Ohio State is the nation’s top football team, according to the Associated Press Poll released Sunday afternoon.
The Buckeyes earned 61 first-place votes, becoming the first team in the 65-year history of the preseason AP Poll to be a unanimous No. 1 selection. Prior to this poll, no team had received more than 97 percent of the first-place votes in a preseason poll.
TCU, Alabama, Baylor and Michigan State rounded out the top five. These are the highest preseason ranking for TCU, Baylor and Michigan State. TCU's previous high in a preseason poll was No. 6 in 2010, Baylor's was No. 7 in 1957 and this is the highest preseason ranking for the Spartans since starting the season No. 3 in 1967.
Being ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP Poll has not been a good thing in recent years. The last time the preseason No. 1 finished as the national champion was USC in 2004. Of course, that trophy was vacated because of a violation of NCAA rules. Only twice (FSU 1999 and UC 2004) has the preseason No. 1 team stayed No. 1 the entire season and won the national title.
Since 2002, the preseason No. 1 has been the previous year's national champion six times and none of those teams have gone on to repeat.
The last two times Ohio State has been the No. 1 preseason pick in the AP Poll (1998 and 2006), it has gone on to finish No. 2.
The SEC led all conferences with eight teams selected in the poll, including three in top 10, and the Pac-12, which many think could potentially be the best college football conference this season, had six teams in the poll.
Boise State was the only Group of Five team to crack the Top 25, ranking at No. 23.
The AP Poll is the last of the preseason polls to be released. It is made up entirely of media voters. While it’s interesting, it has no bearing on the College Football Playoff, though many playoff committee members likely use this poll as well as others, as a rough guide of who to watch to start the season.
Here’s a look at the entire AP Poll:
1. Ohio State
5. Michigan State
10. Florida State
11. Notre Dame
15. Arizona State
16. Georgia Tech
17. Ole Miss
23. Boise State
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