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 match last season, but a strong returning roster of players once again makes Alabama the team to beat.
Ohio State is in second place in the preseason poll, with Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame rounding out the top five for the start of the regular season on August 27.
Here’s a full look at the Top 25.
Preseason AP Poll
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State
13. State of North Carolina
15. Michigan State
16. Miami (VL)
21. Ole Miss
22. Wake Forest
After the Amway Coaches Poll listed Alabama as the No. 1 team, it was no surprise that the Associated Press would match the top of the rankings.
In addition to the consistency of head coach Nick Saban, who has won six national championships in the past 13 years, quarterback Bryce Young is the number one reason for confidence in Alabama. The junior won the Heisman Trophy last season after going a total of 4,872 passing yards with 47 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
Even after losing to top receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie III, Young should still be posting big numbers in 2022 as he leads an elite charge.
On the defensive side, Will Anderson Jr. build on an impressive season after a total of 17.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 2021.
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN named Anderson and Young as the top two prospects in the NFL draft class of 2023, pointing to the top talent on the roster.
Ohio State also has a star-studded roster led by quarterback CJ Stroud, who threw 44 passing touchdowns last season with just six interceptions. His connection to 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 is to reload a defense that had five players in the first round last April.
Other top teams looking to earn their top spot in the College Football Playoff this year include Texas A&M and Utah.
No. 14 USC could be a sleeper to watch in its first year under Lincoln Riley, especially after bringing in Caleb Williams and several other instant-impact transfers.
Texas — which had one vote in first place in the coaches poll — was not ranked in the AP poll.