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Big Ten Countdown 29: Mike Rozier's Potential Rushing Record And the 2011 NFL Draft

29 is so good we're going to do it twice, in honor of.... well. June. Or Mike Rozier. 

It's June and there's less than one month left until Nebraska officially joins the Big Ten on July 1st, 2011!

So, what are you planning to do on June 30th? Maybe have a "Big Ten Eve" party (which sounds rather silly and could use some better suggestions) or a "Death to the Big 12" party (which sounds much more interesting because of the higher probability that something will get burned).

With 29 days left, we celebrate running back Mike Rozier's 29 rushing touchdowns of the 1983 season. Husker fans know that the '83 team as known as "The Scoring Explosion" and featured the triplets of quarterback Turner Gill, running back Mike Rozier, and wide receiver Irving Fryar.

Had he played in the Big Ten, Rozier's 29 rushing touchdowns would be the tops in conference for a season, besting the 26 set by Indiana's Anthony Thompson in 1988 and Penn State's Kijana Carter in 1994. (Yeah, I know the competition would have been different, but just go with it, okay?). Also, Rozier's 2,148 yards that season would be the tops in single season rushing, better than Ron Dayne's 2,109 yards in 1996.

Rozier was a joy to watch. He had a rare combination of acceleration, vision, and incredible top speed to pull away on long runs. He was incredibly elusive, and while he wasn't a power back, was physical when it was needed. He was a joy to watch that season. His performance that season won him the 1983 Heisman Trophy.

29 Big Ten Players Taken In The 2011 NFL Draft

29 Big Ten players were taken in the 2011 NFL Draft. Five defensive linemen were taken in the first round, including Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, and Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward. (It'd be interesting to see a historical take on the NFL draft and which region produces the most defensive linemen, much like we've seen where the offensive players come from.) 

The Big Ten had six total first round picks - Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi was taken at #29 by Chicago - and 10 players taken in the first two rounds. 

The 29 does not include the seven Huskers who were drafted. Nebraska had the most players drafted of any team in the Big 12, which ended up with 35 players taken.

1929 College Football Season

Four teams finished the season undefeated; Notre Dame, Pittsburgh (which handed Nebraska a 12-7 defeat in October), Tulane and Purdue. As we established earlier, there was no nation-wide poll in effect, and the Dickinson system is a joke for determining a national champion although that doesn't keep Notre Dame from claiming it among their championship seasons.

Purdue had two All-Americans that season, tackle Elmer Sleight and fullback Ralph Welch. Welch would later go on to become a head coach at Washington from 1942-1947, finishing with a 27-20-3 overall record.