Michigan was favored over Ohio State to win the Big Ten East division and go on to win the conference’s football championship game in a poll of 34 media members who cover the Big Ten.
The Wolverines got 20 first place votes and Ohio State received 14 in the East Division. Michigan State was third, followed by Penn State, Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers in the poll, which was announced Wednesday.
In the West Division, Nebraska and Iowa each got 14 first-place votes, but the Cornhuskers were the favorite on the strength of 11 second place votes, compared to six for the Hawkeyes.
Wisconsin, which got four first place votes, was third. Northwestern, with one first place vote, was fourth and Purdue was fifth. Minnesota, which also got a first place vote, was sixth and Illinois was a unanimous choice for seventh.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was named the defensive preseason Player of the Year. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor was predicted to be the offensive Player of the Year.
The Big Ten does not do a preseason poll or name preseason Players of the Year like many conferences do. This is the ninth year a group of writers has offered its predictions. Ohio State has been picked to win the Big Ten the previous four years and five of the last six years.
Jim Naveau’s ballot in the writers poll: EAST: 1. Ohio State; 2. Michigan; 3. Michigan State; 4. Penn State; 5. Indiana; 6. Maryland; 7. Rutgers. WEST: 1. Iowa; 2. Wisconsin; 3. Nebraska; 4. Minnesota; 5. Purdue; 6. Northwestern; 7. Illinois.