The Ohio State Buckeyes finished the 2014 campaign with a remarkable run into the inaugural College Football Playoff camping it off with a national championship. The 2015 season will start the same way the 2014 season ended…OSU is the #1 team in the country.
Buckeyes Head Coach Urban Meyer has one of the most unique good problems that some teams would dream to have on their campus; 3 capable and proven quarterbacks. Braxton Miller who was a Heisman candidate at the beginning of training camp in 2014 but hurt his shoulder in August just before the season started. Redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett who burst on the scene midway through last season as a top notch quarterback, but sprained his ankle against rival Michigan. Then there is Cardale Jones, who put together 3 of the most important victories of his collegiate career; blowing passed Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, surprising then No. 1 Alabama, and proving too powerful for the Oregon Ducks.
Coming along with a 3 headed quarterback monster is backed by an explosive running back Ezekiel Elliott and the defense is fronted with playmaker D-lineman Joey Bosa.
It doesn’t matter who comes after the Buckeyes in the polls and it what position; they will be shuffled around quite a bit before November 3 when the first College Football Playoff Rankings come out, and plenty of questions will be answered.
TCU quarterback Trevon Boykin is one of the top Heisman Candidates coming in to the 2015 season. But the Horned Frogs have question marks on the defensive side of the ball with key players moving on to the NFL. Who will fill the void of leadership on defense? It’s understandable that AP will give TCU the benefit of the doubt the way they finished out the season and the controversy surrounding them and their conference foe Baylor, who along with TCU had a perfectly good argument to why they could have easily been in the playoff last season.
There isn’t any need for fans to be up in arms about the preseason rankings. Any of the teams in the top 10 has an argument to why they could be any rank between No. 2 through No. 10. Those who hate Nick Saban and Alabama will scoff at why they are No. 3 when they lost their top 3 offensive players and some key players on defense. And how USC is ranked lower then Oregon who lost arguably the most efficient quarterback and Heisman winner without whom the Ducks probably wouldn’t have been a top 10 team. USC has their 5th year senior quarterback Cody Kessler back under center and some dynamic young playmakers to at receiver to throw the ball to like Freshman All-American JuJu Smith. I can only assume the loss of Leonard Williams on defense and the questions marks they have coming to the 2015 season filling that spot, and how tough the Pac-12 South schedule is going to be, is the reason for the lower ranking.
Don’t be surprised if one of the teams ranked between #11 through #20 can end up in the top 5 with a case for why they should be in the playoff. A team that comes to mind…No. 16 Georgia Tech. They gave the Seminoles a fight in the ACC Championship last season. They have Austin Thomas back to run the Veer Option running attack; a tough experienced defense and a conference schedule that favors them with the ACC as probably the weakest of the Power Conferences.
Conference breakdown: ACC – 3; Big Ten – 3; Big 12 – 3; Pac 12 – 6; SEC – 8; also included Notre Dame at No. 11 and Mountain West Conference member Boise State at No. 23.
- Ohio State (61 first-place votes)
- Michigan State
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Arizona State
- Georgia Tech
- Ole Miss
- Boise State