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Who will win the Big Ten and other questions answered for 2016

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Who will exceed expectations? What about disappoint?

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

We got together as a staff, all 18 of us, to look into our crystal balls and tried to predict how this season will go, just like we have every other season. This is the second of a three part series, where we’ll publish what our staff thinks of various Ohio State related prediction and college football at large. At the end of the season, as is tradition, we’ll also take a look back at these, so we can all laugh at how dumb we were, or crow about the one dang thing someone completely nailed.

Yesterday, we shared our Ohio State predictions. Today, let’s take a look at how we think the Big Ten will shake out:

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten East (Top to bottom)

7 points for a 1st place vote, 6 for a 2nd, etc

Ohio State: 121 points (13 first place votes)

Michigan: 111 (5)

Michigan State: 89

Penn State: 71

Indiana: 47

Maryland: 34

Rutgers: 28

Michigan is getting all sorts of love as a playoff contender and Big Ten favorite elsewhere in the media, but here, on an Ohio State blog, the Buckeyes still reign supreme, although in a closer vote than normal for these things. Many ballots looked similar, although the final three programs appeared in all sorts of different orders.

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten West (Top to Bottom)

Iowa: 111 points (7 first place votes)

Nebraska: 102 (5)

Wisconsin: 89 (3)

Northwestern: 76 (2)

Illinois: 44

Minnesota: 63 (1)

Purdue: 19

In what is becoming a bit of a tradition here for this preseason poll, nobody has any idea what the hell to expect from the Big Ten West. Nearly everybody got a first place vote, and just about every configuration you could imagine got at least one vote. Our writers were most confident in Iowa (nobody picked them worse than 4th), but this is hardly a ringing endorsement. The only thing anybody seems to be really sure about is that Purdue will suck. Which seems about right.

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

Michigan State: 3

Wisconsin: 2

Northwestern: 2

Penn State: 2

Minnesota: 2

Indiana: 2

Others: 5

Basically, everybody in the Big Ten got at least one vote except for Maryland, Rutgers, and Indiana. The program fueled by pure, unadulterated #DISRESPEKT got the most love, but clearly, there’s nothing close to a consensus here. You can talk yourself into nearly anybody.

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

Michigan: 8

Northwestern: 2

Wisconsin: 2

Iowa: 2

Others: 4

I am shocked, shocked that an Ohio State site expresses some skepticism about Michigan. Based on the ballots though, this is less about Michigan as a team, and more about their massive expectations. Can say, Penn State be a big disappoint if nobody really expects them to be good anyway?

Who is your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?

J.T. Barrett: 14 votes

Saquon Barkley: 2 votes

Others: 2 votes

Homer pick? Sure, but in a conference that’s a little light on established playmakers at QB and RB (the positions most likely to win this kind of award), picking the guy who once finished in the top five for Heisman voting isn’t that crazy.

Who is your Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year?

Jabrill Peppers: 6 votes

Malik McDowell: 4 votes

Raekwon McMillan: 3 votes

Others: 4 votes

Don’t let anybody say this blog is too biased to say anything nice about Michigan, imo.

Who is your Big Ten Coach of the Year?

Urban Meyer: 6 votes

Mike Riley: 3 votes

Paul Chryst: 3 votes

Tracy Claeys: 2 votes (EDITORIAL NOTE: who in the blue hell voted for Claeys)

Others: 5 votes

Is this finally the year Ohio State wins coach of the year? Given how much Ohio State is replacing, it does seem like if it’s ever going to happen, this would be the year. But let’s face it: it’ll probably go to whatever 8-5 team wins the Big Ten West.