The Nebraska Cornhuskers are winning the Big Ten West this season. Don’t believe me? Just turn to the experts in the Big Ten media universe for proof.
Big Ten football preseason poll from @clevelanddotcom: Michigan predicted to win the Big Ten in a vote of 34 writers from around the conference. Ohio State's run as the preseason favorite ends. Nebraska picked win the West. https://t.co/B42Az2LskW— Doug Lesmerises (@DougLesmerises) July 17, 2019
Here’s the Big Ten West order, according to the media members voting in the poll:
BIG TEN WEST
- Nebraska: 198 points (14 first-place votes)
- Iowa: 194.5 points (14)
- Wisconsin: 172.5 points (4)
- Northwestern: 142.5 points (1)
- Purdue: 110.5 points
- Minnesota: 100 points (1)
- Illinois: 34 points
Cleveland.com goes a little deeper:
Nebraska and Iowa tied for the most first-place votes in the West, but the Cornhuskers prevailed with better down ballot support. Eleven voters picked Nebraska second, while only six picked Iowa second.
How varied was the West? Nebraska received votes for everything from first to fifth. Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Minnesota received votes for everything from first to sixth.
The exception? Illinois was a unanimous choice for last. Illinois also received every last-place vote a year ago -- and then finished last at 2-7 in conference place.
TDG Thoughts On The West
- Look, I get that the B1G West is hard to pick. It’s honestly very wide open. Anyone besides Illinois has a chance to win it. But FOURTEEN voters picking Nebraska and the Huskers ending up on top because they generally got higher ratings across the board?
- Iowa? Sure. I hate them, but that makes sense to me. Northwestern? They play pretty mediocre football but they make sure everyone else plays a tiny bit worse and until I see otherwise that’s still a potential winner of a strategy in the Big Ten. Wisconsin? Well, I mean, if you’re a media member looking to fall into a preseason hype trap why wouldn’t you just stick with the skunk you know? Purdue isn’t winning the Big Ten so lets just move along.
- I’m fine with Minnesota being 6th because I like low hype for the Gophers.
- Poor Purdue. What good is a win over Ohio State if it doesn’t make you the preseason hype darling?
The other side of the B1G
Ding, dong, Ohio State’s time at the top of the media poll is dead.
BIG TEN EAST
- Michigan: 222 points (20 first-place votes)
- Ohio State: 214 points (14)
- Michigan State: 156 points
- Penn State: 154 points
- Indiana: 86.5 points
- Maryland: 82.5 points
- Rutgers: 37 points
More detail from Doug Lesmerises:
In the East, 33 of 34 voters ranked Michigan first or second, while 32 of 34 had Ohio State first or second.
Michigan State edged Penn State for third place, as the East had a clear top-two, a clear middle-two, a clear bottom-two, and then Rutgers. This is how the East has been viewed in many years in this poll.
Rutgers, which was 0-9 in conference play last year, was almost a unanimous pick for last. One voter picked Rutgers sixth, and one picked Rutgers fifth. (This voting is confidential, but I’ll admit to that. Yes, I picked Rutgers to go 3-6 in conference play and finish fifth. I often tease the Scarlet Knights, but this season I believe in near-mediocrity in New Jersey.)
TDG Thoughts On The East
- I can’t decide if I want Michigan to win or Harbaugh to keep falling on his face against Ohio State.
- Don’t worry Rutgers, you’ll belong one day.
- I just can’t make myself care about the East. I’m done here.