Four Big Ten teams appeared among the top 25 of the preseason Associated Press (AP) poll released today, including a pair of schools among the top 10. Ohio State leads the way for the Big Ten and is ranked fifth overall, after appearing sixth in the preseason Amway Coaches' poll announced July 31. The Buckeyes won 12 games and claimed division titles in each of the last two seasons.
Defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl Game Champion Michigan State also cracked the top 10, appearing at No. 8 overall in both the AP and Amway Coaches' polls. The Spartans produced a 13-1 record last season. Wisconsin and Nebraska earned the same ranking in both the preseason media and coaches' polls at No. 14 and 22, respectively.
The 119th season of Big Ten football commences on Labor Day weekend as all 14 teams open play on August 28, 29 or 30. The 2014 season marks the beginning of a new era in Big Ten football, with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers and new divisions. The new division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. The Big Ten will also feature the largest and most diverse postseason lineup in conference history, with games against quality opponents in California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas, along with the opportunity to visit four other outstanding venues as part of the College Football Playoff.