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Sports Then and Now



The 2011 All-Big 10 Preseason Football Team 12

Posted on August 06, 2011 by JA Allen

Big 10 action gets underway in September of 2011.

It is almost time for the gridiron fanatics to dust off their megaphones and fluff up their pompoms!

College football, sporting several new and exciting realignments, is back on the horizon, ready to rise into full view in early September.

No conference has changed its traditional season lineup more than the Big Ten, divided into two divisions starting with the first non-conference games of 2011.  This was accomplished once the admission of the Nebraska Cornhuskers into the Big Ten was finalized.

The Divisions:

Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern

Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Each Big Ten team plays eight conference contests including each team in their respective division plus three conference games outside of their division, called crossover contests.

Totally each team in the Big Ten plays twelve games starting on September 3, 2011.

The season concludes with the Big Ten Championship game played on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

While most pundits haggle over  “Legends” and “Leaders,” the titles selected for the two divisions, few have complained about the actual division itself.  Most view the two divisions as equitable.

As preparations for the 2011 season get underway,  pundits are already rolling out their “best” lists for each conference.  In keeping with this annual rite of passage, following are the Big Ten players at each position deserving of a grade “A” rating as the 2011 season gets underway.

Here is our compilation of the  All Big Ten Pre-Season Team ahead of action in the newly aligned Big Ten Conference.

These players are the cream of the crop, as they say, in the Big Ten who will help their respective teams climb the ranking ladder as they try to bulldoze their way into the Big Ten Championship Game on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis.

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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