CFB Power Rankings (Week 1)

  1. Alabama
    • Bryce Young, best QB in college football. Will Anderson Jr, best defensive player in college football. And Nick Saban. What else is there to say? The roster is loaded, but if there’s an achilles heel keeping this group from being the most overwhelming favorite in history, it’s a shoddy offensive line. It’ll hurt the run game and force Bryce Young to make heroic plays, which he can do. But, it could cost them a perfect run, and gives Ohio St and the SEC a glimmer of hope.
  2. Ohio St
    • QB1, RB1, WR1 all at the top of the list in the Country and a dominant OL give the Buckeyes all the tools to have the most explosive offense in the Country. The D just has to be serviceable to allow Ohio St to be staring down Bama in an almost inevitable National Championship matchup. Expect CJ Stroud and company to put on an absolute show this year, although it might not make for many competitive 2nd halves.
  3. Clemson
    • This D is absolutely nasty, especially the front 7 which could easily be the best in all of CFB. The question marks come on the other side of the ball, starting and ending with DJ Uiagalelei. Inconsistent QB play will not be good enough to beat the likes of Alabama/Ohio St, but it may be good enough to still win the ACC and be in the Playoff hunt. But if he can improve his accuracy and get this offense humming, we have a 3-horse race at the top.
  4. Georgia
    • The defending champs lost a ton of talent from their historic defense to the NFL, and while they have the horses in the barn to fill the shoes, they will have to get more out of Stetson Bennett and the offense. The D can’t carry as big a load, so can Bennett really elevate to more than a game manager? The Dogs have a fairly easy schedule in the weaker East, but an opening week matchup with Oregon will tell us just how high their ceiling will be.
  5. Utah
    • The Utes took off last year after giving the reins to QB Cam Rising, and he is back to continue to build on what was a monumental season in 2021. A trip to the Rose Bowl and a blow for blow heavyweight fight with Ohio St proved to the Country the Utes can compete with the best of the best. They have a few stars to replace on D, but this is by far Utah’s best chance to break through to the CFP. All eyes will be on their trip to the Swamp in Week 1.
  6. Texas A&M
    • A QB away. That perfectly encapsulates the situation in 2022 for the Aggies, as this roster is as talented as any outside of the QB situation. Haynes King and Max Johnson continue to battle for the spot, and a Week 3 date with Miami will test just how reliable the chosen QB can be. The defense will be special, but it’ll need more help from whoever is given the keys to the other side of the ball to make the next step into Playoff relevancy.
  7. Michigan
    • Michigan rode an elite ground attack and special defense to the Playoff last year and they’ll have to repeat the same formula without some of the key ingredients this season. Gone are the explosive DE’s and several more on that side as well as leading rusher Hasaan Haskins. Regression seems inevitable, the only saving grace is young QB JJ McCarthy’s pedigree as a 5-star recruit. If he can up the level of play at that position Michigan could have a shot to knock off Ohio St again.
  8. Notre Dame
    • A new HC and a lot of questions around the QB situation put the Irish a step behind the Gold standard that has been set. However, it’s an incredibly talented roster that should tout one of the best run games in the Country. Don’t expect a Playoff trip but they could play spoiler for Clemson/USC later in the season. Even if they get blown out by the Buckeyes week 1.
  9. Oregon
    • The talent is here for Oregon to be sitting in the Pac-12 Championship and in the hunt for a playoff berth. However, a new coaching staff forces you to hesitate just slightly, as they bring in a first-time HC to keep this train on the tracks. Bo Nix incoming helps give this offense an even higher ceiling as he can make bigger plays with his arm. The D should continue to get better and this OL is among the best in the Country. But can they figure out Utah? That will determine their ceiling.
  10. NC State
    • It’s the Devin Leary show in Raleigh and after throwing 35 TD’s and only 5 picks he’s an early candidate for CPOY. The defense is also underrated and returns a lot of talent and could be the difference needed to beat out Clemson in the Atlantic race. I’m not sold on the Wolfpack as Conference champs, but they certainly could play spoiler or be there to capitalize if Clemson slips up.
  11. Oklahoma
    • A lot of question marks surround the Sooners coming into 2022, with HC and QB1 gone and a slew of receivers as well this high-powered offense will be interesting to watch from the get-go. Venebles comes in looking to improve a pretty bad defense a year ago and brings in UCF star QB Dillon Gabriel to steady the other side. Oklahoma could be the best of the Big 12, they could also struggle a lot. It’s a gamble I’m not willing to make just yet.
  12. Miami (Fl)
    • A lot of hype around the new look Hurricanes, but can a wave of transfers and a new coaching staff take a 7-win team to a Conference Championship? Van Dyke is a stud no doubt, but this defense has holes, and they can be 1 dimensional on offense. I’m a wait and see with this group, and while the Coastal division may be for the taking, I think they’re a ways off from Clemson level. We’ll see what they’re all about Week 3 when they see Texas A&M.
  13. Wisconsin
    • It’s a story as old as time, the Badgers will tout an elite defense, an elite ground attack and will hope and pray for quality QB play. I fear their prayers may fall on deaf ears though, as Graham Mertz just doesn’t look to be the guy to lift Wisconsin back to the level of Michigan/Ohio St. The West is wide open however, and the Badgers should at least be the early favorite to win that side. Look out for Braelon Allen as a sleeper Heisman candidate.
  14. Oklahoma St
    • Spencer Sanders is back and this D should still be really good even if a step back is in order. WR1 RB1 and the QB of the defense MLB Rodriguez are all gone, so there could be some growing pains. If the Pokes want to re-make their magical season from last year they’ll need Sanders to step up as a do-it-all QB making better decisions with the football. Time will tell.
  15. USC
    • In comes Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams to try and resurrect one of the most historic programs in CFB, should be fun. But, much like Texas the fun could fizzle out if the explosive offense is let down by a bad defense. The Trojans do have a little more promise on that side though, with a few pieces that could be playmakers, they could do just enough to help Williams and Co get USC back to the mountaintop.
  16. Arkansas
    • Sam Pittman and the Hogs were one of the surprises of the season last year and QB KJ Jefferson is back with a slew of weapons to try and run it back. The hogs play fast, and have the best rushing attack in the Country, but their brutal schedule in the SEC West and out of Conference caps their ceiling. 7-8 wins and a bowl game will be another great success for Pittman and co.
  17. Pitt
    • Kenny Pickett out, Kedon Slovis in. Rinse and repeat? It certainly looks that way, and while the loss of Addison at receiver hurts this offense should be as fiery as last year’s version. The defense is where the questions begin, as the secondary repeatedly got torched a year ago and that will likely be the case once again. Expect a shootout when Pitt takes the field and with this firepower, they certainly present Miami the toughest challenge on the Coastal side of this Conference.
  18. Kentucky
    • Will Levis and RB Chris Rodriguez Jr are back to lead an impressive looking offense. However, there are some major questions on the other side of the ball after losing some of the major parts from last season’s group. Levis is getting a lot of hype pre-season, but I’m not quite sold on his ability to elevate this Kentucky group to another level. They’ll get tested early with a week 2 trip to the swamp.
  19. Baylor
    • 2021 was quite possibly the greatest season in Baylor football history, and with a slew of departures on both sides of the ball regression seems inevitable. What you’re betting on here is QB Blake Shapen stepping up and playing really solid, which he showed flashes of in 3 games last season. The defense lost a lot of playmakers and the top RB’s are gone, not great. Great coaching can only take you so far, a step back is still a solid season.
  20. Minnesota
    • One of the most overlooked teams across the country, the Gophers quietly were knocking on the door of a Big Ten Championship appearance last year and return most of their significant contributors. Headlining is the return of RB1 Mohamed Ibrahim from injury and 6th year QB Tanner Morgan. A ton of experience and a very solid D give Minnesota as good a chance as anyone in the West to grab a bid to the Conf Championship game.
  21. Texas
    • New HC, new QB1 and a set of skill players that rival Alabama and Ohio St have all the pundits screaming from the hilltops Texas is Back! Gee, when have we heard this before? Quinn Ewers will be electric, Bijan Robinson is the best RB in the country, but this defense….absolutely pathetic. Even with some improvement they still might give up 60 to Alabama week 2. Texas is fun, but not ready to be declared all the way “Back” just yet.
  22. Ole Miss
    • Matt Corral is out and Lane Kiffin has a decision to make at QB, one that may fluctuate all season. The defense is not good, but this explosive offensive system gained a ton of weapons via the transfer portal so they should still be able to put up points with either QB. Regression is surely coming, and it could get ugly in a very difficult SEC. Luckily the schedule is light early on.
  23. Michigan St
    • A few losses on the O-line and Kenneth Walker off to the NFL set up Sparty for regression this season. Stack on top of that a pretty bad defense and you could see Michigan St as one of the most overrated teams heading into 2022. Mel Tucker can clearly coach, but expecting 10-2 again seems like a reach, and with a brutal schedule 7 wins would still be solid in year 2.
  24. BYU
    • 21 out of 22 starters are back from a 10 win team that put up a ton of points a year ago. Expect this offense to continue to hum, and look for some improvement from a defense that definitely struggled at times. They get dates with Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Baylor as they try and play spoiler to some of the Nation’s best. All of those are winnable games, and if things go right they could be at the group of 5 mountaintop this season.
  25. Cincinnati
    • No Desmond Ritter to lead the show certainly puts a ceiling on how good the Bearcats can be, but this roster is still very talented, and they are extremely well coached. New QB1 is a highly touted recruit with no experience, so be the end of the season they could be rolling, but an opening week date with Arkansas could be a rough way to start this new era.

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