Big Ten Media Days are set to begin Tuesday, signifying that college football is right around the corner. As the start of the season approaches, Ohio State – who did not win the Big Ten last season for the first time since 2016 – was selected as the unanimous favorite to the win conference, according to Cleveland.com‘s preseason Big Ten poll.
Voters from 13 of the Big Ten’s 14 schools responded to the poll, with all 36 selecting Ohio State to win the East Division and take back the Big Ten crown in the Big Ten Championship Game. Ohio State was selected as the preseason favorite last year before Michigan ultimately won the conference and made the school’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Wisconsin is viewed as the favorite to come out of the West Division with 31 first-place votes, followed by Iowa with three votes and Minnesota with two votes.
The poll also selected Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Stroud led with 101 points, followed by Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (42 points) and Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen (37 points). Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson also received five points.
On defense, Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell was chosen as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Campbell received 74 points (20 first-place votes), followed by Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig (55 points, 10 first-place votes) and Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison (26 points, four first-place votes).
Several other Buckeyes received votes, including cornerback Denzel Burke (three points), defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (three points) and safety Ronnie Hickman (two points).