Chicago Tribune Silver Football

Big Ten Conference college football award
Chicago Tribune Silver Football
Tim Lowry receiving the 1925 season's trophy
Awarded forMost Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference
CountryUnited States
Presented byChicago Tribune
First award1924
Most recentMarvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

The Chicago Tribune Silver Football is awarded by the Chicago Tribune to the college football player determined to be the best player from the Big Ten Conference.[1] The award has been presented annually since 1924, when Red Grange of Illinois was the award's first recipient.[1] In 2022, the Chicago Tribune announced a new partnership with the Union League Club of Chicago, where it is currently housed.[2]

A vote of Big Ten head football coaches determines the winner of the Silver Football.[1] Each coach submits a two-player ballot with a first and second choice, and coaches cannot vote for players on their own team.[1] The first-place vote receives two points and the second-place vote receives one point.[1]

Coaches and media of the Big Ten also make annual selections for additional individual honors.


The Silver Football award has been presented annually since 1924.[3][1]

Year Player Team Position Notes
1924 Red Grange Illinois HB
1925 Tim Lowry Northwestern C
1926 Benny Friedman Michigan QB
1927 Ken Rouse Chicago C
1928 Chuck Bennett Indiana HB
1929 Bill Glassgow Iowa HB
1930 Wes Fesler Ohio State TE Ohio State head coach (1947-1950)
1931 Clarence Munn Minnesota G/FB Michigan State head coach (1947-1953)
1932 Harry Newman Michigan QB
1933 Joe Laws Iowa QB
1934 Pug Lund Minnesota HB
1935 Jay Berwanger Chicago HB Heisman Trophy winner
1936 Vern Huffman Indiana HB/QB All-American in football and basketball
1937 Corbett Davis Indiana FB
1938 Howard Weiss Wisconsin FB
1939 Nile Kinnick Iowa HB Heisman Trophy winner
1940 Tom Harmon Michigan HB Heisman Trophy winner
1941 Jack Graf Ohio State QB/FB
1942 Dave Schreiner Wisconsin TE Killed in action during World War II
1943 Otto Graham Northwestern QB Washington Redskins head coach (1966-1968), NFL MVP (1951, 1953, 1955)
1944 Les Horvath Ohio State HB/QB Heisman Trophy winner
1945 Ollie Cline Ohio State FB
1946 Alex Agase Illinois G Northwestern head coach (1964-1972), Purdue head coach (1973-1976)
1947 Bump Elliott Michigan HB Michigan head coach (1959–1968)
1948 Art Murakowski Northwestern FB
1949 Red Wilson Wisconsin TE
1950 Vic Janowicz Ohio State HB Heisman Trophy winner
1951 Bill Reichardt Iowa FB
1952 Paul Giel Minnesota HB
1953 First two-time winner, UPI Player of the Year
1954 Alan Ameche Wisconsin FB Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year
1955 Howard Cassady Ohio State HB Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, AP Male Athlete of the Year
1956 Ken Ploen Iowa QB
1957 Jim Pace Michigan HB
1958 Randy Duncan Iowa QB
1959 Bill Burrell Illinois G
1960 Tom Brown Minnesota G/DL
1961 Sandy Stephens Minnesota QB
1962 Ron Vander Kelen Wisconsin QB
1963 Dick Butkus Illinois LB Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
1964 Bob Timberlake Michigan QB
1965 Jim Grabowski Illinois RB
1966 Bob Griese Purdue QB NFL MVP (1971)
1967 Leroy Keyes Purdue RB
1968 Ron Johnson Michigan RB
1969 Mike Phipps Purdue QB
1970 Mike Adamle Northwestern RB
1971 Eric Allen Michigan State RB
1972 Otis Armstrong Purdue RB
1973 Archie Griffin Ohio State RB
1974 Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year
1975 Cornelius Greene Ohio State QB
1976 Rob Lytle Michigan RB
1977 Larry Bethea Michigan State DE
1978 Rick Leach Michigan QB
1979 Tim Clifford Indiana QB
1980 Mark Herrmann Purdue QB
1981 Art Schlichter Ohio State QB AFL MVP (1990)
1982 Anthony Carter Michigan WR First wide receiver to win the award
1983 Don Thorp Illinois DL
1984 Keith Byars Ohio State RB
1985 Chuck Long Iowa QB San Diego State head coach (2006-2008)
1986 Jim Harbaugh Michigan QB NFL Coach of the Year (2011), Michigan head coach (2015–2023)
1987 Lorenzo White Michigan State RB
1988 Anthony Thompson Indiana RB
1990 Nick Bell Iowa RB
1991 Desmond Howard Michigan WR Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year, Super Bowl MVP (XXXI)
1992 Lee Gissendaner Northwestern WR
1993 Brent Moss Wisconsin RB
1994 Kerry Collins Penn State QB
1995 Eddie George Ohio State RB Heisman Trophy winner
1996 Orlando Pace Ohio State OT
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan CB Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2009)
1998 Joe Germaine Ohio State QB
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin RB Heisman Trophy winner, NCAA all-time leading rusher, AP Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year
2000 Drew Brees Purdue QB Super Bowl MVP (XLVI), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011), AP Male Athlete of the Year (2010), Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year (2010), Walter Payton Man of the Year (2006)
2001 Antwaan Randle El Indiana QB
2002 Brad Banks Iowa QB AP Player of the Year
2003 Chris Perry Michigan RB
2004 Braylon Edwards Michigan WR
2005 Michael Robinson Penn State QB
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State QB Heisman Trophy winner, AP Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year
2007 Rashard Mendenhall Illinois RB
2008 Shonn Greene Iowa RB
2009 Daryll Clark Penn State QB
Brandon Graham Michigan DE
2010 Denard Robinson Michigan QB
2011 Montee Ball Wisconsin RB
2012 Braxton Miller Ohio State QB
2014 Melvin Gordon Wisconsin RB
2015 Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State RB
2016 J. T. Barrett Ohio State QB
Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
2017 Saquon Barkley Penn State RB
2018 Dwayne Haskins Ohio State QB
2019 Chase Young Ohio State DE Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year (2020), NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2020)
2020 Justin Fields Ohio State QB
2021 Aidan Hutchinson Michigan DE
2022 Blake Corum Michigan RB
2023 Marvin Harrison Jr. Ohio State WR

Winners by school

School Winners First Most recent
Ohio State 23 Wes Fesler, 1930 Marvin Harrison Jr., 2023
Michigan 19 Benny Friedman, 1926 Blake Corum, 2022
Iowa 10 Bill Glassgow, 1929 Shonn Greene, 2008
Wisconsin 9 Howard Weiss, 1938 Melvin Gordon, 2014
Illinois 7 Red Grange, 1924 Rashard Mendenhall, 2007
Indiana 7 Chuck Bennett, 1928 Antwaan Randle El, 2001
Minnesota 6 Clarence Munn, 1931 Sandy Stephens, 1961
Purdue 6 Bob Griese, 1966 Drew Brees, 2000
Northwestern 5 Tim Lowry, 1925 Lee Gissendaner, 1992
Penn State 5 Kerry Collins, 1994 Saquon Barkley, 2017
Michigan State 3 Eric Allen, 1971 Lorenzo White, 1987
Chicago 2 Ken Rouse, 1927 Jay Berwanger, 1935
Maryland 0 none

Winners by position

Offense Defense
Position Total Last Position Total Last
Running back (HB, RB) 40 Blake Corum, Mich., 2022 Defensive line (DL, DE, DT) 6 Aidan Hutchinson, Mich., 2021
Quarterback (QB) 35 Justin Fields, OSU, 2020 Defensive back (DB, S, CB) 1 Charles Woodson, Mich., 1997
Offensive line (OT, G, C) 7 Orlando Pace, OSU, 1996 Linebacker (LB) 1 Dick Butkus, Ill.,1963
Fullback (FB) 8 Alan Ameche, Wisc., 1954
Wide receiver (WR) 5 Marvin Harrison Jr., OSU, 2023
Tight end (TE) 3 Red Wilson, Wisc., 1949

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rosenthal, Phil (December 3, 2009). "Chicago Tribune Silver Football, the Big Ten's MVP award, is headed to TV". Tower Ticker. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "Chicago Tribune Announces Silver Football Awardee and New Partnership With Union League Club of Chicago". Retrieved 2023-09-08.
  3. ^ "Past Silver Football winners - Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune.
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