Where are preseason magazines picking Ohio State football to finish in Big Ten?

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Spoiler alert.

The preseason college football magazines are looking at Ohio State football to win another Big Ten championship this fall.

Athlon Sports, Lindy’s and Phil Steele all predict the Buckeyes to finish atop the conference for a fifth consecutive season.

Though thin on experience at quarterback following the departure of Justin Fields, too much talent remains throughout the roster for them to be unseated. Dynamic receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are back, as are talented pass rushers Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith.

“This may not be a clear national title contender, but is the Big Ten’s best — again,” Lindy’s writes.

It’s already been an unprecedented stretch of dominance for Ohio State. In 2019, it became the first team in the history of the Big Ten to win three consecutive outright league titles. Then it added a fourth in December.

The magazines are also in consensus about the opponent they expect the Buckeyes to meet in Indianapolis for the conference title game, forecasting Wisconsin to emerge as the winner of the West division. The teams previously met in championship games in 2019 and 2017. (Note: Steele does not pick an outright winner for the conference title game, but puts Ohio State at No. 3 in his preseason rankings, eight spots ahead of the Badgers).

There is a variance when selecting a top challenger to Ohio State in the East. Athlon Sports and Steele pick Penn State to finish in second place in the division, while Lindy’s has Indiana in the spot behind the Buckeyes.

The Hoosiers were in second last fall, while the Nittany Lions were that high in 2019 and remain the last team other than the Buckeyes to win the league, doing so in 2016.

If the teams all perform as expected, a stretch in late October could be critical to settling the division. The Buckeyes visit Indiana on Oct. 23 before hosting Penn State in Columbus the following Saturday.

Below is the full projected order of finish. 

Athlon Sports' Big Ten football predictions

Big Ten East

1. Ohio State

2. Penn State

3. Indiana

4. Michigan

5. Maryland

6. Rutgers

7. Michigan State

Big Ten West

1. Wisconsin

2. Iowa

3. Minnesota

4. Northwestern

5. Nebraska

6. Purdue

7. Illinois

Lindy's Big Ten football predictions

Big Ten East

1. Ohio State

2. Indiana

3. Penn State

4. Michigan

5. Rutgers

6. Maryland

7. Michigan state

Big Ten West

1. Wisconsin

2. Iowa

3. Northwestern

4. Minnesota

5. Nebraska

6. Purdue

7. Illinois

Phil Steele's Big Ten football predictions 

Big Ten East

1. Ohio State

2. Penn State

3. Indiana

4. Michigan

5. Rutgers

6. Maryland

7. Michigan State

Big Ten West

1. Wisconsin

2. Iowa

3. Northwestern

T4. Nebraska

T4. Minnesota

6. Purdue

7. Illinois

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman

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