Some thoughts and Reactions to the Big Ten "unofficial" media poll.
Here's the results via Columbus Dispatch.
Team, total points (range of predictions):
1. Ohio State, 288 (1)
2. Wisconsin, 248 (2-5)
3. Michigan, 233 (2-6)
4. Michigan State, 219 (2-6)
5. Purdue, 194 (2-9)
6. Illinois, 150 (4-9)
7. Minnesota, 142 (3-10)
8. Northwestern, 115 (6-11)
9. Indiana, 111 (5-12)
10. Iowa, 86 (6-12)
11. Nebraska, 60 (8-11)
12. Penn State, 26 (11-12)
Reactions below the jump:Boiled Sports found a place for outrage with Terry Hutchens ranking Indiana one spot above Purdue. And this may be the rare time that I say that they are right to be outraged. It's ridiculous that a highly successful team that only lost two players (stars, to be sure) and returns a top candidate for conference POY would be ranked below a highly unsuccessful team that gains a top candidate for conference FOY. Both clubs have question marks, to be sure, but don't bank on Robbie Hummel's ill health, it's both tacky and poorly thought-out.
Indiana fans have reason for outrage, too, as evidently two writers ranked PSU above IU. I'll let The Only Colors take this one:
"Two writers voted Indiana in the cellar, below Penn State. Either the Nittany Lion beat writers are bullish on Penn State's chances last year, Hammer and Rails and Boiled Sports have finally infiltrated the media poll, or confused Nebraska basketball writers are confused."
Iowa fans can also be outraged that they've swept IU for two years now and still aren't getting any respect. However, I think the real outrage should come from Nebraska hoops fans (if there are any). Doc Sadler returns four starters from a bubble team that almost went .500 (7-9) in a conference every bit as tough as the Big Ten last season, gains two top Juco players, a transfer point guard from LSU that averaged 14.5ppg and 2.7 assists in 2009/2010, and several solid/sleeper freshmen (Tony Hilliard & David Rivers may well be the future backcourt for the Huskers for years to come). I see Nebraska as comparable to Minnesota, Northwestern, and (I hope) Indiana, but no way Nebraska finishes 11th.
My own thoughts are that Michigan and Illinois are significantly overrated here. My take on these guys is that they should be considered NIT teams until some hard evidence to the contrary. I just don't see the Wolverine frosh replacing what did, and games just fell out right for UM last year ( being out for the game at PSU, for example). It's hard to see that happening again, and while Illinois is due for some better luck or chemistry, they lost way too much to be considered for the middle of the league. I'm all for saddling Bruce Weber with way-too-high expectations, and who knows? Maybe this freshmen class will be the new Fab Five. I don't see it, though.