The college football season is less than 40 days away, and already Indiana has its doubters.
Despite being predicted as one of the nation’s most improved teams by national college football analyst Phil Steele, the cleveland.com preseason Big Ten media poll surveying writers around the country predicted the Hoosiers to finish last in the Big Ten East. Defending national champion Ohio State was the unanimous choice to be the Big Ten champion.
A total of 40 voters participated in the poll, which has served as the most official Big Ten preseason prediction ever since the conference stopped collecting votes and producing a poll in 2011, according to the story published by Doug Lesmerises of Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Individually, no Hoosiers were voted as potential candidates to win either the offensive or defensive player of the year award for the conference.
As a team, the most hopeful finish predicted for the Hoosiers in the history of the poll was fourth in the 2013. Last season, Indiana was predicted to finish sixth.
For what it’s worth, though, these predictions haven’t always been accurate..
Of the last four preseason conference favorites, none went on to win the conference. Nebraska was named as the league favorite in 2011, but it was Wisconsin who claimed the Big Ten crown after defeating Michigan State in the championship.
The following year, Michigan was predicted to win the league title, but Wisconsin repeated as Big Ten champions by defeating Nebraska in the title game. Ohio State was a near-unanimous choice to win the Big Ten in 2013, receiving 25 out of 26 votes, but Michigan State beat the Buckeyes for the championship.
Ohio State was once again the preseason favorite last year, but a revote was called after quarterback Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending injury. The Spartans received 22 of the 25 votes in the revote, but it was Ohio State who would end up being Big Ten champions.
Here are the full results from cleveland.com’s preseason poll, with the number of first-place votes in parentheses:EAST DIVISION
- Ohio State (40)
- Michigan State
- Penn State
- Wisconsin (32)
- Nebraska (5)
- Minnesota (3)