Defending national champion Florida State, which returns Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, was the overwhelming first-place choice with 57 of 60 votes followed by Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma. Auburn, UCLA, Michigan State, South Carolina and Baylor completed the top 10.
Joining the Buckeyes in the top 25 are Wisconsin (14th) and Nebraska (22nd). Coming off a 7-5 season, Michigan will begin the campaign unranked but receiving votes in the poll, as are Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State.
Eight SEC teams are in the initial top 25 as well as six Pac-12 teams, with the Big Ten edging the three teams in the poll from the Big 12 and ACC.
The AP poll hasn't been used by the BCS for years and will still not be an official part of the College Football Playoff selection process. It could be taken into account by the selection committee, though, which will release its own rankings throughout the season starting Oct. 28.
OSU will begin the season ranked sixth in the coaches' poll.