We asked for your feedback and we finally have results to share with the Maize n Brew readers and Michigan fans who took part in our fan polling ahead of the 2019-20 Big Ten Basketball season.
What you’re going to notice in these results is that it is very Michigan-skewed from the fan voting (shocking!).
Here are the full results of our interactive poll:
MnB Readers’ Predicted Order of Finish (My ballot in parenthesis)
- Michigan State (1)
- Michigan (4)
- Maryland (3)
- Ohio State (2)
- Purdue (5)
- Wisconsin (7)
- Indiana (8)
- Iowa (9)
- Illinois (6)
- Minnesota (11)
- Penn State (12)
- Nebraska (13)
- Northwestern (14)
- Rutgers (10)
Before we get into the rest of the results, I’ll explain my reasoning for the way I ordered things at the time of voting.
The fans are a bit too high on Michigan, understandably so given that it was Michigan fans that were polled. I think they can peak around the third spot with a floor that is probably in the 8-9 range, so there are any number of ways this year could go for them.
As far as who has the best shot to push Michigan State, the going theory among a lot of the national writers is that it should be Maryland, but I think I trust Chris Holtmann more than Mark Turgeon with the talent that Ohio State now has. Purdue has also been getting a ton of pub in the preseason and while they should still be a factor because Matt Painter is that good of a coach, they may struggle to replace Carsen Edwards.
Once you get through that top three teams, there’s parity all over this conference and the talent level league-wide does not feel as strong as it has been in years prior to this. Any of those teams in the four to nine range could be duking it out for any of those spots. From there, there does seem to be another tiered drop-off.
The fans voted Rutgers as the worst team in the conference, but they probably did so because of the name brand and not what is actually going on there. Steve Pikiell seems to have them going in the right direction and they could be a pain as one of those teams at the bottom of the conference this year.
Nebraska could be the most interesting bad team to watch because they essentially replaced the entire roster ahead of Fred Hoiberg’s first season coaching them. I think there’s more upside there than Northwestern, who might have one of the conference’s most overrated head coaches in Chris Collins.
On to the rest of the votes.
MnB Readers’ Big Ten Player of the Year (My ballot in parenthesis)
Cassius Winston, Michigan State (same)
MnB Readers’ Big Ten Freshman of the Year (My ballot in parenthesis)
Franz Wagner, Michigan (same)
MnB Readers’ Big Ten Coach of the Year (My ballot in parenthesis)
Juwan Howard, Michigan (Chris Holtmann, Ohio State)
MnB Readers’ All-Big Ten Team (My ballot in parenthesis)
Guards: Cassius Winston, MSU and Anthony Cowan, Maryland (same)
Forwards: Jalen Smith, Maryland and Lamar Stevens, Penn State (Jalen Smith, Maryland and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State)
Center: Jon Teske, Michigan (same)
There you have it. What would your ballots look like? Sound off in the comments below.