Big Ten media days begin later today in Indianapolis. Unlike other conference media days, the Big Ten does not conduct its own preseason media poll for some reason. But that doesn’t mean we are without a preseason media poll to forecast what will happen in the Big Ten this fall. Cleveland.com has been organizing its own unofficial preseason media poll with members of the media stretching across the Big Ten footprint.
On Wednesday, the 2021 preseason Big Ten poll from Cleveland.com. To the surprise of practically nobody, Ohio State has been pegged as the runaway preseason favorite in the Big Ten. As for Penn State, a rebound season seems to be predicted by many. The Nittany Lions finished in second place in the Big Ten East in this year’s preseason poll from Cleveland.com.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was among the 34 voters in this year’s poll. It was my second year being invited to participate in the poll, and it was the second year in a row I had Ohio State as my preseason Big Ten favorite.
Ohio State received all 34 first-place votes in the Big Ten East, so it was really just a matter of who would come in second. Penn State received 23 second-place votes to Indiana’s 11, giving the Nittany Lions the edge over the Hoosiers for the top spot behind the Buckeyes. Indiana finished third in this year’s preseason poll, one spot ahead of the Michigan Wolverines.
Wisconsin easily pulled away from Iowa for first place in the Big Ten West. The Badgers received 29 first-place votes (including mine) while Iowa received the other five.
Just one voter in the poll predicted Ohio State to not win the Big Ten championship. The one voter in the wild picked Wisconsin to top the Buckeyes while 28 picked Ohio State over Wisconsin and five picked Ohio State over Iowa.
You can see the full Cleveland.com poll here.