The last time they won that honor was in 2002 before getting embroiled in a number of public embarrassments, the report said.
"We know the one in August isn't quite as important as all the other polls at the end," head coach Jim Tressel was quoted as saying. "It's just another reminder of the respect people have for Ohio State."
Smith is among the leading preseason candidates for the Heisman Trophy along with his friend Ginn. In two seasons, Ginn has six touchdowns on returns, six receiving and three rushing.
Behind Ohio State in the rankings are Texas, Notre Dame and Southern California (tied at 3), Oklahoma, Auburn, West Virginia, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Miami, California, Louisville, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Clemson, Penn State, Oregon, TCU, Nebraska, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas Tech.
The USA TODAY Board of Coaches is made up of 63 head coaches at Division I-A institutions.