The 2022 AP top 25 preseason college football poll was released. Here are the topics that matter with the overrated and underrated teams, and the winners and losers.
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5. Who is, technically, overrated in the 2022 AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll?
It’s all subjective, obviously, but who’s overrated and who’s underrated compared to the CFN 2022 Preseason Rankings 1-131? Here are five possible overrated teams.
No. 5 Notre Dame
Totally nitpicking here. Notre Dame is going to be terrific. There’s no excuse to not be in the CFP mix – even after starting the season against Ohio State – and nothing less than a New Year’s Six bowl game will be okay.
Five is a wee bit high considering how strong Michigan should be and with Oregon, Utah, and USC all knocked down a peg. The Irish should be around 10ish instead of top 5, but it’s hardly a crazy ranking.
– Notre Dame Preview
No. 6 Texas A&M
In theory Texas A&M should be No. 6 good, and the talent level is there after this latest loaded recruiting class, but the program might be a year or so away from being worth this much respect.
Outside of that new haul of talent – which matters, of course – is A&M about to make the leap from unranked like it was at the end of last season to the top 6? Top 20, yes, but gut feeling – the voters remember the Alabama win of 2021 and ranked accordingly.
– Texas A&M Preview
No. 10 Baylor
100% getting it that we might be on the wrong side of the Baylor call this year. The defense will be great, the offense just fine, and … the Big 12 will be stronger. Rankings shouldn’t be predictive and need to be based on how good the teams are, but compared to a slew of Others Receiving Votes teams – more on that in the Underrated section – Baylor at 10 is a tad rich.
– Baylor Preview
No. 16 Miami
I like Miami, you like Miami, we all like Miami. Warm weather, cool program, Mario Cristobal taking over, Tyler Van Dyke a rising star quarterback – 16 is too high. The Canes aren’t there yet. It’s not horribly off – they should be top 25 – but ahead of Arkansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss? No.
– Miami Preview
No. 22 Wake Forest
PLEASE forgive how gross this is to consider a young man’s medical condition as a factor in any sort of football analysis, but to be fair, I would’ve put Wake Forest in the Overrated category before the announcement of Sam Hartman’s non-football related medical issue.
Talent-wise – and if the teams were playing on the field in Week 1 – give me at least ten Also Receiving Votes programs over Wake Forest. Tennessee, Penn State, LSU being front and center.
– Wake Forest Preview
And then there are the …
NEXT: AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll – 5 most underrated teams
4. Who is, technically, underrated in the AP Preseason Top 25 Poll?
If there are overrated teams, there have to be underrated ones, too. We did this for the 2022 Preseason Coaches Poll – here are five underrated teams in the AP Preseason Top 25 Poll …
Texas Tech (0 votes)
The problem with this is going to be the record – Texas Tech has a brutal schedule and will struggle to get to seven wins. However, talent-wise, with the 2021 WKU scheme taking over, and with the coaching staff in place to beef up the D, there should’ve been a few votes here.
– Texas Tech Preview
UCLA (2 votes, tied 43rd overall)
Let’s just cut to the chase – the entire Pac-12 is underrated in the 2022 AP preseason rankings. Fine, so UCLA is a fringe top 25 team at the moment, but 2 votes compared to Boise State (5), UCF (27), Wake Forest (22nd overall), Pitt (17th overall), and Miami (16th overall)? This is a huge whiff – BTW, the Bruins received 2 votes in last year’s preseason poll, too.
– UCLA Preview
Tennessee (180 votes, 26th overall)
Really? Y’all think this offense couldn’t take care of a Houston, or a Wake Forest, or a Pitt, or Miami, or Michigan State? Okay so the defense might not be amazing, but not being in the 25 is a misfire.
– Tennessee Preview
Florida (14 votes, 37th overall)
Last year Michigan received 12 votes in the preseason AP poll. I sure as shoot didn’t see that coming, but that was a top 20 team going into 2021, much less top 25. Take all the whining and screaming I did last year and apply it to 2022 Florida.
– Florida Preview
No. 14 USC
I am 100% prepared to eat it if and when I’m wrong, but get on this USC thing now. The lines are fine, the talent is better than it looked last year, and Lincoln Riley is not only a massive coaching upgrade, but he brought in an all-star team for the starting 22. Again, I’m here to take my lumps if I’m misreading this, but top 5 isn’t crazy.
– USC Preview
NEXT: AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll: Most loaded Also Receiving Votes ever?
3. AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll: Most loaded Also Receiving Votes ever?
Every year the final rankings end up looking far different – usually from around 7 on down – than the preseason ones.
Expect this year to be epic when it comes to how different the AP poll looks at the end.
To be fair, Texas has to prove itself worthy of respect after a total meltdown over the second half of last year – but 2021 doesn’t exist. It doesn’t matter. Rankings are technically supposed to be done based on how good the teams are right now, and all that other pretentious stuff.
Talent-wise, would you rather be Texas, or Houston, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Pitt, Miami, and be right there with a slew of other top 25 teams? Call Texas being 27th overall – and in the Also Receiving Votes category – a wait and see approach.
Tennessee being 26th is a miss. The excitement is off the charts in Year Two of the Josh Heupel era, but again, the voters seem to like a rebuilding Cincinnati, a promising BYU, and a slew of other good-record-easier-schedule (not BYU when it comes to schedule) teams more than the rising Vols.
If voters are a bit leery because Tennessee lost its bowl game last year, Purdue – who beat the Vols – should be almost as dangerous and only received 17 votes.
Cincinnati, BYU, and Kentucky get the benefit of the doubt as they’re now rock-solid programs that should produce at a high level … and Iowa is technically 28th receiving 163 votes, and Penn State and LSU are right behind the defending Big Ten West champion.
You take 15-25 in the 2022 AP preseason poll and give me 11 Also Receiving Votes teams – Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, Penn State, LSU, Minnesota, Purdue, Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, and UCLA – and let’s roll.
And here’s the positive in that …
NEXT: AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll: So, you don’t like it? Don’t worry, because …
2. AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll: So, you don’t like it? Don’t worry, because …
Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson …
It’s not wrong in any way – that’s how the top four should look to start the 2022 season – and it sure wasn’t that fun when outliers Michigan and Cincinnati were introduced to reality in the College Football Playoff, but it would be nice if this preseason poll is dead-wrong.
That’s nothing against the AP poll – here’s hoping the CFN preseason rankings are totally off, too.
It would be fun if USC – who has yet to make the CFP – really is top five-good.
It would be great if UCF rose back up to its status of a few years ago, and if Texas really is “back” – whatever that means – and if UCLA can finally kick it all in under Chip Kelly, and if Scott Frost can make the turn at Nebraska, and if Kansas State really is that sleeper everyone expects it to be.
And we know there’s going to be chaos. We know it’s going to be different.
Texas A&M was preseason No. 6 last season and Iowa State 7th.
North Carolina (10), Wisconsin (12), Florida (13), Miami (14), USC (15), LSU (16), Indiana (17), Penn State (19), Washington (20), Texas (21), Coastal Carolina (22), and Arizona State (25) also didn’t finish in the final top 25.
That’s 14 of the 25 teams ranked in the 2021 preseason top 25 that didn’t make the final cut.
So who did?
Michigan didn’t receive a single vote in the 2021 preseason – finished 3rd.
Baylor didn’t get a vote and finished 5th.
Oklahoma State (7), Michigan State (9), Ole Miss (11), Pitt (13), Wake Forest (15), Houston (17), Kentucky (18), BYU (19), NC State (20), Arkansas (21), Utah State (24), San Diego State (25) all ended up ranked after not getting the call in August.
And that’s all great. It’s all a positive. That’s what makes it fun.
NEXT: AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll Winners and Losers
1. AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll Winners and Losers
– Winner: ACC. There’s a whole lot of love being given to the ACC considering overall it’s probably just okay. Clemson (4) appears to be a killer, and NC State (13) might actually be underrated. Miami (16), Pitt (17), Wake Forest (18) isn’t bad – the league got a fifth of the preseason top 25.
– Loser: Mountain West. The Mountain West was terrific at times in non-conference games last season – especially against the Pac-12 – and had its moments in the bowls. Fresno State, Boise State, Utah State, and San Diego State were all in the Also Receiving Votes category, while the American Athletic Conference got Cincinnati (23) and Houston (24) in the top 24.
– Winner: Big 12. Forget the expansion and realignment. The Big 12 has Oklahoma (9), Baylor (10), and Oklahoma State (12) all in the top 12, and Texas is in the waiting room at, technically, 27th.
Accept realignment. In the 2022 AP Preseason Poll, six 2023 Big 12 teams – add Cincinnati, Houston, and BYU in the top 25, and nine teams – Texas, UCF, and Kansas – in the top 37.
– Loser: SEC. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Alabama and Georgia, and Texas A&M was overloved at the 6, but you have to go a long way to find the next SEC team with Arkansas at the 19. Throw in Kentucky and Ole Miss – and let’s give the ACC Notre Dame, just because of the tie-in – and the best conference in college football is close to tied with the ACC.
– Winner: Alabama. I won’t say who – even though I probably could since they publish their ballots – but I know a few voters who were really, really close to putting Ohio State No. 1. I honestly though this would be close and the Buckeyes would make a push after the Coaches Poll had Alabama with 54 first place votes and gave OSU just five.
– Loser: Georgia and … the flawed concept that you’re the champion until you lose. That used to be a bigger thing than it is now – the AP used to determine the national champion. Georgia only got 3 first place votes – and it might still be the best team in college football in 2022. Now the No. 3 team in the country can play the disrespect card.
– Winner: Week 1 Thursday and Friday. There aren’t a ton of ranked teams before the big Week 1 Saturday, but Oklahoma State (12), Pitt (17), Wake Forest (22), and Michigan State (15) will be in the spotlight.
– Loser: Week 0. Soft opening Saturday is missing the snazz. Nebraska (1 vote) and North Carolina (12 votes) are the only teams that came close to being on the radar. Nebraska vs Northwestern will be fun, but the kickoff to the season doesn’t feature any ranked teams.