Ohio State was ranked fifth in the coaches’ college football poll released Thursday.
Defending national champion Clemson was picked first in the preseason poll for the first time in school history, receiving 59 of the 65 first-place votes. The Tigers were followed by Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Positioned at No. 5, the Buckeyes were the highest-ranked team from the Big Ten, which had seven schools debut in the top 25. Michigan was at No. 7, Penn State at No. 14, Wisconsin at No. 17, Iowa at No. 19, Michigan State at No. 20 and Northwestern at No. 25. OSU plays five of the other six ranked Big Ten schools this season, avoiding only Iowa.
Despite the retirement of coach Urban Meyer and the departure of record-setting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., it was the fifth consecutive year that Ohio State was ranked in the top five of the preseason coaches’ poll.
Last season, the Buckeyes were ranked third in the preseason and finished in the same spot after finishing 13-1, winning their second straight Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day is among the coaches voting in the poll this season, replacing Meyer. Their ballots are not made public until the end of the regular season.
The Buckeyes begin preseason training camp on Friday.