At least it’s not all bad news on the football front for Ohio State this Monday, right?
Shortly before news broke that the Buckeyes had dismissed their top running back and their star cornerback was arrested over the weekend, it was announced that OSU was the runaway favorite of the media to win the Big Ten championship this season. 25 of the 26 media members in the poll assembled by the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Doug Lesmerises — the conference did away with preseason media votes a couple of years ago — picked OSU as the preseason favorite for the Big Ten title.
12 of the writers predicted an OSU win over Nebraska in early December; 11 predicted an OSU win in a replay of The Game with Michigan; and two saw the Buckeyes topping Michigan State for the title. One writer predicted that Michigan would beat Ohio State in the title game.
Individually, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, last year’s Big Ten Player of the Year, was easily the favorite of the writers covering the conference as the junior picked up 24 first-place votes for offensive player of the year. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez (no relation) and Michigan’s Devin Gardner were the only others to receive votes.
On the defensive side, it was again all about the OSU as Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier was tabbed as the defensive player of the year. While not as thoroughly as his teammate, Shazier easily paced the voting with 16 first-place votes. Others garnering mention were Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland (4); Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough (3); Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby (2); and Northwestern defensive lineman Tyler Scott (1).
Roby, incidentally was arrested over the weekend and could face a suspension.