Preseason College Football Rankings 2022: Experts React to AP NCAA Top 25 Poll

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured Columnist IVAugust 15, 2022

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week, the first USA Today Coaches Poll rankings gave us our first glimpse at the potential structure of power in college football heading into the 2022-23 season.

In that 25-team poll, Alabama came in at No. 1, and the top five included, in order, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Voters for the Coaches Poll are composed of 65 FBS head coaches.

On Monday, the AP Top 25 followed suit, with those rankings determined by a panel of 62 sportswriters and broadcasters. The AP Top 25 is the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at season's end.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama also came in on top in the AP Top 25 poll; in fact, the entire top five of the two polls was identical.

Let's take a look at the full list of rankings and then break down some immediate expert reactions to the pollโ€”everything from how it differs from the Coaches Poll to perceived snubs to teams that may be overrated.

AP Preseason Top 25

1. Alabama

2. Ohio State

3. Georgia

4. Clemson

5. Notre Dame

6. Texas A&M

7. Utah

8. Michigan

9. Oklahoma

10. Baylor

11. Oregon

12. Oklahoma State

13. North Carolina State

14. USC

15. Michigan State

16. Miami (FL)

17. Pittsburgh

18. Wisconsin

19. Arkansas

20. Kentucky

21. Ole Miss

22. Wake Forest

23. Cincinnati

24. Houston

25. BYU

Poll via APNews.com

Others Receiving Votes

Tennessee 180, Texas 164, Iowa 163, Penn State 160, LSU 55, Fresno State 32, Minnesota 31, UCF 27, Purdue 17, Mississippi State 15, Auburn 15, Florida 14, Kansas State 14, North Carolina 9, Boise State 5, Air Force 4, Appalachian State 4, South Carolina 2, UCLA 2, San Diego State 2, Utah State 2, Nebraska 1

Expert Reactions

There are a few minor differences between the results of the Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25. In the former, Michigan came in at No. 6; in the latter, the Wolverines are No. 8. The top 10 remains the same between both, but Michigan, Utah and Texas A&M are somewhat jostled.

BYU didn't make it into the top 25 of the Coaches Poll, but the Cougars land at No. 25 in the AP poll.

As Alabama writer Brad Edwards pointed out, the Crimson Tide lands at No. 1 in the AP poll for the 15th straight season under Nick Saban. The next-longest streak for a single program? Seven seasons.

Brad Edwards @JBradEdwards

With Bama reaching No. 1 in the AP poll for a 15th straight season under Saban, be aware that the next-longest streak for any program is 7 seasons and for any coach is 6.

Sure, Alabama isn't the defending national champion this season after falling to Georgia. But the program remains loaded with talent, led on offense by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young and on defense by outside linebacker Will Andersonโ€”a potential future No. 1 overall draft selection.

North Carolina State lands at No. 13 in the AP rankings, the same as its position in the Coaches Poll. As Cory Smith pointed out, that's tied for the program's highest preseason ranking ever:

Cory Smith @RCorySmith

NC State comes in at No. 13 in the AP Poll. <br><br>Tied for the highest preseason ranking ever for the program with the 1975 team. <a href="https://t.co/3GIGcxT7YY">pic.twitter.com/3GIGcxT7YY</a>

One notable program missing from Monday's poll? LSU. Per The Advocate's Wilson Alexander, it's the first time the Tigers have been unranked in the preseason poll since 2000.

Wilson Alexander @whalexander_

LSU was not ranked in the preseason AP Poll. The last time that happened was 2000.

While the AP poll wasn't overly controversial (unlike the No. 1 vote Texas received in the Coaches Poll, *insert side-eye emoji*), some writers did differ in their view of which programs should be included in the top 10.

Action Network's Brett McMurphy had NC State at No. 9 and Oregon at 10 in his personal rankings; in the AP poll, those programs appear at No. 13 and No. 11, respectively.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Clemson, which is ranked fourth in the actual AP poll, doesn't appear in McMurphy's top 10.

His tweet suggests he expected some disagreement there:

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

While waiting for today's noon ET <a href="https://twitter.com/AP_Top25?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AP_Top25</a> preseason poll release, here is my AP ballot (which I'm sure no one disagrees with)<br><br>1-Alabama<br>2-Ohio State<br>3-Georgia<br>4-Miami<br>5-Texas A&amp;M<br>6-Utah<br>7-Michigan<br>8-Oregon<br>9-NC State<br>10-Baylor<a href="https://t.co/NbYuwXTABZ">https://t.co/NbYuwXTABZ</a>

If nothing else, the release of the preseason AP poll gives us plenty of conversational fodder as we wait for the start of the college football season, which is fast approaching. "Week 0" will kick off August 27, with most programs opening their seasons the following week.


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