Big Ten beat writers pick Indiana last in Leaders, Michigan to beat Wisconsin for title

This poll came out Sunday but has obviously been overwhelmed by the Penn State news this week. Regardless, the Big Ten no longer puts out an official preseason conference pool for Media Days — which begin Thursday — but what follows in an unofficial poll of Big Ten beat writers. Two reporters from the beat of each school were selected for the pool. In Indiana’s case, that meant myself and Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star. Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, who covers both Indiana and Purdue, was also part of the contingent.

The beat writers picked Wisconsin to win the Leaders Division and Michigan to win the Legends Division. Michigan was picked as the favorite to win the conference title game. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was picked to be the Offensive MVP while Michigan State defensive tackle William Gholston was picked to be the Defensive Player of the Year. Indiana was picked to finish sixth in the Leaders Division after finishing 1-11 last season. The poll was conducted before the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State were revealed.

The full pool follows.

Team (First-place votes)        Points
1. Wisconsin (19)                        139
2. Ohio State (5)                         125
3. Purdue                                      79
4. Illinois                                       72
5. Penn State                                65
6. Indiana                                     24
Team (First-place votes)        Points
1. Michigan (16)                         134
2. Michigan State (7)                120
3. Nebraska (1)                           104
4. Iowa                                          72
5. Northwestern                          51
6. Minnesota                               24

Title-game winner: Michigan over Wisconsin (10 votes).
Others: Michigan State over Wisconsin (7), Wisconsin over Michigan (4),
Wisconsin over Nebraska (1).
Offensive MVP: Montee Ball, Wisconsin (14 votes).
Others: Denard Robinson, Michigan (9), Braxton Miller, Ohio State (1).
Defensive MVP: William Gholston, Michigan State (11 votes).
Others: Kawaan Short, Purdue (5), Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State (3), John
Simon, Ohio State (2), Denicos Allen, Michigan State (1), Chris Borland,
Wisconsin (1), Gerald Hodges, Penn State (1).


  1. Indiana football tradition continues!….However, somewhere in the country there is always a team that is the surprise of the season where a team looses alot more games than expected and another team wins alot more games than expected…which is Indiana’s best hope….Seems like Purdue is getting some respect….Can IU beat Penn State on the field?

  2. So what’s new? These guys always base their future predictions on the previous year’s performance.

    When you look at IU’s Big Ten schedule this year, I think it is most likely that IU will finish last in their division. But if they win four games, it will represent a huge step forward for the program, which is all anyone really cares about for the time being.

  3. 4 wins seems pretty optimistic. I hope you are right, but I would have to bet the “under.”

  4. Po, might be my glass half full philosophy but last year for 7 games we had no QB to play B10 FB, we will this year. Last year for half the season the team aggregate had a lousy attitude, this year they will all be singing the same song. ST’s were weak(exclude place kicking)this year they will overcome. The DL will be tougher because I have way more confidence in Fabris coaching DE’s than Diersen, he’ll get more out of them. JUCO’s if nothing else will make practices more competitive also helping polish the offense. I hope like everyone else the OL stays healthy. If they roll over the OOC(home and road)opponents maybe 5-6 W’s.

  5. Not trying to be a pessimist and I do think we will see improved performance on both sides of the ball, but I also concur with those who don’t think our progress will be reflected in the actual W-L record. I’d like to see 3 wins. Realistically, I don’t think we are B10 competitive quite yet in either talent or depth, so I think a conference win is a long shot, but you never know :). IMHO, 3 wins and no “blow outs” would be a real step forward.

  6. IU’s four wins in 2012:

    1. Indiana State.
    2. U Mass (this game scares me a bit, but IU should win)
    3. Ball State (it’s in B-town and IU is a better team than last year)
    4. Navy or one Big Ten win (either Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern or Iowa)

    We could get lucky and win five, but I doubt it. IU is still a very young team and a bit undersized. IU’s defense must be better than last year (how could it be worse). We have a talented QB with some experience, and the team now has a year of experience with the coaching staff. The talent is still too young and too small, but overall it is better than it was last year.

    If IU stay healthy (big if), four wins looks good and five is a possibility. But would anyone be disappointed if it was three wins and competitive play in all the other games? Not me.

    This reclamation project will take time. At least as much time as it took Crean to rebuild IU basketball, and IU football does not enjoy the same history, tradition, or fan support as IU basketball. True Hoosier fans are all very tired of “being patient,” but it is what it is and we have no other choice.

  7. Po, thanks for the realistic (read: I agree)prognostication. But IU will not beat Navy; their option offense will frustrate us into stupid mistakes. PU and Ill. are ripe for the pickin’, however.

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