Ohio State has yet to begin their defense of last year’s national championship, but they have already made history. The Buckeyes have become the first ever unanimous preseason No. 1 in the history of the AP college football poll, receiving all 61 possible first-place votes.
It’s not difficult to see why all of the voters have selected Ohio State as the best team in the country. After beating Alabama and Oregon in the first ever College Football Playoff to win the national title, the Buckeyes didn’t lose any underclassmen to the NFL. They’ll return running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback J.T. Barrett, who are two of the top three Heisman Trophy candidates. Quarterback Cardale Jones has also been given some of the best odds to win the award.
But being voted No. 1 far from guarantees the Buckeyes will achieve any postseason success. Since 2004, no preseason No.1 has ended the year as the national champs. In four of the last seven seasons, the top team in the preseason has finished the year ranking no better than No. 10.
The Buckeyes nearly became a unanimous selection atop the USA Today Coaches Poll. They received 62 of 64 possible first-place votes. TCU and Alabama each received one first place vote.
TCU comes in at No. 2 in the AP Top 25, followed by Alabama and Baylor. Michigan State rounds out the top five, falling just one spot behind the team they beat in last season’s Cotton Bowl.
Going 12-1 last season, TCU was viewed as a snub by some who thought they should’ve been selected to play in the College Football Playoff. The Horned Frogs might have the most likely Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Trevone Boykin, who threw for 3,901 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year.
Alabama might not be the national championship favorite that they’ve been in recent seasons, but they are all but a lock to be a top team under Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide haven’t won fewer than 10 games since 2007, going a combined 48-6 in the last four seasons.
Boise State, Missouri and Tennessee round out the Top 25. Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State just missed the cut.
1) Ohio State
5) Michigan State
10) Florida State
11) Notre Dame
15) Arizona State
16) Georgia Tech
17) Ole Miss
23) Boise State