247Sports’ Josh Pate makes preseason CFP prediction

247Sports college football analyst Josh Pate has released his preseason tprediction on who he thinks will make the College Football Playoff. Pate expects two of the country’s three consensus best teams to make the CFP, but he does not predict that the Georgia Bulldogs will return to the CFP.

Georgia, Ohio State, and Alabama are routinely ranked as the top three teams in college football heading into the 2022 season. Georgia lost a lot of talent to the 2022 NFL draft. The Dawgs have the talent to return to the CFP.

Josh Pate thinks Georgia will lose in both the regular season and in the SEC Championship. Who does he pencil in for the CFP?

No. 4 Michigan Wolverines

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines returning to the CFP would shock quite a few people. The Wolverines return both of their two top quarterbacks from last season.

Michigan has an easy nonconference schedule, which could be a reason why the Wolverines are left out of the CFP if they lose more than one game. The Wolverines have tough games Oct. 1 at Iowa and Oct. 29 against Michigan State. Of course, they end the season against Ohio State, but Josh Pate does not think they’ll win that game.

No. 3 Utah Utes

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Utah is a trendy CFP pick and has the talent to win the Pac-12. The Utes open their season at Florida, which will be no easy task. Additionally, Utah has tests against Oregon and USC. Overall, an 11-1 regular season with a Pac-12 title is within reach for the Utes.

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

A rematch of the 2022 Rose Bowl in the CFP? Sign me up. Ohio State and Utah was one of the most exciting games of the season last year.

This year, the Buckeyes must be better defensively. They are elite at the skill positions on offense and have an excellent quarterback in CJ Stroud, but will need their defense to improve a significant amount if they want to win a national championship.

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Pate predicts that Alabama will repeat as SEC Champions and will win the national championship. The Crimson Tide return a lot of talent including edge rusher Will Anderson and quarterback Bryce Young.

Nick Saban and will be very tough to beat this season. The Crimson Tide fortified themselves with elite recruiting and elite transfer additions this offseason.

Where is Georgia?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Josh Pate ranks Georgia football as one of his top teams entering the 2022 college football season. He expected the Bulldogs to go 11-1, but gives them a best case scenario of 12-0. The Dawgs’ worst case scenario is 9-3, but frankly we don’t see that happening.

Pate predicts that Georgia will lose in the SEC Championship to Alabama. It is critical for the Bulldogs to go 12-0 during the regular season, so they don’t have play in a must-win game against Alabama in the SEC Championship. Georgia’s undefeated regular season in 2021 is the reason why Kirby Smart and company made the CFP after losing in the SEC title game.

Story originally appeared on UGA Wire