College football, at least in terms of actual, live games, is asleep for more than eight months. National Signing Day is three weeks away and spring practice follows. That is our reality after seeing Clemson topple Alabama 35-31 in a College Football Playoff instant classic on Monday night.
Urban Meyer and Ohio State open their 2017 slate on the road, visiting Indiana on Aug. 31. The Thursday night kickoff and a rare game against a Big Ten foe to start the season sits 233 days away.
There is plenty to talk about with the Buckeyes, like those players who already announced they plan to head to the NFL, staff changes and the never-ending recruiting cycle. But with the offseason not even a day old, we can discuss how national outlets view them in terms of rankings for the 2017 season too.
Ohio State is 61-6 under Meyer in five seasons and will face stiff competition again this fall from the Big Ten East, with defending conference champion Penn State returning a bunch of talent on offense and Jim Harbaugh continuing to build Michigan.
Here is where the Buckeyes find themselves in way-too-early top-25 polls from Athlon Sports, The Big Lead, CBS Sports, ESPN, FOX, Bleacher Report, Sporting News and USA TODAY. We listed Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin for conference comparisons sake, in addition to an early consensus (average) ranking.
|POLL||Athlon||The Big Lead||CBS||ESPN||FOX||B/R||Sporting News||USA Today||Average|
Alabama is the near consensus No. 1 team in the too early polls, except for the one released by USA TODAY. That organization No. 2 for 2017, behind Florida State.
Despite the losses of Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown, Raekwon McMillan, Gareon Conley and Malik Hooker to the NFL early, the graduation of offensive line stalwart Pat Elflein and the 31-0 loss they took at the hands of Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, the national media still thinks highly of the Buckeyes for 2017. Ohio State is set to sign a terrific recruiting class, has its quarterback returning in J.T. Barrett and a bevy of starters back from a team that went 11-2.
Meyer is slated to lead the charge after a host of coaching changes as well. Quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck left for Texas and Ryan Day replaced him. Kevin Wilson reportedly will be the team's next offensive coordinator, though it is unclear what that means for Ed Warinner moving forward. Either way, Meyer claimed what happened in Arizona against Clemson wouldn't come to pass again. He made changes in order to make it so.
Whether or not that comes to fruition won't be decided for more than eight months, as the Buckeyes play Indiana and then face a test against what will surely be a top-10 team in Oklahoma in Columbus in Week 2.
The loss of star quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Deshaun Watson will loom large for national champion Clemson and it shows in the too early polls. The Tigers are ranked as low as No. 13 (CBS) and as high as No. 3 (FOX, Sporting News and The Big Lead).