The Big Ten Conference’s annual postseason awards show reflected Iowa’s football turnaround.
Lots of solid supporting players, but no one stealing headlines.
Eight Hawkeyes received first- or second-team recognition from the league coaches and media members.
None, however, received one of the 10 major individual honors.
In fact, a split decision on left tackle Brandon Scherff will likely fuel a debate.
Scherff, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound junior from Denison, was a first-team choice by the coaches, but a second-team pick by the media.
There was another difference of opinion with Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz.
Again, the coaches listed Fiedorowicz on the first team. The media did not, going with Michigan’s Devin Funchess, instead.
In a bit of a surprise, the media did put Hawkeye cornerback B.J. Lowery on their first team.
“Guys like that kind of get lost in the shuffle,” Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith said of Lowery, during Monday’s telecast. “Because they’re not necessarily making all the interceptions, but do it all.
“This conference really has a lot of corners who can do it all, who can cover and hit you.”
Lowery, Scherff and Fiedorowicz all played a pivotal role in Iowa’s 8-4 season, which included a 5-3 mark and tie for second place in the Big Ten’s Legends Division.
A trio of senior linebackers was the catalyst for the Hawkeye defense, but none were voted to the first team.
James Morris was a second team honoree by the coaches and media. The coaches added Anthony Hitchens to second team.
Defensive tackle Carl Davis and offensive tackle Brett Van Sloten were second-team choices by the coaches.
Mike Meyer was the media’s second-team kicker.
It was a series of under-the-radar recognitions that typified Iowa’s bounce back from a 4-8 finish in 2012.
Nobody on the Hawkeyes received top billing, but there were too many solid performances to ignore.
No Iowa player was mentioned on the BTN unveiling program, until Davis’ name appeared 17 minutes into the show.
Meanwhile, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller maintains his star status.
Miller repeated as the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award winner after throwing for 21 touchdowns and just five interceptions this fall.
“(Miller) really improved as a passer,” Griffith told his audience. “He really started to understand what the passing game was about, and allowed himself to play inside the offense.
“Didn’t feel like he had to go outside of the offense and make every play.”
Michigan’s Taylor Lewan (offensive lineman), Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien (kicker) and Penn State’s Allen Robinson (receiver) were also voted as the top players at their positions for a second straight year.
Carlos Hyde of Ohio State was the running back of the year, edging fellow first-teamer Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska.
James White and Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin were second team running backs.
Chris Borland of Wisconsin was the linebacker of the year. Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State was the top defensive back.