AP poll: OSU No. 2; five B1G teams ranked

The Big Ten wasn't the big winner in the preseason Associated Press poll, but just like Ohio State, it finished as the runner-up.

The Buckeyes finished No. 2 in the poll, behind only Alabama, as the B1G placed five teams in the early Top 25. Only the SEC had more. (The Pac-12 also had five teams on the list.)

If you were hoping for a few surprises in the poll, you probably came away a bit disappointed.

The Big Ten rankings mirrored the preseason coaches' poll, so at least there's a consensus. Michigan came in at No. 17, with Nebraska trailing one spot later. Northwestern found itself at No. 22, with Wisconsin at No. 23.

The biggest surprises likely came in the "others receiving votes" category. Michigan State received the most votes of the teams outside of the top 25, and even Penn State came away with two points.

The big question now is whether the Buckeyes can parlay this kind of respect into an appearance in the national title game. They received a single first-place vote and were one of just two teams not named "Alabama" to earn such a nod.

OSU couldn't compete for a title last year because it was ineligible due to NCAA sanctions. But this year? The AP sure thinks Braxton Miller is poised to lead this team far.