Indiana picked by Big Ten beat writers to finish fourth in Leaders Division, be league’s most “surprising” team
The Big Ten has become significantly less specific in its formal preseason polling in recent years in both football and basketball, so in both sports, the conference’s beat writers have taken to doing their own informal polls. Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer conducted the preseason football, asking two beat writers covering each conference team a number of questions, including predicted orders of finish in both the Leaders and Legends Division.
Indiana was picked to finish fourth in the Leaders Division by the beat writers, and was also picked to be the most “surprising” team in the conference, earning half the votes on that question.
Ohio State was the conference’s overwhelming favorite with every writer picking the Buckeyes to win the Leaders Division and only one expecting them to lose in the conference title game.
Individual awards were also projected, and the results of other polls will be released throughout the day. Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was picked to be the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.
UPDATE: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was best offensive player, receiving 24 of 26 votes. Michigan’s Devin Gardner and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez got the other two.
UPDATE: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was voted the league’s top coach followed by Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.