Ohio State would not be in the College Football Playoff without J.T. Barrett. As its quarterback, captain, leader and the glue that keeps the Buckeyes together, the redshirt junior is the face of Urban Meyer's program.
“You look at wins, No. 1, and then you look at statistical, touchdown, interception, passing efficiency, and that easily makes him one of the greatest quarterbacks probably to play the game,” Meyer said a few weeks ago of the even-keeled Texan who is 26-3 as a starter.
|Player, School||1st Place Votes||2nd Place Votes||Total|
|J.T. BARRETT, OHIO STATE||4||2||10|
|SAQUON BARKLEY, PENN STATE||4||2||10|
|JABRILL PEPPERS, MICHIGAN||2||4||8|
|CURTIS SAMUEL, OHIO STATE||3||1||7|
|AUSTIN CARR, NORTHWESTERN||1||1||3|
|COREY CLEMENT, WISCONSIN||0||1||1|
|MALIK HOOKER, OHIO STATE||0||1||1|
|DESMOND KING, IOWA||0||1||1|
|T.J. WATT, WISCONSIN||0||1||1|
Barrett has reflected multiple times this season on what he has accomplished at Ohio State, saying, “If you would have told me as a kid from Wichita Falls, Texas, that I'd be doing all this, I'd say you were crazy.”
On Thursday, that kid is officially the face of not only Ohio State but the entire Big Ten. The Chicago Tribune named Barrett one of two recipients of its 2016 Silver Football, awarded to the best player in the conference. He shares the honor with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. It is the first time since 2009 where voting resulted in a tie.
Other finalists Michigan's Jabrill Peppers finished second in the voting and Ohio State's Curtis Samuel was third. Safety Malik Hooker received a second-place vote as well to finish tied for fifth in the voting. A first place vote is worth two points, while a second garners one.
Barrett is the second Buckeye in as many seasons and fourth in five years to win the award. Running back Ezekiel Elliott took it home last season, beating out Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook.
The Silver Football is voted by a panel of the conference's coaches, who are forbidden from voting for a player on their own team.
Barrett threw for 2,428 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions while leading the Buckeyes to an 11-1 record, share of the Big Ten East Division championship and berth in the College Football Playoff. Barkley finished second in the league in rushing yards during the regular season with 1,219. His 15 rushing scores were tied for the most in the Big Ten and the running back led the Nittany Lions to the conference championship, a game they won on Saturday against Wisconsin 38-31. Barkley ran 19 times for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Badgers and also caught two passes for 20 yards and a score.
Barrett is a crucial reason to Ohio State earning a No. 3 ranking and making the Playoff. The Buckeyes are scheduled to face No. 2 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl at 7 p.m. ET on New Year's Eve. Barkley's Penn State team drew USC in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2 at 5 p.m.
Barkley received Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors last week while Barrett won Quarterback of the Year for the second time in his career.
It is the 19th time an Ohio State player has won the Silver Football and the third time for a Nittany Lion.