College Football Rankings: Preseason AP Poll Released, Ohio State No. 1 Again

College football rankings for the 2015 season are out. The preseason AP poll has been released for college football, rewarding the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes with a No. 1 ranking. A report from CBS Sports has Ohio State receiving all 61 first place votes in these preseason college football rankings. TCU comes in at No. 2, Alabama at No. 3, and Baylor at No. 4.

This isn’t too surprising, as Ohio State is returning a lot of talented players from the team that won the first-ever College Football Playoff. The school had entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, but knocked off Alabama in the first round and then Oregon in the championship game for a very decisive finale. The 42-20 victory over the Ducks silenced any critics that felt Ohio State should have been passed over for TCU or Baylor in the final selections.

The rest of the top 10 in the first preseason college football rankings are Michigan State, Auburn, Oregon, USC, Georgia, and Florida State. The SEC has only three teams in the top 10 rankings, which in itself is a departure from the way rankings have shown up in the past few seasons. Having Ohio State and TCU at the top should give extra motivation to teams from the SEC and Pac-12 to fight harder when the season opens up in September.

Some other notable schools in the 2015 preseason AP Poll are No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 14 LSU, No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 21 Stanford, and No. 23 Boise State. Despite each finishing with a 7-6 record during the 2014 college football season, Arkansas (No. 18) and Tennessee (No. 25) make strong appearances in this early poll. Likewise, Boise State is way down at No. 23, despite finishing with a 12-2 record last season.

This is just the first of many college football rankings that will come out this season, but it certainly gives an idea to fans about which teams are favored to make the 2015 College Football Playoff. Having two teams from the Big 12 ranked in the top four schools (TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears) will certainly excite fans of that conference as well. In regard to conference strength, the SEC has eight teams ranked in the top 25 and the Pac-12 has six teams so far. The two power conferences certainly get an edge again this year.

The most important game of Week 1 in the 2015 college football season will be No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 20 Wisconsin. It is the only match-up of top 25 ranked schools in that opening week. A victory by the Badgers could push them up the polls, while a win by the Crimson Tide could solidify a spot in the college football rankings from that point.

[Image Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]

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