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Ohio State, TCU, Alabama first three in preseason coaches' poll

Defending national champion Ohio State is the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time since 2006.

The release of the rankings Thursday was somewhat tempered by the news that four Buckeyes players, including All-American defensive end Joey Bosa, are suspended for their season opener, a road game against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7.

In the 2006 season, Ohio State was 12-0 entering the BCS championship before losing to current Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer's Florida team. Ohio State also was the preseason No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason rankings that year.

TCU is No. 2 in the rankings, which is the highest preseason ranking for the program and matches its all-time best ranking.

Alabama, meanwhile, is No. 3 -- one of eight Southeastern Conference teams in the preseason Top 25. Baylor, last season's Big 12 co-champion, is fourth. Oregon, Michigan State, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and USC round out the top 10.

Notre Dame is 11th, followed by Clemson, LSU, UCLA, Mississippi, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Stanford, Arizona, Missouri, Boise State and Tennessee round out the Top 25.

Ohio State will try to become the first team to start and finish a season atop the rankings since USC in 2004.

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