COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State football begins the season with a first-time quarterback, a volatile running back situation and new starters more than halfway through its defensive positions.
These unknowns do not reduce the expectations of the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Conference.
Ohio State was the almost unanimous preseason favorite in the 2021 cleveland.com Big Ten preseason poll. All but one of our 34 voting panel members picked the Buckeyes – the four-time defending champions – to win the Big Ten East and the Championship game.
(NOTE: Due to a tabulation error, Ohio State was originally credited with being the unanimous choice to win the Big Ten Championship game.)
Voters picked Wisconsin as the Western favorite with 29 first-place votes. Iowa, second, received the other five first-place votes. One voter chose Wisconsin to defeat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game.
Cleveland.com took on the responsibility of running the ballot for posterity when the Big Ten abandoned it 11 years ago. The panel included at least one beat writer from all 14 Big Ten teams and a few that span the league or have a national perspective.
• Olave elected offensive player of the year in pre-season
• Northwestern defender Brandon Joseph was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Ohio State has been voted preseason favorite for the seventh time in the past nine years. It barely came close to being the champion’s first unanimous pick since 2015. Michigan State won the Big Ten this season, with voters failing to predict the champion in each of the top six polls.
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.
BIG TEN OUEST
1. Wisconsin (29 votes for first place) 233 points
2. Iowa (5) 202
3. Northwest 160
4. Minnesota 146
5. Nébraska 91.5
6. Purdue 72,5
7. Illinois 47
BIG TEN IS
1. State of Ohio (34 votes for first place) 238
2. Penn State 192
3. Indiana 169
4. Michigan 144
5. Maryland 79
6. Rutger 77,5
7. Michigan State 52.5
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Ohio state above Wisconsin (28)
Ohio State over Iowa (5)
Wisconsin sur Ohio State (1)
OTHER SURVEY BULLETIN
• Iowa received votes to finish anywhere from first to fifth in the West. Rutgers were the most polarizing team in the East, picked to finish from third to last.
• Many voters likely had to choose between Penn State and Indiana for second place in the East. They picked the Nittany Lions by a 23-11 margin on the second-place votes.
• Only one voter (Doug Lesmerises of cleveland.com) correctly picked Northwestern to win the West in the 2020 poll. Wisconsin and Minnesota were considered the top two contenders in the division, and the consensus vote chose the Wildcats for fifth. Instead, they reached the Big Ten Championship game for the second time in three years.
Looking back on the poll’s history, here are the league favorites and eventual champions from the Divisive Division, the title match introduction and the Big Ten dodging a full preseason standings.
2020 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: Ohio State
2019 : Choice: Michigan. Actual: Ohio State
2018 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: State of Ohio.
2017 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: State of Ohio.
2016 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: State of Penn.
2015 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: State of Michigan.
2014 : Choice: State of Michigan. Actual: State of Ohio.
2013 : Choice: State of Ohio. Actual: State of Michigan.
2012 : Choice: Michigan. Real: Wisconsin.
2011 : Choice: Nebraska. Real: Wisconsin.
Fields Bears Jersey: Ohio State football fans can purchase Justin Fields’ new Chicago Bears jersey here. It’s available in white, blue and orange – and in men’s, women’s and youth sizes. There is also a cheaper t-shirt option.
More Buckeyes Blanket
Are OSU’s receivers much better than any other title contender? The college football playoff show
What’s new with the 2022 linebacker recruiting? Hi, Stéphane
Olave voted Big Ten offensive player of the year
NW safety Brandon Joseph named Preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
Swedish Theo Melin Öhrström explains how Ohio State stands out
Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux: Buckeyes’ best opponents, # 1
How Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman started a recruiting war with OSU
Purdue DE George Karlaftis: Buckeyes’ best opponents, # 2
Will OSU face a new opponent for the Big Ten title in 2021?
Five-Star 2023 LB Jaiden Ausberry Places Ohio State in Top 10
Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson: Buckeyes’ best opponents, No.3
Which Buckeye wins an individual award this season? Hey, Buckeye is talking
Who will represent OSU at the Big Ten Media Days 2021?
Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr .: Buckeyes’ best opponents, # 4
What Treyaun Webb’s Commitment to Oklahoma Means for OSU
Ginn Jr.’s greatness came true when he left: Lesmerises