‘Tis the season for preseason polls and predictions.
Cleveland.com released its annual Big Ten preseason poll ahead of the league’s media days, which are set to take place Thursday and Friday (July 22-23).
Unsurprisingly — and for the seventh time in the last nine years — Ohio State was picked to win the conference by 33 of 34 participating media members, which include “at least one beat writer from all 14 Big Ten teams and a few who cover the entire league or have a national perspective.”
Wisconsin is the favorite to win the West, with 29 members picking the Badgers, while Iowa checked in second with five first-place votes. One voter pegged Wisconsin to knock off Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.
Michigan, which has the 12th-toughest schedule in the country according to expert Phil Steele, checked in at No. 4 in the Big Ten East, behind the aforementioned Buckeyes, No. 2 Penn State and No. 3 Indiana.
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Each media member was asked to vote one through seven in both divisions, with first-place votes worth seven points, second-place votes worth six, third-place votes worth five, etc.
Michigan was picked fourth by a substantial margin, with the Wolverines receiving 144 points to Indiana’s 169. On the flip side, the Maize and Blue were comfortably pegged at No. 4, with fifth-place Maryland garnering just 79 points.
Keep in mind that the poll, which took over for the Big Ten’s own official poll, has only picked the Big Ten champion correctly three times in the 10 years of its existence. The Wolverines were expected to take home the league crown in 2019 and 2012, but failed to do so both seasons.
Here is a look at the results of the poll:
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
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