Should we get excited about the AP pre-season No. 1?

Should we get excited about the AP pre-season No. 1?

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the sitting in the top spot in the newly-released poll.

The Associated Press released its pre-season college football rankings Sunday, with last-year’s champion Ohio State sitting at the top spot.  But should we be getting excited about the Buckeyes claiming the crown in 2015?

Not since Southern California in 2004 has the pre-season number one gone on to win the title.  In fact, recent years the favorite has found the road to the championship quite rocky indeed.

Only half of the pre-season favorites finished the season ranked in the top five since USC went wire-to-wire in 2004, and the favorites combined bowl record stands at 5-5.  Last year, Florida State finished with a 13-1 record, but was demolished by the eventual champion Buckeyes in the playoffs.

Two years before in 2012, USC was the pre-season number one pick, but lost five of six at the end of the season to finish at 7-6, becoming the only team to be ranked in the top spot at the beginning of the year and finish out of the Top 25 at the end.

Georgia in 2008 and Oklahoma in 2011, both pre-season number ones, finished out of the Top 10 in those seasons and Alabama wound up at number 10, going 10-3 in 2010.

Ohio State is a first-ever unanimous favorite to win the crown this year, and probably should be.  They return loads of talent from last year’s championship team, and experts predict they will be the team to beat in the College Football Playoffs next January.

If it’s not the Buckeyes, TCU is sitting in a good spot.  The Horned Frogs occupy the second spot in the rankings and the eventual champion has come from that slot 4 times out of the last 10.

But don’t count out the rest of the poll.  In 2010, a Cam Newton-led Auburn Tiger squad won the BCS trophy with a win over Oregon after starting the season ranked at number 22.

So let’s all enjoy the trash talking and speculation about the upcoming college football season.  But remember, as someone said, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

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