The Spartans entered the season with two of the best college football players in the nation. Running back Le’Veon Bell was a surefire candidate to compete for the Heisman Trophy in 2012, and defensive lineman William Gholston was projected to be, at the very least, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by many writers. It doesn’t appear either will win much of anything at the conclusion of this season.
Each week on BTN.com, writer Brent Yarina issues his power rankings of the top six offensive and defensive players in the Big Ten,
In Week Eight, Bell was not featured on the top six list of offensive playmakers, but he was given an honorable mention. Last week Yarina had Bell ranked as the fourth best player in the conference.
Bell has an opportunity to make it back into this list, but he has a lot of work ahead of him. This Saturday Michigan State faces in state-rival Michigan and will most likely be perplexed against the Wolverines run defense. Especially since the Wolverines just shut out Illinois last Saturday 45-0. However, the Spartans football program has come out and announced that Bell has been underutilized, so expect to see him get the ball more following its matchup with U-M.
The same thing cannot be said about Gholston, however. Not only is Gholston out of Yarina’s power rankings, he isn’t even listed as an honorable mention. Gholston has had a lackluster year at best and has continued to struggle against elite offensive lineman. He has virtually been a nonfactor in most of Michigan State’s game. It’s odd because he was a dominant force last season, giving every offense fits—you can even ask Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson about Gholston’s knack of slowing down offenses.
Michigan State will travel to take on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network and the BTN2Go App.