

Honorable mention:

Man, how did Michigan NOT win this category?

Around the nation:

  • Carl Pelini calling for a spike on fourth down
  • The ISU-Texas end-of-game officiating

Game of the ½ Year

Penn State vs. Michigan

Christian Hackenberg became a legend, kickers Brendan Gibbons and Sam Ficken tried to out-goat each other and Brady Hoke went into a shell. Like a Ninja-Turtles-fell-into-the-ooze-and-got-super-huge-sized shell.

We dare the college football gods to give us a better game this year than this four-overtime thriller.

Honorable mention:

  • Nebraska vs. Wyoming
  • Northwestern vs. Ohio State - For three quarters it was exciting. It also was ultimately a microcosm of Ohio State versus the rest of the conference. Or the Big Ten versus the SEC.
  • Notre Dame vs. Purdue - Are the Irish that bad, or did the Boilers play that far out of their skulls?

Around the nation:

  • Rutgers vs. Fresno State
  • Alabama vs. Texas A&M

The Urban - The Douchiest Person or Act

Irving Fryar and His Mom Go Scheming

Former Nebraska standout Irving Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, were charged with conspiring to use fraudulent home equity loans to steal $690,000. Yes, this story is as odd as it sounds.

Remember all those Irving Fryar/Orange Bowl conspiracy theories? They don't seem so far-fetched now days.

Honorable mention:

  • Urban Meyer - Just because
  • Dominic Raiola - For his tirade against the Wisconsin band

Around the nation:

The Notre Dame - The Most Overrated

Taylor Lewan

Fitz Touissant could probably fall down and gain more yardage than the Michigan offensive line could generate.

Honorable mention:

  • Devin Gardner
  • Brady Hoke

The Wolverines with the clean sweep! #HAIL

Around the nation:

  • Arkansas hiring BERT

YES! We now have an excuse to post BERT's Hog Walk of Shame.

Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema Falls During Hog Walk Before Texas A&M Game (via TrendingSportsZone)

The Punter's Flag - The Kirk Ferentz Award

TIE: Michigan, for their fourth-quarter punt against Penn State - and - Iowa, for not wanting to field punts anymore

To Iowa's credit, at least they flat out admitted their strategy. Nebraska on the other hand...

Play of the ½ Year

Kenny Bell Enters The Matrix

Kennybell_medium_medium

Most Awkward Moment

TIE:

The Eminem interview during the ND-Michigan game

Eminemhigh_medium_medium

- and -

Brent Musburger's reaction to Ohio St. covering on the last play of the game against Northwestern

(via cfbsection2)

What do you think of our selections? Let us know!

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