Ohio State was ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press preseason college football poll, the top-ranked Big Ten team among seven conference teams to crack the top 25.

It marked the sixth time in the past seven seasons that the Buckeyes will open the season ranked in the top five. The outlier was the 2016 season, when they opened at No. 6.

OSU has been opened among the top six teams in the preseason poll seven consecutive seasons, the longest such stretch in school history since 1972-78.

Defending national champion Clemson was the overwhelming choice at No. 1, receiving 52 first-place votes and 1,540 points.

The Tigers were followed by Alabama (10 first-place votes, 1,496 points), Georgia (1,403), Oklahoma (1,331) and the Buckeyes (1,261). OSU finished No. 3 in the AP’s final 2018 poll behind Clemson and Alabama.

Among Big Ten schools besides Ohio State, Michigan was ranked No. 7, and Penn State (No. 15), Michigan State (No. 18), Wisconsin (No. 19), Iowa (No. 20) and Nebraska (No. 25) also were among the top 25.

The Buckeyes’ 2019 schedule includes five teams ranked in the top 25, all of the ranked conference teams except Iowa. OSU also plays two other teams that received votes in the poll, Northwestern and Cincinnati.

Ohio State opens its season at noon Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic in Ohio Stadium.

rstein@dispatch.com