Preseason College Football Rankings 2022: Predicting Amway Poll's Top 25

Joe TanseyAugust 8, 2022

Preseason College Football Rankings 2022: Predicting Amway Poll's Top 25

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    The top of the preseason Amway Coaches Poll will not teach anything new about the top programs in college football.

    The Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes and Georgia Bulldogs are expected to be the top three teams in some order when the poll comes out Monday.

    There are things to be learned from the poll, just not at the top, as the coaches from around the country will place some surprise teams in the top 10, top 15 and so on.

    The Utah Utes and NC State Wolfpack are among the non-traditional contenders generating the most offseason buzz because of how many players they return.

    In NC State's case, it has a potential Heisman Trophy dark horse in quarterback Devin Leary, and it has a legitimate path to the ACC Championship Game because of how average the conference is as a whole.

    Utah could be the team that comes out of the Pac-12, but that may be dependent on how fast Lincoln Riley builds up the USC Trojans program.

Coaches Poll Prediction

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    1. Alabama

    2. Ohio State

    3. Georgia

    4. Clemson

    5. Utah

    6. Michigan

    7. Notre Dame

    8. Oklahoma

    9. Texas A&M

    10. NC State

    11. USC

    12. Oklahoma State

    13. Baylor

    14. Oregon

    15. Arkansas

    16. Wisconsin

    17. Cincinnati

    18. Michigan State

    19. Miami

    20. Penn State

    21. Wake Forest

    22. Tennessee

    23. Kentucky

    24. Houston

    25. Texas

Alabama Expected to Be No. 1

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    The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the 2022 college football season with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback and the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft leading the defense.

    Even by Alabama's remarkably high standard, the 2022 season could have wild expectations because of Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr.

    Young should only get better off his Heisman-winning season, and he is working toward being one of the top quarterbacks chosen in the 2023 draft.

    Anderson might have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft if he was eligible to come out of college. The linebacker had 101 tackles and 17.5 sacks in his sophomore season and could be even more dangerous this fall.

    The returns of Young and Anderson, plus the motivation from not winning the title last season, should keep Alabama atop the rankings for most of the season.

    Alabama faces an early-season test against the Texas Longhorns, and while the road environment in Austin will be tough, the Crimson Tide still has the better talent on both sides of the ball.

    If Alabama beats Texas, it could run into November with an undefeated record. Its toughest game in October is against the Texas A&M Aggies, but that is home at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    On paper, Alabama is a bit better than Ohio State and Georgia, the two other preseason favorites for the national title.

    Ohio State returns quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, while Georgia has to replace most of its defense that produced eight NFL draft picks.

    The Buckeyes and the Bulldogs should be in the title mix all season, but Alabama is expected to be tagged with the No. 1 role before the season kicks off because of its returning talent.

Utah, NC State Should Be Among Surprise Teams

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    The ACC and Pac-12 appear to be the most open leagues in the Power Five conferences.

    The Pac-12 is waiting to see what the USC Trojans can do in Lincoln Riley's first season, and the Oregon Ducks also went through a coaching change after Mario Cristobal departed for the Miami Hurricanes.

    The Utah Utes return a good number of their defensive starters and have a fifth-year junior at quarterback in Cameron Rising.

    Quarterback was the biggest question for Utah's offense in previous seasons, and the team has found some stability with Rising, who should help the Utes avoid an early-season slip-up.

    NC State has had its quarterback situation figured out for the past few seasons with Leary at the helm. The redshirt junior is being pegged by many experts to be a Heisman contender and is coming off a 3,433-yard, 35-touchdown season.

    Expected to produce one of its best seasons ever, NC State gets a shot at the Clemson Tigers in October to assert its dominance in the ACC. The Wolfpack may be a Top 10 team by that point in the season because of how high they are expected to land in the preseason rankings.

    Utah and NC State may not be part of the blue bloods of college football, but both are expected to have a say in their respective conference title races. That should lead to high rankings in the first Amway poll.

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