As the No. 1 team in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes have put the college football world on notice once again. They are not only undefeated, but the scarlet and gray have dominated their opposition in a way that hasn’t been seen in quite some time. The Buckeyes have made it look easy both offensively and defensively for the majority of the season. Heading into the conference championship weekend, Ohio State also dominated Big Ten’s individual awards as well, a list that features plenty of names that don the scarlet and gray on the gridiron on Saturdays.
The Big Ten announced the defensive awards Tuesday night; the offensive awards were revealed Wednesday night.
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Ryan Day
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Quarterback of the Year: Justin Fields
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Defensive Lineman of the Year: Chase Young
First-team All-Big Ten
Sportsmanship Award: Justin Hillard
So, first and foremost, Day being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year is quite significant. The last time a Buckeye was given that award was 1979…the year Day was born. It says more about the expectations in Columbus than how great Ohio State has been since that time. The Athletic’s Ari Wasserman said it best:
“Give Day the [Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year award] for this season. But the real prize is that he’ll likely never win it again. That’s the real mark of an Ohio State coach leading a healthy program.”
Greatness is expected, that’s the sole reason Ohio State coaches rarely win the Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
Secondly, with Day winning that along with Fields and Young winning the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively, it’s the Buckeyes are the first team in Big Ten history to complete the sweep of those three awards since the Player of the Year awards debuted in 1990. It’s just the third time that the same program has had both the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. With Fields taking home those honors, he is the second Ohio State quarterback in a row to win the award.1 The Buckeyes have now had the B1G Offensive Player of the Year in five of the last eight years. Young, on the other hand, is the first Buckeye to be named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year since Joey Bosa (2014). Defensive line coach Larry Johnson’s crew has won the Big Ten Defensive Linemen of the Year award five times in the coach’s six years in Columbus.
We won’t talk about snubs (J.K. Dobbins not being named first-team and Jeff Okudah not winning Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year), but let’s just hope the snubs play with an even bigger chip on their shoulder going forward.
Ohio State is essentially represented at every position on the All-Big Ten teams. Much like they have on the gridiron, they dominated this, too. Now, the postseason is what lies ahead.