Media poll puts Iowa football team atop Big Ten West

Mark Emmert

Big Ten Conference media members are bullish on the Iowa football team, but only to a point.

The 39 voters in a poll organized by, which included the Register’s Chad Leistikow, overwhelmingly favor the Hawkeyes to repeat as winners of the Big Ten West Division this fall. But only one of the 39 believes Iowa has what it takes to win the conference championship game in Indianapolis. Instead, 27 believe Ohio State will do so; the other 11 chose Michigan.

Iowa scored 265 of a maximum 280 points in the West in the inverted 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring format. Nebraska was next, with 206. Wisconsin, Northwestern and Minnesota followed, with each getting at least one voter who believed it would win the West. Illinois and Purdue trailed the field.

Media members who cover the Big Ten Conference think Iowa's football team is the favorite to get back to Indianapolis this fall, but only one thinks the Hawkeyes can actually win the title game.

The Hawkeyes finished 12-0 last season, after being picked to finish fourth in the West, but lost 16-13 to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game before heading to the Rose Bowl and a 45-16 defeat to Stanford.

This is the sixth year of the preseason poll, which has never resulted in a correct championship prediction. The Big Ten no longer organizes a preseason poll of top team finishers. The league’s media days will be Monday and Tuesday in Chicago, with coach Kirk Ferentz and three Hawkeye stars speaking Tuesday. Poll Results:

Big Ten East predicted order of finish

(vote totals in parantheses)

1. Ohio State (260.5)

2. Michigan (241)

3. Michigan State (195.5)

4. Penn State (155.5)

5. Indiana (110)

6. Maryland (81.5)

7. Rutgers (52)

Big Ten West

1. Iowa (265)

2. Nebraska (206)

3. Wisconsin (194.5)

4. Northwestern (171.5)

5. Minnesota (132)

6. Illinois (76.5)

7. Purdue (46.5)

Big Ten Championship:

Ohio State over Iowa (24)

Michigan over Iowa (6)

Michigan over Wisconsin (2)

Michigan over Nebraska (2)

Ohio State over Minnesota (1)

Ohio State over Wisconsin (1)

Ohio State over Nebraska (1)

Michigan over Northwestern (1)

Iowa over Ohio State (1)

Big Ten Champions:

Ohio State (27)

Michigan (11)

Iowa (1)