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Big Ten 2015 predictions and preview! The LGHL staff goes B1G

We talked about the Buckeyes. Now we dish on the rest of the conference

Your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?
Your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we shared our roundtable predictions for all things Ohio State, including who would win their QB competition, what the team's record would be, and which team scared us the most. But Ohio State doesn't play in a vacuum; they play in the Big Ten, and what happens to other teams in the conference impacts how Ohio State is perceived, and what their path the playoff may look like. So we asked all of our writers what they thought about a slew of other Big Ten topics. Here's what they said:

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten East (7 points for a 1st place finish, 6 points for 2nd, etc)

Ohio State: 112 points (unanimous)

Michigan State: 95 points

Penn State: 75 points

Michigan: 66 points

Maryland: 42 points

Indiana: 32 points

Rutgers: 26 points

The top two here were nearly unanimous (Michigan State got every second place vote but one), but there was some disagreement with the rest of the group. Penn State and Michigan were flip flopped in many ballots, and the bottom three teams were listed in just about every configuration possible. In the end, most of our writers are slightly more confident in Maryland over Indiana and Rutgers.

Except me. I voted Maryland last. This is my hot take of the season. I think the Terps are going to suck.

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten West

Wisconsin: 107 points

Nebraska: 89 points

Minnesota: 81 points

Iowa: 64 points

Illinois: 44 points

Northwestern: 41 points

Purdue: 21 points

There were disagreement about the order in the East, but nothing compared to craziness of the West. Our writers generally agreed that Wisconsin is going to be pretty good, and that Nebraska probably will too (they weren't ranked lower than third by anybody). Our staff generally agreed that Purdue and Northwestern would be pretty bad (neither were ranked higher than fifth). But everything else? Completely up for grabs. Iowa second? Sure. Iowa sixth? Okay!

Minnesota was the team our staff was most confident in, but that didn't stop multiple people from voting them fifth or lower. With new coaches, and with every team, even Wisconsin, facing significant flaws, this really could be anyone's division.

What Big Ten team is most likely to surpass expectations this year?

Penn State: 6 votes

Michigan: 3 votes

Nebraska: 1 vote

Indiana: 1 vote

Iowa: 1 vote

Purdue: 1 vote

Minnesota: 1 vote

Illinois: 1 vote

Rutgers: 1 vote

You can make a case for a lot of different teams, since expectations is awfully subjective, but there was a lot of chatter around Penn State, who boasts an exceptionally manageable schedule, some potentially exciting wideouts, most of what was an exceptional defense from last year, and what should be an excellent QB. Sure, that offensive line depth is still pretty bad, but you could be talked into nine wins without sounding crazy. It isn't hard to argue for a step forward at Michigan too. The talent is there, after all.

And with expectations at Purdue being so low, and the Big Ten West lacking real superpowers, why can't they win, I don't know, four or five games? That's possible, right? Maybe?

Who in the Big Ten is most likely to wildly disappoint?

Michigan: 3 votes
Minnesota: 3 votes
Nebraska: 3 votes

Maryland: 2 votes

Penn State: 2 votes

Michigan State: 1 vote

Northwestern: 1 vote

Rugers: 1 vote

Three way tie at the top, between two teams with new coaches that could potentially have tougher than expected adjustment periods, and another that hasn't recruited very well and just lost most of their offense. If Penn State's line falters again, or if, well, anything bad at all happens to Maryland, you can see how they might take a step back as well.

Who is your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?

Ezekiel Elliott: 12 votes

J.T. Barrett: 4 votes

Not a single vote for a non-Ohio State player, but again, this is an Ohio State blog, and with their Death Star of an offense ready to roll, the Buckeyes should be able to put up enough points and yards to gain consideration for this award, no matter who is at QB, or if they suffer a few more injuries. It's tough to argue with Elliott, who could contend for a Heisman, and is the single most destructive force on offense in this conference.

Who is your Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year?

Joey Bosa: 8 votes

Darron Lee: 4 votes

Shilique Calhoun: 3 votes

Joshua Perry: 1 vote

Oh look, a few bloggers showed some love to a player who doesn't play for Ohio State (as they should, since Michigan State's Calhoun is awesome). Still, even with how hard it is for a team to sweep the awards, it's hard to pick against the defending champion, Joey Bosa, even with a one game suspension.

Which Big Ten player that nobody is talking about will have a monster season?

De'Mornay Pierson-El: 2 votes

Jake Rudock: 1 vote

Jabril Peppers: 1 vote

Jake Butt: 1 vote

DaeSean Hamilton: 1 vote

Kemoko Turay: 1 vote

Paul James: 1 vote

Nate Sudfeld: 1 vote

L.J. Scott: 1 vote

Justin Jackson: 1 vote

Kyle Carter: 1 vote

Danny Antrhop: 1 vote

Corey Clement: 1 vote

Jeff Jones: 1 vote

That's a hell of a list. Granted, it may speak to how liberally some writers define "nobody is talking about", as I imagine plenty of people are talking about Peppers and Hamilton, but there are some real sleepers on that list. With Jordan Westerkamp and Pierson-El, Nebraska could have a sneaky productive passing attack as they transition into Riley's new system.

We didn't ask about who would win Coach of the Year, but I think we can all agree it will not be Urban Meyer It'll be hard to argue against Tim Beckman bravely leading Illinois to a 7-5 season, though.