As a member of the "working media" we get requests to help out other "media" in their articles and pursuits. Then sometimes we get to steal their ideas and content for our own gain. Thus, we bring you the Big Ten Power Poll!
I am a voting member in two power polls this season on other websites. If you want to compare my votes to other "writers" from around the Big Ten, I'm sure they would love a click as well. Check out the Rutgers Blog www.SalSoothsayer and another blog covering the whole conference, www.thebigtenot.com. With out any further delay, I bring you the Preseason Version, of the Big Ten Power Poll.
Big Ten East
1. Michigan State
If you compare this vote to the one on Sal's blog, you might find a few discrepancies. Obviously one was pre-Braxton Miller injury, and this and the Big Ten OT vote were after. In the recent poll, the Spartans are #1. They still have a great defense, Connor Cook has another season under his belt and might actually be one of the best quarterbacks left in the Big Ten. I'll be surprised if MSU isn't in Indy in December.
2. Ohio State
The Buckeyes still have a good team, they just won't be a great team. They will be very young, so whatever they can learn in 2014 should only help Urban Meyer's crew gear up for a long run on the top of the Big Ten
For some reason I still think they will be better than a lot of other people. Devin Gardner can be really really good when he throws to the guys in the right color jersey. Getting Jake Ryan back on defense will help a ton. If they can get their offensive line together, they may surprise.
4. Penn State
James Franklin, come on down. You get to deal with the sanctions still in place, so a 4th place finish doesn't help a ton, but it should point the Nittany Lions in the right direction. If Christian Hackenberg can play better then he did against the Gophers last year, then Penn State may even fight for third.
They have some talent on offense, especially in quarterback C.J Brown and receiver Stefon Diggs. If they can play defense in the Big Ten will be the question. They get no gifts with their schedule either.
Different year, same Indiana team. will win some games with their powerful offense, but will lose a lot of 49-42 games too. Tevin Coleman is a beast as a running back, and Nate Sudfield now knows he is the man. Can he take another step forward will be the question.
Welcome to the Big Ten Scarlet Knights. Its not going to be a fun year for you. Hold on to your horses.
Big Ten West
Why? The schedule stupid. It doesn't get much easier in the Big Ten than what they have this season. If they beat LSU, 9-0 going into the last three against IA, NE, and MN should happen. Will the Gophers need to save humanity like in 1993? Lets hope not.
This is pretty much a toss up with #3, but I really like Ameer Abdulah and think he will be the best back in the Big Ten this season. They have a lot of holes to fill on defense, and honestly, we all know they will probably go 8-4, but I like them a bit more then Iowa at the moment.
The schedule is almost as easy if not easier then Wisconsin. But I just don't think they are that good. Jake Rudock is decent, but not good enough to win the Big Ten. They have a good running game, but you know AIRBHG is getting ready ti strike after taking a year off.
We will learn a lot about the Gophers in the first few games of the season, but for right now this just feels right. They are better then all of the team below them, and can beat the teams above if they play up to their potential. Consistency will be key.
Don't believe the hype. People love Northwestern in August. They we see what happens. It didn't even need to get out of August this year before they started to fall apart. Pat Fitzgerald is a great coach, but they really should work on that training staff.
Because somebody has to be better than Purdue. In all seriousness, Wes Lunt will be fun to watch at quarterback. But a QB alone can't win you a lot of games.
Because someone has to be last. Until they show any sparks of life, this one is easy.
In case you are a pre-divisions purist, and want to see how teams stack up overall, here is my overall Top 14:
1. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
8. Penn State
So yeah. its the preseason. Lets see who looks awful this weekend to show I am not the "expert" others claim I am. I'm far to modest to call myself an expert (sarcasm font). Check back next week to see the poll after week #1, and see how my opinions have swayed.
Arguments? Likes? Dislikes? Think I am an idiot? Tell me in the comments. But just remember it is the preseason, and if you look foolish in the comments, I reserve the right to use it in next week's poll post.