Preseason College Football Rankings 2022: Predicting AP Top 25 After Coaches Poll

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVAugust 8, 2022

Preseason College Football Rankings 2022: Predicting AP Top 25 After Coaches Poll

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    Bryce Young | Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

    The first of two major college football preseason polls has been unveiled, and attention will soon shift to the AP Top 25.

    In the initial Coaches Poll, the Bryce Young-led Alabama Crimson Tide stand atop the country. The full expectation is Nick Saban's squad will also receive the No. 1 spot in the AP's ranking, which is scheduled to be unveiled Aug. 15.

    However, the Ohio State Buckeyes and reigning national champion Georgia Bulldogs will likely be close behind.

    Which other programs will make the cut?

Projected Top 25

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    CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
    1. Alabama Crimson Tide
    2. Ohio State Buckeyes
    3. Georgia Bulldogs
    4. Texas A&M Aggies
    5. Clemson Tigers
    6. Utah Utes
    7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    8. Michigan Wolverines
    9. USC Trojans
    10. Michigan State Spartans
    11. North Carolina State Wolfpack
    12. Oklahoma Sooners
    13. Baylor Bears
    14. Oklahoma State Cowboys
    15. Oregon Ducks
    16. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
    17. Pitt Panthers
    18. Arkansas Razorbacks
    19. Ole Miss Rebels
    20. BYU Cougars
    21. Houston Cougars
    22. Tennessee Volunteers
    23. Kentucky Wildcats
    24. Miami Hurricanes
    25. Wisconsin Badgers

SEC, Then Who?

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    Michael Chang/Getty Images

    Last year, each of the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC landed five programs in the preseason AP Top 25.

    Expect the SEC to take the crown in 2022, potentially climbing to the 7-9 range. Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M are locks, while Arkansas and Ole Miss probably should be. Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee will likely receive a solid number of votes. Auburn, LSU and South Carolina will be considered, too.

    Can another conference slide in five teams?

    In the Big Ten, we'll see Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the poll, with Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin on the radar.

    Clemson and NC State are strong ACC candidates, while Miami, Pitt and Wake Forest could make the AP ranking as they did in the Coaches Poll.

    Neither the Big 12 or Pac-12 are likely to reach a handful of teams. Four is possible for both leagues—Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas in the former, and Oregon, Utah, UCLA and USC in the latter—but a fifth program would be a surprise.

Milestone Watch

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    Kyle Whittingham | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC are among the stalwarts of the preseason poll.

    But a couple of potential Top 10 teams are in rare territory.

    NC State has notched six appearances in the initial AP poll, peaking at 13th in 1975. Utah is slightly behind in both categories at five preseason rankings and a high of 14th in 2019. Utah is a virtual guarantee to break its mark, while NC State has an excellent chance.

    Wake Forest will likely set a record, only needing to crest 23rd—which happened in 2008, the lone preseason AP slot in program history.

    Oklahoma State topped out at ninth in 2009 and 2011. Although the Pokes will probably fall short of the Top 10, they're the only other semi-legitimate possibility to best a previous record.

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