ESPN’s Bill Connelly released his preseason SP+ rankings on Friday, and they show Ohio State as one of the premier teams in the country.

SP+ is especially bullish on the Buckeyes’ offense, which it ranks No. 1 heading into the 2021 campaign.

This is somewhat surprising given how much Ohio State will have to replace on offense this year. SP+ heavily considers returning production, and the Buckeyes lost quarterback Justin Fields, running back Trey Sermon and multiple starting offensive linemen this offseason.

However, Ohio State does have perhaps the best receiver tandem in the nation in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Master Teague is also back, as is All-Big Ten tackle Thayer Munford.

Recent recruiting and recent history also play a factor, which helps explain why the Buckeyes could be preseason No. 1 despite having inexperience at quarterback.

Ohio State is ranked No. 27 defensively and No. 4 overall by SP+. Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma are the only teams ranked ahead of the Buckeyes going into Week 1.

Ohio State is one of six Big Ten teams to feature in SP+’s preseason top 25. 

The Buckeyes open up the 2021 season with Minnesota on Sept. 2.

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