Phil Steele: Ohio State Will Be No. 6 in First Associated Press Poll

By DJ Byrnes on April 9, 2014 at 12:13p
74 Comments

The Florida State Seminoles will open as the No. 1 team in the first AP preseason poll, says college football oracle Phil Steele. His predicted top five is rounded out with Alabama, Oregon, Auburn and Oklahoma.

The sixth spot is held down by our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. While the Buckeyes will lose some talent, there is plenty more waiting in the wings. Here's what Phil Steele has to say:

After 24 consecutive wins to start the Urban Meyer era, the Buckeyes lost back-to-back games to close the 2013 season. However, in 2014, they looked poised to bounce back as quarterback Braxton Miller returns for his fourth year as the starting quarterback. They do lose running back Carlos Hyde and leading receiver Philly Brown but Meyer has upgraded the speed at the skill positions in the last couple of recruiting classes.

The defense loses headliners in linebacker Ryan Shazier and cornerback Bradley Roby but the defensive line returns all four starters and should be among the best in the country led by Noah Spence and Joey Bosa. The schedule again is manageable as Virginia Tech and Cincinnati both visit Ohio Stadium in non-conference play. The Buckeyes also avoid both Wisconsin and Nebraska from the West, get Michigan at home and their toughest test will be a road trip to East Lansing on November 8th against defending Big 10 Champ Michigan State.  

This sounds about right. I do wish we could scrap the silly notion of a preseason poll, but that's a topic for another day.

Steele's ranking criteria can be found at his site.

74 Comments

Comments

UrbanCulture's picture

Can't the find the link, but I believe we are unranked in the "way too early top 25" for bball next year someone did

+1 HS
TMac's picture

#6 CBS

#6 Althon

#7 Schlabach

Obviously there are plenty of opinions, but top ten seems to be the concensus. 

Edit - Opps, you said bball - I missed that very important bit

+3 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture

*he said bball :)

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

+2 HS
Buckeye1004's picture

I read something just in the last couple of days that put us at 30 I believe.  Not sure if it is the same pool you are referring to.

GoBucksToledo's picture

Yep, that was the final season ranking for the BasketBucks.

NitroBuck's picture

Gary Parrish of CBS released a "Ridiculously Early Preseason Top 25 (and one)" ranking late Monday evening, but he has the Buckeyes at # 22.

Ferio.  Tego.

TMac's picture

You're always going to have these pre-season guessing games, last year neither FSU nor Auburn were preseason top ten. (I don't believe Auburn was even ranked at all)

As long as we finish top 4, I'm good with starting 6th. 

+1 HS
cplunk's picture

We could be 25th in the AP poll at the end of the year for all I care. All polls other than the one released by the Playoff Committee now have as much meaning as a pile of paint chips.

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I disagree. Just like the AP poll "didn't matter" before. Humans will be involved in determining the playoff. I assume the committee will still use polls as a tool in determine the top 4. 

+1 HS
cplunk's picture

Not saying they will or they won't, but polls and position in the polls are not among the criteria the committee stated would be considered.

It's life and it's people, so you never know when they get in a room, though. I'll give you that.

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

2 upvotes to counter some overly sensitive people. 

Furious George 27's picture

Hard to believe that Stanford is not #1.... They are unbeatable when they play Stanford football per ESPN.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+29 HS
ATLBuckeye09's picture

Thumbs up to you Furious George! That made  my day reading that one. An up vote for you!

Because they wouldn't let me go for 3!
Woody Hayes 1913-1987

pdan46's picture

That's great! I would upvote you if I could!

+10 HS
ManBearPig's picture

How is Oregon #2? Yes, Mariota is back but its like they prove everybody wrong by losing again and again, and yet all voters put them high on their list.

+2 HS
Nutinpa's picture

True.  Then of course, you do realize there is a chorus of SEC (among many others) fans wondering and typing the very same thing about our Buckeyes (and Miller) and their ranking among the top 10 ??  

+5 HS
TnJoeBucks's picture

And yet not a word from them regarding Alabama's similar end to the season.

"As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances." Confucius

+2 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Very good point.  

But it goes to show which team has "street cred" with the media and cfb national (and regional) fanbase......and which one does not. Or at best, does not have as much.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

For the obvious reason that ESPN and the rest of the media love how the Quacks pile on the points....  To the media, it's not about defense, it's all about pretty offense... They love putting lipstick on pigs....

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Furious George 27's picture

NuttyBuckeye a.k.a the tear collector from ESPN blogs?

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

BME_Buckeye's picture

No bro thats me. Im the tear collector from espn now OTE formerly nutty aka buttermilk pancakes.  I go  by many names but the guy above is an imposter of me using a name I've made before. No shame on him for using it here on 11w though.

But yes, I collect all tears and drink them in joy. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

Furious George 27's picture

Ha! I was HowlinMadMurdoch

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Except when the Buckeyes do it. They crucify our defense even if it's better than Oregano's

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

BroJim's picture

Must be the uniforms.

I season my simple food with hunger

jamesrbrown322's picture

PAC 12 teams always get the benefit of the doubt and media love. Consider that Carroll's USC "dynasty" won only one, I repeat one, national title because he always found way to lose in the regular season (to some team that had no business beating them) and knock them out of title contention. However ESPN and the rest of the media worshiped those teams.

Somehow, OSU is punished more for getting to two title games more than USC is for blowing so many opportunities to get there. Such is the case with Oregon. They look great in the regular season for about 10 out of 12 games. Same will happen again this year.

We have to accept that until OSU wins a title, while beating an SEC team, the hate fest will continue. The only way to shut them up is to win.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Buckeye1004's picture

We have to accept that until OSU wins a title, while beating an SEC team, the hate fest will continue. The only way to shut them up is to win.

The hate fest will continue even after we beat a SEC team for the title.  They will never shut up.  Just sayin'.....they will blame the weather or the refs, or they had injuries. Trust me, they will find a way to keep the hate spewing!

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I don't know about anyone else, but if I could ask for the season to go as perfectly as possible for the perception of OSU, which requires that B1G perception improve, it would go like this -

1. OSU destroys an MSU that only loses to OSU before smashing Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

2. OSU steamrolls an undefeated team in the B1G Title Game, who then goes on to dismantle SEC team in CaptialOne.

3. OSU then proceed to destroy Auburn in the semis, then Alabama in Championship game, thusly beating not just two SEC teams, but the last 2 SEC champions. Although I'd take a win over FSU instead of Auburn maybe. But gimme me Bama-OSU in championship.

4. OSU would then be first ever 15-0 in "FBS" history

I know it's just a dream, but it's a beautiful one. To be the best, beat the best. And that is the ONLY thing that will hush some of the hate, and at the very least, Mark May would sh*t a chicken.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+7 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Well, if you're going to dream...then dream big!!

And yes, this is the type of scenario...and maybe the only one in which the OSU football program re-establishes the street cred that it had in 2006 prior to that fateful night in the desert....for which the cfb fanbase and media has not forgiven them for.

+1 HS
BuckeyeGroove's picture

A beutiful dream. Thanks for giving me something wonderful to dream about and hope it comes to fruition. Also thanks for the visual of Mark May shitting a Chicken!

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Did you know that MSU actually plays Oregon in the non-conference this year?!! Even better would be for MSU to whip up on Oregon early in the season, and since they already put the hammer down on Stanford last year,  beats one of those teams AGAIN in the Rose, while OSU goes on to the playoff.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+2 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm adding to your dream: 

2 - OSU completely crushes TTUN to a point that Flounder Hoke throws his XXXXL Meat Lovers doughnut stuffed crust pizza onto the field.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+1 HS
CC's picture

You can say what you will about those USC teams, but they made teams from every other conference look bad.  They split the 2nd NC.  They lost 1 non-conference game from 2003 to 2009.

Off the top of my head:

33-7 OSU

70-17 Arkansas (who won 10+ games that year)

55-19 OU

24-14 and 32-18 Michigan

Nebraska 28-10

 

+2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I am not saying they weren't good. Keep in mind they dodged very good Ohio State teams in the Rose Bowl because we were too busy playing for national championships.

What I AM saying is that those USC teams routinely lost to schools with inferior talent. Ohio State lost to very good teams for the most part, yet is not given the benefit of the doubt. Don't get me wrong, some of the vile directed at Ohio State is well earned. However, much of it is holding a team of college kids responsible for two games that occurerd while they were in 8th grade.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

bafiesta's picture

They lost 2 games last year.  Umm how many did Ohio State lose?  They also had a significantly more difficult schedule.  

IGotAWoody's picture

Significantly more difficult schedule? Really? I don't think so, brother.

They lost to Stanford, the best team they played (and were manhandled, I watched that game. It was not as close as the score indicated - they got pounded, as they usually do when they play a power team). Their other loss was an ass whoopin' from AZ, 42-16. The only win you can call a quality win was over UCLA.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+1 HS
pdan46's picture

I really do not care where we are ranked in a preseason poll, especially in April!  We need to not even look at the polls until November.  There are too many potential stumbling blocks on this schedule.  Navy, VT and Cincinnati are huge upgrades over last year's schedule.  Also we have to play Minnesota, MSU and PSU at their stadiums.  Minnesota will, obviously, be looking for validation, and Kill is a great coach.  MSU remains a great team and it will be very tough to play them at East Lansing.  PSU will be looking for payback for last year's debacle!  And, of course, there is Michigan.  We need to keep our eye on the coming week's opponent and stop worrying about making it into the B1G Championship Game or a BCS Bowl.  If we do, those things will take care of themselves.

+4 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

@PDAN-amen brother.  Nothing else left to say after that

BassDropper's picture

After seeing what Auburn did last year, I don't care what preseason polls have to say any more. Obviously being ranked inside of the top 10 you are expected to be in title contention, but with Urban and co. We could start unranked and I would still like our chances of making the playoffs.

DIRECTIONER

+3 HS
teddyballgame's picture

yeah i'm not crazy about preseason polling anymore.  it's like teams have earned something before they've even played a down of football and then the only way they drop or become unseated is to lose or look really bad.  you really have to see the teams play on the field before you have any idea where they stand.  a lot can change during 1 off season.

teddyballgame's picture

so this is a "insider article" on espn...but free on steele's website?  nice

 

+2 HS
Ethos's picture

there isn't a single thing you can read in espn insider that you can't find for free elsewhere.  That is the biggest rip-off in internet history.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

otrain2416's picture

Oregon's the biggest joke. They're ranked high every year, run up like 70+ point games against scrub teams and all the sports announcers talk about how great they are until they play a real defense and lose.

+4 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

No love for MSU?   Am I wrong thinking they could be top five?

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+1 HS
TMac's picture

Steele has Sparty at 8, as they are replacing 7 starters on D. 

+5 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Forgot about the losses on D.    Good point.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

The Rill Dill's picture

Why?

 

We will give them some love on November, 8th.

+1 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

I'm all for beating the shit out of them in Nov.   Having won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl I thought they'd be deserving of a top five spot.  if it was OSU that did those things and we were not in the top five the world would collapse on itself.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+1 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

My birthday is on the 7th, this will be a hell of a present

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

OSU was preseason #14 in 2002 I believe. So, preseason hype helps, but if they take care of business on the field, they'll make the playoff. PERIOD.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

The Buckeyes also avoid both Wisconsin and Nebraska

So a loss that one of them will avoid until their beat down in the BigTen title game.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+8 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Phil Steele broke the golden rule the media follows by not putting LSU and Georgia in his top 10. He tries to redeem himself by adding USCe but the pundits will not let this substitution ride. Seriously though Espin wouldn't care if LSU lost all 22 starters they would still have them top10 and in most cases top 5.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+2 HS
BuckeyeJAK's picture

And Here I was thinking Wisconsin and Nebraska avoided losing to us ?  Go figure

Mark May is a mental midget

bucknasty13's picture

This doesn't seem right to me.  Shouldn't there be at least four more SEC teams in the top ten.

+2 HS
Unky Buck's picture

This doesn't seem right to me.  Shouldn't there be at least four more SEC teams in the top five.

I went ahead and fixed that for you. The SEC deserves 6 teams in the top five...it is the SEC.

...

+4 HS
Buck Commander's picture

I was thinking 9 out of the top 10.    ESECPN SUCKS

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

Buck Commander's picture

 PISS ON..................PAC 10.......ESPN...........ACC......SEC...........And most of all Mark "Buckeye Hater" May!!!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

m5987usus's picture

I love Phil Steele and his magazine.  He is objective and really has no bias.  I usually like to get his magazine every year.  He has by far my favorite College Football Magazine.

O-H!

+1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Am I the only one to think that it's not as crazy as people make it seem for this team to win 15 straight this year? This year's schedule is tougher, not only by the competition but again almost every tough game we play, the team we play has a bye week before the game. But if they can get through the season unblemished, I really think they could win those 2 final games. Biggest thing is the health of our players through the season. Braxton, ESPECIALLY the OLine and most importantly the secondary. Urbans first year they were ridiculously healthy, the second year not so much but still we got lucky and had a great backup QB. I know I'm a little biased but it's just what I see. If the total defense can be in the top 50-75, I fully expect them to compete for the title. Crazy thing is, I think this year's secondary could be better than last years. CJ, Christian and Roby were great players, but I think the defense is only going to improve for this year on and the players are in place to do it. Great tty o hear about Armani, he was the only one I was questioning this year. Doran has shown flashes and I think he is going to be All Big Ten and turn some heads. I'm one of those guys that believes in defense being more important than offense. We NEED the defense to step up. I think it will this year.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

No.  You're not crazy or alone, but Ohio State teams far better than this one (at least on paper) could not go 11-0 let alone 15-0. 

This team has question marks galore including Miller's improvement; a green O line; Herman's play calling in the clutch... a Defense that is coming off of one of its worst years history....just to name a few.  While every team and season starts with a bit of uncertainty, this team has too many ??? for me to think that it can run the table.  I hope you are right Davis...but I think it's wishful thinking. I see this as a 10-2 team next year.  

+2 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

Nail meet hammer..... Your concerns about next year's team are almost identical to mine.  OL, miller's improvement, Herman's play calling and linebacker play on defense.

+2 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

need a bit of luck to go along with talent. There will inevitably be close games that shouldn't be and then the monster match ups at Michigan State and Penn State, more so at MSU but at PSU will be very, very challenging. IF Braxton goes down (knock on wood), that void left by Kenny G will become more noticeable than it already is. The backup QB situation is not as settled/safe as I believe it is being reported, I have many doubts that Cardale goes from a handoff machine to fully capable of running this offense over a single offseason. Also, our OLine is fresh. It should be solid, but still unproven. Zeke may have loads of potential but he only showed this during games against FAMU and Purdue, so the jury is still out on him as being as effective as Hyde at producing on the ground. WRs weren't all that impressive last year, although they were improved, and I believe our best WRs are the ones with limited to no experience. The offense as a whole should be great with Braxton in there, but IF (again, knock on wood) he goes down, we may be screwed on that side of the ball. Defensively the DL should be what it was last year: awesome. LBs are a big question mark without Shazier and our secondary, even with great players like Barnett and Roby, was a damn joke last year. Not sure how anybody could be expecting big things from them with inexperience being all over the secondary and a new DC. On paper, with a healthy Braxton, this team shouldn't drop more than 2 games, and perhaps even more than 1. If its Cardale's show (or JT's), if its less than 3, Id be happy. Its not crazy to think they could go 15-0, but Id give it a 10-15% chance right now, with a greater than 60% chance of them dropping 1-2 even before the Playoff. 2014 will be good, 2015 will be THE year for Meyer and OSU IMO. 

ColoradoBuck's picture

Polls matter very little with the playoff IMO. If we run the table, we're in. If we lose even one game I bet we get left out due to the national perception of the B1G. Especially with the SEC almost certainly getting 2 bids with 2 one loss teams

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Agree 100%. A one loss B1G champ only gets in if EVERYONE else has 2 losses. I know it sounds stupid, buy hey it's true, the Wisc-LSU game will go a long way is shaping national perceptions about both conferences, ESPECIALLY the B1G.

You gotta pencil in the SEC champs, and probably either runner-up (if they have 2 or fewer losses), or 2nd place team from champ's division (2 or fewer losses). Then, probably the PAC-12 champ and. Then it comes down to FSU, B1G Champ, Big 12 champ.

I imagine the pecking order is:

1. Undefeated conference champ of ANY of the 5 majors (or champ that has fewer losses than everyone else), If there are 4, that's your 4.

2. SEC Champ

3. FSU

4. 2nd Best SEC Team

5. PAC 12 Champ

6. Big 12 Champ

7. B1G Champ

These are assuming W-L records are pretty even. Although, you have to figure that the Big 12 or B1G champ would have to be at least one game clear of the other teams.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Yea this perception looks like it was drawn up on a Espin chaulk board. A one loss Conference Champion that won its conference title game(defacto first round playoff) Will get in almost every single time over any 1 or 2 loss team that lost in their title game.Teams that make and win their conference title game will be given a higher priority over all others including independent Notre Dame or B12 teams that do not have a title game. A lot would have to take place for a second sec team to make it in. Last year the committee and Espin acknowledged MSU and Stanford would have made it in over Bama. Yes a 2 loss PAC-12 Champ would have made the playoff over a 1 loss Bama. Do not let the falsehoods they project affect your logical thinking.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

wibuckeye's picture

More ESPiN bias, or just terrible fact checking.  Todays ESPN College Football Live program, they showed tOSU's projection as #6, but with a  2013 W-L record of 10 - 3.  What were the three losses? And which 2 wins did they discount?  Unbelievable that some of these people keep their jobs.

WIBUCKEYE

+1 HS
Kingbuck12's picture

I will up vote anyone who rips Mark May a new one. And espn. That guys a tool. Only thing is i dont know how to up vote. 

Kingbuck12

+2 HS
nm_buck's picture

you gotta have enough posts to get rated.  then you'll be able to vote.  +1 for you

Go1Bucks's picture

I love when they underrate us.  It allows the team to relax and concentrate on just playing good football.

Go Bucks!

Kingbuck12's picture

Thank you NM_buck for the info and an upvote. I need just a few more i think. 

Kingbuck12

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

Could be a bit high for me until our defense proves it can stop the pass effectively and our offense can replace what was lost, but Ill take it. Hope this is the year Bama falls on its face, but that rarely happens. Michigan State deserved to be top 5 IMO.

HENRYJONESJR's picture

What has to happen to help all Big Ten schools is win the out of conference play - especially the big their games: