College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is asmussen@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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Lovie Smith at Memorial Stadium in Champaign on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

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The Illinois football team was picked to finish last in the Big Ten West on all 34 ballots in a preseason poll of conference sportswriters.

The poll, conducted by Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com, asked voters to rank the schools 1 to 7 in each division. Schools were given seven points for a first-place vote, six for seven, etc.

Illinois received the fewest votes in the West for the second consecutive year.

Bob Asmusssen, who is completing his 30th year in Champaign, represented The News-Gazette.

Nebraska was the pick to win the West and Michigan was tabbed in the East.

Here are the final results:

WEST

1. Nebraska: 198 points, 14 first-place votes

2. Iowa:194.5, 14

3. Wisconsin: 172.5, 4

4. Northwestern: 142.5, 1

5. Purdue: 110.5, 0

6. Minnesota: 100, 1

7. Illinois: 34, 0

EAST

1. Michigan: 222, 20

2. Ohio State: 214, 14

3. Michigan State: 156, 0

4. Penn State: 154, 0

5. Indiana: 86.5, 0

6. Maryland: 82.5, 0

7. Rutgers: 37. 0

News-Gazette