College football is really, really close. The best time of the year is so close that we can all see the light at the end of the offseason tunnel. With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to begin their 2019 campaign 11 days, the Associated Press has released their first poll of the 2019 season. The scarlet and gray are ranked No. 5 in the preseason AP Poll, two spots behind where they finished the 2018 season.
With first-year head coach Ryan Day, the Buckeyes are embarking on a new era, one that they hope will be rival (or even better be than) Urban Meyer’s. Ohio State has plenty of questions surrounding them ahead of the season, but there’s a reason many, including voters, believe they will be one of the best teams in the country again in 2019. Not only will Day be leading the scarlet and gray for the first team, but there are a handful of new assistants on his staff as well. They were brought in to maximize the team’s potential and put the Buckeyes in the best position to win on a weekly basis.
Ohio State may have lost plenty of talent both to the NFL and graduation, but they also return a bunch talent on both sides of the ball as well, including two players — defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah — who draft analysts believe will both be top-10 or even top-5 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Along with the Buckeyes, there are also six other Big Ten teams who are ranked: Michigan (No. 7), Penn State (No. 15), Michigan State (No. 18), Wisconsin (No. 19), Iowa (No. 20), Nebraska (No. 24). The SEC has six ranked teams, the second most of any other conference, although all six of theirs are in the top 16. The SEC has two top-3 teams and four in the top-8. For those wondering, the Pac-12 has five, Big 12 has three, and the ACC has a pair of teams in the poll.
This is just your daily reminder that in reality, the AP Poll—and all non-College Football Playoffs polls for that matter— are meaningless. That is even true in the preseason. While they give fans a gist of what teams are (or aren’t) supposed to be good, it’s mainly just for TV ratings early in the season. The higher-ranked teams and ranked matchups early on are what gets the people talking and watching specific games early in the season.
The entire AP Top 25:
Much like the AP Top 25, Ohio State is also ranked No. 5 in the preseason Coaches Poll. The Buckeyes will kick off their 2019 season on August 31, when Ohio State will host Florida Atlantic at 12 p.m. ET.