Nine Big Ten squads receiving votes, led by No. 6 Ohio State and No. 8 Penn State
Park Ridge, Ill. – With the college football season less than a month away, the Big Ten was well represented in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll with nine of the 11 programs receiving at least one vote and two schools ranked among the top 10. The Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC are the only conferences to feature multiple top-10 teams.
Ohio State will enter the 2009 campaign ranked sixth overall after claiming a share of its fourth straight Big Ten Championship last season. The Buckeyes are looking to become the first Big Ten school to claim five straight titles since Michigan accomplished the feat from 1988-92. OSU is the only other school to win at least five straight crowns after finishing first in six straight campaigns from 1972-77. The Buckeyes were chosen as the conference’s preseason favorite by media members attending Big Ten football media days in July.
Penn State also cracked the top 10 in the coaches’ preseason poll, ranking eighth overall after sharing the Big Ten Championship with Ohio State last season and earning a berth in the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions also split the conference crown with OSU in 2005 and are looking for their third title in the last five seasons. PSU was tabbed to finish second in the conference by media members in attendance at July’s Big Ten football media days.
Iowa is the Big Ten’s third top-25 team, ranking 21st overall after compiling nine wins and a victory over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl to conclude last season. The Hawkeyes are aiming for their first conference championship since sharing the trophy with Michigan following the 2004 campaign.
Six other Big Ten schools also received at least one vote in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll, including Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan and Minnesota.
The 114th season of Big Ten football kicks off beginning with every team in action on Sept. 3 or 5 in nationally televised action, broadcast either on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network.