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Wisconsin football: several Badgers have been named to the BTN all-decade second team

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Only three position groups have been announced so far and the Badgers are well represented.

Nebraska v Wisconsin Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The all-decade teams that Big Ten Network have announced over the past two weeks, both for men’s basketball and football, have been a fun way to pass the time arguing on the internet. The Wisconsin Badgers have had three players named to the first team, so far, running back Jonathan Taylor, linebacker Chris Borland and offensive lineman Michael Deiter.

Sadly, since those are the three positions that Wisconsin routinely has the best players at I don’t know how many more honorees will be Badgers, but we’ll be following along just in case. BTN is also announcing a second team which has gotten less fanfare, but is still an impressive achievement to make. Wisconsin currently has four players on the second team who we’ll mention, uh, right now!

  • Melvin Gordon, in my mind, is the ideal running back. Just the way he moves and runs with the ball made me think he would score every time he touched it, which happened every time he played Nebraska I’m pretty sure.

Gordon won the Doak Walker Award in 2014 and was a unanimous consensus first-team All-American as well as winning the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten (consensus) performer.

His career rushing average of 7.79 yards per carry was an NCAA record and he holds school rushing average records for a career (7.79 yards per carry), a season (7.81 ypc, 2013) and a game (19.5, vs. Bowling Green, 9/20/2014). He rushed for 2,587 yards, a Big Ten record and the second-most in FBS history, in 2014 and became the fastest player in FBS history to reach 2,000 yards by doing so on 241st carry of the season.

Before this turns into a 1,000 word post on Gordon let’s move on.

  • T.J. Watt started his career in Madison as a tight end, redshirted, had a couple of knee injuries, switched to outside linebacker and now he’s a contender for NFL DPOY with the Steelers and one of the top linebackers of the decade in the B1G.

In his junior season he was first-team All-America (ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated), second-team All-America (AP, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and first-team All-Big Ten (consensus). He had 63 tackles, including 15.5 for loss and 11.5 sacks, the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.

  • Gabe Carimi started at left tackle as a redshirt freshman, replacing Joe Thomas who you may have heard of, which is an amazing fact in and of itself. He was also the 2010 Outland Trophy winner, a unanimous all-American and the B1G offensive lineman of the year. He started 49 of a possible 52 games in his career.
  • Kevin Zeitler was first-team All-American by AFCA and Pro Football Weekly, second-team All-American by Yahoo! Sports and Phil Steele and honorable mention All-American from SI.com in his senior season. He was also consensus first-team All-Big Ten in 2011.