Buckeyes top preseason Big Ten football poll
In a poll of writers who cover Big Ten football, defending champion Ohio State is the unanimous pick to win the league again this fall.
Because the Big Ten decided to stop conducting a preseason poll after the 2010 season, Cleveland.com has taken over that role.
This is the third time the Buckeyes have been voted the favorite in five years, but a revote held after Braxton Miller was declared out for the season in 2014 resulted in Michigan State being named the favorite.
Ohio State received all 40 first-place votes in the Big Ten East with Michigan State picked to finish second in the division.
Wisconsin won the voting in the West but Nebraska received five first place votes and Minnesota received three. The Badgers played in three of the first four Big Ten Championship Games. Ohio State has played in two, and the Golden Gophers are looking for their first appearance.
The Buckeyes and Badgers faced off in the Big Ten Championship Game last season with Ohio State claiming a stunning 59-0 victory that helped vault them into the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes beat Alabama and Oregon to claim the first CFP national title.
The preseason pick for defensive player of the year and offensive player of the year are both Buckeyes, too. Reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Joey Bosa is the former while postseason star Ezekiel Elliott is the latter.
Bosa was the obvious choice on the defensive side, although Maryland defensive back William Likely received one vote.
On the offensive side, Elliott received 31 first-place votes while three of his teammates -- Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller -- totaled seven. The other three went to Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, who finished second in the voting.
Cleveland.com Big Ten Preseason Poll 2015: Projected standings
1. Ohio State 280 (40)
2. Michigan State 240
3. Penn State 186.5
4. Michigan 163.5
5. Maryland 95.5
6. Rutgers 78
7. Indiana 76.5
1. Wisconsin 272 (32)
2. Nebraska 231.5 (5)
3. Minnesota 197 (3)
4. Iowa 158.5
5. Northwestern 125
6. Illinois 77
7. Purdue 59