Friday, May 13, 2011
Poll: Who will win the Big Ten in 2011?
By Adam Rittenberg
The 2011 season could produce the most wide-open Big Ten title race in recent memory. Projecting the league champion is no easy task, but I have faith in you to do so.
Ohio State has won or shared each of the past six league titles, but the Buckeyes will face a set of unique challenges to keep their streak alive. Starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four others are suspended for the first five games. Coach Jim Tressel also is scheduled to sit out the first five, and some are questioning whether The Vest will be on the sideline at all this fall. All this comes after the departure of a sizable and decorated senior class. And still, you can make a good case for Ohio State once again winning the league.
Wisconsin and Michigan State shared the Big Ten title in 2010, and both teams enter the season with high hopes. The Badgers must replace four All-Americans and standout quarterback Scott Tolzien, while Michigan State needs to upgrade its line play. Both teams face multiple road tests, especially Michigan State, but both are in the title mix.
Nebraska enters the Big Ten with an immediate chance to compete for a crown. The Huskers boast the league’s most accomplished defense, and if a new offensive system produces enough, Bo Pelini's squad could be hoisting a trophy Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
The league's top four teams have a bit of separation on the rest, but another squad like Iowa could make a surprise run to a title.
Now it's your turn to weigh in on the 2011 Big Ten champ.