Big Ten players' poll: Part I

In recent years, several of you have asked for some type of Big Ten players' poll. Finally, it has come to fruition, and in an election year, no less.

Thanks to help from WolverineNation's Michael Rothstein and BuckeyeNation's Austin Ward, Brian and I surveyed 28 Big Ten players in recent days. The players agreed to answer five questions, on the condition of anonymity. While you can guess who said what about whom, we're not revealing any specifics.

Eleven of the 12 Big Ten teams are represented in the poll (Penn State's players weren't surveyed because of one of the poll questions directly pertains to PSU).

Let's begin with Question No. 1: Besides your own coach, which Big Ten coach would you like to play for the most?


Urban Meyer, Ohio State -- 8 votes

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa -- 6 votes

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State -- 4 votes

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern -- 3 votes

Brady Hoke, Michigan -- 3 votes

Bo Pelini, Nebraska -- 2 votes

Jerry Kill, Minnesota -- 1 vote

Wouldn't play for anyone else in Big Ten -- 1 vote

Player comments

On Ferentz: "He seems like a nice man, real down to earth." ... "I like the Iowa program, the work ethic and the way they play."

On Kill: "It seems like he'd respect you."

On Dantonio: "He's a great coach and runs a pro-style defense." ... "He seems like a pretty solid players' coach."

On Fitzgerald: "He's a young guy and likable."

It's interesting to see a coach entering the league (Meyer) gets the most votes among the players. Meyer's two national championship rings certainly helps his popularity. It's not surprising to see Ferentz's name high on the list as well. His reputation for getting players to the NFL is known around the Big Ten. It's a bit stunning to see Wisconsin's Bret Bielema get shut out in this category. He has had tremendous success in Madison, winning back-to-back Big Ten championships, and seems to be very popular among his own players.

Feel free to get excited if your team's coach received votes. But not too excited. Several of these men also received votes for our second poll question: Which Big Ten coach would you least like to play for?

Those results will be posted Tuesday, so check back.