Buckeyes the favorites, Hoosiers picked last in Big Ten media poll #iufb

One thing is agreeable entering the 2015 college football season — Ohio State is the team to beat.

In the Big Ten preseason media poll conducted by cleveland.com, the defending national champions are the unanimous choice to earn a second consecutive Big Ten title. Ohio State also boasts the preseason Defensive Player of the Year in defensive end Joey Bosa and the preseason Offensive Player of the Year in running back Ezekiel Elliott.

On the other end of the East Division standings, Indiana is picked to finish last. None of the 23 players to receive votes between the two individual awards were Hoosiers.

All 40 voters, including yours truly, also picked Michigan State to finish second in the East. In the West, Wisconsin received 32 first-place votes, followed by Nebraska (five) and Minnesota (three). The poll was compiled by Doug Lesmerises of cleveland.com and included a collection of Big Ten beat writers. The league itself stopped releasing a preseason poll in 2011.

Since the inception of the cleveland.com poll, none of the four previous favorites have gone on to win the league. Nebraska was picked to win the Big Ten in 2011, but Wisconsin ended up as the conference champion. A year later, Michigan was the favorite before Wisconsin beat Nebraska for the Big Ten title. Ohio State was the favorite in 2013, but lost to Michigan State in the championship game. The Spartans were also the preseason favorites last season following a revote after Braxton Miller’s season-ending injury. But Ohio State went on to beat Wisconsin in the conference title game before winning both College Football Playoff games and claiming the national title.

Indiana’s most optimistic showing in the poll came in 2013, when the Hoosiers were picked to finish fourth in the Leaders Division. IU went on to finish 5-7 despite eight home games that season. Last year, Indiana was picked sixth in the poll.

Bosa, a unanimous All-American in 2014, received 37 first-place votes. Bosa finished last season as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and also earned Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun was second in the poll and Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Zettel was third.

Elliott received 31 first-place votes to run away with the offensive crown. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook received three first-place votes and Ohio State quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett finished third and fourth in the voting.

Follow along after the jump to see how the voting in both divisions shakes out. I’ll also post my ballot for the league standings and individual awards. Visit cleveland.com for full results for the defensive and offensive award voting.

Cleveland.com Media Poll
EAST | WEST
1. Ohio State (40) | Wisconsin (32)
2. Michigan State | Nebraska (5)
3. Penn State | Minnesota (3)
4. Michigan | Iowa
5. Maryland | Northwestern
6. Rutgers | Illinois
7. Indiana | Purdue

Mike’s ballot
EAST | WEST

1. Ohio State | Wisconsin
2. Michigan State | Nebraska
3. Penn State | Minnesota
4. Michigan | Iowa
5. Indiana | Northwestern
6. Maryland | Illinois
7. Rutgers | Purdue

Mike’s Offensive Players of the Year: 1. Ezekiel Elliott, 2. Connor Cook, 3. Corey Clement
Mike’s Defensive Players of the Year: 1. Joey Bosa, 2. Shilique Calhoun, 3. Anthony Zettel

32 comments

  1. i think everyone will agree that Ohio State and Michigan State are the best in the Big Ten this year hands down…really is Indiana still dead last?? At the present time in the Big 10 East i cannot believe that Penn State, Michigan, Maryland and Rutgers has more talented players than Indiana, maybe i overestimated how far this Indiana program has come. This article made me take a good look at last years overall record and the scores, and yes we got blown out in some games but where very close (seem close) in other games. The ultimate question is will Indiana football ever become competitive in the Big 10 (in my lifetime). How can you this poll have Wisconsin and Nebraska atop of the Big 10 West when both teams have new coaches?? Is Iowa and Minnesota (predict third in their division) that bad?? Or is the West division that weak?? Jerry Kill @ Minnesota and Kevin Wilson @ Indiana hired in at the same time, has Minnesota recruited better talent/players than Indiana over that time period?? I am a big believer in Kevin Wilson and i believe he has revitalize this football program, but to still be predicted last in the Big 10 East is heart breaking….i surely do hope this team and for the good of this program we finish fourth, fifth or higher in our division…..GO IU

  2. On Wilson vs Kill.

    While Minny had a pretty poor performance the year Kill was hired, they were in much better shape than IU at the time. They were a decent team that sort of had the wheels fall off that season. Prior to that season, they had also been to bowl games in 7 of the 8 previous years.

    Also, while Minny had better records in 2012 and 2013, the computer rankings like Sagarin put IU and Minny on the same level those years. Minny has just capitalized on having an easier schedule. I think that this would have been the case last year as well if Sudfeld had stayed healthy.

    I think the biggest separation between Kill and Wilson is consistency. Kill came in with an intact staff that has been together forever and has been very solid. Wilson has had 3 different OCs and a ton of staff turnover on defense (not to mention the bad hire in Mallory itself). I think this is the primary reason Kill and Minny have been able to avoid the bad losses that Wilson has had.

  3. I concur but with some caveats. PSU and Meatchicken both have more talented personnel than IU, that is why Hoke was fired at Ann Arbor and Franklin left Vanderbilt and as far as Terps and Rutgers I don’t buy it. I believe it will be hard for Rutgers to keep up with IU this year(and Maryland if they played). The IU run game will be so good that the pass game will be big plays and headlines for Nate. IU should be top 3 in run offense in the conference this year. Knorr’s defensive prowess will be noted this year by the D’s attacking style performance but essentially the improved play of the DL. Kill is a damn good coach but has had some easy OOC schedules and the benefit each year playing in the weaker West(although the win against IU was no fluke it did put him in a better light than Wilson.. I suspect it possible if IU has even fair luck this season 2 of the 5(Iowa, OSU, MSU, PSU or Meatchicken will fall to IU. If that comes to be IU could be playing in the biggest bowl game since Pasadena. POTMFB-GO IU.

  4. Both, media and Mike’s poll suck for IU. IU football fans have the same traditional late summer and fall dreams for 2015.

  5. Kill was a proven winner as head coach before being hired by MN. He had years of experience, at more than one school, to prove he was a successful head coach. Wilson, as smart as he is, has had to endure OJT in his first four years as IU’s head coach, as the performance and stability of their respective teams and coaching staffs clearly demonstrates. Kill brought almost the entire coaching staff from his previous job with him to MN. That proved to be a huge advantage, in that their loyalty to him kept an effective staff in tact. Wilson had to learn how to be a head coach while managing a staff of coaches he really did not know that well. Kill’s staff viewed their new jobs at MN as a major career upgrade. Wilson’s staff, in many cases, viewed it as a stepping stone. I agree that MN’s program was in much better shape when both men accepted their respective jobs. It would have been difficult to find more than a few football programs that were in worse shape than IU’s was four years ago. And that’s why Wilson deserves the benefit of the doubt and more time than is typically afforded new head coaches. But after this year, regardless of the circumstances present when each man took over their respective programs, excuses and rationale for Wilson will be much harder to make if he does not win six games. Sooner or later, a head coach must produce a winning season. And at IU, given how low our expectations are for football, most fans will gleefully accept a .500 season to justify giving him more time. Regardless of the duration of Wilson’s future at IU, whether it be two years of ten, the next time IU hires a head football coach, it should emulate MN’s hiring of Jerry Kill, and hire a man who has a proven record as a head coach. IU got it right with Hep, and that should be the model used, hopefully many years from now, when IU needs to hire Wilson’s successor.

  6. I don’t think we will be last in the B1G, but I also doubt we’ll get to 6 wins this year. CKW is definitely on the right track, has made definite strides and should be retained. However, unfortunate reality is that we are not at the talent or depth level of our conference competition, particularly on defense. So, afraid its still going to be tough sledding for awhile.

  7. Six wins is a reasonable expectation this season, but a lot of things are going to have to fall into place in order for IU to achieve that. With the money UM and OSU are investing in their football coaching staffs and recruiting, the Big Ten is at risk of becoming a completely top-heavy conference in the next three years, where only two or three teams (MSU, OSU and UM) have a legitimate chance of winning the conference, and the other teams are perennial “also rans.” And IU is at risk of being considered permanently irrelevant. How many years has IU been selected at or near the bottom of such media polls? We need six wins this year and then hope Wilson can use that “success” to take recruiting to a higher level. If that does not happen, IU’s administration is going to have to make some bold moves just to have hope of the program climbing out of the seller in the foreseeable future.

  8. Though, in football its extremely rare that coaches sustain dominant level success for more than a decade. In all of Big Ten football, really only Schembechler has done it over a decade (Paterno if you count his pre-BT years). Hayes had some really good years in the first half of tenure at OSU, but was largely up and down leading up to his period of dominance which lasted about 10 years.

    I’d wager that in 3 years, Dantonio’s success will be starting to slow (especially if Harbaugh catches on and it could start as early as this year depending on how life after Narduzzi works out) and then Meyer will slow a few years after that.

  9. Then, even though recruiting has improved and starved fans get pretty excited it needs to be very tempered from how I am reading previous statements. Also noted programs have several to many successful eras or periods of time. Not sure about previous analysis however, it is getting to be that time of year for IU fans to dream and see what week in the season they wake up.

  10. As likeable and hardworking as KW may be it does not excuse lack of discernible progress on the field. Another year of blow outs and missed opportunities should seal his fate…I hope.

  11. Chaz, do you want IU to fire Wilson after the 2015 season? If so, why? Unless his team just disintegrates this year (i.e., 2-10) he will probably get a sixth season at IU. Even if they only win four or five games in 2015, he’ll most likely get another year. If for no other reason than to save a bunch of money in severance compensation. And if IU wins six games this year, Glass will probably sign him to an extension with a big raise right after the regular season ends to empower him in the recruiting process.

    And if you do want Wilson gone, do you have any candidates in mind to replace him?

  12. personally a 5-7 football record this season, would be acceptable as long as IU beats (at least) two big 10 school…to me a measure of growth in the IU football program is when they become competitive (beat some teams from the Big 10 conference on a consistency basis…besides Purdue) in the Big 10….An that is what Kevin Wison is starting to do in 2012 IU football team beat Illinois and Iowa, In 2013 the IU football team beat Illinois, Purdue and Penn State (they also had Minnesota on the ropes), In 2014 we only beat Purdue but had a couple of Big 10 teams on the worried….In 2015 i expect a 2-2 non-conference record and a 3-5 (maybe 4-6) Big 10 record…Everybody knows that Indiana does not play well on the road and until we have the confidence to beat a Big 10 school or a non-conference team on the road, we are in for a rough seasons..i am hoping that Kevin Wilson can change the culture of the IU football program and instill confidence in the team/players that IU football can compete with any school….An this is the year to do it!!

  13. For all the people hoping for a new coach you should listen to the Oklahoma fans that really want Wilson back. I think he is a very good coach that has changed the football program. However, the team needs to show some results on the field other than one or two upsets. When the team was down after Nate went down I liked what I saw the rest of the season based on what players we had. How did Coleman get 2,000 yards with everyone one in the stadium knowing he was getting the ball. The torched the OSU like no one else did last year due to his talent and the OL. I think coach showed what kind of coach he was with the way Zander improved as the season went on and how the team kept fighting despite being behind the 8 ball.

    Every losing program has to have a year that shows they are turning things around and this is the year for IU. I dream of IU becoming a team that will be in the upper class of the B1G and become a team that is recognized as one to worry about when you play them.

  14. Although wins versus losses are the ultimate measuring stick, in this case it’s the way that the Hoosiers loose that is so disturbing. In the vast majority of these games IU either gets manhandled or flat-out blows chances to win. That’s not excusable. Obviously being in the same division with OSU, UM, and even PSU presents a great challenge, however IU should at least be capable of holding their own every week against this level of competition. The problem as I see it is that both fans and the administration are content with mediocrity. 2-6 and last place in the B10 East must seal Wilson’s fate….and he can take both Glass and Crean with him.

  15. I agree with IU79 except that I think we need to go 4-0 in non-conference. I think we need and should beat PU. I’d like to see us beat Iowa but that’s a stretch. I read an article the other day that said that we have been playing FB for 130 years, have an overall losing record by significant margin, have been to just 9 bowls with a 3-6 record. No matter how you look at it, that is a pretty daunting pedigree to turn around and I think CKW deserves a lot of credit for the progress, however modest, to date. Dreams of replacing CKW with a big time coach are just that—dreams. I think we are fortunate to have a head coach of CKW’s caliber.

  16. Ditto, iufan23, Po, V13, IU79. There is a solid possibility that the best thing for Wilson and IUFB going forward stating 2015 was Nate going down for half a season prior. It damn sure broadened and deepened the foundation Wilson and staff have instilled in the team. They did not fall apart last year and will only improve from the learning thrust on them with NS’s injury. Wilson even though he lost an opportunity to gain in the W/L(Mizzou was just a glimpse over the horizon)has to be pleased with the human resources he had who performed for him and has available to play this year. POTMFB GO-IU

  17. The way I see it, being picked last in this poll is a best case scenario for IU. Now Wilson and the team have some new bulletin board material to keep them working hard. In reality they should have been picked at least 5th, but that wouldn’t have provided much motivation since it would have been hard to argue with.

    This team should win at least 6 games. They should go at least 3-1 in non-con games, with only Western Kentucky possibly being better than IU. The Hilltoppers should be really good again this year, so if we win that one it should be a really good sign. In the conference schedule I would expect to beat Rutgers, Maryland, and Purdue. Obviously we could lose one of those, but chances are we will upset one of Penn State, Iowa, or Michigan so we should still make it to six. I don’t think Wilson should be fired if we only win 5, because I think he has done a great job of building a solid foundation by recruiting a better caliber of player to IU. However, if he wins less than 5 then I don’t see how he can be retained.

  18. A couple of comments in response to the posts above. 1) IU has not played well on the road (with the exception of the win at Missou) because they were young and relatively inexperienced. As they mature, they should be an improved road team. 2) I don’t recall anyone suggesting that IU should try to hire “a big-time coach” if the need arises to replace Wilson. That’s just not realistic given the budget realities associated with IU Football. But IU should utilize the Jerry Kill/Hep model, and hire a man that is a proven winner as a head coach, probably at a mid major program. 3) All throughout the pros and college, their are many examples of men who were extremely successful assistant coaches that never achieve success as a head coach. Just like their are many examples in the corporate world where excellent Vice Presidents fail at being CEOs. It’s because being one of several VPs is a lot different than being in the top job. Some very bright and talented people struggle to handled the broader perspective/vision required to be effective at the top of an organization. They often learn the hard way that good CEOs/head coaches make it look easy, and that ascending from one of several #2 spots to the #1 spot represents exponentially greater responsibility.

  19. Kevin Wilson is going to be successful at IU. The question is will he be there to see his career winning record surpass north of 50 percent since he started his beginning years at such a handicap.

  20. Regardless if he wins over 50% of his games, he provided the groundwork this team needed. He didn’t have much to play with. As I’ve stated many times the revolving door of coaches that is IU Football has only regressed the program. Let Wilson bring in stability that this team needs. I say 8 years is plenty of time. It would show IU is serious about its program and the coach it hires. Basketball is different but football needs special treatment at this point. Whenever the times comes that IU don’t want to retain Wilson, hopefully they will continue to show seriousness about the program and flash some serious cash.

  21. As for the comments regarding head coaches, I think CKW’s performance thus far clearly merits his retention. My only issue, from my admittedly ignorant vantage point, some of his play calling is suspect. But, I don’t know all of the data points around those calls and I further recognize that this is his first HC gig. As for the comparisons with Coach Kill and our ability to replace CKW with someone comparable to Coach Kill, forget it! MN is a school with a solid FB tradition despite having down years. They have plenty of money and a committed fan base. That presents an attractive opportunity for a turn around coach like Kill. Our proposition is considerably less attractive and if a coach of CKW’s caliber can’t win here, who do you think is going to sign up for this mission? Probably not someone you all would want. So, lets support the current regime because I think we got real lucky getting him!

  22. The problem with hiring “a proven winner at the mid-major level” is that there aren’t many out there since after 1 or 2 so good seasons, they take another job.

    In any given year, there are maybe 2 of those “proven winners” available, and they are typically pretty hot commodities, so there’s no guarantee

  23. he problem with hiring “a proven winner at the mid-major level” is that there aren’t many out there since after 1 or 2 so good seasons, they take another job.

    In any given year, there are maybe 2 of those “proven winners” available, and they are typically pretty hot commodities, so there’s no guarantee we’d be able to lure one to IU

  24. KW’S play calling would not sometimes look so suspect if he had talented enough players to execute the play. I know you are suppose to know your personnel abilities, but I give KW credit for challenging himself, player, players, team, and other parts of coaching staff to at least try.

  25. I really have no criticism on play calling. The 1st 3 years gambling and failing on offense was better odds than just turning it over to the D. By the way that shows the HC knows whats going on. I also have no problem with hiring solid assistants to be HC’s. After all where do HC’s come from. 1 comment I have is really how successful Hep would have been at IU with the staff he had in place when comparing it to the staff Wilson has? After all he hired Lynch and Lynch’s kid. Think about it, Kevin Johns coaching vs. Bill or Billy’s coaching. Without upgrading the staff Hep was most likely at the ceiling or damn close to it. Quite a bit of his success and notoriety in the MAC was do to Big Ben. Never know.

  26. There is usually a pleasant surprise in most any conference of a team that meets and more importantly exceeds expectations. Even though it has been a far to long aspiration for IU fans… Again, this could be the year due to not only law of averages but IU football is improved for 7 plus wins.

  27. I referenced the Kill/Hep model. It’s not an absolute, but I suggest it should be a preference. This is not a new idea. There are plenty of high quality up and coming head coaches in lower divisions or mid-major programs. The key is timing and IU providing itself the flexibility to go out and get the right man when he is available. That means having the cash on hand and the ability to make the right candidates an offer they can’t refuse. Cash to buy out the contract of the existing coach and the cash necessary to secure the services of the coach you want. This is hypothetical. I’m NOT suggesting IU do this with Wilson any time soon. I support giving Wilson more time to build on the foundation he has worked so hard to create. It is my hope that this topic becomes moot after the 2015 season. But in terms of hiring strategy/philosophy, it is a safer bet to hire a person who has demonstrated the ability to succeed as a head coach than it is to hire a person who has never done the job he’s being hired to do. But it requires IU administrators to create and maintain a succession planning process. And that requires paying attention to the coaching talent pool, doing continuous due diligence to identify and track coaches on the rise, and having a short list of qualified candidates at the ready. I’d be surprised if IU’s Athletic Administration is currently doing any of those things to any serious degree. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I don’t think so. And why isn’t IU’s administration prepared to replace Wilson if and when that becomes necessary? Because Football is not, in relative terms, very important to IU, and creating and managing that type of process takes money to employ staff, or pay consultants to maintain a continuous talent evaluation process. If you want a cautionary tale, look what has happened to Tennessee’s football program in the years since the school fired their long time, National Championship-winning head coach (with a win percentage of .745), Phillip Fulmer. Tennessee football has been, relative to Vol fans’ expectations, a disaster ever since he was fired! And all the administrators responsible for that brain fart decision have been run out of Knoxville, lucky to have escaped without being tarred and feathered.

  28. Vols fans somehow think they have always been a football power. They haven’t. Phil Fulmer made them one. Now they are back to where they used to be.

  29. I do believe like Wilson, Butch Jones will set things right in Knoxville. He and Terry Bowden were 2 of the 4 I wanted IU to take a long look at.

  30. Chet, I think you need to bone up on your Tennessee football history. UT established a rich history decades before Fulmer took the job and have won six National Championships (some claim 8). Under Robert Neyland (hence Neyland Stadium), UT was a powerhouse program before and after WWII, and was recognized (it was a polling process back then) as National Champions in 1938, 1940, 1950 and 1951, in addition to winning numerous Southern Conference Championships during his tenure. After Neyland retired as coach, his successor won the SEC Championship in 1956 and finished ranked #2 in all the major polls. But it wasn’t until 1967 that they won another SEC Championship and were recognized as National Champions again in 1969. Then UT, in relative terms, hit a dry spell with only mediocre seasons until the 1986 Orange Bowl when they beat Jimmy Johnson’s #1 ranked Miami team (which cost Miami the National Championship). UT won SEC titles again in 1989 and 1990. Peyton Manning’s four years as the starting QB under Fulmer were pretty good, going 40 – 9 and winning the SEC title in 1997. Ironically, the year after Manning left for the NFL, UT won their most recent National Championship in 1998. Under Fulmer, UT played in three more SEC Championship games in 01, 04 and 07, but losing all three. After a going 5-7 in the 2008 season, Fulmer was pressured to resign (i.e., fired with a big severance check). Since then, UT has had Kiffin (one season), Dooley (2.5 seasons) and Jones (going into his third season), and established a record of 35 – 40, with 5 consecutive losing season. It’s amazing that the morons who decided to fire Fulmer are still alive!

  31. Sorry, five consecutive losing seasons until 2014, when they finished 7 – 6.

    UT was an elite football program until they unceremoniously dumped one of their most successful coaches. God save us from moronic college administrators and incompetent Athletic Directors.

  32. OK, they were a power under Fulmer, as I said, and they were a power 50 years ago.

    Just like Army.

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