The Ohio State Buckeyes under first-year head coach Urban Meyer have landed eighteenth in the initial Associated Press Poll rankings. This is the 23rd consecutive season the Buckeyes have landed in the preseason AP poll, good for the longest streak in the nation (the Oklahoma Sooners are second at thirteen straight seasons).
While Meyer and the Buckeyes are serving their one year ban from the Big Ten Championship Game and any potential bowl invitations, the AP Poll is what fans and the team will latch on to for the 2012 season, as the Associated Press is not under contract to recognize the BCS Champion as their national champion.
Plenty of dominoes would need to fall correctly, but there’s a chance if Ohio State runs the table and completes their 12-game schedule with no blemishes on the record they could end up in the top spot of the AP poll and would then hopefully be named in a split national championship with the BCS champion.
USC opens up in the top spot, followed by Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon to round out the top five. The Trojans received 25 first place votes of a possible 60. The Crimson Tide received 17, Les Miles and his Honey Badgerless Tigers received 16 and the other two first-place votes went to #4 Oklahoma and, brace yourself, #8 Michigan.
Five Big Ten programs cracked the initial AP Top-25: #8 Michigan; #12 Wisconsin; #13 Michigan State; #17 Nebraska; #18 Ohio State.