The Ohio State Buckeyes will enter the 2013 NCAA football season ranked second in the nation as determined by the initial release of the USA TODAY/AP Coaches Poll.
The Buckeyes, fresh off of their 12-0 finish in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach, received three first-place votes, falling shy of the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (58). Alabama’s margin of 118 poll points on Ohio State is the reportedly the biggest preseason lead for No. 1 since USC’s 142-point edge on Texas heading into the 2005 season. That year, the Trojans and Longhorns held the top two spots for the entire season. The Tide, however, have never won a national title after being preseason No. 1 in the preseason poll.
Ohio State was ineligible for votes in the coaches poll last season while under NCAA sanctions. Michigan (17), Nebraska (18), Northwestern (22) and Wisconsin (23) round out the Big Ten representation among the top 25.