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Ohio State football voted overwhelming 2021 Big Ten favorite in cleveland.com preseason poll

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football begins the season with a first-time quarterback, an unsettled running back situation, and new starters at over half of its defensive positions.

Those unknowns do not lower the Buckeyes’ expectations within the Big Ten Conference.

Ohio State was the near-unanimous preseason favorite in the 2021 cleveland.com Preseason Big Ten Poll. All but one of the 34 members of our voting panel 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.)

The voters picked Wisconsin as the West favorite with 29 first-place votes. Second-place Iowa received the other five first-place votes. One voter picked Wisconsin to defeat the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship game.

Cleveland.com picked up the responsibility for organizing the poll for posterity when the Big Ten dropped it 11 years ago. The panel included at least one beat writer from all 14 Big Ten teams and a few who cover the entire league or have a national perspective.

• Olave voted Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

• Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Ohio State was voted the preseason favorite for the seventh time in the past nine years. It barely missed being the first the unanimous choice for champion since 2015. Michigan State won the Big Ten that season, as voters failed to predict the champion in each of the first 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 WEST

1. Wisconsin (29 first-place votes) 233 points

2. Iowa (5) 202

3. Northwestern 160

4. Minnesota 146

5. Nebraska 91.5

6. Purdue 72.5

7. Illinois 47

BIG TEN EAST

1. Ohio State (34 first-place votes) 238

2. Penn State 192

3. Indiana 169

4. Michigan 144

5. Maryland 79

6. Rutgers 77.5

7. Michigan State 52.5

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Ohio State over Wisconsin (28)

Ohio State over Iowa (5)

Wisconsin over Ohio State (1)

OTHER POLL NOTES

• Iowa received votes to finish anywhere from first to fifth in the West. Rutgers was the most polarizing team in the East, picked to finish anywhere from third to last.

• Many voters presumably had to make a choice between Penn State and Indiana for second place in the East. They chose the Nittany Lions by a 23-11 margin on second-place votes.

• Only one voter (cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises) correctly picked Northwestern to win the West in the 2020 poll. Wisconsin and Minnesota were considered the division’s top two contenders, and the consensus vote picked the Wildcats to finish fifth. Instead, they reached the Big Ten championship game for the second time in three years.

Looking back at the poll’s history, here are the favorites and the eventual league champions since the divisional split, the introduction of the title game and the Big Ten shirking a full preseason ranking.

2020: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Ohio State

2019: Pick: Michigan. Actual: Ohio State

2018: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Ohio State.

2017: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Ohio State.

2016: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Penn State.

2015: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Michigan State.

2014: Pick: Michigan State. Actual: Ohio State.

2013: Pick: Ohio State. Actual: Michigan State.

2012: Pick: Michigan. Actual: Wisconsin.

2011: Pick: Nebraska. Actual: 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’s also a cheaper T-shirt option.

More Buckeyes coverage

Are OSU’s receivers far better than any other title contender’s? The College Football Playoff Show

What’s up with 2022 linebacker recruiting? Hey, Stephen

Olave voted Preseason Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year

NW safety Brandon Joseph voted Preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

Sweden’s Theo Melin Öhrström on how Ohio State stands out

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Purdue DE George Karlaftis: Buckeyes’ best opponents, No. 2

Will OSU face a new Big Ten title game opponent in 2021?

Jaiden Ausberry, five-star 2023 LB, puts Ohio State in top 10

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson: Buckeyes’ best opponents, No. 3

Which Buckeye wins an individual award this season? Hey, Buckeye Talk

Who will represent OSU at 2021 Big Ten Media Days?

Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr.: Buckeyes’ best opponents, No. 4

What Treyaun Webb’s commitment to Oklahoma means for OSU

Ginn Jr.’s greatness was realized most when he was gone: Lesmerises

Source : https://news.google.com

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