Every year, Cleveland.com conducts a preseason poll of 34 Big Ten football media members. This year’s version was released this morning.
Not surprisingly, Ohio State is the unanimous Big Ten favorite in 2021. The Buckeyes, who have won the last four league titles, received 34 first-place votes in the Big Ten East for a total of 238 points.
“Each writer was asked to vote 1-7 in both divisions, with first-place votes worth seven points, second-place votes worth six and so on,” Cleveland.com explained.
Wisconsin received 29 first-place votes and is the overwhelming favorite in the Big Ten West. The Badgers last won the division two years ago.
Iowa earned the remaining five first-place votes and is projected to finish second in the West, with Penn State picked to place second in the East. The full poll can be seen below.
Big Ten East
- Ohio State (34 first-place votes) 238 points
- Penn State – 192 points
- Indiana – 169 points
- Michigan – 144 points
- Maryland – 79 points
- Rutgers – 77.5 points
- Michigan State – 52.5 points
Big Ten West
- Wisconsin (29 first-place votes) – 233 points
- Iowa (5) – 202 points
- Northwestern – 160 points
- Minnesota – 146 points
- Nebraska – 91.5 points
- Purdue – 72.5 points
- Illinois – 47 points
The 2021 Big Ten football conference schedule opens up on Saturday, August 28, when Nebraska travels to Illinois. The following weekend, there are several intriguing season-opening league matchups, highlighted by Ohio State at Minnesota in prime time on Thursday, September 2.
Michigan State travels to Northwestern on Friday, September 3 for a 9 p.m. ET kickoff, while Penn State meets Wisconsin and Indiana travels to Iowa on September 4.