Nittany Lines

Penn State’s Hackenberg not included in ESPN writers’ ‘best Big Ten quarterback’ selection

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Two of ESPN’s Big Ten bloggers made their picks for the conference’s best quarterbacks Monday.

Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg did not make the list.

Josh Moyer chose Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett as the best in his field, admitting it was a tough decision to make.

“The fact you can legitimately argue three or four guys as the Big Ten’s top quarterback speaks to the strength of the postion,” Moyer wrote.

Moyer cites Barrett’s stats, which mostly edged runner-up Connor Cook of Michigan State, including a completion percentage of 64.6 percent over Cook’s 58.1 percent, 9 yards per attempt vs. Cook’s 8.8, 34 passing touchdowns vs. Cook’s 24 and Barrett’s 11 rushing touchdowns over Cook’s two, among others.

Additionally, Moyer said backup Cardale Jones’ performance in the postseason seemed to overshadow Barrett’s school record-breaking season, but Barrett got the Buckeyes into the national title conversation in the first place.

Big Ten blogger Mitch Sherman went with Cook for his choice, and said he based his selection on more than just stats.

“He has been the MVP of a Big Ten championship game and a Rose Bowl,” Sherman wrote. “Cook came off the bench to lead a game-winning drive in 2012 against TCU, the first of three straight fourth-quarter, Cook-led MSU comebacks in bowl games.”

Hackenberg will have his chance to out-sling both quarterbacks (if Jones doesn’t get the starting nod over Miller, and if Miller does stay at Ohio State) this season. Penn State will attempt to avenge last season’s overtime loss to Ohio State on Oct. 17 in Columbus, and will travel to East Lansing to take on the Spartans on Nov. 28.