Polls still irrelevant for Buckeyes before opener

Spencer Holbrook11 months
Defensive Line - Ohio State Athletics- Tyreke Smith
Ohio State has less than a week before its first game. (Courtesy/Ohio State Dept. of Athletics)

COLUMBUS — It’s officially game week for Ohio State.

After countless days and weeks of protest, three different schedules and plenty of buildup, the Buckeyes are about to be back on the field for the first time in 301 days.

In the last poll before game action, Ohio State checked in at No. 5 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll on Sunday afternoon, receiving two first-place votes. Clemson retained the top spot in the poll. The Tigers are followed by Alabama, Notre Dame, Georgia and Ohio State.

Some coaches and voters in the AP Poll continue to only rank teams that have played a game this fall, but many added the Big Ten back into the rankings ahead of its opening weekend of games. Some will continue to keep the Buckeyes and other Big Ten teams off their ballots until the Oct. 25 polls are released, skewing the results and rankings in the polls. Once the Buckeyes kick off on Saturday at noon against Nebraska, they should be back into the top three or four with Alabama, Clemson and others, assuming the Crimson Tide and Tigers remain undefeated.

And the Buckeyes certainly aren’t worried where they’re ranked heading into the season opener. They’re focused on the little things on the football field.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “You start thinking like that, you’ll get knocked out in the first round. We have to make sure we’re doing all the little things, not the flashy things, really well. The big things will come. The big plays will come. We have got to take care of the football, whether it’s the quarterback, the running back, the receivers, the tight ends, whoever’s touching the football. That ball has to be secured.”

The little things will help Ohio State make its nine-game case to be in the College Football Playoff. And that case begins Saturday.

The full poll can be found below.

Coaches Poll (Oct. 18)

No. 1 – Clemson

No. 2 – Alabama

No. 3 – Notre Dame

No. 4 – Georgia

No. 5 – Ohio State

No. 6 – Oklahoma State

No. 7 – Penn State

No. 8 – Florida

No. 9 – Texas A&M

No. 10 – Cincinnati

No. 11 – Miami

No. 12 – BYU

No. 13 – North Carolina

No. 14 – Wisconsin

No. 15 – Oregon

No. 16 – SMU

No. 17 – Michigan

No. 18 – Iowa State

No. 19 – Kansas State

No. 20 – Virginia Tech

No. 21 – Minnesota

No. 22 – North Carolina State

No. 23 – Southern California

No. 24 – Coastal Carolina

No. 25 – Marshall

AP Poll (Oct. 18)

No. 1 – Clemson

No. 2 – Alabama

No. 3 – Notre Dame

No. 4 – Georgia

No. 5 – Ohio State

No. 6 – Oklahoma State

No. 7 – Texas A&M

No. 8 – Penn State

No. 9 – Cincinnati

No. 10 – Florida

No. 11 – Miami (FL)

No. 12 – BYU

No. 13 – Oregon

No. 14 – North Carolina

No. 15 – Wisconsin

No. 16 – SMU

No. 17 – Iowa State

No. 18 – Michigan

No. 19 – Virginia Tech

No. 20 – Kansas State

No. 21 – Minnesota

No. 22 – Marshall

No. 23 – North Carolina State

No. 24 – Southern California

No. 25 – Coastal Carolina