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Ohio State football returns to Associated Press top-25 poll

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leads his team onto the field prior to the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.  [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

Ohio State was ranked sixth in its return to the Associated Press poll on Sunday.

It was the first time Big Ten teams were eligible to be included in the top-25 rankings since the conference voted to restart its season earlier this month.

The Buckeyes were behind top-ranked Clemson, as well as Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame, all teams that have played at least one game this fall, rounding out the rest of the top-five.

Other teams from the Big Ten to return to the poll included No. 10 Penn State, No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 23 Michigan.

In the preseason, Ohio State was in a higher poll position, ranked second and only narrowly edged by Clemson for the top spot.

Voters were split this week on how to peg the Buckeyes, who have not played since teams from other conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision kicked off their seasons as early as Labor Day weekend.

While amassing four first-place votes, the Buckeyes were left off 11 of the 62 ballots cast by media members, according to collegepolltracker.com.

Some of the voters ranked only teams that have played games this season, which is being impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

There will be three more weekends before Ohio State is scheduled to play its first game on Oct. 24 against Nebraska, followed by a trip to Penn State on Halloween.

Despite remaining idle, the Buckeyes are still widely viewed as one of the top teams in the country after reaching the College Football Playoff last season and seeing several of their top players opt back in for a fall season after the Big Ten agreed to resume next month.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman