The 2022 college football season is getting closer.
The game off the field has changed. Name, Image, and Likeness remains a hot topic one year after its inception. Conferences are still playing musical chairs, and College Football Playoff expansion is an ever-present debate.
What about the game on the field? Sporting News is ready for the ninth season of the College Football Playoff era. Defending national champion Georgia became the third consecutive SEC school to win the CFP championship last season after beating Alabama, and those schools are among the heavy title favorites along with Ohio State.
MORE: 2022-23 Bowl schedule
The College Football Playoff semifinals will be on Dec. 31 this season. Those semifinals will be played at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The College Football Playoff championship game is on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Glendale, Calif.
With that, Sporting News will have preseason top 25 rankings, bowl projections, Heisman contenders, preseason All-Americans and more to get you ready for the start of the 2021 season.
College football rankings: SN’s preseason top 25
SN’s preseason top 25 rankings are out, and they’ll be updated ahead of August and the regular season. Alabama, which lost to Georgia 33-18 in last year’s CFP championship game, is No. 1. That’s two spots ahead of the Bulldogs. The feud between Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher and Alabama coach Nick Saban was a huge storyline this offseason, and the Aggies are at No. 5.
- 1. Alabama
- 2. Ohio State
- 3. Georgia
- 4. Clemson
- 5. Texas A&M
- 6. Michigan
- 7. Notre Dame
- 8. Utah
- 9. Oregon
- 10. Baylor
Who made the rest of SN’s preseason top 25?
Michigan and Cincinnati cracked the College Football Playoff for the first time in 2021. Who are this year’s best bets to make the CFP playoff for the first time? Sporting News picked five teams, and that included a pair of Pac-12 schools in Utah and USC. The Utes are coming off their first Rose Bowl appearances, and the Trojans start a new era with Lincoln Riley. Which school would you bet on?
Here are the other schools on that list.
Ranking top quarterbacks for 2020
Alabama’s Bryce Young, the returning Heisman Trophy winner, and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are the top quarterbacks heading into 2022. They are the top two quarterbacks on SN’s annual top 25 quarterbacks, but we took the next steps. Who are the best transfer quarterbacks who will make an impact in the Power 5 last season? SN found 21, including USC’s Caleb Williams, Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel and Texas’ Quinn Ewers. Where do those QBs fit in?
Young, Stroud and Williams are the Heisman favorites, but which other players (specifically non-quarterbacks) could make a run this season? Is it a running back such as Texas’ Bijan Robinson or Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs? Is it a defensive player like Alabama’s Will Anderson? Could Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba become the second receiver in three years to win the award? SN breaks down the Heisman odds.
Coach rankings, 1-131
One of SN’s most hotly debated offseason topics is our annual 1-131 coach rankings. No. 1 has not been a debate with Alabama coach Nick Saban since 2015, but that No. 2 choice can get hot. Is it Clemson’s Dabo Swinney or Georgia’s Kirby Smart? Which other coaches made the top 10? Who moved up? Who slid down? Check out our annual 1-131 rankings.
On the way …
Sporting News will project the participants for all 43 bowl games, and it’s not an easy proposition. From the Wasabi Fenway Bowl to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, we’ve got it covered. We’ll also have predictions for the College Football Playoff semifinals and CFP championship game
Sporting News is one of five outlets used to determine consensus All-Americans. This year’s Preseason All-American team will be released in July ahead of conference media days.
Sporting News also will release its predictions for the Power 5 conferences, including champions, breakout performers and the games you just can’t miss.