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Big Ten preseason poll tabs Huskers fourth in West, Ohio State as league champion
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Big Ten preseason poll tabs Huskers fourth in West, Ohio State as league champion

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Justin Fields

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was selected as the league's preseason offensive player of the year. 

Even in a pandemic year, Ohio State is viewed as the best football team in the Big Ten.

In the annual Cleveland Plain Dealer preseason poll — which operates in lieu of an official league poll — the Buckeyes are picked to win the Big Ten title in 2020, however a title contest plays out amid the coronavirus pandemic that still surges across the U.S.

Nebraska, which was selected as a co-favorite in the West last season, finished fourth in the 2020 poll behind Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The Badgers, receiving 19 first-place votes from reporters covering the league, edged out the Gophers, who received 14. Northwestern, picked to finish sixth in the West, received one first-place vote.

OSU received 33 of the 34 first-place votes in the East, with Penn State receiving the other one.

In every scenario, the East champion was selected to win the league title game.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was selected as the Big Ten’s preseason offensive player of the year, receiving 33 of 34 first-place votes. Purdue receiver Rondale Moore finished second while Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman was third.

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons was named the preseason defensive player of the year. He was a unanimous selection, followed by Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade and Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis.

No Nebraska players were selected for either preseason player of the year competition.

The Big Ten standings, as seen in the Plain Dealer poll: 

BIG TEN EAST

1. Ohio State 237 points (33 first-place votes)

2. Penn State 204 points (1)

3. Michigan 169 points

4. Indiana 134 points

5. Michigan State 94 points

6. Maryland 76 points

7. Rutgers 38 points

BIG TEN WEST

1. Wisconsin 221 points (19)

2. Minnesota 209.5 (14)

3. Iowa 157 points

4. Nebraska 117 points

5. Purdue 105 points

6. Northwestern 87.5 points (1)

7. Illinois 55 points


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