The 2021 cleveland.com preseason Big Ten poll results were published this morning and the Michigan State Spartans finished dead last in results for the Big Ten East Division. This is the worst preseason ranking for the Spartans, and MSU’s only time being ranked in the bottom half of the results besides a fifth-place prediction in 2020.
Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite to win both the East Division and the Big Ten title. The Buckeyes would win a fifth-straight division crown if that prediction rings true. This year also marks the seventh-straight time in which the Buckeyes are selected to win the league in the preseason poll.
As for the West division, Wisconsin is the favorite, but Iowa gave a much more competitive fight with the Badgers for that crown. Illinois is picked to finish last in the West, and it is by a slightly wider margin than Michigan State is picked to do so in the East. Michigan State received more total points (52.2) than Illinois (47).
The poll is in its 11th year after the Big Ten ceased doing a formal preseason poll in 2011. The poll predicted incorrectly who would win the league for its first six seasons, but has correctly picked Ohio State for the past four seasons. The other teams to be selected besides Ohio State include Michigan (2012), Michigan State (2014), and Nebraska (2011). Ohio State has been selected every season otherwise.
You can find the full results of the 2021 poll below.
Big Ten East
- Ohio State (34 first-place votes) 238
- Penn State 192
- Indiana 169
- Michigan 144
- Maryland 79
- Rutgers 77.5
- Michigan State 52.5
Big Ten West
- Wisconsin (29 first-place votes) 233 points
- Iowa (five first-place votes) 202
- Northwestern 160
- Minnesota 146
- Nebraska 91.5
- Purdue 72.5
- Illinois 47
Big Ten Championship Game
- Ohio State over Wisconsin (28)
- Ohio State over Iowa (five)
- Wisconsin over Ohio State (one)