College football season isn’t quite over yet, but next year can’t come soon enough. So here are the far too early top 25 in college football in 2022.
25. Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati dreamed of a season in the college football playoffs. They’re losing virtually all of their key players from that team and will have to rely on younger players in 2022. Luckily for the Bearcats, Luke Fickell recruited long before Cincinnati’s move to the Big 12 in 2023. Evan Prather will be one of those who watch the quarterback as he was a highly touted recruit a few seasons ago.
24. Kentucky Wildcats
What Mark Stoops did in Kentucky is incredible. With Will Levis as quarterback in Liam Coen’s system for the second time in a row, the offense is in good hands. The defense has usually done well under Stoops, but may need new leaders next season.
23. Fresno State Bulldogs
Although things looked grim for the Bulldogs when Kalen DeBoer left for Washington, Jake Haener has since made his decision to return as quarterback. Wide receiver Jalen Cropper is also back for 2022. Jeff Tedford has a team that should compete for a Mountain West Championship.
22. Pittsburgh Panthers
How does Pitt replace a great quarterback like Kenny Pickett? They looked at the transfer portal and brought in Kedon Slovis. He will have Jordan Addison on wide receiver, who will be one of the best pass catchers in the country. The Panthers may be slowing down a little offensively, but they should be able to play a solid season.
21. Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa has a lot of returning talent, but they’re going to lose talented running back Tyler Goodson and could lose the best center in the country in Tyler Linderbaum. The Hawkeyes are a sure bet to win eight or nine games next season without these players.
20. Texas Longhorns
Steve Sarkisian had a tough season in Texas in his freshman year at the helm. He will have a running back star in Bijan Robinson who will return after an injury. He also has one of the best quarterback recruits in history, Quinn Ewers, who is moving up from the state of Ohio. There’s no reason this team shouldn’t see a massive improvement in 2022.
19. Baylor bears
Dave Aranda did a fantastic job turning Baylor around. Baylor will have a lot to replace on their offense but Gerry Bohanon is back. Aranda has to deal with defense as well, but he has done it before.
18. Miami hurricanes
Tyler Van Dyke helped bring the Miami offensive to life. With Mario Cristobal taking the lead and the Hurricanes having plenty of returning starters, there’s no excuse not to be better in 2022.
17. Michigan State Spartans
Kenneth Walker is on the next level so a new running back is needed. That being said, Mel Tucker has plenty of returning players. Peyton Thorne could take the next step as quarterback to really help the Spartans have a good season.
16. Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State will have Sean Clifford at the center for another year and will also have a star receiver in Parker Washington. James Franklin has been recruiting well and the Nittany Lions should have another solid season.
15. NC State Wolfpack
NC State had a chance to win 10 games before their bowl was canceled. Devin Leary returns as a quarterback and many powerful players on the defense. The Wolfpack will compete in the ACC in the 2022 season.
14. Wake up forest demon deacons
Sam Hartman is likely back for Wake Forest, which makes a huge difference. The defense also has some key young characters who help Wake Forest maintain part of their success.
13. Oregon ducks
Oregon will lose Kayvon Thibodeaux, but many stars are returning to defend them, including Noah Sewell. In a simpler Pac-12, Dan Lanning should do well in his first season as head coach.
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The return of Spencer Sanders for another season helps, and so does many of their offensive. Their defenses will have a lot to replace, but if the offensive can take a step forward, the state of Oklahoma will fight for the Big 12.
11. Oklahoma Sooners
Dillon Gabriel has moved to play quarterback but several players are still considering moving. It will be difficult for the Sooners to compete nationally in their first year in Brent Venables, but they’ve recruited well enough in the past to be relevant in the Big 12.
10. Notre Dame fights Irish
Notre Dame will have a new coach in Marcus Freeman and will have to replace many talents like Kyle Hamilton and Kyren Williams. They have enough talent to play another good season in 2022.
9. Arkansas Razorbacks
As Treylon Burks takes on the next level, quarterback KJ Jefferson is ready for the superstar with another year. Sam Pittman helped Arkansas take a big step forward in 2021, and it could reach new heights in 2022.
8. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan has made the college football playoff but will lose the heart and soul of its team in Aidan Hutchinson and many other key players. You’ve done very well and could be back in the college football playoffs in a few years.
7. Utah Utes
Devin Lloyd is off her defense in the NFL, but almost all of her other key players are back. Cameron Rising is back as quarterback and Tavion Thomas is set to return as running back. Kyle Whittingham has another team that can win the Pac-12.
6. Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin found its next star in Braelon Allen. They’ll run the ball and play a solid defense like they normally do and should be at the forefront of the Big Ten West.
5. Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies sustained a quarterback injury but beat Alabama and won eight games that season. Jimbo Fisher has a hell of a big recruiting class, and the team should be able to compete near the top of SEC West.
4. Clemson Tigers
It’s been a bad year for Clemson and they still won 10 games. Their offense needs to be reworked and DJ Uiagalelei needs to play a lot better, but if the Tigers get it right this off-season they can be right back on the CFP scene.
3. Georgia Bulldogs
Most of the offensive will return for Georgia, but they may need to find a new quarterback. You will again have much to replace in defense, but at this point the Bulldogs are just reloading.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
CJ Stroud really showed off this season and is now one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The Ohio state offensive will be great while the defense will have a new coordinator in Jim Knowles who has a lot of talent to work with.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama will have the best players on both sides of the ball for the next season. Bryce Young and the Alabama offensive don’t look like they will slow down next season. Will Anderson should have been a defensive Heisman finalist last season and can really change the game again in defense of the Crimson Tide next season.
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