Ohio State slots right back in at No. 2 in a rare midweek USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank, which adds teams from the Big Ten and reshuffles to accommodate the league's decision to rejoin the 2020 season.
Big Ten games are scheduled to begin on the weekend of Oct. 23-24. Since the league has announced a start date, it makes sense to include Big Ten teams during the interim just as SEC teams have been ranked since the preseason despite not playing until Sept. 26.
The Buckeyes come in behind No. 1 Clemson and ahead of No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Oklahoma. The next Big Ten, Penn State, comes in sixth. Another three teams from the conference — No. 13 Michigan, No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 21 Iowa — land in the Top 25, followed by No. 32 Nebraska, No. 33 Minnesota, No. 38 Indiana and No. 42 Northwestern.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields tries to avoid Wisconsin defenders during the first half in the 2019 Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photo: Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports)
Reinserting the Big Ten impacts other teams from the Power Five and Group of Five. For example, No. 14 North Carolina is pushed back three spots while No. 17 Cincinnati falls back four spots.
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No. 26 Louisville, No. 27 Virginia Tech and No. 29 Pittsburgh were knocked out of the Top 25, illustrating how the Big Ten's return impacts the second grouping of teams in the ACC after Clemson, Notre Dame and UNC.
Overall, the Big Ten's return makes it 90 teams in the Re-Rank, up from 76.
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