Ohio State is ranked No. 2 in the preseason college football Amway Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday by USA TODAY.
Clemson, the Buckeyes’ biggest recent nemesis, is ranked No. 1. The Tigers got 1,589 points, including 38 first-place votes. Ohio state got 1,555 points with 17 first-place votes.
The Tigers defeated Ohio State 29-23 at the Fiesta Bowl in last season’s College Football Playoff semifinals, a game the Buckeyes rue letting slip away after leading 16-0. Clemson then lost to Joe Burrow-led LSU in the national title game.
The Tigers also routed Ohio State 31-0 in the 2016 CFP semifinals and defeated the Buckeyes 40-35 in the Orange Bowl to conclude the 2013 season.
Both the Buckeyes and Tigers return the core of their 2019, including their quarterbacks. Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence are the Heisman Trophy favorites.
The Buckeyes opened their training camp Thursday morning. Their opener will be Sept. 3 at Illinois.
Alabama is No. 3 in the poll, following by Georgia and LSU. Oklahoma is No. 6, with Penn State, Florida, Oregon and Notre Dame rounding out the top 10. Other Big Ten schools ranked are Wisconsin at No. 12, Michigan at No. 5, Minnesota at No. 18 and Iowa at No. 23. Cincinnati, coached by former Buckeye player and coach Luke Fickell, is No. 22.
Read more about the poll here.