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Big Ten All-Conference Teams: Defense and Special Teams

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Purdue had the most improved defense in America, but you would not know it by the Big Ten all-conference teams.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It is postseason awards time and the Big Ten started announcing its all-conference teams and individual awards this morning. Today we get the Defense and Special Teams, while tomorrow the Offensive All-Conference Teams will be announced. Finally, on Thursday the individual awards will go out.

Here are the defensive and special teams from both the coaches and media.

Big Ten All-Conference Teams: Defense and Special Teams

Coaches Selections - Defense - Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Coaches Selections - Defense - Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Line Rashan Gary - Michigan Chase Winovich - Michigan Kenny Willekes - Michigan State
Line Maurice Hurst - Michigan Sam Hubbard - Ohio State Joe Gaziano - Northwestern
Line Nick Bosa - Ohio State Alec James - Wisconsin Dre-Mont Jones - Ohio State
Line Tyquan Lewis - Ohio State Conor Sheehy - Wisconsin Gelen Robinson - Purdue
Linebacker Josey Jewell - Iowa Tegray Scales - Indiana Khaleke Hudson - Michigan
Linebacker Devin Bush - Michigan Jason Cabinda - Penn State Joe Bachie - Michigan State
Linebacker T.J. Edwards - Wisconsin Garret Dooley - Wisconsin Paddy Fisher - Northwestern
Defensive Back Josh Jackson - Iowa Lavert Hill - Michigan Rashard Fant - Indiana
Defensive Back Marcus Allen - Penn State Godwin Igwebuike - Northwestern Kyle Queiro - Northwestern
Defensive Back D'Cota Dixon - Wisconsin Denzel Ward - Ohio State Jordan Fuller - Ohio State
Defensive Back Nick Nelson - Wisconsin Amani Oruwariye - Penn State Derrick Tindal - Wisconsin
Coaches Selections - Special Teams
Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Kicker Girffin Oakes - Indiana Rafael Gaglianone - Wisconsin Sean Nuernberger - Ohio State
Punter Ryan Anderson - Rutgers Blake Gillikin - Penn State Drue Chrisman - Ohio State
Return Specialist Saquon Barkley - Penn State DeAndre Thompkins - Penn State Parris Campbell - Ohio State
Media Selections - Defense
Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Line Maurice Hurst - Michigan Rashan Gary - Michigan Anthony Nelson - Iowa
Line Chase Winovich - Michigan Joe Gaziano - Northwestern Kenny Willekes - Michigan State
Line Nick Bosa - Ohio State Sam Hubbard - Ohio State Shareef Miller - Penn State
Line Tyquan Lewis - Ohio State Alec James - Wisconsin Conor Sheehy - Wisconsin
Linebacker Tegray Scales - Indiana Devin Bush - Michigan Joe Bachie - Michigan State
Linebacker Josey Jewell - Iowa Khaleke Hudson - Michigan Thomas Barber - Minnesota
Linebacker T.J. Edwards - Wisconsin Paddy Fisher - Northwestern Garret Dooley - Wisconsin
Defensive Back Josh Jackson - Iowa Rashard Fant - Indiana Josiah Scott - Michigan State
Defensive Back David Dowell - Michigan State Godwin Igwebuike - Northwestern Kyle Queiro - Northwestern
Defensive Back Denzel Ward - Ohio State Marcus Allen - Penn State Damon Webb - Ohio State
Defensive Back Nick Nelson - Wisconsin Amani Oruwariye - Penn State D'Cota Dixon - Wisconsin
Media Selections - Special Teams
Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Kicker Girffin Oakes - Indiana Rafael Gaglianone - Wisconsin Sean Nuernberger - Ohio State
Punter Ryan Anderson - Rutgers Blake Gillikin - Penn State Drue Chrisman - Ohio State
Return Specialist Saquon Barkley - Penn State Parris Campbell - Ohio State DeAndre Thompkins - Penn State

I have to say this is a travishmockery of justice. Purdue had the most improved defense in the entire country. Our rating by scoring margin improved from 117th (out of 128 schools) to 18th nationally. That 99 spot improvement is insane, yet it only warrants a Third Team mention for Gelen Robinson by the coaches. Markus Bailey and Ja’Whaun Bentley were robbed here, but at least they were honorable mention along with Danny Ezechukwu, Lorenzo Neal, and Jacob Theineman for the coaches. By the media Robinson, Bailey, Bentley, Ezechukwu, and Neal were joined by Josh Okonye and Da’Wan Hunte on the honorable mention list.

On special teams Purdue only got an honorable mention nod for Joe Schopper at punter by the media, probably because he has a better all-time completion percentage than Drew Brees though, going 2 for 2 for 44 yards.

So it is great to see guys on the honorable mention list, but players like Bailey and Bentley were robbed. Bailey should have been, at minimum, a second team pick. T.J. McCollum deserved at least an honorable mention as well.