Ohio State the Big Ten favorite in preseason poll, IU tabbed 5th #iufb

UPDATE (3:40 Friday): Added preseason players of the year

For the second consecutive year, Ohio State is the Big Ten’s preseason favorite.

That’s according to the annual cleveland.com poll, which counted votes this week from 39 writers who cover the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were a unanimous preseason choice for the conference crown in 2015, but it was Michigan State that ultimately claimed the Big Ten title.

Although not a unanimous pick, Ohio State is still the heavy favorite to win the conference. This year, 27 voters picked the Buckeyes, while 11 others chose Michigan. One voter picked Iowa.

It is worth noting, however, that the cleveland.com poll has not correctly picked the league’s winner in any of the previous five seasons. The Big Ten no longer conducts an official preseason poll, so cleveland.com has conducted its own — including beat writers covering all 14 schools — since 2011.

Ohio State was also the favorite to win the East Division, while voters overwhelmingly sided with Iowa in the West. Seven points went to a first-place vote, while one point went to a seventh-pace vote, according to cleveland.com. Voters could also pick ties.

Individually, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett received preseason offensive player of the year honors and Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers received defensive honors. Offensively, 12 players in all received votes, including IU’s Dan Feeney. The senior right guard received one first place vote and one third place designation. Voters were asked to nominate three players, in order, with three points given to a first-place selection, two for second place and one for third.

Follow along after the jump for the full division and individual breakdowns, including my picks. For full preseason polling results, visit cleveland.com’s story.

1. Ohio State 260.5 (31)
2. Michigan 241 (14)
3. Michigan State 195.5 (1)
4. Penn State 155.5
5. Indiana 110
6. Maryland 81.5
7. Rutgers 52

1. Iowa 265 (33)
2. Nebraska 206 (3)
3. Wisconsin 194.5 (2)
4. Northwestern 171.5 (1)
5. Minnesota 132 (1)
6. Illinois 76.5
7. Purdue 46.5


1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Michigan State
4. Indiana
5. Penn State
6. Maryland
7. Rutgers

1. Iowa
2. Northwestern
3. Nebraska
4. Wisconsin
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois
7. Purdue

1. J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State 110 (34)
2. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State 48 (3)
3. C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa 33
4. Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern 11
5. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin 9
6. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan 5 (1)
6. Tommy Armstrong, QB, Nebraska 5
8. Dan Feeney, G, Indiana 4 (1)
9. L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State 3
10. Jehu Chesson, WR, Michigan 3
11. Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State 2
12. Curtis Samuel, H-back, Ohio State 1

1. Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan 65 (13)
2. Desmond King, CB, Iowa 60 (16)
3. Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State 35 (4)
4. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State 33 (2)
5. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan 21 (2)
6. Anthony Walker Jr., LB, Northwestern 18 (2)
7. Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan 1
8. William Likely, CB, Maryland 1


1. J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
2. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
3. Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern

1. Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
2. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
3. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan


  1. IU FOOTBALL delimna: IU could finish 4th in big ten east and easily be a 15 to 20 best team in country as in 15 to 20 ranking. Several teams could argue for their 15 to 20 ranking also. IU could finish 5th in big ten east and easily be a top 25 ranking. Again there would be several teams that could argue for a top 25 ranking. Geez! Year in and year out what an imbalance between east and west comparing the top 4 teams in each division.

  2. t, The B1G is getting to be a very tough division and will only get tougher as the new coaches in the East get established. It is getting to be at the level the SEC West has been and I expect it soon will improve to match the SEC West. The team has more talent across the board in 2016 but does have to replace some key players. On offense the key will be Lagow’s play and how soon Patrick can get on the field. Defense is the wild card as I can see them being measurably better but we will have to see how well they do in the first few games.

  3. My point is out of 7 teams in east division 1 or 2 could be top 10, another top 15 to 20 and a fourth in and out of top 25. That is from the 7 teams in east division of big ten out of whole country of teams.

  4. t, I agree with your assessment but I really do think that in the next 5 years the B1G East will rival the SEC West. It is why IU needs to have a breakout season this year so better rated recruits start coming to IU. With proper coaching they can compete with 3 and 4 star players but it is easier with a few 5 star exceptional talent. If IU can’t turn the corner this year it will be tough to compete in the B1G East in the coming years. I like the infusion of talent on this team along with the with the DC who will fire up the defense and have them prepared for the game. As a coach I spent hours breaking down teams to be sure our team knew what the opponent was going to do. There are so many examples I could give but one play-off game going against a team with one of the top receivers in the state and a good passing game. I determine on one route the QB always went to the WR on the slant instead of the out route. I changed the responsibility of our SS and C to take away the slant. My SS asked what if the QB goes to the out route which was a good question. I explained we were playing based on what the team did, not on what they might do. I had found this happened 100% of the time but explained we would change up during the game if they broke this tendency. College football is different but not that different and the best thing about the 4-2-5 is how it focuses on reading routes on pass plays. This season will be so different if the defense can move up to be ranked in the 50’s or 60’s but any major improvement will be good IE ranked 80th.

  5. One thing I don’t get is how they rate Nebraska moving up so much while they have IU holding level. Nebraska’s defense was nearly as bad as IU’s defense. We have about the same returning players except for the QB spot. I know it is part of the history and that the West division isn’t as strong as the East. It is good for IU to be rated less for this season surprising teams with our better defense coming in 2016. Our OL is stronger and Lagrow will show he has the talent to keep IU’s offense at the level it was or better than last year. I guess the final piece is the difference in the bowl games with Nebraska beating UCLA with IU losing to Duke in over time.

    I hope Lagrow has worked very hard this summer learning the offense and throwing passes to the receivers. He has a great opportunity and I hope he takes full advantage of it.

  6. I should have said Nebraska’s defense wasn’t as bad – I tend to leave of the n’t often for some reason when typing.

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