It’s a new year but the same expectations are still being lobbied about among Big Ten media members. Even if Ohio State has to replace more key starters than it has in a long time.
The Big Ten used to publish preseason picks to win each division and the conference but did away with it years ago. As a result, Cleveland.com began performing its own version of the projections eleven years ago by way of a poll among Big Ten media members. At least one member from each school is represented.
And, as a surprise to no one, the Buckeyes were picked to win the Big Ten East and the conference crown yet again in almost unanimous fashion. Literally, all but one voter picked Ohio State to win the crown. Someone got bumped on the head by a cheese grater and oversized brat and picked Wisconsin to knock off OSU in the Big Ten championship game.
The Buckeyes were the unanimous choice to win the Big Ten East.
The West division was just a wee bit more open, but not as much as you’d think. The voters picked Wisconsin as the West favorite with 29 first-place votes. Second-place Iowa received the other five first-place votes.
It’s the seventh time in nine seasons that Ohio State has been picked to win the conference crown. Things have gone pretty well for the poll as of late, with three out of four years being correctly picked. Before that, it was an exercise in futility, with the voters incorrectly picking the Big Ten champion the first six years.
Here’s how the votes played out this year.
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
1. Ohio State (34 first-place votes) 238
2. Penn State 192
3. Indiana 169
4. Michigan 144
5. Maryland 79
6. Rutgers 77.5
7. Michigan State 52.5
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Ohio State over Wisconsin (28)
Ohio State over Iowa (5)