Ohio State football ranked No. 2 behind Alabama in preseason coaches poll

·5 min read

Ohio State is No. 2 in the football preseason USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll released Monday.

It is behind only top-ranked Alabama, which received 54 of the 66 available first-place votes.

The Buckeyes picked up five first-place votes, and defending College Football Playoff champion Georgia got six first-place votes. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 3. Texas, which is ranked 19th, also received a first-place vote.

Ohio State football news: Join the Ohio State football insider text group with Bill Rabinowitz and Joey Kaufman

Ohio State football: Scenes from first day of fall training camp

Ohio State defense: How does Ohio State football's secondary fill out under new coordinator Jim Knowles?

The rest of the top five features Clemson at No. 4 and Notre Dame at No. 5.

The high preseason ranking for the Buckeyes comes as they are loaded on offense with a number of prominent returners led by star quarterback C.J. Stroud and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes open the season with high expectations.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes open the season with high expectations.

Ohio State was last No. 2 in the preseason coaches poll in 2020, when they also were bringing back a Heisman Trophy finalist behind center. That was when Justin Fields was entering his junior season.

With more uncertainty at the high-profile position last August, they were ranked fourth.

The Buckeyes were last atop the preseason coaches poll in 2015, when they were coming off a national championship.

Coach Ryan Day does not vote in the poll. Day did vote in his first season at the helm of the Buckeyes in 2019, but was not a voter in the past two seasons.

In addition to Ohio State, three other teams from the Big Ten were ranked in the top 25, including Michigan at No. 6, Michigan State at No. 14 and Wisconsin at No. 20.

Utah, coming off its historic Pac-12 title campaign, begins at No. 8, its highest-ever starting point. The Big 12 claims the next three positions, though No. 9 Oklahoma’s preseason ranking is its lowest since 2015, and No. 10 Baylor’s is its highest since 2014. Oklahoma State rounds out the Big 12 trio checking in at No. 11.

Coach Ryan Day, quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes open the season with high expectations.
Coach Ryan Day, quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes open the season with high expectations.

Top-10 SEC contenders Alabama, Georgia and Texas &M are joined by No. 21 Kentucky, No. 23 Arkansas and No. 24 Mississippi to give the conference six ranked members in all to lead the poll. Kentucky has its highest preseason football ranking in program history. Usual contender LSU, on the other hand, will open the season outside the Top 25 for the first time since 2000.

The ACC is next with five ranked teams, with No. 13 North Carolina State and No. 19 Wake Forest claiming their highest preseason ranking ever and defending league champ Pittsburgh getting its highest starting position at No. 16 since 2010.

The Big 12 joins the Big Ten in having four ranked teams each. The Pac-12 has three, and the American has a pair with No. 22 Cincinnati joined by No. 25 Houston. Notre Dame is the lone ranked independent as Brigham Young finishes fourth among others receiving votes.

The Associated Press' preseason poll is out later this month.

Top 25 college football rankings: Coaches poll

  1. Alabama (13-2)

  2. Ohio State (11-2)

  3. Georgia (14-1)

  4. Clemson (10-3)

  5. Notre Dame (11-2)

  6. Michigan (12-2)

  7. Texas A&M (8-4)

  8. Utah (10-4)

  9. Oklahoma (11-2)

  10. Baylor (12-2)

  11. Oklahoma State (12-2)

  12. Oregon (10-4)

  13. North Carolina State (9-3)

  14. Michigan State (11-2)

  15. Southern California (4-8)

  16. Pittsburgh (11-3)

  17. Miami (Fla.) (7-5)

  18. Texas (5-7)

  19. Wake Forest (11-3)

  20. Wisconsin (9-4)

  21. Kentucky (10-3)

  22. Cincinnati (13-1)

  23. Arkansas (9-4)

  24. Mississippi (10-3)

  25. Houston (12-2)

Who votes in the college football coaches poll?

The USA TODAY Sports AFCA  Board of Coaches is 66 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2022 season:

Here who votes in the coaches poll: 

Tom Albin, Ohio; Tom Allen, Indiana; Blake Anderson, Utah State; Marcus Arroyo, UNLV; Dino Babers, Syracuse; Mike Bloomgren, Rice; Brent Brennan, San Jose State; Neal Brown, West Virginia; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin; Dave Clawson, Wake Forest; Sonny Cumbie, Louisiana Tech; Kalen DeBoer, Washington; Jake Dickert, Washington State; Dana Dimel, Texas-El Paso; Dave Doeren, North Carolina State; Stan Drayton, Temple; Sonny Dykes, TCU; Herm Edwards, Arizona State; Mike Elko, Duke; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jedd Fisch, Arizona; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; James Franklin, Penn State; Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame; Hugh Freeze, Liberty; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Scott Frost, Nebraska; Danny Gonzales, New Mexico; Jeff Hafley, Boston College; Will Hall, Southern Mississippi; Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois; Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky; Brady Hoke, San Diego State; Dana Holgorsen; Houston; Butch Jones, Arkansas State; Chris Klieman, Kansas State; Rhett Lashlee, SMU; Lance Leipold, Kansas; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Sean Lewis, Kent State; Mike Locksley, Maryland; Mike MacIntyre, Florida International; Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio); Joey McGuire, Texas Tech; Jeff Monken, Army; Joe Moorhead, Akron; Jim Mora, Connecticut; Billy Napier, Florida; Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Sam Pittman, Arkansas; Brent Pry, Virginia Tech; Nick Saban, Alabama; Scott Satterfield, Louisville; Greg Schiano, Rutgers; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Jake Spavital, Texas State; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Jon Sumrall, Troy; Jeff Tedford, Fresno State; Jeff Traylor, Texas-San Antonio; Mel Tucker, Michigan State; Kyle Whittingham, Utah, Ken Wilson, Nevada.

USA TODAY contributed to this report.

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State football ranked No. 2 in coaches poll