ESPN unveils B1G preseason power rankings
With just over one month until the B1G season kicks off, we’ve reached the point in the offseason when various media outlets begin to release their regular preseason power rankings for the upcoming year.
Monday, ESPN unveiled its 2018 preseason power rankings for the B1G, just a few hours before the start of the conference’s Media Days. It should be no surprise who topped the list.
Ohio State and Wisconsin, the two division winners and B1G Championship Game participants from the 2017 season were picked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, both expected to reach Indianapolis in early December. It’s not much of a surprise that four of the top five teams in the rankings were from the B1G East, either.
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Here’s how ESPN’s preseason power rankings look:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Michigan State
While it’s no surprise that Ohio State, the reigning B1G champion, is atop the charts in the preseason rankings, ESPN did offer a little insight as to why.
The Buckeyes finished atop the Big Ten last season and are returning 15 total starters from last season’s team. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed promise in his limited time, completing 40 of his 57 passes and throwing four touchdowns in the process. Haskins has an opportunity to shine this season and help lead Ohio State back to the conference championship game. Nick Bosa should help lead a defense that lost quite a bit to the NFL, but defensive backs Kendall Sheffield, Jeffrey Okudah and Jordan Fuller should all be poised to take on bigger roles and pick up the slack in the secondary.
It’s impossible to project how the season will turn out (that’s why they play the games, right), but putting the Buckeyes at the top is probably a pretty safe bet.
The question now is whether or not anyone can overtake Ohio State at the top spot, and how quickly could it happen?