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USA Today Pre-season Top 25: Where Is The Big Ten?

For the B1G, there are five teams all told in the top 25, with Iowa, Michigan, and Northwestern in the 'others receiving votes' category.

USA Today has released the first pre-season top 25, and the usual suspects--Oklahoma, Alabama, and Oregon, are at the top of the college football rankings:

1.  Oklahoma (42)

2.  Alabama (13)

3.  Oregon (2)

4.  LSU (2)

5.  Florida State

6.  Stanford 

7.  Boise State

8.  Oklahoma State

9.  Texas A&M

10.  Wisconsin

11.  Nebraska

12.  South Carolina

13.  Virginia Tech

14.  Arkansas 

15.  TCU

16.  Ohio State

17.  Michigan State

18.  Notre Dame

19.  Auburn

20.  Mississippi State

21.  Missouri

22.  Georgia

23.  Florida

24.  Texas

25.  Penn State

For the B1G, there are five teams all told in the top 25, with Iowa, Michigan, and Northwestern in the 'others receiving votes' category. 

Wisconsin is the conference's top ranked team, at #10.  They are the pre-season favorite to win the B1G, and with the addition of QB Russell Wilson, they are poised to make a serious title run.

Nebraska, who begins her maiden vovage as a B1G member, comes in the highest, at 11, and most experts are predicting them to face the B1G's top ranked team, Wisconsin, in the inaugural B1G championship in Indianapolis.

Next comes Ohio State, at 16.  OSU has undergone a massive transformation, losing coach Jim Tressel and QB Terrelle Pryor to a cheating scandal, but they still have a lot of talent, and are still one of the teams to beat.

17th is Michigan State, who is looking for a move up to the ranks of conference elite.  To do that, they'll need to do better against teams like Alabama in the bowl game.  But still, Michigan State will be a team to be reckoned with in the B1G in 2011.

Finally, coming in at 25 is Penn State.  They have a lot of questions, the biggest one being quarterback.  If Robert Bolden plays to his potential, they'll end the season better than this ranking.  If not, they won't even be one of the 'teams receiving votes'.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.