The Big Ten conference stopped doing a preseason poll before the 2010 season, but the fine folks at cleveland.com made sure the tradition continued. Entering the 2015 season it appears the Big Ten West is going to play out much like it did last season, if you believe the beat writers that is.
Wisconsin was picked as the favorite to take the Big Ten West, earning 32 of the 40 first place votes available. Nebraska finished second with five first place votes and a wide margin in the overall point total over third place
Minnesota Eastern Dakota (who finished with three first place votes).
Finishing out the West division were Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue.
So, who will the Badgers meet in Indianapolis (isnâ€™t it fun to think of it as Madison South)? Of course it will be a rematch with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
OSU was a unanimous pick of the writers to win not only the Big Ten East, but also take care of the Badgers in the Big Ten title game. All 32 voters who picked the title game gave the nod to the Buckeyes.
However, it is worth noting that in four of the five years of the cleveland.com sample of Big Ten beat writers the group has failed to predict the correct winner of the Big Ten. Only last season did the pollsters get it right, picking OSU to beat Wisconsin for the title.
In 2013 it was OSU picked to win, only to lose to Michigan State. The 2012 season was supposed to be Wisconsin and Michigan winning divisions with the Wolverines the popular pick to win the title. Pollsters picked Wisconsin and Nebraska to win division titles in 2011, with the Huskers edging UW 12-11 in Big Ten title game win predictions.
Can you say Oops? Itâ€™s also interesting that outside of the 2013 season, Wisconsin has been a favorite of the media to win its division every other year since the inception of divisional play in the Big Ten.
Here is how the 40 writers from across the Big Ten saw things playing out this year though:
1. Ohio State 280 (40)
2. Michigan State 240
3. Penn State 186.5
4. Michigan 163.5
5. Maryland 95.5
6. Rutgers 78
7. Indiana 76.5
1. Wisconsin 272 (32)
2. Nebraska 231.5 (5)
3. Minnesota 197 (3)
4. Iowa 158.5
5. Northwestern 125
6. Illinois 77
7. Purdue 59
Big Ten ChampionshipÂ
Ohio State over Wisconsin (32)