Braxton earns silver football

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Last updated: 12/07/2012 4:10 AM

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Braxton Takes Home Coveted Silver Football
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It has been 88 years since Red Grange took home the Chicago Tribune’s very first Silver Football award back in 1924.

“The Galloping Ghost” was one of college football’s first real stars to captivate this country on the gridiron, although he won the inaugural Silver Football five years after Chic Harley set Ohio State’s scoring record.

The award has been presented annually since Grange’s victory back in ‘24, and this year’s award went to another young player who has captivated the country’s attention with his ability to make guys miss in the open field.

Braxton Miller
Photo by Jim Davidson
Braxton Miller

He may not be headed to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation, but Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller did capture the 2012 Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's MVP on Thursday.

Miller passed for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore this season. He racked up another 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground while leading Ohio State to a 12-0 undefeated season in year one under head coach Urban Meyer.

He was named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year last week, with the defensive honors going to Ohio State’s senior defensive lineman John Simon. Much has been made of the fact the Big Ten coaches voted Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez as their first-team all-conference quarterback ahead of Miller, but it is the coaches who determine the winner of the Silver Football.

Each coach submits a two-player ballot with a first and second choice, and coaches cannot vote for their own players. The first-place vote receives two points and the second-place vote receives one point.

Last year’s winner was Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, and the last Buckeye to win the award was Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith back in 2006. Miller is the 15th player in Ohio State history to win the Silver Football, dating all the way back to Wes Fesler in 1930.

Many famous Buckeyes have taken home the Big Ten’s MVP award since Fesler, a native of Youngstown who would eventually become the head coach at Ohio State in 1947. That list includes Les Horvath (1944), Vic Janowicz (1950), “Hopalong” Cassady (1955), Archie Griffin (1973, ’74), Cornelius Greene (1975), Keith Byars (1984),  Eddie George (1995) and Orlando Pace (1996).

Other Ohio State players to win the award were Jack Graf (1941), Ollie Cline (1945), Art Schlichter (1981), Joe Germaine (1998) and Smith (2006).

No player in Big Ten history has won the award more than twice – with Archie Griffin being one of only three players to accomplish that. Griffin would have also won the award as a senior in 1975, when he ran for over 1,400 yards, but it went to his quarterback, Corny Greene, instead.

Miller is only the fourth OSU quarterback to win the Silver Football since Green back in ’75.

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