Ohio State picked to win Big Ten in preseason media poll

The Big Ten, with its love of collegiality, does not collect a preseason media poll. Instead, all we'll get when the conference media days kick off Monday in Chicago is a list of "players to watch" from each division.

Thankfully, Cleveland.com's Doug Lesmerises picks up the slack and conducts his own annual preseason media poll. And the votes are in.

In the survey of 39 voters who cover the league, Ohio State has been picked to win the Big Ten title in 2016. Even though the Buckeyes return just six starters, the fewest in the FBS, belief in Urban Meyer's program apparently remains strong.

Ohio State received 27 of the 39 votes as Big Ten champion. Michigan was picked by 11 voters. The only other team to receive a vote was the defending West Division champion, Iowa. The Hawkeyes received one.

(Full disclosure time: I voted in this poll. I picked Michigan to win the title.)

Ohio State and Michigan were the overwhelming choices to win the East Division. Michigan State received only one first-place division vote, and that was in a tie with the other two. You're welcome for the free chip on the shoulder, Spartans.

Iowa was picked to win the West by 32 of the 39 voters on the panel. Others receiving first-place votes in the West were Nebraska (3), Wisconsin (2), Northwestern (1) and Minnesota (1, in a tie).

The good news, for everyone who isn't a fan of Ohio State -- or bad news for Buckeyes fans, depending on your perspective: This poll has been around since 2011, and never once has it correctly picked the actual Big Ten champion. We writer-types are dummies, as you knew all along.

Anyway, here's the full projected order of finish, thanks to the yeoman's work by Lesmerises:


1. Ohio State

2. Michigan

3. Michigan State

4. Penn State

5. Indiana

6. Maryland

7. Rutgers


1. Iowa

2. Nebraska

3. Wisconsin

4. Northwestern

5. Minnesota

6. Illinois

7. Purdue