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Buckeyes behind Georgia in preseason top 25 rankings from The Sporting News

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook06/05/24

SpencerHolbrook

COLUMBUS — Yet another sign that the 2024 college football season is here: the first preseason Top 25 has been released, and Ohio State is near the top.

The Sporting News’ Bill Bender beat the national college football crowd by releasing his preseason top 25 rankings, and he has Ohio State at No. 2, behind only national title favorite Georgia.

Bender has the Bulldogs at the top, followed by the Buckeyes, Texas, Oregon and Notre Dame. Ole Miss, Florida State, defending national champ Michigan, Alabama and LSU round out the top 10. Other Big Ten teams in the preseason rankings are Penn State (12th), USC (21st) and Washington (22nd).

Here’s what Bill Bender said about the Buckeyes:

Perhaps no other program is in “national championship or bust” mode given the aggressive moves under Ryan Day this offseason. The Buckeyes landed Kansas State quarterback Will Howard and Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins – who had 1,158 rushing yards and 15 TDs last season – out of the portal. Judkins and TreVeyon Henderson will be a prolific backfield under new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, who left UCLA in a surprise move. The defense added Alabama safety Caleb Downs after several key pieces – including Denzel Burke, Tyleik Williams, Jack Sawyer and  J.T. Tuimoloau – opted to return from a unit that allowed 11.2 points per game. The Buckeyes have road trips to Oregon (Oct. 12) and Penn State (Nov. 2) that precede an all-in finale against Michigan (Nov. 30). The Buckeyes have not lost four in a row to the Wolverines since 1988-91. That is the pressure point.

Bill Bender, The Sporting News

Bender’s preseason rankings line up with the top two of On3 national reporter Jesse Simonton, who released his post-spring, post-transfer portal top 25 a few days ago. Simonton loves what he sees with Ohio State right now. The problem for the Buckeyes, however, is that Simonton likes the Bulldogs just a little bit more. He ranked Georgia over Ohio State in his post-spring, post-portal rankings that came out over Memorial Day weekend.

Simonton’s top five is Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama and new Big Ten addition Oregon. Simonton ranked Michigan at No. 7 and Penn State at No. 12.

And Bender’s rankings look quite a bit more accurate than that of the ESPN, which was released its 2024 preseason Football Power Index (FPI) rankings earlier this week. Ohio State is only fourth in this year’s preseason FPI rankings. At the moment, the Buckeyes are behind Georgia, Oregon and Texas in that computer ranking.

Bender and Simonton both have Ohio State behind only Georgia. And both of them seem to like the Buckeyes chances of eventually winning the national title. Simonton’s rankings could still change before the preseason.

Bender is putting Ohio State near the top before anyone else will this preseason.

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