Big Ten preseason favorite, players of year named

by Max Sanders

Ohio State football has won four straight Big Ten titles. Media at the Big Ten conference’s media days think that streak is likely to continue.


Ohio State was named the Big Ten preseason favorite for the 2009 football season by members of the Big Ten media. Coming off a 10-3 season which saw them go 7-1 in conference, the Buckeyes are returning 12 starters.


One of those starters, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, was the media’s choice for preseason Big Ten offensive player of the year.


Last year’s Big Ten freshman of the year, Pryor was 8-1 as a starter for the Buckeyes, and was the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Ohio State since 1978.


Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones was named the media’s choice for preseason defensive player of the year. Jones, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year, led the spartans in tackles with 127, which was good for third in the Big Ten.


Penn State, who finished as a Big Ten co-champion last year, was picked to finish second this season and Michigan State was selected to finish third.


In 2009 national preseason polls, Phil Steele has four Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, with Minnesota not making the list. Penn State is ranked highest at No. 5, while Ohio State is No. 10, Illinois is No. 19, and Iowa is No. 20. In Sporting News’ preseason poll, Ohio State and Penn State are the lone Big Ten representatives, at No.’s 9 and 12 respectively.