A blank slate. A fresh start. All of the clichés are used this time of the year to describe every single college football team. We cut through the mess and come up with the Top 25 teams in our Way Too Early College Football Rankings.
The FBS season does not begin until August 27th but it is never too early for college football rankings. These rankings do not mean a thing. They are based on the potential of the team and can be used as a quick predictor for where the season would end based on absolutely nothing.
In these specific rankings, recruiting, coaching and potential are all taken into account. Including in recruiting, and something we keep a close eye on, are key departures and how that possibly affects the team.
With all that being side, this is a time for hope and new opportunities for all teams. We will have our perennial contenders like the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs. We will have our ranking magnets, like Notre Dame, where no matter how poorly they do – they are always ranked. It is a fun exercise to go through and we will continue to update rankings throughout the off season.
1. Georgia Bulldogs
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off of a national championship and coach Kirby Smart has zero intention of slowing down. Smart and the Bulldogs were as aggressive as ever in recruiting bringing in four five-star prospects with four (Mykel Williams, Marvin Jones Jr, Jaheim Singletary and Daylen Everette) playing on the defensive side of the ball.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs will finally see sophomore wide receiver Arik Gilbert on the field.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
No stranger to the top 5 or to replenishing through recruiting, Alabama Crimson Tide have done it again and come in at number two in our college football rankings. Despite losing a plethora of talent to the National Football League (OT Evan Neal, WR Jameson Williams, WR John Metchie III), Coach Nick Saban went back to the well. Replacing OT Evan Neal is transfer OL Tyler Steen.
Steen will be expected to step in and fill the big shoes of Evan Neal. One thing working for Steen is experience. While playing for Vanderbilt, Steen started 10 of 11 games.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes have some rebuilding to do. They have to replace five offensive starters and four defensive starters after the departures of WR Garrett Wilson, WR Chris Olave, DT Haskell Garrett and DE Tyreke Smith. Accortding to 247sports.com, Ohio State has the fourth ranked recruiting class which includes the number one linebacker in the class of 2022, CJ Hicks. Coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes also picked up the number one quarterback in Utah; Devin Brown.
With the replenishments and reinforcements incoming, including some major wins at wide receiver, the Ohio State Buckeyes are positioning themselves for a Big Ten Title and, possibly more.
4. USC Trojans
The USC Trojans have made the biggest splashes of the offseason from the hiring of a new coach to acquiring some of the most high-profile players in the transfer portal. Amongst the high-profile transfers are USC Trojans’ head coach former quarterback Caleb Williams. Prior to that, coach Lincoln Riley made a splash by bringing in one of the top wide receivers from Pittsburgh, Jordan Addison. The Trojans were a disappointing 4-8 last year but we are expecting that win-loss record to go the other way.
Ohio State's offense and defense faced off 11-on-11 in Spring practice #8. Takeaways: Freshman QB Devin Brown is the real deal, Kyle McCord would be QB 1 almost anywhere else, Ronnie Hickman & Denzel Burke will wreak havoc on defense again and the Buckeyes' WRs are unreal. pic.twitter.com/zAn5T7POqm — Justin Holbrock (@NBC4Justin) April 2, 2022
An 8-4 season for Lincoln Riley would be an enormous success and lead to future success especially in recruiting. However, I am still high on USC because of the lack of competition within the PAC-12 coupled with Lincoln Riley’s talent as a head coach. The USC Trojans, with an enormous ceiling, make a surprise visit within the top five of the college football rankings.
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
With Brian Kelly headed south, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish may be able to compete for a national title and make it into the top five of our college football rankings. Coach Marcus Freeman is the new eyes and new voice the Irish need. Freeman can connect with players of this generation much better than Brian Kelly ever could (look at Brian Kelly’s LSU dance video).
Couple that with the fact that Notre Dame is turning into OL University and you always set yourself up for success. Along the offensive line, Joe Alt and Blake Fisher will make huge splashes. They will need to with two inexperienced quarterbacks vying for the starting spot; Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne. My money is on Tyler Buchner starting the season for the Fighting Irish.