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Alabama, Ohio State lead early preseason top 10 for 2022

Bryce Young
Bryce Young (USA Today Sports Images)

The last game of the 2021 college football season has been played so now it’s time to look to next season. Here’s Mike Farrell's initial top 10 based on many factors.

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CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State | JUCO

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series

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1. ALABAMA

Stunner, huh? Bryce Young is back at quarterback, Jahmyr Gibbs and Elias Ricks are elite transfers and Nick Saban will simply reload at some key positions. The wide receiver group is talented and young and Will Anderson is arguably the best player returning to college football next season.

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2. OHIO STATE

C.J. Stroud
C.J. Stroud (USA Today Sports Images)

CJ Stroud and TreVeyon Henderson are back and the offense should be amazing with Jaxon Smith-Njigba and others. The defense is the biggest question mark but I’d be stunned if the Buckeyes don’t make the playoff.

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3. GEORGIA

Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart (USA Today Sports Images)

The quarterback situation is always a question at Georgia but the talent will be there for the defending champs despite some key expected losses to the NFL. The Bulldogs' defense will still be nasty as will the running game and they have more weapons in the passing game than in recent memory.

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4. CLEMSON

D.J. Uiagalelei
D.J. Uiagalelei (USA Today Sports Images)

The Clemson defense will be absolutely loaded especially up front but it all comes down to how well D.J. Uiagalelei plays at quarterback. While he’s going to be far below expectations I believe he makes enough of a jump to put the Tigers in the playoff discussion.

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5. UTAH

Cameron Rising
Cameron Rising (USA Today Sports Images)

Not enough respect is paid to Kyle Whittingham and the Utes every year but with Cameron Rising, a tough running game and that underrated defense I like them better than most.

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6. MICHIGAN

Jim Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh (USA Today Sports Images)

Whether Jim Harbaugh stays or goes the expectations will be high but this is a team that will run the ball at will, control the tempo and continue to play elite defense despite some huge losses on that side.

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7. TEXAS A&M

Jimbo Fisher
Jimbo Fisher (USA Today Sports Images)

The Aggies were a disappointment this past season but the way Jimbo Fisher is recruiting there is no way to take Texas A&M lightly next year even with Alabama favored in the SEC West.

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8. NOTRE DAME

Lorenzo Styles, Jr.
Lorenzo Styles, Jr. (USA Today Sports Images)

Brian Kelly is gone and there could be a drop off but the defense should be elite and Notre Dame will always be able to play power football.

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9. BAYLOR

Gerry Bohanon
Gerry Bohanon (USA Today Sports Images)

Dave Aranda has this Baylor team playing tough defense and Gerry Bohanon gets better and better.

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10. USC

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams (USA Today Sports Images)

Will Caleb Williams have announced by the time you read this? I'm not sure. But his presence along with a talented young roster immediately makes USC dangerous.


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