Big Ten writers pick Michigan to finish fifth

Dylan Burkhardt

The Big Ten conference won’t release an entire preseason poll at Thursday’s Big Ten Media Day, opting instead to just unveil the league’s top three teams.

However, Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch, completed his annual poll of Big Ten writers (27, up to two per program) for the upcoming season.

The league’s media voted Michigan to finish in fifth place, behind Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State and Nebraska.

The Wolverines won the conference by three games last season, but will be forced to deal with the departures of Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Morgan, Mitch and Jon Horford this season. Wisconsin is the odds on favorite to win the league, drawing 378 votes, 56 votes ahead of second place Ohio State.

Michigan received 286 votes, just 13 votes behind Nebraska and 60 votes ahead of Minnesota at No. 6. Find the entire conference poll after the jump. (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

  1. Wisconsin (378)
  2. Ohio State (322)
  3. Michigan State (305)
  4. Nebraska (299)
  5. Michigan (286)
  6. Minnesota (226)
  7. Iowa (214)
  8. Illinois (196)
  9. Indiana (163)
  10. Maryland (162)
  11. Purdue (95)
  12. Penn State (84)
  13. Northwestern (78)
  14. Rutgers (27)

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  • romeowolv

    The voting is pretty close but…..I think OSU is too high. I think Iowa will be better than #7 as well.

    • BigHouseBoyz

      I agree OSU is too high. I guess they will rely on their freshman for scoring. Very tough to do in this league. I thought Illinois was too low, but the Abrams loss hurt them. Very tough and deep conference this year!

      • mike

        The Abrams lost doesn’t really hurt Illinois that much at all. They have a transfer from Oregon St who will be better than Tracy and is eligible to play this season

  • geoffclarke

    This is WAY off. I would put Northwestern 12th and Penn State 13th.

    • MrLG

      Overall, I think it’s OK. There’s really very little difference between #2 and #5.

      But what happened to Maryland? This is a solid team, not a #10 in the conference. That’s the biggest screwup in this survey.

      • geoffclarke

        I’m basically waiting for Dylan’s B1G preview to know what to expect. But I guess Maryland had some transfers and that probably plays into it and probably the fact that they are coming to a new, better conference (Boom. Roasted, ACC). I’m more surprised with how highly MSU is rated. Where is the offense going to come from? They better hope Dawson can get two offensive rebounds per possession. Boom. Roasted.

        • Mark Worthley

          the writers don’t even care who is on State’s roster, just whether the little angry man is on the sideline.

          • MrLG

            LOL – +1

  • mistersuits

    Where did the B1G writers predict Michigan to finish the year they won with Stu and Zack (and freshman Trey)?

    I can’t wait to see what Beilein and company can develop this current roster into.

  • Mattsik

    Could be wide open with just a game or so separating the top squads. But I’ll wager that we’re in the thick of the race coming down the stretch and a serious threat come tourney time.

    A lot of this kind of voting seems to place emphasis on who your returning veterans are. But Beilein throws that formula out the window. Yes, we’ll be particularly young this year, but he will bring these youngsters along quickly.

  • FGCU Maize Rage

    Is it just me or is Ohio State consistently overrated every year? I don’t see how they even finish top 5. I also think Illinois and Indiana may be a bit low. If Indiana finishes that low, Crean has to be fired.

    • Bigrange

      No, you’re correct. I think they get the votes because of Matta and their ability to sign a 5 star prospect. Other than that, they basically carry over a bunch of players who were highly sought coming out of high school. I would be surprised if IU finishes above 9th. Outside of Yogi and Blackmon, they have no play makers, they are undersized, and Crean can’t coach. Indystar keeps making it sound like it will be a run and gun year for the Hoosiers, but I think it will be a train wreck.

  • Redman9143

    I can understand Wisconsin, Ohio State and maybe Sparty, but Nebraska….C’mon!

  • MGoBlueAdam

    Nebraska finished 4th last year and has virtually everyone returning, including a player of the year candidate.. They are where they should be and probably should be ahead of MSU

  • JohnNavarreIsMyHero

    Michigan and Nebraska are both better basketball teams than Michigan State. Why is it so hard for people to acknowledge that? Both Michigan and Nebraska have better rosters. The teams went 3-0 during the regular season versus them – Michigan State avoided a game (and likely loss) at Nebraska.

    They refuse and are scared to put Nebraska ahead of Michigan State where they belong, but are not afraid to put us behind Nebraska.

    Michigan has the most wins in the conference the last few years. Has had the most success of anyone overall the last few years. Returns one of the top trios in the nation. Why again aren’t we in the top 4?

    I honestly don’t get it.

    • David

      Let them underrate us and let our game do the talking. It’s nice to garner respect but respect is best earned, not given.

      It’s awesome to see JB, year after year, exceed expectations and turn “underrated” recruits into NBA players and 6-foot-nothing-backup-17pt Nat.Champ. scorers. If he doesn’t earn CotY at some point, it’ll be a travesty.

  • James

    I’m not sure exactly how the team is going to come together this year, but I’ll be surprised if Beilein doesn’t figure out how to win 12+ Big Ten games again.

  • Chezaroo

    Extremely difficult for me to see this team approach the offensive efficiency of the last two years. This will place an even higher premium on team defense, and with the unproven youth and inexperience in the front court that will be problematic. I have serious doubts about our perimeter D as well, not a believer in Irvin as a potential stopper, and Caris couldn’t stay in front of anyone last year! Walton was molested by big guards last year repeatedly, doubtful that will change. Lots and lots of questions for me, not to mention we have 9 scholarship players who have never played a minute of D1 ball. This will be a difficult task for JB this season. Nothing will come easy and I wouldn’t take it for granted that the previous years successes will just obligatorily roll on. An under valued variable is the irreplaceable loss of Morgan and his leadership. Gonna be fun to watch how it all develops!

  • Chezaroo

    7 scholarship players with no D1 experience, fat fingered.

  • I think Illinois is gonna be the unexpected tough out this year that Nebraska was last year.

  • Bigrange

    I think 5th is about right for this team and I’m comfortable with it. JB is a proven winner; he won the conference with a 6’4″ power forward, and will have this team ready to play. I expect us to lose a game or two, simply because of youth and inexperience, but I also think we’ll pull off a couple “upsets” because of our diversity of players and their abilities.

  • Tony DeMaria

    I think we will continue to be better than the sum of our parts. I don’t think we will finish behind Nebrasketball. 4th or 3rd sounds about right to me.