I look at it differently. I don't see it as "bashing" a school to note they they received an outsized share of preseason hype. As you note, that's not their fault.
Being on covers of preseason magazines, and appearing in the top-ten list beside the glossy picture... that's a benefit that perennially good teams get. Maybe because they're safer bets to be good, maybe because it sells more magazines.
I don't think it's unreasonable to see how well teams live up to that. For a team as good as they usually are, Ohio State is actually rated pretty well (~1.1 poll spots too high per year since 1992). Contrast with Miami (~2.8), Florida (~3.2), Florida State (~3.5), Notre Dame (~3.6), Oklahoma (~4.0), Michigan (~4.0), Nebraska (~4.0), Southern Cal (~4.3), and Texas (~5.1).