SI.com preseason poll features five Big Ten teams

Another preseason top 25 poll was released Wednesday afternoon, but unlike previous ones, it doesn’t have Michigan as the highest-ranked Big Ten team. It has the Wolverines ranked third among Big Ten teams, in fact. Evidently, SI.com is higher on Wisconsin and Michigan State, which it has ranked No. 6 and No. 8, respectively. Michigan comes in at No. 13, while Nebraska (No. 19) and Ohio State (No. 22) round out the Big Ten contingent.

[SI.com: SI's 2012 Preseason Top 25]

Must say, it’s a bigger surprise to see the Badgers ranked where they are than to see them ahead of Michigan State and Michigan. No. 6 seems very high. Still, Wisconsin is the back-to-back reigning Big Ten champ and it features a pretty favorable schedule.

And, most importantly, the Badgers welcome back 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball. The senior running back is as good as any player in the nation, but he may find things a bit tougher this season sans one-year star QB Russell Wilson.

Here’s what SI.com wrote about the Badgers:

“Bret Bielema can afford to be magnanimous because his roster remains well stocked. Star runner Monteé Ball (a Heisman candidate) is joined in the backfield by James White and Melvin Gordon; the latter dominated the spring game with 159 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. The main imponderable is at quarterback, where for the second straight year a transfer from the ACC will take the helm. While Danny O’Brien (formerly of Maryland) lacks the explosiveness of predecessor Russell Wilson, he compares favorably with former Badger Scott Tolzien and will keep Wisconsin’s play-action attack humming.”

Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska’s rankings seem pretty fair. As long as first-year QB Andrew Maxwell can be decent, the Spartans are going to be a very good team; the Wolverines are talented but feature a grueling schedule that could impact their ranking; and Nebraska is always around the 10-win mark under Bo Pelini.

Ohio State, at No. 22, seems a bit low. The Buckeyes are ineligible for postseason play, but they have a talented roster and a head coach who has won two national titles.

Brent Yarina is a web editor and blogger for BTN.com. Find all of his work here and follow him on twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.

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7 Comments

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ukeone on 8/15/2012 @ 3:18pm EDT Said:

Your SI.com:2012 Preseason Top 25 link takes me to a private page showing the ’10 worst college fotball teams’…can you fix this?

    Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 8/15/2012 @ 3:19pm EDT Said:

    Fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

BigRedOne on 8/15/2012 @ 5:05pm EDT Said:

Nebraska has had the toughest schedule of any BIG school last year and this year.

jumpingpolarbear on 8/15/2012 @ 6:19pm EDT Said:

I think Ohio State is getting back to being a powerhouse. You just wait and see :).

aroznowski on 8/15/2012 @ 7:01pm EDT Said:

Sports Illustrated’s rankings are simply ridiculous. The teams that SI considers the best in the conference and among the ten best in the country have lost the majority of their players from last season, and their replacements have yet to prove that they can perform on the big stage away from the practice field. After a week or two of conference play, Wisconsin and Michigan State will both probably be at least ten spots lower in the rankings. As the season progresses, both of those teams might be able to climb back into the #11 to #15 range.

Doug on 8/15/2012 @ 11:36pm EDT Said:

MSU had the toughest schedule last year and maybe the toughest this year too, not nebraska, and aroz, MSU and Wisc will be just fine

aroznowski on 8/16/2012 @ 7:25pm EDT Said:

I didn’t say that both teams would have terrible seasons. I said that they are not among the top ten teams in the country. Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin are all pretty even on paper right now, and none of those teams are among the country’s ten best. Michigan State and Wisconsin lost a lot of key players from last season and will likely take a step back. Michigan and Nebraska return more key players than the Spartans and Badgers and will likely stay put or take a step forward. The Wolverines, Spartans, Cornhuskers, and Badgers are four teams that are evenly matched for the most part. You just said that Michigan State has the toughest schedule. College football season can’t come soon enough so that we can analyze teams on the field instead of on paper.

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