Tuesday, January 25, 2022

College football rankings: Alabama, Ohio State lead way-too-early top 25 ahead of 2022 season

Reigning champion Georgia will remain a top-five team entering next season

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Monday’s eighth College Football Playoff National Championship may have been preview of the ninth CFP National Championship. At least that’s the indication from my way-too-early top 25 ahead of the 2022 college football season.

Alabama is the runaway No. 1 for obvious reasons. It has most of its best players back, and coach Nick Saban has seven years to run on his contract. Any other questions?

With its offense alone, Ohio State is No. 2 and should be favored to win the Big Ten. No. 3 Georgia’s defense will have to be remade, but coach Kirby Smart has a bit of experience in that category. If the defense can be “fixed” soon enough, expect the Dawgs to be back in the playoff. No. 4 Oklahoma is going to be sneaky good with new coach Brent Venables. Jimbo Fisher became the first Saban assistant to beat the master, then finished tied for third in the SEC West. Much will be expected of Jimbo in Year 5.

No surprise but half the SEC (seven teams) are represented, followed by five teams from the Big Ten. It was hard to pass on Iowa, San Diego State, Houston, Kentucky, Pittsburgh and Utah State, among others, who fell just outside these early rankings. Remember: This top 25 can and will change as spring practice and summer workouts transpire over the ensuing eight months.

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