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. The award has been presented annually since 1924, when Red Grange of Illinois was the award's first recipient.
The winner of the Silver Football is determined by a vote of Big Ten head football coaches. Each coach submits a two-player ballot with a first and second choice, and coaches cannot vote for players on their own team. The first-place vote receives two points and the second-place vote receives one point.
Coaches and media of the Big Ten also make annual selections for additional individual honors.
|Chicago Tribune Silver Football|
|Given for||Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference|
|Presented by||Chicago Tribune|
|Most recent||Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State|
|1930||Wes Fesler||Ohio State||TE||Ohio State head coach (1947-1950)|
|1931||Clarence Munn||Minnesota||G/FB||Michigan State head coach (1947-1953)|
|1936||Vern Huffman||Indiana||HB/QB||All-American in football and basketball|
|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||Chalmers "Bump" Elliott||Michigan||HB||Michigan head coach (1959-1968)|
|1950||Vic Janowicz||Ohio State||HB||Heisman Trophy winner|
|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 "Hopalong" Cassady||Ohio State||HB||Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, AP Male Athlete of the Year|
|1962||Ron Vander Kelen||Wisconsin||QB|
|1963||Dick Butkus||Illinois||LB||Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year|
|1966||Bob Griese||Purdue||QB||NFL MVP (1971)|
|1971||Eric Allen||Michigan State||CB|
|1973||Archie Griffin||Ohio State||RB||Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year|
|1974||Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year|
|1975||Cornelius Greene||Ohio State||QB|
|1977||Larry Bethea||Michigan State||DE|
|1981||Art Schlichter||Ohio State||QB||AFL MVP (1990)|
|1982||Anthony Carter||Michigan||WR||First wide receiver to win the award|
|1984||Keith Byars||Ohio State||QB|
|1985||Chuck Long||Iowa||QB||San Diego State head coach (2006-2008)|
|1986||Jim Harbaugh||Michigan||QB||Stanford head coach (2007-2010), San Francisco 49ers head coach (2011-2014), Michigan head coach (2015-present), NFL Coach of the Year (2011)|
|1987||Lorenzo White||Michigan State||RB|
|1988||Anthony Thompson||Ohio State||RB|
|1991||Desmond Howard||Michigan||WR||Heisman Trophy winner, UPI Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year, Super Bowl MVP (XXXI)|
|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/DB||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||WR|
|2002||Brad Banks||Iowa||QB||AP Player of the Year|
|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|
|2009||Daryll Clark||Penn State||QB|
|2012||Braxton Miller||Ohio State||QB|
|2015||Ezekiel Elliott||Ohio State||RB|
|2016||J. T. Barrett||Ohio State||QB|
|Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|2018||Dwayne Haskins||Ohio State||QB|
The 1932 Big Ten Conference football season was the 37th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1932 college football season.
Big Ten co-champion Michigan compiled a perfect 8–0 record, outscored opponents 123 to 12, shut out six of eight opponents, and allowed an average of only 1.6 points per game. Michigan quarterback Harry Newman was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the conference. Michigan was awarded the Knute K. Rockne Trophy, narrowly prevailing over USC as the national champion under the Dickinson System.
Co-champion Purdue compiled a 7–0–1 record, had the conference's leading scoring offense with an average of 20.5 points per game, and was ranked No. 4 under the Dickinson System. Fullback Roy Horstmann was Purdue's most valuable player and was selected as a first-team All-American by several selectors. End Paul Moss was a consensus first-team All-American.1933 Big Ten Conference football season
The 1933 Big Ten Conference football season was the 38th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1933 college football season.
Michigan compiled a 7–0–1 record, extended its unbeaten streak to 22 games, shut out five of eight opponents, gave up an average of 2.3 points per game, outscored opponents 131 to 18, and was the Big Ten champion. In December 1933, Michigan was awarded the Knute K. Rockne Trophy as the No. 1 team in the country under the Dickinson System. Two other Big Ten teams also finished among the top five teams in the post-season Dickinson ratings: Minnesota at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 5. Center Chuck Bernard and tackle Francis Wistert were consensus first-team picks for the 1933 College Football All-America Team.
Ohio State finished in third place with a 7–1 and its sole loss being against Michigan.
Iowa quarterback/halfback Joe Laws received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the conference.1935 Big Ten Conference football season
The 1935 Big Ten Conference football season was the 40th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1935 college football season.
The 1935 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, under head coach Bernie Bierman, compiled an undefeated 8–0 record, outscored opponents, 194 to 36, and has been recognized as the 1935 national champion by seven of the 13 selectors recognized as official by the NCAA. Tackle Ed Widseth was a consensus, first-team All-American.
The 1935 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Francis Schmidt, compiled a 7–1 record, tied with Minnesota for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (29.6 points per game), and outscored opponents, 237 to 57. Ohio State's sole loss was to Notre Dame by an 18-13 score. Center Gomer Jones was a consensus, first-team All-American.
Chicago Maroons halfback Jay Berwanger was the first recipient of the Heisman Trophy, received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player, and was the first player selected in the 1936 NFL Draft.1937 Indiana Hoosiers football team
The 1937 Indiana Hoosiers football team represented the Indiana Hoosiers in the 1937 Big Ten Conference football season. The Hoosiers played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. The team was coached by Bo McMillin, in his fourth year as head coach of the Hoosiers. Corbett Davis was selected as the team's most valuable player and also won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.1946 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 1946 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois in the 1946 Big Ten Conference football season. Led by fifth-year head coach Ray Eliot and playing their home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, the Illini won the Big Ten Conference title and completed an 8–2 season with a 45–14 win over UCLA in the Rose Bowl. The team's captain was center Mac Wenskunas. Guard Alex Agase was voted the team's most valuable player and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player.1959 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 1959 Illinois Fighting Illini football team was an American football team that represented the University of Illinois during the 1959 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 18th year under head coach Ray Eliot, the Illini compiled a 5–3–1 record and finished in a tie for third place in the Big Ten Conference. After the season, guard Bill Burrell was selected as the team's most valuable player and also received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the Big Ten's most valuable player.1963 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 1963 Illinois Fighting Illini football team was an American football team that represented the University of Illinois during the 1963 Big Ten Conference football season. In their fourth year under head coach Pete Elliott, the Illini compiled an 8–1–1 record, finished in first place in the Big Ten Conference, were ranked #3 in the final AP Poll, and defeated Washington in the 1964 Rose Bowl. The sole loss was a 14-8 defeat against Michigan.Illinois center/linebacker Dick Butkus was selected as the team's most valuable player, won the 1963 Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the Big Ten's most valuable player, and was honored as a unanimous first-team player on the 1963 College Football All-America Team. Tackle Archie Sutton was selected by the Newspaper Enterprise Association as a second-team All-American.Quarterback Mike Taliaferro led the team with 450 passing yards while Jim Grabowski led the team with 616 rushing yards. Gregg Schumacher led the team with 133 receiving yards.1983 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 1983 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign during the 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season.
The team's offensive leaders were quarterback Jack Trudeau with 2,446 passing yards, running back Thomas Rooks with 842 rushing yards, and wide receiver David Williams with 870 receiving yards. Defensive end Don Thorp was selected as the team's most valuable player and also received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference. The 1983 Illini remain the only team in Big Ten history to go 9-0 in regular season conference play.Bill Burrell
William Burrell (1938? – March 22, 1998) was an American football player at the University of Illinois.
A linebacker and guard, in 1959 Burrell won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the MVP of the Big Ten Conference. Burrell also finished fourth as a Heisman Trophy candidate that year, and was a consensus All-American.Burrell was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1960 American Football League Draft, and by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round of the 1960 NFL Draft.He played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and was that team's nominee for the Schenley Award as Outstanding Lineman in 1960.
Burrell is an alumnus of Central High School in Clifton, Illinois.
The football field at Central High was named Bill Burrell Field on September 15, 2017.
Bill Burrell is included in The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.
Bill Burrell died on March 22, 1998.Chuck Bennett
Charles Henry "Chuck" Bennett (August 9, 1907 – June 9, 1973) was an American football player and coach. He played halfback for the Indiana University football team from 1926 to 1928 and won the 1928 Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference. He also played professional football for the Portsmouth Spartans from 1929 to 1931 and for the Chicago Cardinals in 1933. After retiring as a football player, Bennett was a high school coach and athletic director from 1934 to 1966.Don Thorp
Donald Kevin Thorp (born July 10, 1962 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois) is a former professional American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He played college football at the University of Illinois, where he won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference in 1983. He attended Buffalo Grove High School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.Dwayne Haskins
Dwayne Haskins Jr. (born May 3, 1997) is an American football quarterback for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State University, and was drafted by the Redskins in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
In his lone starting season as a sophomore at Ohio State in 2018, he threw 50 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions, making him one of the few quarterbacks to ever pass for 50 or more in a single NCAA season. For that, he won numerous Big Ten player awards and finished as a Maxwell Award and Heisman Trophy finalist, while also being voted MVP of the 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game and 2019 Rose Bowl.Howard Weiss
Howard William "Howie" Weiss (October 12, 1917 – November 12, 1997) was an American football fullback. He was drafted in the third round of the 1939 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and played two seasons with the team. Later he played with the Milwaukee Chiefs of the American Football League.
A three-sport letter winner in high school, he led the football team to its first conference championship while outscoring its opponents 208-12 during the year. He won the state junior golf championship in 1934. In 1935 Weiss enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and joined the Wisconsin Badger football team as a running back. He was named Wisconsin's Most Valuable Player in 1937 and again in 1938 when he also was awarded the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, given to the Big Ten Conference's Most Valuable Player. He was the first Badger to win the award. In the 1938 Heisman Trophy balloting Weiss came in sixth. He was elected class president for the 1938-39 school year. Weiss graduated in June 1939 with a degree in economics.
He was a third-round draft choice for the Detroit Lions in 1939 and played two seasons of professional football as a fullback and linebacker.
After a stint in the Navy during World War II, Weiss settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to begin a career in insurance. At the age of 39 he was named president of the Roberts Company, one of Wisconsin’s oldest and largest insurance companies. Weiss and his wife Geraldine involved themselves with Milwaukee’s civic affairs, donating their time and money to the Milwaukee Boys Club, the United Way, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
He was one of 35 charter members named to the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.Ken Rouse
Kenneth Rouse (August 22, 1906 – August 6, 1958) was an American football player. He played center for Amos Alonzo Stagg's University of Chicago football team from 1925 to 1927. He was captain of the 1927 team and won the 1927 Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.Lee Gissendaner
Lee Gissendaner (born October 25, 1971) is currently a national college scout for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He served as a scout with the Green Bay Packers for 17 years (1998-2014) prior to joining the Jets.Gissendaner is a former American and Canadian football wide receiver in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and World League of American Football (WLAF). He was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the sixth round of the 1994 NFL Draft, but did not appear in an NFL game and played for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and the Scottish Claymores of the WLAF. He played college football at Northwestern. Gissendaer was awarded the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten Conference's most valuable player in 1992.Mike Rabold
Michael Rabold (born March 12, 1937) was an American football offensive guard who played eight years in the National Football League. He played college football at Indiana University and finished second in the 1958 voting for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award.Tim Clifford
Timothy R. Clifford, Sr. (born November 28, 1958) is a former American football player. He played college football as a quarterback for the Indiana Hoosiers football team from 1977 to 1980. He won the 1979 Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy in 1979 as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.Tim Lowry
Timothy G. Lowry (August 4, 1905 – February 27, 1983) was an American football player and lawyer. He played center for the Northwestern University football team from 1923 to 1925. At the conclusion of the 1925 football season, he became the second person to receive the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference. Red Grange was the first recipient of the trophy in 1924. After graduating from Northwestern, Lowry became a lawyer. He was also the secretary and treasurer of the Illinois Center Corporation at the time the Illinois Center. He was also an alderman in Evanston, Illinois. Lowry died in 1983 at age 77. He was survived by his wife, Virginia Lowry, a son and two daughters.Vern Huffman
Richard Vernon Huffman (December 18, 1914 – March 18, 1995) was an American football and basketball player. He was born in Mooreland, Indiana and was raised in and around New Castle, Indiana.
He played basketball for the New Castle High School team that won the Indiana state basketball championship in 1932. He enrolled at Indiana University in 1932 and played both football and basketball there. He was an All-American in both basketball and football at Indiana and won the 1936 Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the best football player in the Big Ten Conference.He played two seasons of professional football in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions in 1937 and 1938. Huffman later managed a dairy and worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was inducted into the Indiana Hoosiers Hall of Fame in 1982. Huffman died in 1995 at age 80 in Bloomington, Indiana.Huffman's brother Marv was also an All-American basketball player at Indiana and later played professionally with the Akron Goodyear Wingfoots of the National Basketball League.
Chicago Tribune Silver Football
Big Ten Conference football
|Championships & awards|
College football awards
|Overall media awards|
|Other national player awards|
|Head coaching awards|
|Assistant coaching awards|
|Division I FCS awards|
and versatility awards
|Halls of fame|