Meyer downplays No. 2 ranking

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There was no need for Urban Meyer to address the USA Today coaches' poll last year.

Even now that the Ohio State coach could mention with his team once again eligible for votes from his peers, that approach isn't going to change.

Meyer acknowledged the rankings briefly to the media during an appearance at the safety clinic he co-hosted on campus Thursday morning with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but he quickly moved on from the topic and turned his attention elsewhere. And that will apparently be the same way he'll address it with the Buckeyes as they report for the start of training camp this weekend.

"I'm anxious to get to Sunday, because all that won't be discussed one time," Meyer said. "High expectations have been discussed, but not about the number.

"We all know that doesn't [matter]."

The specific number does reinforce just how enormous the expectations are for the Buckeyes coming off an unbeaten season and moving into Meyer's second with the program, and it's also the first of many official reminders that the team is once again free of the NCAA sanctions that kept it from earning a ranking in the coaches' poll a year ago, which represents one-third of the BCS formula in sorting out the national-title picture.

But standing about 80 yards away from a huge banner with "The Chase" in bold letters hanging in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center just half an hour after stealing three first-place votes away from top-ranked Alabama, Meyer had little use for that confirmation anyway. And he doesn't appear to be in a hurry to bring it up with the Buckeyes, either.

"I'm kind of honored to be there," Meyer said. "... But you know me well enough, once we get going, I just can't wait until Sunday to get practicing.

"I remember one time we started 115th in the country, and that's a little more difficult. Starting No. 2, that means people have respect for what we did a year ago."

And based on the preseason ballots, there are clearly some voters who are anticipating something similar this year.