Big Ten Football: 2015 preseason power rankings

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Nov 8, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) attempts to pass the ball during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

No surprise here as the Spartans happen to be our writers’ unanimous No. 2 team in the Big Ten. While all seven voted Michigan State as the second-best team in the conference, everyone knows that there’s a very good chance the Spartans could end up as No. 1 by the end of the year.

Related: MSU Football: 5 reasons Michigan State will win it all

Connor Cook returns to a team that finished the season ranked No. 5 in the polls last year and opens the 2015 campaign in the same position. The Heisman-hopeful quarterback is considered the best at his position in the Big Ten and he’s going to have the protection of the best offensive line in the conference.

The running back situation is a bit clouded as Madre London occupies the starting spot with freshman L.J. Scott, sophomore Gerald Holmes and junior Delton Williams all vying for carries.

Michigan State’s usual vaunted defense will look a bit different as Ed Davis is out for the year with an injury and Trae Waynes and Kurtis Drummond have moved on to the NFL. The secondary is young, but it has the potential to be the best it’s been in years — the talent is through the roof.

Despite losing some key players on both sides of the ball, the Spartans have reloaded where it matters and will be a strong contender to take down the top team in the conference on Nov. 21.

Next: No. 1 Ohio State