Penn State gets little love in Big Ten football poll

Penn State was picked to finish third in the Leaders Division in a poll run by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. (Gene J. Puskar/AP file photo)

Penn State didn’t get a lot of love in a Big Ten football poll conducted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the results of which were released Monday.

A total of 24 writers who cover the Big Ten – two from each conference team – voted in the poll in the following areas – predicting the 2011 standings in the Leaders and Legends Divisions, picking an offensive and defensive player of the year, and choosing a best coach. Each writer voted for his or her top three picks in each category.

Wisconsin (22 first-place votes) and Nebraska (19) were the overwhelming selections to finish first in the Leaders and Legends Divisions, respectively. Penn State got one first-place vote and was chosen to take third in the Leaders, behind the Badgers and Ohio State.

Quarterback Denard Robinson of Michigan and defensive lineman Jared Crick of Nebraska got the nods as offensive and defensive players of the year. For Penn State, wide receiver Derek Moye took 10th among the offensive players, and linebacker Michael Mauti came in seventh on defense.

Bret Bielema of Wisconsin narrowly beat out Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz for the honor as best coach, which the Plain Dealer said was “based on who is the best coach in the Big Ten right now – the guy you’d take to lead your program this season.”

Joe Paterno got one third-place vote and finished seventh, one rung behind Michigan’s Brady Hoke, who hasn’t coached a game yet in the Big Ten.

--Joe Juliano