Poll position: Bucks slotted No. 18 by AP

A glance at last year's record didn't keep the voters away.

Ohio State is back in The Associated Press college football poll, and it's the only team coming off a losing season to earn a spot in the preseason top 25.

The Buckeyes checked in at No. 18 in the rankings released on Saturday morning, and while four other Big Ten teams were voted ahead of them, the ballots still appear to reflect faith in new coach Urban Meyer's ability to turn things around after a distraction-filled 6-7 campaign a year ago.

Ohio State has appeared in the AP preseason poll for 24 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the country. Oklahoma is second, with 13 straight appearances.

Ohio State should have an opportunity to climb up the chart in September with a manageable nonconference slate with all four games at home, and it will follow that up with a big test on the road at No. 13 Michigan State. That opener in the league and another top-25 matchup the following week with Nebraska could provide a glimpse at how high the Buckeyes might be able to go in the only meaningful poll they're eligible for this season.

Southern Cal is the preseason No. 1, with Alabama second and LSU third.

A quick glance at the Buckeyes' other marquee games, according to the AP rankings:


  • Preseason rank: No. 8 (one first-place vote)

  • Date: Nov. 24

  • Where: Ohio Stadium


  • Preseason rank: No. 12

  • Date: Nov. 17

  • Where: Camp Randall Stadium

Michigan State

  • Preseason rank: No. 13

  • Date: Sept. 29

  • Where: Spartan Stadium


  • Preseason rank: No. 17

  • Date: Oct. 6

  • Where: Ohio Stadium

Central Florida

  • Preseason rank: Received four voting points

  • Date: Sept. 8

  • Where: Ohio Stadium