The Big Ten doesn’t have an official preseason poll. That goes for both coaches and media. That hasn’t stopped the Cleveland Plain Dealer from creating its own poll though, which is comprised of various Big Ten media members.
That poll was released on Wednesday and the division favorites are Nebraska and Michigan. Yes, the Huskers are tabbed (albeit barely) to win the West and Michigan the East.
That’s not where the preseason polls end though. In an attempt to gauge where the Nebraska media is at, The Bottom Line’s Mike’l Severe enlisted 22 of the Huskers’ media members to submit their own polls as part of a Big Ten power rankings. The list included individuals from the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, local radio shows and even Hail Varsity.
Here’s how the rankings ended up:
How did Nebraska’s media compare to the conference as a whole?
>> Nebraska sits at the top of the Big Ten West with the Nebraska media as well, but again by a small margin. Everything ranked 3-7 is, as one Twitter response said, a “log jam.”
>> Both lists placed Iowa before Wisconsin in the West.
>> The Nebraska media seems a bit more confident in what PJ Fleck will do this season. The Golden Gophers are No. 10 (in the full rankings, not separated by division) from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Huskers media has Minnesota at No. 8.
>> Sorry, Rutgers.
One of the bigger takeaways? There’s a lot of hype for Nebraska in 2019. That extends beyond the media that exclusively covers the Huskers, too. But as Severe pointed out, there’s reason for that.
But as Brandon Vogel noted, Michigan hasn't won a conference title since 2004. Nebraska's title drought stretches to 1999. Is that the year it changes for either? Time will tell, but a lot of people appear to believe it’s possible.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.