The Big Ten Conference doesn’t put out a preseason poll anymore, and hasn’t for over a decade, but thankfully cleveland.com took up the mantle of Preseason Predictors 11 years ago. Their annual poll is one of the many signs that it is time to turn our attention towards football, if it ever left.
This year the Ohio State Buckeyes were selected as the near unanimous favorite to win the conference, which would be their fifth straight conference title. Our Wisconsin Badgers were picked to win the West on 28 of the 34 ballots and one brave soul picked the Badgers to beat the Buckeyes in Indianapolis.
While there isn’t an available list of who the voters are, according to cleveland.com “the panel included at least one beat writer from all 14 Big Ten teams and a few who cover the entire league or have a national perspective.” Here is how they voted:
BIG TEN WEST
1. Wisconsin (29 first-place votes) 233 points
2. Iowa (5) 202
3. Northwestern 160
4. Minnesota 146
5. Nebraska 91.5
6. Purdue 72.5
7. Illinois 47
BIG TEN EAST
According to cleveland.com, Iowa received votes to finish anywhere from first to fifth in the West. Rutgers was the most polarizing team in the East, picked to finish anywhere from third to last.
Illinois and Michigan State are the favorites to finish last in their respective divisions and their seems to be a clear-cut top-three in each division with Ohio State, Penn State and Indiana in the East and Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern in the West all ahead of the rest of the conference.
We will have much, much more preseason preview content in the coming weeks as we close in on Wisconsin’s season opener against Penn State at Camp Randall Stadium.