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Alabama enters the 2022 season as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll and a clear favorite to win another championship.
The Crimson Tide lost to Georgia in the national title game last season, but a strong returning core of players makes Alabama the team to beat once again.
Ohio State is ranked second in the preseason poll, while Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame round out the top five ahead of the Aug. 27 start of the regular season.
Here is a full look at the Top 25.
Preseason AP Poll
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State
13. North Carolina State
15. Michigan State
16. Miami (FL)
21. Ole Miss
22. Wake Forest
After the Amway Coaches Poll listed Alabama as the No. 1 team, there was little surprise the Associated Press would mirror the top of the rankings.
Besides the consistency of head coach Nick Saban, who has won six national championships in the last 13 years, the main reason for the confidence in Alabama is quarterback Bryce Young. The junior won the Heisman Trophy last season after totaling 4,872 passing yards to go with 47 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
Even after losing top receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie III, Young should still post big numbers in 2022 while leading an elite offense.
On the defensive side, Will Anderson Jr. is looking to build on an impressive season after totaling 17.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 2021.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. listed Anderson and Young as the top two prospects in the 2023 NFL draft class, indicating the high-level talent on the roster.
Ohio State also has a star-studded roster led by quarterback C.J. Stroud, who threw 44 passing touchdowns last season with only six interceptions. His connection with Jaxon Smith-Njigba could be the best in the country in 2022, making the Buckeyes a dangerous team offensively.
Georgia remains a team to beat after winning last year’s championship, especially with quarterback Stetson Bennett still on the roster. The challenge for head coach Kirby Smart will be reloading a defense that had five players drafted in the first round last April.
Other top teams looking to earn their first spot in the College Football Playoff this year include Texas A&M and Utah.
No. 14 USC could be a sleeper to watch in the first year under Lincoln Riley, especially after bringing in Caleb Williams and several other instant-impact transfers.
Texas—which had one first-place vote in the coaches poll—is unranked in the AP poll.