College baseball beat writer Jeff Huth weighs in on Wednesday’s announcement of the Big Ten coaches’ preseason poll:
On the surprise-o-meter, Indiana’s selection as the conference’s preseason favorite ranks right up there with finger-pointing in Congress. Who else would it be? The Hoosiers return seven All-Big Ten players — including three 2014 preseason All-Americans — from the team that won 49 games and reached the College World Series last season. Little wonder Tracy Smith’s bunch was the unanimous choice of his coaching peers. Illini fans will be glad to know that their favorite team wasn’t overlooked. The league revealed only the top six picks, and Dan Hartleb’s guys are projected to finish in a tie for fifth. Sounds about right, considering that there are major question marks about the hitting but also major confidence in a deep and talented pitching staff. But let’s face it; it’s all guesswork this time of year. Except, that is, when it comes to the guys in Cream and Crimson-colored uniforms.
3. Ohio State
4. Michigan State
* — unanimous