Aug. 21, 2010
Less than two weeks away from the beginning of the college football season, four Big Ten squads ranked among the top 25 of the preseason Associated Press (AP) Poll released on Saturday. The Big Ten and the Big 12 are the only conferences with three teams ranked among the top 12, while the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC all feature multiple squads in the top 10. Each of the Big Ten's four ranked teams won bowl games last season over opponents ranked in the AP preseason poll.
Defending Rose Bowl champion Ohio State enters the 2010 season ranked second overall in both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls and received three first-place votes from the media and four first-place votes from the coaches. The Buckeyes finished last season with an 11-2 record and secured their fifth straight Big Ten Championship. Ohio State knocked off Oregon (ranked 11th in the AP preseason poll) in the 2010 Rose Bowl Game. The Buckeyes aim to match the record of six straight conference crowns, first accomplished by OSU from 1972-77.
Iowa joins Ohio State among the top 10 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls, rated ninth by the media and 10th by the coaches. The Hawkeyes finished last season with an 11-2 mark and a victory over Georgia Tech (ranked 16th in the AP preseason poll) in the Orange Bowl.
Wisconsin was rated No. 12 in both the media and coaches’ preseason polls, having recorded 10 wins last season, including a victory over Miami (Fla.) (ranked 13th in the AP preseason poll) in the Champs Sports Bowl to end the year.
Penn State was ranked 19th by the media after checking in at No. 14 in the coaches’ preseason poll. The Nittany Lions were the third conference team to finish last season with 11 victories, highlighted by a win over Louisiana State (ranked 21st in the AP preseason poll) in the Capital One Bowl.
The 115th season of Big Ten football kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 2, as Indiana hosts Towson, Minnesota plays at Middle Tennessee State, and Ohio State welcomes Marshall. The conference's other eight teams open action on Saturday, Sept. 4.