Skip to main content

Ohio State tops USA Today preseason Coaches Poll

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer leads the team in pre-game warmup drills prior to the NCAA football game against Penn State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Oct. 26, 2013. (Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch)

Credit: The Columbus Dispatch

As expected, defending national champion Ohio State opened the USA Today preseason Coaches Poll at No. 1 on Thursday. The only question is how much of the available No. 1 votes the Buckeyes would grab, and the defending champs gobbled up 62 of 64 available first-place votes (TCU and Alabama garnered one apiece). The two voters that did not rank Ohio State No. 1 had the Buckeyes at No. 2. So, officially now, the Buckeyes are the heavy favorites heading into 2015.

And that is - historically, at least - very unfortunate for them.

Ohio State is the second straight defending national champion to retain its No. 1 ranking on the first week of the following season and the fifth in the last dozen years. Of the previous four, only one (2003-04 USC) went on to claim back-to-back national titles. That 2004 team, though later vacated, is also the only Coaches preseason No. 1 in the last dozen years to win a national title. So while it provides a nice pep in the step for the Buckeyes and their fans today, a preseason No. 1 ranking usually does not lead to greater things in January.

Here's the full poll:

1. Ohio State
2. TCU
3. Alabama
4. Baylor
5. Oregon
6. Michigan State
7. Auburn
8. Florida State
9. Georgia
10. USC
11. Notre Dame
12. Clemson
13. LSU
14. UCLA
15. Ole Miss
16. Arizona State
17. Georgia Tech
18. Wisconsin
19. Oklahoma
20. Arkansas
21. Stanford
22. Arizona
23. Missouri
24. Boise State
25. Tennessee

A few notes:

- Breaking it down by conference: SEC (8), Pac-12 (6) Big 12 (3), Big Ten (3), ACC (3), Independents (1), Mountain West (1). By percentage: SEC (57%), Pac-12 (50%), Big 12 (30%), ACC and Big Ten (21%).

- The Group of Five gets its one customary late 20's spot, and, of course, it goes to Boise State.

- Steve Spurrier will surely be pleased that 7-6 Arkansas and 7-6 Tennessee jump into the poll and 7-6 South Carolina does not.

- This is the first time since 1998, Mack Brown's first year, that Texas enters the year unranked in the Coaches' Poll. The silver lining? The Horns went 9-3 and ended the year ranked 16th by the coaches.

- Just for laughs, here's last year's Coaches preseason Top 10 laid against the postseason Top 10.

Rank

Preseason

Postseason

1.

Florida State

Ohio State

2.

Alabama

Oregon

3.

Oklahoma

TCU

4.

Oregon

Alabama

5.

Auburn

Michigan State

6.

Ohio State

Florida State

7.

UCLA

Georgia Tech

8.

Michigan State

Baylor

9.

South Carolina

Georgia

10.

Baylor

UCLA