Last summer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises had the idea to have a real preseason poll as opposed to the kind of toothless preseason poll the Big Ten puts out, which has now been boiled down to a watch list.
This summer, Doug is covering the Olympics in London, so he asked for someone to lead the band and Bob Asmussen from the Champaign News-Gazette stepped in and whipped this up in a very quick few days.
-- Wisconsin and Michigan are the overwhelming faves in their respective divisions. Remember, Ohio State's season is purely ceremonial this season with the Buckeyes serving a one-year bowl ban.
-- Does Penn State belong in fifth in the Leaders? You could probably make an argument for that even before the Sandusky scandal hit. Still, Silas Redd is a running back to be reckoned with.
-- How real is Michigan State? The Spartans are legit. Four straight over Michigan and a Big Ten title game appearance punctuate that statement. But if they can punch through this year, where do the Spartans fit in the NU landscape of the Big Ten? Pretty high, to answer that rhetorical.
-- Hawkeyes were voted fourth in the Legends. On paper, that's hard to argue right now. We're a few weeks out from fall camp. Paper won't mean much very, very soon.
-- Just three offensive players received votes for POY, while seven defensive players received votes. Offense must be that much of a no-brainer.
Here are the results from the second annual Big Ten sportswriters preseason poll. (Big Ten media days start Thursday in Chicago. Here we go.)
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 (11 votes).
Others: Michigan State over Wisconsin (7), Wisconsin over Michigan (5), 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).
Bob Asmussen, Champaign News-Gazette
Steve Batterson, Quad City Times
David Briggs, Toledo Blade
Mike Carmin, Lafayette Joournal & Courier
Matt Charboneau, Detroit News
Brian Christopherson, Lincoln Journal Star
Pete DiPrimio, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
Dustin Dopirak, Bloomington Herald-Times
Chris Emma, Northwestern scout.com
Bob Flounders, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
Terry Hutchens, Indianapolis Star
Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald
Kyle Meinke, Annarbor.com
Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Marc Morehouse, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Tom Mulhern, Wisconsin State Journal
Jeff Potyrkus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal
Jeff Rice, Lions 24/7
Mark Snyder, Detroit Free PressJohn Supinie, GateHouse News Service