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January 23, 2007
Defections send OSU tumbling down Top 25
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No doubt Ohio State coach Jim Tressel would have preferred a quieter offseason.
The national championship game was bad enough. Then came the news that his top rusher and his two leading receivers were opting to leave college early and enter the NFL Draft.
"We are fortunate at Ohio State to have excellent student-athletes," Tressel said. "With that excellence comes opportunities."
No one could blame Tressel if he's locked in a room, weeping quietly.
The early entries of Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez and Antonio Pittman make Ohio State the team that shakes up Rivals.com's second 2007 preseason top 25. The Buckeyes plummet five spots to No. 11, but at least that benefits our former Nos. 7-11.
The only other team to drop in our poll, which was redone to reflect the final list of early entries for the NFL Draft, is Arkansas. There were no early entries under the big top in Fayetteville that we didn't already know about when we voted the first time (defensive end Jamaal Anderson and cornerback Chris Houston), but there has been more drama than a week's worth of "Grey's Anatomy" episodes. The departures of Gus Malzahn and Mitch Mustain will have some net effect on the Hogs, though your guess is as good as ours.
Here is our revamped top 25. Only the information on Ohio State and Arkansas has changed since our Jan. 9 first poll.
Also receiving votes: Wake Forest, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Maryland, South Florida, South Carolina, Oregon, Alabama, Miami, TCU, Miami, Boise State, Missouri