College Football Rankings 2022 Spring: What To Know About All 131 Teams

·47 min read

Where do all 131 college football teams rank after 2022 spring ball? Here’s one thing to know about every team along with the early ranking.

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CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings: 2022 Spring

Just before we dive into all the team-by-team previews, here’s our view of all 131 college football teams after spring ball and with several big transfers settled in. This can and will change up this summer and just before the season as different things happen, but for now, how good is everyone?

131 UMass Minutemen

Final Rankings: 2021: 129 2020: 127 2019: 130
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Tulane

Don Brown returns the program he led as an FCS powerhouse, but things are far different now. The lines aren’t there on either side, and finding a few offensive playmakers is a must, but the defense will instantly be better under the new coaching staff.
UMass Schedule

130 New Mexico State Aggies

Final Rankings: 2021: 126 2020: NR 2019: 127
Week 0: Nevada
Week 1: at Minnesota (Sept. 1)

Jerry Kill is one of the best football coaches around – medical problems limited him at other gigs – and now he has to work his magic. The talent is lacking, but the team will be far more physical … in time. It’s a Kill team – the ground game will work.
New Mexico State Schedule

129 UConn Huskies

Final Rankings: 2021: 128 2020: NR 2019: 126
Week 0: at Utah State
Week 1: Central Connecticut State

New head coach Jim Mora Jr. has a complete teardown/rebuild to do. It doesn’t help to lose the few great players from last year – like DT Travis Jones – but the team should be more competitive.
UConn Schedule

128 Akron Zips

Final Rankings: 2021: 127 2020: 123 2019: 129
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Saint Francis (Sept. 1)

Start with this – the offense will be better. New head coach Joe Moorhead knows how to get an attack rolling, but the lumps this team will take will enormous. It’s a really, really young team that’s in building mode.
Akron Schedule

127 FIU Golden Panthers

Final Rankings: 2021: 130 2020: 125 2019: 85
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Bryant (Sept. 1)

The Golden Panthers have a good new head coach in Mike MacIntyre, but it’s going to take a program overhaul to get over the last few seasons. It’s a true rebuild needing more transfers to help boost the options.
FIU Schedule

126 Bowling Green Falcons

Final Rankings: 2021: 108 2020: 126 2019: 124
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at UCLA

Eventually the offense will start to work. After years of trying to get the pieces in place, the attack might finally have the guys to go along with the experience on D. Now it’s time for the team to start producing.
Bowling Green Schedule

125 Texas State Bobcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 122 2020: 111 2019: 114
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Nevada

The team has been fun under head coach Jake Spavital, but the results haven’t been there. The offense at least has experience with a few nice quarterbacks options from the transfer portal, but the Bobcats will be in a whole lot of shootouts.
Texas State Schedule

124 ULM Warhawks

Final Rankings: 2021: 124 2020: 124 2019: 100
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Texas

Terry Bowden was able to boost up the team for a little while last year, and now with a veteran core of players back the Warhawks should be more competitive. The overall talent level, though, isn’t there.
ULM Schedule

123 Rice Owls

Final Rankings: 2021: 116 2020: 106 2019: 115
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at USC

Will this ever start to work? Rice hasn’t shown a whole lot of signs of turning around under Mike Bloomgren, but the experience is in place on offense and the defense should be decent enough to take a few steps forward.
Rice Schedule

122 UTEP Miners

Final Rankings: 2021: 106 2020: 121 2019: 128
Week 0: North Texas
Week 1: at Oklahoma

Was 2021 for real? The 7-6 season was great for the program, but the wins came against a whole lot of layups. The Miners will count on transfers to fill in the gaps, and there’s enough returning to remain competitive.
UTEP Schedule

121 New Mexico Lobos

Final Rankings: 2021: 125 2020: 95 2019: 120
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Maine

The Lobos are still a work in progress, but there are just enough veterans back to be better with a little more time. It’s more about production this season than experience. The close wins should come.
New Mexico Schedule

120 Buffalo Bulls

Final Rankings: 2021: 109 2020: 63 2019: 39
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Maryland

There’s a chance this might be ridiculously low if all the new guys from the transfer portal can be the difference. As long as the offense can find something it can consistently rely on, the Bulls might be one the MAC’s biggest surprises.
Buffalo Schedule

119 North Texas Mean Green

Final Rankings: 2021: 92 2020: 118 2019: 111
Week 0: at UTEP
Week 1: SMU

The Mean Green have a good starting 22, but the depth is lacking and the defensive front is a concern. It’s North Texas, though – the offense will come through against a mediocre schedule.
North Texas Schedule

118 James Madison

Final Rankings: 2021: NR 2020: NR 2019: NR
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Middle Tennessee

Can the success in the FCS translate into wins in the new FBS world? Yeah, and it starts with an offense that should be able to keep up with most Sun Belt teams. The defense has a few too many replacements, though, to make a giant splash.
James Madison Schedule

117 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Final Rankings: 2021: 95 2020: 119 2019: 107
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at James Madison

As long as the defense can find a few more big-time playmakers to make up for the lost parts, the Blue Raiders should be good. The offensive line has to become a strength as the season goes on.
Middle Tennessee Schedule

116 South Alabama Jaguars

Final Rankings: 2021: 120 2020: 108 2019: 119
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Nicholls

The Jaguars were close to coming up with a bowl season, but it’s a stronger Sun Belt, the defense will be worse, and the offense – even though it’ll be experienced – won’t be quite good enough to keep up the pace.
South Alabama Schedule

115 Charlotte 49ers

Final Rankings: 2021: 115 2020: 116 2019: 72
Week 0: at Florida Atlantic
Week 1: William & Mary (Sept. 1)

After coming close to going bowling last year, there’s a shot the 49ers make it happen this season with an improved offense that should be more consistent. The D could be among the best in Conference USA.
Charlotte Schedule

Related

College Football Win Total Projections For All 131 Teams: Spring Version

114 Ohio Bobcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 112 2020: 109 2019: 51
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Florida Atlantic

Ohio should be a whole lot better than it’s been over the last few years, but the offense has to replace almost all of the key parts. The defensive back seven should be good enough to work around.
Ohio Schedule

113 Old Dominion Monarchs

Final Rankings: 2021: 94 2020: NR 2019: 125
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Virginia Tech (Sept. 2)

It was a fun season with a bowl appearance and plenty of fun moments. Now almost everyone is back on offense, and they’ll need to be fantastic to make up for a shaky D.
Old Dominion Schedule

112 Arkansas State Red Wolves

Final Rankings: 2021: 123 2020: 112 2019: 67
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Grambling State

Can Butch Jones take all the experience – and after all of the lumps from 2021 – to put together something great? The Red Wolves should finally start to play defense and the offense will be more consistent.
Arkansas State Schedule

111 Eastern Michigan Eagles

Final Rankings: 2021: 100 2020: 107 2019: 80
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 2)

As always, Eastern Michigan will play everyone tough, but the defensive front will be an early concern and the offensive backfield needs to be ready to rock when MACtion kicks in.
Eastern Michigan Schedule

110 Georgia Southern Eagles

Final Rankings: 2021: 121 2020: 78 2019: 55
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Morgan State

Former USC head coach Clay Helton will try to pivot the program into a different style as he tweaks the offense and gets back just about everyone on defense. This might be one of the Sun Belt’s biggest stories in a year of big Sun Belt stories.
Georgia Southern Schedule

109 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Final Rankings: 2021: 114 2020: 103 2019: 43
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Missouri

New head coach Sonny Cumbie will get the offense going once the pieces are settled in fall camp. The O will be fine, but the D … that’s going to be a bigger work in progress.
Louisiana Tech Schedule

108 Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Final Rankings: 2021: 119 2020: 117 2019: 68
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Liberty

Can the Golden Eagles take all of their experience and all of the nice parts and start winning after the move to the Sun Belt? The team that fell so flat over the last two years should be stronger and might push for a bowl. The veterans are there.
Southern Miss Schedule

107 USF Bulls

Final Rankings: 2021: 103 2020: 113 2019: 104
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: BYU

It’s been a long fight to get USF back to respectability, and it might take a little it longer under Jeff Scott. Depth is a big problem, but that’s a luxury for a team that still needs a good starting 22.
USF Schedule

106 UNLV Rebels

Final Rankings: 2021: 113 2020: 120 2019: 106
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Idaho State

The Rebels were competitive in enough games last year to think the pivot might be coming fast. Tennessee QB Harrison Bailey and a strong receiving corps should boost up the offense. The team will be much better as the season goes on.
UNLV Schedule

105 Ball State Cardinals

Final Rankings: 2021: 98 2020: 46 2019: 83
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Tennessee

Call this the X factor team in a conference that’s used to X factors emerging every year. For the Cardinals to win the MAC for the second time in three seasons, the veterans on both sides of the ball have to come through until the new skill parts rise up.
Ball State Schedule

104 Western Michigan Broncos

Final Rankings: 2021: 84 2020: 97 2019: 42
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Michigan State (Sept. 2)

The Broncos have to undergo a bigger overhaul than just about anyone in the MAC. Everything should be okay in time, but the defensive front and offensive stars need to emerge as soon as possible.
Western Michigan Schedule

103 Temple Owls

Final Rankings: 2021: 118 2020: 110 2019: 54
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Duke (Sept. 2)

It’s been a rough few years, and now new head coach Stan Drayton has to do a rebuild around Georgia transfer QB D’Wan Mathis. Experience across the board is a problem.
Temple Schedule

102 Troy Trojans

Final Rankings: 2021: 110 2020: 84 2019: 90
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Ole Miss

A former star of the Sun Belt will be a sleeper for new head coach Jon Sumrall. With almost all of the key starters back on both sides of the ball, and with a defense that should be far stronger, this will be a team to watch.
Troy Schedule

101 Toledo Rockets

Final Rankings: 2021: 101 2020: 98 2019: 73
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Long Island

In a MAC that should be good up top, Toledo might be missing just enough to push through and win the title. There’s talent to work around, but it’ll take a month or so for the team to settle in.
Toledo Schedule

CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 100 NEXT

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 100

100 Kent State Golden Flashes

Final Rankings: 2021: 90 2020: 89 2019: 66
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Washington (Sept. 1)

Can the Golden Flashes keep the high-powered attack going without QB Dustin Crum? Yeah – the offensive front is in place – but the defense has to be a whole lot better to get back to the MAC Championship.
Kent State Schedule

99 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Final Rankings: 2021: 102 2020: 74 2019: 32
Week 0: Vanderbilt
Week 1: WKU

New head coach Timmy Chang is all but starting over with a program that needed a shot in the arm. It’s going to be fun offensively – it’s a Timmy Chang-coached team – but the defense is a massive question mark.
Hawaii Schedule

98 UTSA Roadrunners

Final Rankings: 2021: 55 2020: 102 2019: 118
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Houston

Yeah, this is showing way too much disrespect to a program that came up with a fantastic 2021, but too many stars from the Conference USA champion version are gone.
UTSA Schedule

97 Central Michigan Chippewas

Final Rankings: 2021: 70 2020: 105 2019: 71
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Oklahoma State (Sept. 1)

Jim McElwain’s team is just good enough to be in the MAC championship mix, but you don’t easily replace two NFL offensive linemen. Even so, there’s no reason the defense can’t make up for any concerns on the other side.
Central Michigan Schedule

96 Northern Illinois Huskies

Final Rankings: 2021: 69 2020: 122 2019: 92
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Eastern Illinois

The Huskies set the bar high with a MAC championship season – after going winless in 2020 – and enough parts are back to make it a title-or-bust campaign. The offense should be among the most physical in the MAC, and the young D will come into its own as the season goes on.
Northern Illinois Schedule

95 WKU Hilltoppers

Final Rankings: 2021: 67 2020: 115 2019: 40
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Hawaii

The team isn’t going to fall off the map, but there are a whole lot of big changes with QB Bailey Zappe off to New England and offensive coordinator Zach Kittley doing his thing for Texas Tech. Former West Virginia QB Jarret Doege will bomb away.
WKU Schedule

94 Florida Atlantic Owls

Final Rankings: 2021: 111 2020: 7 2019: 20
Week 0: Charlotte
Week 1: at Ohio

Can the transfer portal get the Owls back to the level they were at in the Lane Kiffin days? There’s enough talent to get a winning season, but Willie Taggart needs the new guys to be great.
Florida Atlantic Schedule

93 San Jose State Spartans

Final Rankings: 2021: 87 2020: 47 2019: 95
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Portland State

The transfer portal is changing around the offense and the defense has the depth and experience on the front seven to be good right away. If Hawaii transfer QB Chevan Cordeiro is great, this ranking is WAY too low.
San Jose State Schedule

92 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Final Rankings: 2021: 77 2020: 39 2019: 86
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Wyoming

Always underestimate this program at your own risk. However, there are too many big losses from last year’s team to make a winning season a fight. Throw in a tough schedule, and this is going to be rough. But again, underestimate this program …
Tulsa Schedule

91 Navy Midshipmen

Final Rankings: 2021: 93 2020: 88 2019: 17
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Delaware

The team has to start playing better. The coaching is great, the system still works, and there’s even enough experience to hope for more consistency. Now it all has to start working again – the offense has to be a differentiating factor.
Navy Schedule

90 Miami University RedHawks

Final Rankings: 2021: 96 2020: 93 2019: 47
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Kentucky

Let’s set the bar high – this should be the MAC’s best team. Okay, so the D might need a few weeks to get up to speed, but the offense should make up for it with a balanced attack that should be consistent.
Miami University Schedule

89 Tulane Green Wave

Final Rankings: 2021: 99 2020: 65 2019: 62
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: UMass

Let’s just call 2021 a blip. The coaching is too strong and the talent level has risen up too much thanks to the transfer portal to think the 2-10 run will carry over. It might take a bit, though for the defense to rise up.
Tulane Schedule

88 Wyoming Cowboys

Final Rankings: 2021: 105 2020: 85 2019: 48
Week 0: at Illinois
Week 1: Tulsa

The offensive star power is gone through the transfer portal, but that’s flowing the other way, too, with new Cowboys coming in. It’s going to take a little while to get going, but the defense should be decent right away.
Wyoming Schedule

87 UAB Blazers

Final Rankings: 2021: 33 2020: 62 2019: 58
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Alabama A&M

We’re at the point now when believing in UAB being able to reload and rock should be a given. Granted, this is way too low for the moment, but give it time. A good rotation has to be found on both lines, but the rest of the pieces are there.
UAB Schedule

86 Kansas Jayhawks

Final Rankings: 2021: 83 2020: 104 2019: 117
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Tennessee Tech (Sept. 2)

The Jayhawks aren’t going to compete for the Big 12 title or anything, but they’ll be even more competitive after showing great fight at times throughout last year. The talent level and experience are enough to come up with their best season in years.
Kansas Schedule

85 Vanderbilt Commodores

Final Rankings: 2021: 104 2020: 91 2019: 116
Week 0: at Hawaii
Week 1: Elon

It’s going to be a struggle again as the 14th best team in a loaded 14-team league, but there’s plenty of experience returning and more depth than normal. Now the team has to find a few top playmakers who can make a difference.
Vanderbilt Schedule

84 Liberty Flames

Final Rankings: 2021: 97 2020: 11 2019: 65
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Southern Miss

There’s no more Malik Willis under center, but the Hugh Freeze offense gets transfer Charlie Brewer along with a slew of other good transfers to come up with a good year. Willis was special, though.
Liberty Schedule

83 Colorado State Rams

Final Rankings: 2021: 117 2020: 100 2019: 109
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Michigan

Can new head coach Jay Norvell get it all going right away? Yeah, but the offense is starting over with a slew of transfers and the top stars on both sides of the ball have to be replaced.
Colorado State Schedule

82 Marshall Thundering Herd

Final Rankings: 2021: 89 2020: 67 2019: 35
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Norfolk State

Welcome to the new league, Marshall. The Herd should thunder over the Sun Belt with a dangerous offense led by transfer QB Henry Columbi. The defense that’s been great for years fills the gaps from the transfer portal.
Marshall Schedule

81 Nevada Wolf Pack

Final Rankings: 2021: 56 2020: 57 2019: 74
Week 0: at New Mexico State
Week 1: Texas State

Nevada isn’t exactly starting over, but the stars of last year’s passing game are gone along with head coach Jay Norvell. New head coach Ken Wilson brings in QB Shane Illingworth from Oklahoma State, but it’ll take a whole lot for the attack to be at the 2021 level.
Nevada Schedule

80 Utah State Aggies

Final Rankings: 2021: 24 2020: 27 2019: 18
Week 0: UConn
Week 1: at Alabama

Coming off a Mountain West championship season, there should be a step back unless the transfers can step in and be great right away on D. QB Logan Bonner will steady the offense.
Utah State Schedule

79 Colorado Buffaloes

Final Rankings: 2021: 76 2020: 30 2019: 81
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: TCU (Sept. 2)

Can the experience returning turn into production? With help from the transfer portal the offensive skill spots should be stronger in time, but it might be up to a solid recruiting class to push for a good season.
Colorado Schedule

78 Duke Blue Devils

Final Rankings: 2021: 107 2020: 92 2019: 88
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Temple (Sept. 2)

New head coach Mike Elko knows defense – he’s what the program needed. The David Cutcliffe offense was almost always interesting, but the defensive side has been – to be nice – lacking. It’s still going to take the rest of the offseason, though, to find the right parts for the O.
Duke Schedule

77 Arizona Wildcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 86 2020: 35 2019: 33
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at San Diego State

There might be a hard ceiling on how high the team can go in Year Two under head coach Jedd Fisch, but the team should be much, MUCH better as the lines start to improve. A slew of newcomers will help, starting with Washington State QB Jayden de Laura and UTEP WR Jacob Cowing.
Arizona Schedule

76 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Final Rankings: 2021: 66 2020: 12 2019: 96
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Army

It’s going to take a whole lot of benefits of a whole lot of doubts to assume Coastal Carolina will be just that good again for a third year in a row. QB Grayson McCall is back to run the fantastic offense, but the defense loses just about everyone.
Coastal Carolina Schedule

CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 75 NEXT

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 75

75 East Carolina

Final Rankings: 2021: 79 2020: 99 2019: 108
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: NC State

This should once again be a fun team in the American Athletic Conference. Holton Ahlers is back for a 19th year as the Pirate quarterback, and he’s got a lot of great players around him. If the D can be more consistent, look out.
East Carolina Schedule

74 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Final Rankings: 2021: 38 2020: 15 2019: 14
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: SE Louisiana

Agreed – this is an insulting ranking. New head coach Michael Desormeaux inherits enough starters to keep the production going, but there will be a wee step back. Losing longtime starting QB Levi Lewis matters, though.
Louisiana Schedule

73 Georgia State Panthers

Final Rankings: 2021: 68 2020: 77 2019: 75
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at South Carolina

Go ahead and put the pressure on Georgia State to come up with a giant season with almost everyone back from a seven-win team that played a whole lot of good games. It might be a few decent transfers way from pulling off the Sun Belt title.
Georgia State Schedule

72 Memphis Tigers

Final Rankings: 2021: 91 2020: 50 2019: 9
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Mississippi State

The bar is set higher now at Memphis, but the experienced offense now has to be more explosive and productive on a consistent basis. The defense is full of veterans, and it got help from the transfer portal.
Memphis Schedule

71 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Final Rankings: 2021: 82 2020: 82 2019: 122
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Clemson (Sept. 5)

It might not exactly be do-or-die time for Geoff Collins, but he needs to finally get this thing going after a few rough years. The offense has to be more explosive, and the secondary has to come together helped by a good front seven.
Georgia Tech Schedule

70 Appalachian State Mountaineers

Final Rankings: 2021: 45 2020: 68 2019: 6
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: North Carolina

The defensive backs and wide receivers are almost all new, but everything else is there to be the star of the Sun Belt. The offensive line and ground game will take over games as the season goes on.
Appalachian State Schedule

69 SMU Mustangs

Final Rankings: 2021: 78 2020: 64 2019: 28
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at North Texas

The Mustangs have built up great records over the last few years without beating a whole lot of great teams. Now they might actually have the team in place to do something great under new head coach Rhett Lashlee – the offense is going to be a blast.
SMU Schedule

68 Stanford Cardinal

Final Rankings: 2021: 85 2020: 31 2019: 98
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Colgate

When will Stanford up out of the dive and be back to form? The improvement on the O line is a start, and the defensive back eight should be terrific.
Stanford Schedule

67 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Final Rankings: 2021: 81 2020: 60 2019: 123
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Boston College

Greg Schinao’s team will always play hard, and it’ll come up with a shocking win or two, but the defense has to come up with the right starting mix with too many new parts. The offense should be better.
Rutgers Schedule

66 Indiana Hoosiers

Final Rankings: 2021: 88 2020: 23 2019: 64
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Illinois (Sept. 2)

The 2020 season was an aberration, but so was the 2021 disaster. 2022 should be somewhere in the middle after loading up on the transfer portal for the offense – Missouri QB Connor Bazelak will take over – and the defensive front.
Indiana Schedule

65 Illinois Fighting Illini

Final Rankings: 2021: 59 2020: 71 2019: 69
Week 0: Wyoming
Week 1: at Indiana (Sept. 2)

There’s a ton of work to do. Bret Bielema’s team will play defense, but it’s going to take an entire offseason to find the right mix. Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito was hit too much at his old gig, and now he’s going to a team that needs to work on the O line.
Illinois Schedule

64 Cal Golden Bears

Final Rankings: 2021: 57 2020: 72 2019: 61
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: UC Davis

The transfers will be a huge help, but there are too many starters gone from the defense to think this will be a monster year. The offense has to find something that consistently works.
Cal Schedule

63 Boston College Eagles

Final Rankings: 2021: 63 2020: 48 2019: 84
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Rutgers

This isn’t giving enough credit to a team with a good offense led by a great quarterback in Phil Jurkovec, but there are just enough missing pieces to make it a wee bit of a question mark. It might be the proverbial can-beat-anyone-or-lose-to-anyone team.
Boston College Schedule

62 Northwestern Wildcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 80 2020: 10 2019: 110
Week 0: Nebraska (Dublin, Ireland)
Week 1: OPEN DATE

Is this one of those years that Northwestern makes something magical happen from out of the blue? Not quite, but it’ll be a whole lot better even though the offense has to be night and day more effective and the defense needs to replace just about everyone. Really, it’ll be better.
Northwestern Schedule

61 Army Black Knights

Final Rankings: 2021: 43 2020: 66 2019: 89
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Coastal Carolina

A light schedule and a veteran team should be enough to come up with one of the best seasons in the Jeff Monken era. The team might not be the best since he took over, but pass rusher Andre Carter and all the great parts in the offensive backfield are enough to blast though the slate to do something special.
Army Schedule

60 Syracuse Orange

Final Rankings: 2021: 62 2020: 94 2019: 79
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Louisville

Now that the running game knows what it’s doing with QB Garrett Shrader and RB Sean Tucker, look out. If the defense can do anything on a consistent basis, and if the line can be decent, this should be a dangerous team in the ACC.
Syracuse Schedule

59 Air Force Falcons

Final Rankings: 2021: 52 2020: 80 2019: 24
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Northern Iowa

This might be one of the best Air Force teams in years if the defense can crank things up on the line. The pieces are there to make the running game rock again.
Air Force Schedule

58 Virginia Tech Hokies

Final Rankings: 2021: 64 2020: 42 2019: 44
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Old Dominion (Sept. 2)

The lines are going to need work under new head coach Brent Pry, and new quarterback Grant Wells from Marshall has to keep the picks to a minimum, but the defense should be great fast and the passing attack will be more explosive.
Virginia Tech Schedule

57 Oregon State Beavers

Final Rankings: 2021: 61 2020: 51 2019: 77
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Boise State

Can the Beavers keep the momentum going after a winning season? The offense has to start over with too many new parts, but this was a young team overall that should fill in the parts fast. The D will be better.
Oregon State Schedule

56 West Virginia Mountaineers

Final Rankings: 2021: 44 2020: 43 2019: 94
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Pitt (Sept. 1)

Okay, West Virginia. Time to start winning big things in the Big 12 with new QB JT Daniels directing a veteran offense that needs to start cranking up the production. There’s a shot the defensive front is among the best in the conference.
West Virginia Schedule

55 Washington Huskies

Final Rankings: 2021: 75 2020: 26 2019: 27
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Kent State

There’s a big chance this is at least 30 spots too low and could change big-time after the end of the summer – the projections might be different. New head coach Kalen DeBoer will get the offense going, and the defense gets more than enough back to be great.
Washington Schedule

54 Iowa State Cyclones

Final Rankings: 2021: 30 2020: 16 2019: 63
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: SE Missouri

Can the Cyclones gear it back up after losing so many good veterans from a few great teams? The offensive backfield has to crank up the productions and the defense has to replace too many key parts. This might not be a Big 12 champion, but it’ll be strong.
Iowa State Schedule

53 Missouri Tigers

Final Rankings: 2021: 47 2020: 33 2019: 87
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Louisiana Tech

Great against the bad teams and bad against the great teams, the Tigers are hoping all the new parts from the transfer portal can make a difference to replace all the lost starters on both sides of the ball. It’s all about the lines – they have to crank up fast.
Missouri Schedule

52 Kansas State Wildcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 26 2020: 58 2019: 41
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: South Dakota

One of the sneaky-good teams in the Big 12 this year, the Wildcats might need a wee bit to get up and rolling. However, give it a few games for the lines to get in sync, and this should be fun. Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez should bring a little more to the ground game.
Kansas State Schedule

51 Florida State Seminoles

Final Rankings: 2021: 58 2020: 83 2019: 78
Week 0: Duquesne
Week 1: vs LSU (Sept. 4) in New Orleans)

It’s Florida State. It’s time to be dangerous again after way, way, way too many mediocre runs. It’s been a building process, and now there’s experience to go along with a slew of good transfers. At this point, though, there’s a big prove-it factor.
Florida State Schedule

CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 50 NEXT

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 50

50 Louisville Cardinals

Final Rankings: 2021: 54 2020: 69 2019: 37
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Syracuse

There’s been a lot of grumbling about the coaching staff over the last few years, but there’s no reason to have anything but a great year with a bunch of the young parts from last year ready to produce. The starting 22 is dangerous.
Louisville Schedule

49 Washington State Cougars

Final Rankings: 2021: 71 2020: 76 2019: 76
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Idaho

Just how good is Incarnate Word transfer QB Cameron Ward? There’s an overhaul at the skill spots, and the defensive back seven is welcoming in too many new faces. Overall, though, this team will be sneaky-good again.
Washington State Schedule

48 Houston Cougars

Final Rankings: 2021: 39 2020: 86 2019: 101
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at UTSA

The breakthrough 12-win season was great, but that needs to be just the start of something big. QB Clayton Tune leads a terrific-looking offense, and there’s enough time with a manageable early schedule to get the defense up and rolling.
Houston Schedule

47 Texas Tech Red Raiders

Final Rankings: 2021: 27 2020: 79 2019: 102
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Murray State

There’s a shot this is way too low if the upgraded offense kicks in fast. New head coach Joey McGuire has tapped WKU for offensive coordinator Zach Kittley – get ready for a lot more passing production, even for Texas Tech. However, a whole lot of parts need replacing.
Texas State Schedule

46 TCU Horned Frogs

Final Rankings: 2021: 73 2020: 44 2019: 82
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Colorado (Sept. 2)

TCU wants to get the O to go with new head coach Sonny Dykes and QB Max Duggan about to give it a try. Depth across the board is a wee bit of an issue, and it might take a bit to find the right starting 22, but this should be a much better year.
TCU Schedule

45 Miami Hurricanes

Final Rankings: 2021: 49 2020: 20 2019: 60
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Bethune-Cookman

There might be more work to do than many are going to believe. Mario Cristobal still needs time to work his recruiting magic, but he inherits a rising star of a QB in Tyler Van Dyke, and the defense should be great with a little time up front.
Miami Schedule

44 Fresno State Bulldogs

Final Rankings: 2021: 40 2020: 96 2019: 91
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Cal Poly

Can Jeff Tedford be great right out of the gate like he was in his last coaching stint with the Bulldogs? The defense has to rebuild, but QB Jake Haener should blow up even more under Tedford.
Fresno State Schedule

43 Arizona State Sun Devils

Final Rankings: 2021: 72 2020: 90 2019: 105
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Northern Arizona (Sept. 1)

The insider’s star of the 2021 offseason now will go the other way in the preseason predictions – that might be a mistake. There might be a whole lot of problems to overcome, and the defense loses eight starters, but getting QB Emory Jones from Florida should help ease the lose of QB Jayden Daniels to LSU.
Arizona State Schedule

42 Virginia Cavaliers

Final Rankings: 2021: 53 2020: 45 2019: 31
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Richmond

Can the offense do that again? Can the defense stop anyone? New head coach Tony Elliott will put the ball in QB Brennan Armstrong’s hands and let him bomb away. The secondary is questionable – get ready for a ton of shootouts, again – but the offense can handle it.
Virginia Schedule

41 North Carolina Tar Heels

Final Rankings: 2021: 50 2020: 14 2019: 59
Week 0: Florida A&M
Week 1: at Appalachian State

Did the window close for North Carolina? That might seem a bit extreme for a program that reloads fast and comes into 2022 with a strong defense, but Mack Brown’s team needs to be more of a threat in the ACC.
North Carolina Schedule

40 Maryland Terrapins

Final Rankings: 2021: 46 2020: 52 2019: 113
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Buffalo

After closing with the big bowl win that showcased the offense, now is when it should all blow up with just about everyone back. Now the consistency has to be there for a team that’s going to be in a whole lot of shootouts.
Maryland Schedule

39 San Diego State Aztecs

Final Rankings: 2021: 25 2020: 73 2019: 30
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Arizona

There’s a massive overhaul of high-end talent to be done at key spots, but the D will still be great, Virginia Tech/Oregon QB Braxton Burmeister should pump up the O, and the overall formula should still work.
San Diego State Schedule

38 Baylor Bears

Final Rankings: 2021: 5 2020: 87 2019: 21
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Albany

This might be way too much of a drop for the defending Big 12 champion, but head coach Dave Aranda has to rebuild a bit. The offensive backfield and defensive back seven must replace several key stars, but the lines should be strong.
Baylor Schedule

37 Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Final Rankings: 2021: 23 2020: 40 2019: 53
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: VMI (Sept. 1)

This might not be the ACC Championship-appearing team of last year, but QB Sam Hartman and the offense should be every bit as dangerous. The D last year was shaky, and now it’ll be even more questionable.
Wake Forest Schedule

36 South Carolina Gamecocks

Final Rankings: 2021: 37 2020: 81 2019: 70
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Georgia State

You’ll have to forgive Gamecock fans for being all jacked up after a surprising first season under Shane Beamer. There’s hope now, and for good reason. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler is taking over the offense behind a strong line, but the O has to be great early until the D rebuilds a bit.
South Carolina Schedule

35 Pitt Panthers

Final Rankings: 2021: 14 2020: 41 2019: 49
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: West Virginia (Sept. 1)

Don’t sleep on the defending ACC champs. The offense might have lost Kenny Pickett and star WR Jordan Addison, but USC QB Kedon Slovis is good enough to keep the O going. It’s Pitt. The pass rush will be great.
Pitt Schedule

34 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Final Rankings: 2021: 28 2020: 38 2019: 56
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Memphis

The Bulldogs suffers from being in the best division in college football, but the offensive skill spots are loaded to take the Mike Leach offense up several notches. This might be the most defensive talent Leach has ever worked with.
Mississippi State Schedule

33 Minnesota Golden Gophers

Final Rankings: 2021: 17 2020: 53 2019: 25
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: New Mexico State (Sept. 1)

This year is a test to see if Minnesota can simply reload and keep the systems going. The backfield is loaded with experience – QB Tanner Morgan is back along with a healthy RB Mohamed Ibrahim – but both lines have to fill in almost all the parts.
Minnesota Schedule

32 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Final Rankings: 2021: 60 2020: 55 2019: 93
Week 0: Northwestern (Dublin, Ireland)
Week 1: North Dakota

No, really. This is going to be the year when Nebraska is good again. It might not be the Nebraska of the glory days, but it’ll finally go bowling with the transfer portal bringing in the pieces to make the passing game go. Get ready for a whole lot of shootouts.
Nebraska Schedule

31 Auburn Tigers

Final Rankings: 2021: 41 2020: 21 2019: 16
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Mercer

It’s been an interesting offseason. However, the team that’s coming back should be good enough to make some noise in the SEC. It’s going to take fall camp, though, to settle a whole lot of jobs. The defense might need a bit of work to find the right mix.
Auburn Schedule

30 BYU Cougars

Final Rankings: 2021: 34 2020: 13 2019: 34
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at USF

Once again, BYU will be a thorn in everyone’s side with a loaded defense and a potentially deadly offense with transfers coming in to help QB Jaren Hall. The program is in reload mode.
BYU Schedule

29 Boise State Broncos

Final Rankings: 2021: 36 2020: 49 2019: 10
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Oregon State

The Broncos should be far stronger after a disappointing 2021. QB Hank Bachmeier leads a terrific offense to go along with a loaded defense that should be among the best in the Mountain West.
Boise State Schedule

28 Iowa Hawkeyes

Final Rankings: 2021: 22 2020: 17 2019: 23
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: South Dakota

The outstanding Iowa defensive front will have to do the heavy lifting for a while until the offense comes around. The Hawkeyes were able to get to the Big Ten Championship without steady offensive production. The improvement starts by getting more out of the O line.
Iowa Schedule

27 Purdue Boilermakers

Final Rankings: 2021: 19 2020: 61 2019: 103
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Penn State

The Boilermakers might be missing star WR David Bell and top pass rusher George Karlaftis, but look … out. Last year might have been fun, but this should be Jeff Brohm’s best Purdue team yet. There’s too much talent to take a step back.
Purdue Schedule

26 Arkansas Razorbacks

Final Rankings: 2021: 12 2020: 34 2019: 121
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Cincinnati

As long as the defensive line and receiving corps can be good, everything else is in place to have an even better season. KJ Jefferson is an outstanding quarterback, but he needs Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood and the receiving corps to be good fast.
Arkansas Schedule

CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 25 NEXT

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 25

25 Kentucky Wildcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 21 2020: 36 2019: 45
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Miami University

The loss of star power hurts, but the Cats have a terrific offensive backfield with QB Will Levis and RB Chris Rodriguez to work around. As always, the Kentucky style and system will make it a tough out, especially with seven defensive starters back.
Kentucky Schedule

24 Cincinnati Bearcats

Final Rankings: 2021: 7 2020: 9 2019: 22
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Arkansas

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the program might be in reloading mode now, and the talent level still on campus is strong, but as the NFL draft just showed, there were a TON of great players who now have to be replaced. No, the Bearcats won’t fall off the map, but there will be a step back.
Cincinnati Schedule

23 Texas Longhorns

Final Rankings: 2021: 65 2020: 4 2019: 52
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: ULM

This is an assumption that the talent and the tools will match up with the expectations – at least somewhat. There’s no excuse. Steve Sarkisian might not have the lines quite yet, but the transfer portal help to go along with the experience in place should be enough to make a big push for big things.
Texas Schedule

22 UCF Knights

Final Rankings: 2021: 48 2020: 70 2019: 19
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: South Carolina State

Bowls are exhibitions and there’s almost never any correlation between what happens in them and how a team does the next season, but the win over Florida set a tone. The help from the transfer portal should be enough – with an already great group in place – to get UCF back on top of the American Athletic Conference.
UCF Schedule

21 LSU Tigers

Final Rankings: 2021: 35 2020: 29 2019: 1
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Florida State (Sept. 4 in New Orleans)

Just how quickly can Brian Kelly turn all the LSU talent into a winner? Just being good again won’t be good enough, though, with a whole lot of good new parts coming in to go along with an already good base. Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels – if he wins the job – should be in for a massive season.
LSU Schedule

20 Utah Utes

Final Rankings: 2021: 13 2020: 114 2019: 46
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Florida

The Utes might not be that again, but you know what you’re getting. The lines will be tough, the defense will be great, and the running game will be solid to help QB Cameron Rising try to keep the 2021 momentum going.
Utah Schedule

19 UCLA Bruins

Final Rankings: 2021: 42 2020: 32 2019: 97
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Bowling Green

Okay, UCLA. Now it’s time to really do this. The offense lost a slew of big parts, but the defense should be the best yet under Chip Kelly, the transfer portal will help, and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be a difference maker.
UCLA Schedule

18 Penn State Nittany Lions

Final Rankings: 2021: 32 2020: 56 2019: 5
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Purdue

This ranking has as much to do with brand name and coaching than anything else. There are way too many big losses on defense, and the offense needs to crank up the right mix for the line. Of course there’s talent – it’s Penn State – but there won’t be a whole lot of time with this schedule to warm up.
Penn State Schedule

17 Michigan State Spartans

Final Rankings: 2021: 10 2020: 54 2019: 26
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Western Michigan (Sept. 2)

Alright, now do it again. It would help if the pass defense wasn’t among the worst in the nation, but the running game will keep on going with some fantastic transfers looking to be the next Kenneth Walker. Mel Tucker won’t let his D be that mediocre again.
Michigan State Schedule

16 Ole Miss Rebels

Final Rankings: 2021: 11 2020: 22 2019: 99
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Troy

This is based on the belief that Ole Miss will rebuild fast around all the great transfers on both sides of the ball. The team lost a ton of talent, but – with all due respect to Matt Corral – with a little bit of time, the offense might have upgraded with USC QB Jaxson Dart and all the other pieces. TCU RB Zach Evans is going to be fantastic.
Ole Miss Schedule

15 Tennessee Volunteers

Final Rankings: 2021: 20 2020: 75 2019: 36
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Ball State

The offense should be even better – QB Hendon Hooker is just that good – and there aren’t enough big losses on either side of the ball to matter. Now the program has the good problem of dealing with high expectations again.
Tennessee Schedule

14 Florida Gators

Final Rankings: 2021: 51 2020: 7 2019: 20
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Utah

Can a new coaching staff turn everything around right away? Yeah. Billy Napier is just that good, QB Anthony Richardson might be just that good, and after a down year, the program might just be right back in the hunt for something special.
Florida Schedule

13 NC State Wolfpack

Final Rankings: 2021: 15 2020: 37 2019: 112
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at East Carolina

Every year there’s an ACC team that rises up and makes a big national splash. That’s NC State in 2022 with QB Devin Leary leading a tremendous offense – even without OT Ikem Ekwonu – to go along with what might be the ACC’s best defense outside of Clemson’s.
NC State Schedule

12 USC Trojans

Final Rankings: 2021: 74 2020: 24 2019: 38
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Rice

Let’s just go ahead and assume USC goes from struggling to amazing right away under Lincoln Riley. Caleb Williams is a Heisman-caliber talent, but the Oklahoma QB isn’t the only star transfer coming into an already great situation.
USC Schedule

11 Wisconsin Badgers

Final Rankings: 2021: 18 2020: 25 2019: 11
Week 0: Austin Peay
Week 1: Illinois State

There’s one giant tweak happening here that might make all the difference – new offensive coordinator Bobby Engram is going to mix it up a bit. It’s Wisconsin, so the amazing backs will rumble behind giant human beings, but don’t be shocked if there’s a passing game. And yeah, it’s Wisconsin. The defense will once again be outstanding.
Wisconsin Schedule

CFN 2022 Spring Rankings
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Spring Rankings, Season Predictions By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 10 NEXT

College Football Rankings Spring 2022: Top 10

10 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Final Rankings: 2021: 6 2020: 19 2019: 50
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Central Michigan

The Cowboys came within six inches of winning a Big 12 championship, and now they return even stronger if the killer defense of last year can reload in the secondary. The offense should be terrific, even if it’s not quite as dynamic as other Big 12 attacks.
Oklahoma State Schedule

9 Michigan Wolverines

Final Rankings: 2021: 3 2020: 59 2019: 57
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Colorado State

Don’t assume that was a one-off. There might not be the same magic and blend of things that happened in the Big Ten Championship season, but the lines are still great, the running game will work, and … the D loses almost everyone. A breezy September will give the Wolverines time to figure it out.
Michigan Schedule

8 Oklahoma Sooners

Final Rankings: 2021: 9 2020: 6 2019: 8
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: UTEP

There’s going to be an adjustment period. No, it didn’t take Lincoln Riley long to get things going when he took over, but Brent Venables might need a year to reposition the program. The defense will need new pieces, but the offense – helped by UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel – should be more consistent.
Oklahoma Schedule

7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Final Rankings: 2021: 8 2020: 5 2019: 12
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Ohio State

There’s no honeymoon period here – Marcus Freeman has a bowl game under his belt, and he’s taking over a good enough team to be in the CFP hunt. The lines should be great and the offense – even with several new starters – has the upside to be more explosive.
Notre Dame Schedule

6 Oregon Ducks

Final Rankings: 2021: 31 2020: 28 2019: 7
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Georgia (in Atlanta)

It’s possible Oregon is among the most underappreciated teams in the offseason projection process. New head coach Dan Lanning has to replace some giant parts, but Auburn QB Bo Nix will help, the healthy linebacking corps will be special, and the talent is there to be special.
Oregon Schedule

5 Clemson Tigers (10-3)

Final Rankings: 2021: 16 2020: 3 2019: 3
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: at Georgia Tech

It might have been a down year by Clemson’s high standards, but the defense was the best in the ACC. It was the offense that struggled, but there’s way too much talent around to not be a whole lot better. There might be changes in the coaching staff, and DJ Uiagalelei has to be stronger, but the defense is about to be special again.
Clemson Schedule

4 Texas A&M Aggies

Final Rankings: 2021: 29 2020: 18 2019: 29
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Sam Houston

Yeah, you’re right. This is a whole lot more about what Texas A&M should be at this point with all the talent amassed over the last few years than what it probably is. However, this should be the best team yet under Jimbo Fisher if the defensive line can come together fast.
Texas A&M Schedule

3 Georgia Bulldogs

Final Rankings: 2021: 1 2020: 8 2019: 4
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Oregon (in Atlanta)

Don’t assume the Bulldogs are out of the national title hunt after losing all that superstar talent to the NFL. Years of great recruiting classes – and holdovers from last year – have restocked the shelves. This won’t be the 2021 team, but it’ll be right back in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.
Georgia Schedule

2 Ohio State Buckeyes

Final Rankings: 2021: 4 2020: 2 2019: 2
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Notre Dame

The only reason Ohio State isn’t No. 1 is because Alabama is still playing football.

The offensive skill talent belongs in the NFL now. The Buckeyes have the best receiver in college football – Jaxon Smith-Njigba – and if QB CJ Stroud doesn’t win the Heisman, it means someone else put up a bazillion passing yards.

Think of it this way. Ohio State went 11-2 and won a Rose Bowl with one of the worst scoring defenses in the program’s history. Now take an improved D with that O, and look out.
Ohio State Schedule

1 Alabama Crimson Tide

Final Rankings: 2021: 2 2020: 1 2019: 15
Week 0: OPEN DATE
Week 1: Utah State

Here’s the scary part. Last year’s Alabama team wasn’t close to being among Nick Saban’s best, and it was still a Jameson Williams injury away from – very, very arguably – pulling out the national championship.

This year’s team has to replace several stars – what else is new? – but the incoming transfers are great, QB Bryce Young and edge rusher Will Anderson might be the two best players in the country, and now everyone around the program is a wee bit salty after going a whole year without a national title.
Alabama Schedule

CFN 2021 Rankings: Final
101-130 | 76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Rankings By Conference
ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | IND
MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt