Heading into the 2022 college football season, the Oklahoma Sooners will have something to prove to themselves and the rest of the country on the field. A high-grossing off-season has raised some doubts, despite ranking #9 in both USA TODAY Sports’ AFCA Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25.
Like he does all season Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt has released his preseason top 10and the Oklahoma Sooners were unranked.
Whether it’s fair or not, the Sooners have a lot to do this fall convincing pollsters, and ultimately the College Football Playoff Committee, that they’re one of the top teams. Win, and it should take care of itself. But as we saw in 2021, winning wasn’t enough. These days, if you want to find yourself among the bottom four teams in the College Football Playoff standings next December, you’ll need to win convincingly.
Surprisingly, no Big 12 team made the top 10, and 10th was Lincoln Riley’s USC Trojans. Despite adding a ton of talent through the transfer portal during the offseason, USC have as many question marks as anyone heading into the 2022 season. Namely, can this coaching staff pull it all together? Offense should be good, but if the offensive line has problems, it could derail the whole thing.
Notably, Klatt has USC and NC State, both outside the top 10 in both national polls, ahead of Oklahoma and Baylor, who ranked numbers nine and ten in USA TODAY Sports’ AFCA Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25.
Let’s take a look at the top 10.
10 USC Trojans
April 23, 2022; Los Angeles, California, United States; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws the ball during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 4-8
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: fifteen
AP Top 25: 14
For more information on the USC Trojans, see Trojans Wire.
9 NC State wolf packs
11/26/2021; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack wide receiver Emeka Emezie (86) is greeted by teammate Porter Rooks (4) after scoring the game-winning second-half touchdown against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Wolf Pack won 34-30. Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 9-3
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 13
AP Top 25: 13
8Texas A&M Aggies
Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 8-4
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 7
AP Top 25: 6
For more information on Texas A&M Aggies, visit the Aggies Wire.
7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 11-2
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 5
AP Top 25: 5
For more information on Notre Dame Fighting Irish, visit the Fighting Irish Wire.
6 Michigan Wolverines
Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, United States; A Michigan Wolverines fan reacts during the third quarter in the Orange Bowl college football CFP semifinal game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Hard Rock Stadium. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 12-2
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 6
AP Top 25: 8th
For more information on the Michigan Wolverines, see the Wolverines Wire.
December 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas (9) scores on a 2-yard touchdown run against the Oregon Ducks in the second half during the 2021 Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium.Utah defeated Oregon 38-10. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4 Clemson Tigers
Clemson cornerback Jeadyn Lukus warms up during a spring training session. KEN RUINARD/USA Today/USA TODAY NETWORK
Record 2021: 10-3
USA TODAY coach survey: 4
AP Top 25: 4
For more information on the Clemson Tigers, visit the Clemson Wire.
3 Georgia Bulldogs
Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, United States; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback JT Daniels (18) warms up before the Orange Bowl college football CFP semifinal game against the Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 14-1
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 3
AP Top 25: 3
For more information on the Georgia Bulldogs, visit the UGA Wire.
2 Buckeyes of the State of Ohio
April 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) during the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 11-2
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 2
AP Top 25: 2
For more information on the Ohio State Buckeyes, visit the Buckeyes Wire.
1 Crimson Tide of Alabama
January 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, United States; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Record 2021: 13-2
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coach Survey: 1
AP Top 25: 1
For more information on the Alabama Crimson Tide, see the Roll Tide Wire.
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