Ohio State ranked No. 1 in Amway Preseason Coaches Poll
The Buckeyes received 62 of 64 first-place votes in the poll and will begin their title defense on Sept. 7 at Virginia Tech.
Ohio State returns seven starters each on offense and defense, and will have former quarterback Braxton Miller in the fold, as he says he is transitioning into a H-back/wide receiver.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has yet to name a starter at quarterback for the season opener against the Hokies.
After Miller was lost for the season because of a shoulder injury, backup J.T. Barrett started the first 12 games for Ohio State before breaking his ankle against Michigan, giving way to third-string Cardale Jones, who won three postseason games and led Ohio State to the national title.
Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns is a Heisman Trophy candidate, and the defense is led by All-American defensive end Joey Bosa, who had 13 1/2 sacks and 21 tackles for loss last season.
Michigan State and Auburn follow at No. 6 and 7, respectively. Florida State, who was No. 1 in last year’s preseason poll, is now No. 8, with Georgia and USC rounding out the top 10. Notre Dame is 11th, followed by Clemson, LSU and UCLA. Ole Miss comes in at No. 15.
Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Arkansas round out the top 20, followed by Stanford, Arizona, SEC East champion Missouri, Boise State and Tennessee to close out the rankings. Texas is not in the preseason rankings for the first time since 1998.
The SEC leads all conferences with eight teams in the poll, including five from the Western Division. The Pac-12 is the next best with six teams represented in the top 25 rankings.
The Big 12, Big Ten and ACC each have three teams in the poll.
The first regular-season poll will be released Sept. 8, with the final regular-season poll scheduled to be released Dec. 6. The preseason Associated Press poll will be revealed Aug. 23.
This season's College Football Playoff Semifinals will take place at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas and the Orange Bowl in Miami on Dec. 31. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will also take place on Dec. 31.
The Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will all be played on Jan. 1.
The College Football Playoff National Championship will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 11.
The complete preseason coaches poll:
1. Ohio State
6. Michigan State
8. Florida State
11. Notre Dame
15. Ole Miss
16. Arizona State
17. Georgia Tech
24. Boise State
- Scooby Axson