It used to be that the Ohio State Buckeyes could be found at or near the top of every early preseason Top 25, but with their grip on the Big Ten temporarily loosened, a vacuum at the peak of the conference has opened up. In his first Top 25 for 2012, SB Nation's Bill Connelly wrestles with filling out his top ten, and eventually lands on the Michigan Wolverines at No. 9. Here's Connelly's reasoning:
The final Coaches Poll for the 2011-12 NCAA football season has been released, and the Big Ten has fared a bit better than they did with the AP. After the Wisconsin Badgers served as the lone representative in the top 10 for the conference with the AP, now the Michigan Wolverines (No. 9) and Michigan State Spartans (No. 10) hit the top 10 while Wisconsin rolled in at No. 11. The Nebraska Cornhuskers dropped in at No. 24, while embattled Penn State dropped out of the top 25 during bowl season and only recieved 10 votes overall.