2022 College Football Power Rankings, according to ESPN – Sports Illustrated

The college football season is right around the corner, and that means one thing — preseason rankings ahead of kickoff.
Spoiler alert — Alabama is the No. 1 team in the country, but recent history suggests teams from outside the top 10 have a shot at the playoff, too.
Where do things stand as we look ahead to the start of the college football season?
Let's take a look at the ESPN preseason top 25 power rankings.
Georgia is the defending College Football Playoff national champion
25. BYU — Jaren Hall returns at quarterback to weather another tough schedule, now without Tyler Allgeier, who scored almost half of BYU's touchdowns last fall.
24. Houston — This could be the year Cincy falls in the AAC if Clayton Tune can drive this offense through a winnable schedule.
23. Texas — Some more love for the Longhorns, far from a proven product especially after losing two starters to knee injuries, but some promising offensive skill players.
22. Kentucky  Mark Stoops is still trying to show UK isn't just a basketball school and brings Will Levis back under center to lead the Wildcats' offense.
21. Cincinnati  Nine of the playmakers that earned a historic College Football Playoff berth are gone to the NFL, so we'll see what Luke Fickell has planned for a repeat.
20. Ole Miss  Lane Kiffin hopes his transfer replacements on offense can keep this train moving while the Rebs consolidate their defensive gains in the SEC West race.
19. Pittsburgh  Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison are gone, but Kedon Slovis came over from USC and has some solid targets to work with in defense of the ACC title.
18. Wisconsin  Braelon Allen looks like one of the top young backs in college football and he's running behind another strong line, but what can Graham Mertz do at quarterback?
17. Arkansas Maybe the surprise team in the country last fall, the Hogs have some holes to patch up defensively, but crucially get KJ Jefferson back at quarterback.
16. Miami  Year 1 for Mario Cristobal includes a potential star at quarterback, but a crucial early road game at Texas A&M that could set the tone for the season.
15. Michigan State  Kenneth Walker is gone, but Payton Thorne and Jayden Reed are back while Sparty figures out its pass defense, one of college football's worst.
14. Oklahoma State  A lot of that third-ranked defense is gone, as is the Pokes' leading rusher, but Spencer Sanders is back at QB with some valuable experience.
13. Oregon  Dan Lanning steps in to lead the Ducks into an uncertain conference future, with some solid defensive pieces and Bo Nix throwing to some good receivers.
12. USC  Who knows what the Trojans are at this point, but Lincoln Riley is a proven play-caller and he's working with serious skill at quarterback, tailback, and receiver. Now about that 89th ranked defense…
11. NC State  About 80 percent of this team's production comes back, especially on defense and at quarterback with Devin Leary back behind the wheel.
10. Baylor  The defending Big 12 champs have Blake Shapen back under center and placed No. 1 in the conference media poll as favorites to repeat.
9. Oklahoma  Brent Venables steps in to give the Sooners some stability, good news for this defense long term, while Dillon Gabriel looks to add to his already impressive career stat line at quarterback.
8. Michigan  The Big Ten champs lose a lot of talent that earned that first-ever College Football Playoff, but plenty remains, too, especially on offense.
7. Texas A&M  A speedy receiver room and a solid backfield can hold things down while this potentially great defensive front gets itself in rhythm.
6. Utah  Cam Rising and Tavion Thomas are back after scoring 41 times last fall, keeping the Utes out in front of the Pac-12 race.
5. Notre Dame  An opener at Ohio State can throw the Irish season off course, but Marcus Freeman still has a chance to make a major impact in Year 1.
4. Clemson  Six straight College Football Playoff bids ended in 2021 after a three-loss outing, but returning defensive players and better quarterback play should keep the Tigers in the ACC shuffle all year.
3. Georgia  The defending national champs need to replenish that historic defense, but have the pieces for the job and return valuable experience offensively, too.
2. Ohio State  Improvement on defense is the one thing apparently standing between the Buckeyes and the College Football Playoff.
1. Alabama  Elite talent out, elite talent in. It's been the story at Alabama for 15 years and it doesn't look like that's going to change this season. This roster could easily go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team heading into the playoff.
(ESPN College Football Power Rankings)
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