The inaugural Big Ten preseason newspaper poll (with players of the year and best coach)

By now, you know the Big Ten has changed its preseason voting. That info was touched on in this ESPN Big Ten post.

So, in lieu of any semblance of a Big Ten preseason poll, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer stepped into the void and filled it with . . . the inaugural Big Ten preseason newspaper poll.

Doug will be releasing the poll in three parts today. Here's the first of Doug's posts.

I will update when Doug does. Well, between the podcast and the webcast that I need to do here in the next two hours.

First off, I am the one who voted for Michigan in the Legends Division. Let's just get that out of the way. I figure the Wolverines will get the Rich Rod bump a year after Rich Rod is gone. Yes, the D is a trainwreck, but two words . . . Greg Mattison.

The unanimity for the Badgers is tied to the possible demise of Ohio State in the Leaders Division. I just couldn't go chalk with Nebraska because of that torturous schedule.

Players and coaches will be on the way.


24 voters, two beat writers for each school

Title game winner: Nebraska 12, Wisconsin 11, Michigan State 1

Nebraska preseason Big Ten favorite, barely

Division predictions (first-place votes in parentheses)

* Voting on 6-5-4-3-2-1 point system


1. Nebraska (19) 139

2. Michigan State (4) 118

3. Iowa 82

4. Michigan (1) 71

5. Northwestern 69

6. Minnesota 25


1. Wisconsin (22) 141

2. Ohio State (1) 113

3. Penn State (1) 95

4. Illinois 76

5. Purdue 52

6. Indiana 27

Title game matchups:

Nebraska over Wisconsin (10)

Wisconsin over Nebraska (7)

Wisconsin over Michigan State (3)

Nebraska over Ohio State (1)

Nebraska over Penn State (1)

Wisconsin over Michigan (1)

Michigan State over Wisconsin (1)

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (first-place votes in parentheses)

* Voting on 3-2-1 point system, with voters picking top three

1. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan (14) 52

2. Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern (4) 26

3. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State (2) 18

4. Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State (1) 16

5. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin (1) 14

6. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin (2) 9

7. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska 4

8. James White, RB, Wisconsin 2

9. Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State 2

10. Derek Moye, WR, Penn State 1

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (first-place votes in parentheses)

* Voting on 3-2-1 point system, with voters picking top three

1. Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska (15) 58

2. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska (7) 37

3. Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State 10

4. Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa (1) 8

5. Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska (1) 7

6. John Simon, DL, Ohio State 6

7. Mike Mauti, LB, Penn State 5

8. Mike Martin, DL, Michigan 3

9. Nathan Williams, DL, Ohio State 2

Players who received a second- or third-place vote on one ballot: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin; Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State; Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa; Kawann Short, DL, Purdue; Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue; Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin

I voted for Denard Robinson and Jared Crick.

BEST COACH (first-place votes in parentheses)


Not Coach of the Year, but phrased as best coach, meaning coach you would take to lead a team this season

* Voting on 3-2-1 point system, with voters picking top three

1. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin (7) 35

2. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa (6) 31

3. Bo Pelini, Nebraska (3) 30

4. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern (4) 27

5. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State (4) 18

6. Brady Hoke, Michigan 2

7. Joe Paterno, Penn State 1

Voted Ferentz here.


Nebraska: Brian Christopherson, Lincoln Journal Star; Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald

Iowa: Marc Morehouse, Cedar Rapids Gazette; Andy Hamilton, Iowa City Press-Citizen

Michigan: Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press; Kyle Meinke,

Minnesota: Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press; Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Northwestern: Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Lindsey Willhite, Daily Herald

Michigan State: Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal; Matt Charboneau, Detroit News

Wisconsin: Tom Mulhern, Wisconsin State Journal; Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ohio State: Matt Markey, Toledo Blade; Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Penn State: Bob Flounders, Harrisburg Patriot-News; Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times

Indiana: Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star; Dustin Dopirak, Bloomington Herald-Times

Purdue: Pete DiPrimio, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel; Mike Carmin, Lafayette Journal and Courier

Illinois: Bob Asmussen, Champaign News-Gazette; John Supinie, GateHouse News Service




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