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Blog Entry

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Coming into this year's media gathering, the Big Ten decided not to hold its annual media poll with the usual preseason player of the year, predicted order of finish (heretofore limited to the top three finishers), and all of that. It seemed odd, but from the Big Ten's perspective, it wasn't exactly a vital aspect of the whole operation.

Funny thing, though; just because the Big Ten isn't holding a poll doesn't mean it's not going to happen. So lo and behold, 24 beat writers from around the conference -- two per school -- got together and held their own poll anyway.

Here's the breakdown from the Detroit Free-Press, listed with the total amount of voting points (six for first, five for second, on down the line) with first-place votes in parenthesis.

LEGENDS

1. Nebraska (19) 139
2. Michigan State (4) 118
3. Iowa 82
4. Michigan (1) 71
5. Northwestern 69
6. Minnesota 25

LEADERS

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)

First of all, there are scant few surprises herein. Nebraska's the class of the conference, Wisconsin's next, and there's a pretty big dropoff after that. That said, whoever decided Michigan was going to win the Legends Division in Brady Hoke's first year -- the rebuilding period right after another rebuilding period -- should stop sending joke ballots and ruining it for the rest of the readers. Another demerit for whoever decided to put somebody below Minnesota, since the Gophers are just a mess right now.

As for the Leaders Divison, no surprises here, aside from a preposterous first-place vote for Penn State. Ohio State would be worth a look here if Terrelle Pryor were still on the five-game suspension, but with Joe Bauserman (or whoever else) under center, the Buckeyes are decidedly inferior to Wisconsin -- so long as Russell Wilson's healthy, anyway.

Speaking of quarterbacks -- this would be the year to celebrate them. The top three offensive players are all QBs, according to voters, and five of the 10 players who received votes were QBs. Here's the breakdown (again, with first-place votes parenthesized):

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

Yes, that's two different Wisconsin tailbacks on the list, and at least one will likely be in the top five of voting at the end of the season. As for the leading vote-getter, it's worth pointing out that Robinson's most dangerous weapon is still his feet... and Michigan's planning on limiting his carries this season. Yes, that's a wise move for keeping Robinson healthy, but the more he's standing still in the pocket and throwing, the less he's playing to his strengths. He'll still make it work, in all likelihood, since it's Denard flippin' Robinson we're talking about here, but those gaudy numbers we saw last season may be coming down a bit. Just a bit.

In other voting, Jared Crick dominated defensive player of the year voting, and Bret Bielema was named the top coach in the Big Ten over close runners-up Kirk Ferentz, Bo Pelini, and Pat Fitzgerald (in that order). Crick is a fine choice, and the four coaches who led voting deserved to. One could make a good case for Pat Fitzgerald to be higher, but these are small quibbles; we're not talking about Ron Zook ending up in second place or anything.

Comments

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 10, 2011 12:57 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

The better question is what does it say about the Big 10?  They just picked the Big XII runner-up to win your conference!


As Big-12 runner-up, the Huskers were obviously pretty good last year, and most prognosticators agree that this year's Nebraska looks to be stronger than last.  It really does not say anything about the Big Ten, other than Oklahoma is expected to be better than anyone in the Big Ten.  My guess is that had Tressel and Pryor not screwed up, OSU likely would have been favored to win the B1G CG. 



Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 5:02 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

Seems people think the name is so important. Leaders and Legends. No big deal.

Seems people think the composition of the division is so important. No big deal.

What is going to amuse me is when people finally wake up and realize that the division winner is the team with the most conference wins. A team that is 5-0 in the division but 6-2 in conference will sit it out with another team from the same division with 4-1 but 7-1 in conference goes to the CCG. Then the howling will really begin.

Laughing    



Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:29 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

(Sorry to post twice - I meant to tag it to this comment)

For the Big 10, you don't know which teams are in which division yet because it is all so new.  You don't know the ACC division groupings yet because you don't care!

As for East/West, your suggestion that the West would be deeper and contain teams (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa) that are capable of 10-win seasons is true today...but over the historical long-haul the real powers have been Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, and an east/west split would place three of those schools in the East.  Therefore, the splits as they exist...

When I was growing up, Iowa was mediocre and Wisconsin was in a dogfight with Northwestern and Indiana for the bottom of the conference every year.  So while Wisconsin has certainly stepped up BIG TIME & been the only team over the past decade that could/did go 5-5 vs. Ohio State, the splits feel pretty well-balanced to me.



Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:28 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

For the Big 10, you don't know which teams are in which division yet because it is all so new.  You don't know the ACC division groupings yet because you don't care!

As for East/West, your suggestion that the West would be deeper and contain teams (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa) that are capable of 10-win seasons is true today...but over the historical long-haul the real powers have been Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, and an east/west split would place three of those schools in the East.  Therefore, the splits as they exist...

When I was growing up, Iowa was mediocre and Wisconsin was in a dogfight with Northwestern and Indiana for the bottom of the conference every year.  So while Wisconsin has certainly stepped up BIG TIME & been the only team over the past decade that could/did go 5-5 vs. Ohio State, the splits feel pretty well-balanced to me.



Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:01 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

You may want to check the schedules, Iowa and Wisconsin is no longer an annual event.



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:22 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

I AGREE WITH YOU.  SOMEBODY ARGUED THAT THE ONLY WAY FOR MICHIGAN TO PLAY OHIO STATE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IS IF THEY ARE IN SEPARATE CONFERENCES.  A PRETTY THIN REASON, ESPECIALLY IF YOU CONSIDER THAT THEY ALWAYS PLAY EACH OTHER IN THE FINAL REGULAR SEASON GAME AND ONE OF THEM HAS TO LOSE.  THE LOSER WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY GET BOUNCED FROM THE DIVISION LEAD.  THE TWO PROBABLY COULD NEVER PLAY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

THE GOOD NEWS:  WISCONSIN WILL ALWAYS HAVE MINNESOTA AND IOWA ON THEIR SCHEDULE PER SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT.



Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:15 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

Not 1 mention of Iowa. Thats what i like to see. Under the radar = Top 10 season.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Who split the conference?

I can't believe that Wisconsin is not in the same division as their two biggest rivals, Minnesota and Iowa.  It seems stupid that Ohio St isn't in the same division as Michigan. 



Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2011 5:51 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

I agree with you on most accounts.  Look for Martinez to have a better season...they've adjusted their offense to a system similiar to Oregon, with a new offensive coordinator...last year's OC was just plain offensive!  You'll see quicker passes, quicker reads, and not having to sit back in the pocket and go through progressions.  Keep in mind, Taylor was banged up over half of the season.  Now, will he remain healthy this upcoming season?  That's the 10 million dollar question.  He has bulked up significantly, so that may help.  Keep in mind, he was only a freshman last year...

The defense will keep the big red in just about every game.  Traditionally, the huskers play Big 10 schools very well, with a few exceptions of course.  Hopefully the field in Penn State has shrunk back to normal dimensions from the 80's!!



Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2011 3:50 pm
 

'Unofficial' Big Ten poll puts Nebraska at top

The better question is what does it say about the Big 10?  They just picked the Big XII runner-up to win your conference!


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