With the Big 10 media days set to kickoff Tuesday in Chicago, The Cleveland Plain Dealer unveiled the conference media’s preseason picks for division and conference champions, as well as offensive and defensive players of the year. The voters were made up of 2 writers covering each conference school, plus both ESPN.com Big 10 writers.
The Nittany Lions are picked to finish 3rd in the Leaders division behind Ohio State, who was a unanimous pick to win the division, and Wisconsin. On the other side of the conference, Michigan was picked by slightly over half of the voters to win the Legends division, ahead of Nebraska, and in-state rival Michigan State. The Buckeyes are also an overwhelming favorite to win the championship game, with 25 of the 26 voters picking them. Michigan received 1 vote.
Braxton Miller was somehow not a unanimous selection as preseason offensive player of the year, getting 24 of the 26 votes. Nebraska’s senior quarterback Taylor Martinez received 1 vote, as did Devin Gardner. Yes, that Devin Gardner. Ohio State’s junior linebacker Ryan Shazier received 16 votes for preseason defensive player of the year, well ahead of Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland (4), MSU linebacker Max Bullough(3), OSU corner back Bradley Roby(2), and Northwestern defensive end Tyler Scott (1). No Penn State players received a vote.
The title game predictions and all other vote tallies can be found here.
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