Four Big Ten teams make AP Poll: Buckeyes No. 2

August, 16, 2008
8/16/08
11:32
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The AP preseason Top 25 poll is out and Ohio State ranks No. 2 behind Georgia. The Buckeyes were extremely close to nabbing the top spot, receiving only one fewer first-place vote than the Bulldogs.

Wisconsin came in at No. 13, while Illinois is No. 20 and Penn State is No. 22. Both Michigan and Michigan State also received votes.

It's important to reiterate that the voting took place before Aug. 1, but the poll shapes up mostly as expected. I had the Buckeyes at No. 3 behind both Georgia and Florida in our ESPN.com preseason Power Rankings, but our votes were due back in July. If the ballots were collected today, I'd have Ohio State at No. 1, followed by Georgia, Oklahoma, USC and Florida.

Wisconsin could be a spot or two lower, and Illinois and Penn State are somewhat interchangeable and could fall anywhere between Nos. 18-23. It was good to see the media vote on merit rather than tradition and leave Michigan out of the preseason poll. If the Wolverines beat Utah in Week 1, they might have a case. Same goes for Michigan State if it beats Cal on the road.

As ESPN.com's former non-BCS guy, I was disappointed to see BYU as the only entry in the poll. The Cougars are better than No. 16 in my view, and Fresno State also deserves to be included. Utah is just outside the poll along with Fresno State, about where the Utes should be. South Florida is a little high in my book, and I would swap Clemson and Texas at Nos. 9 and 11.

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