Penn State players and coaches have often said they relish the underdog role — and, if the Big Ten media is any indication, it looks as if the Nittany Lions will have to play that role once again.
In a preseason media poll conducted by Cleveland.com, in which 28 writers across the conference voted on the 2018 Big Ten projections, not a single sportswriter picked Penn State to win the conference or to make the College Football Playoff. And only one reporter chose the Nittany Lions to win the East.
Overall, Penn State was chosen to finish third in the Big Ten East — behind Ohio State and Michigan State, but ahead of Michigan. (The Spartans, Wolverines and Nittany Lions were separated by just 1.5 voting points.)
In what shouldn’t be a surprise, the Buckeyes were picked to win the conference with 14 votes. Wisconsin earned 13 votes, and Michigan State earned one.
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The Badgers were the unanimous picks to win the West. In the East, Ohio State earned 23.5 votes to finish first (one person picked a first-place tie), Michigan State had two, Michigan had 1.5 and Penn State had one.