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Top 25 countdown

August 28, 2008|Chris Dufresne | Times Staff Writer

The Times' Chris Dufresne unveils his preseason college football top 25, one day (and team) at a time.

No. 1 Ohio State

Rankman tossed and turned all night in his bunk bed: should the preseason No. 1 be predicated on which team is the best?

Or, should it be the team with the best chance to get to the national title game?

Rankman awoke with this ringing, throbbing, hangover headache of an endorsement: Ohio State.

We've ordered the campaign placards: "The Buckeyes: No. 1 in the country; No. 2 in the Pacific 10 Conference, No. 3 in the Southeastern Conference East."

Ohio State, though, sure as you're giggling there, really could make it three straight losses in the Bowl Championship Series title game.

The Buckeyes, remember, finished No. 1 in the final BCS standings each of the last two seasons before wipeout title-game losses against Florida and Louisiana State.

Those expecting the Buckeyes to recede into the Woody Hayes woodwork are loopier than Woody Woodpecker. They're in it to lose it again, possibly torturing us with another two-month layoff between the Big Ten finale and the BCS broad-side.

No school starts the season in better position to finish the regular season at No. 1.

What's to stop Ohio State if it blazes out of Los Angeles on Sept. 13 after a hopped-up win over USC?

What's to stop Ohio State if it loses to USC? Last year, Ohio State lost at home to Illinois on Nov. 11 and still ended up No. 1 in the BCS.

Ohio State is dominating the Big Ten at a time when the conference isn't all that hot but poll voters don't seem to know it.

Maybe Wisconsin puts a stop to Ohio State in Madison on Oct. 4. Maybe the Buckeyes fall short at Illinois on Nov. 15.

Maybe Michigan? Or, maybe not.

Ohio State is stacked like flapjacks at I-Hop.

The Buckeyes return 18 starters, quarterback Todd Boeckman, tailback Beanie Wells and, oh yeah, it recruited the most sought-after prospect in the nation in quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Ohio State might use Pryor the way Florida, two years ago, used Tim Tebow in crazy-legged spot relief for starter Chris Leak.

Consider this an advanced copy for this year's script.

It's script Ohio.

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chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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