College Football Rankings 2022: Predictions for Week 1 NCAA Standings
The college football season is officially underway, but the first weekend of September brings the first full slate of the 2022 campaign.
As most Football Bowl Subdivision programs kick off their schedules, much of the attention will land on a few games. Most notably, Ohio State hosts a Top Five showdown with visiting Notre Dame, and defending champion Georgia takes on Oregon.
Those matchups will have a substantial impact on the Top 25, which should remain unchanged from the preseason poll entering the weekend.
We've got those rankings, along with a preview of the best matchups and storylines in Week 1.
Top 25 Projection
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State
13. North Carolina State
15. Michigan State
21. Ole Miss
22. Wake Forest
The Big Game: Notre Dame at Ohio State
For only the fifth time in history, Ohio State and Notre Dame are playing a regular-season game.
And there is a potentially major victory at stake.
Both programs have multiple trips to the College Football Playoff recently, but neither one reached it last season. Wins of this magnitude—provided the losing team still has a strong year—can be the foundation of an attractive resume.
Ohio State enters as the favorite, boasting a star offensive trio in quarterback C.J. Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
But the Fighting Irish, who are ready to start former top prospect Tyler Buchner, are aiming to repeat what Oregon accomplished in 2021 and knock off the Buckeyes in their own stadium.
Other Top Matchups
No. 23 Cincinnati at No. 19 Arkansas
Last season, Cincinnati became the first Group of Five program to make the CFP. The retooled roster—which has to replace a school-record nine NFL draft selections—begins with a trip to Fayetteville for its first matchup with Arkansas. The hosts have an intriguing offense led by dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson, a deep backfield and a veteran blocking unit. Arkansas should be a thorn in the vaunted SEC West this season.
No. 11 Oregon at No. 3 Georgia
From the other division of the SEC, reigning champ Georgia kicks off its campaign with a home-tilted game against Oregon. Although the matchup is in Atlanta, it'll be a heavily pro-UGA crowd. Oregon will have to overcome the environment, but there is plenty of excitement for the debut of new coach Dan Lanning—the Bulldogs' former defensive coordinator. Plus, the Ducks are hoping Auburn transfer Bo Nix can steady the QB position.
No. 7 Utah at Florida
Of the five Top 25 programs on the road against an unranked team, Utah has the toughest foe. Florida's new QB, Anthony Richardson, is relatively thin on experience but who ripped off a few explosive runs last season. He'll present a great challenge for the defending Pac-12 champs, who otherwise have a dual-threat star in Cameron Rising, too. But for the Utes to match their billing as a title contender, they need to handle a tough trip to Gainesville.