AP’s pre-season poll is over! College football is almost here
Guys, we’re less than two weeks away from real football. In 12 days the games will be televised, will be played in various parts of the US – not just in Birmingham – and I suppose players can keep their scholarships if they don’t want to eat chicken salad at the hotel.
Afterall transfer conference, NIL whines and coaches argueAmerica got a bit of a football flavor on August 27. Only a few applications passed, before smorgasbord arrived on Labor Day weekend.
With bands tuned in and stadiums stocking up on supplies, it’s time to join a tradition that has yet to be extinguished from college football: speculation. It’s time for redrawers, message board posters, and @BamaKickRocks6969 to remove those hate-filled fingers because AP Preseason’s top 25 poll is out. release.
The first part of the poll doesn’t look much different than most years. Alabama will start the season in first place for the seventh time since Nick Saban took over the show in 2007. The rest of the top five look familiar, but the order is intriguing. Also, it looks like Brian Kelly will start from the bottom, because LSU is not currently ranked.
There are a number of other compelling decisions voters have made, particularly regarding Clemson, Georgia, and USC.
No love for the champs
Georgia put on a dominating performance from pillar to post to win its first national championship since 1980. They laid waste to their schedule last season, not allowing a team to score more than 17 points against them until the SEC Championship Game. A game that Alabama had to win to make the College Football Playoffs, and was nothing but an exercise in conference pride for Georgia. The Bulldogs lost, but avenged it in the National Championship game with a 33-18 victory.
After all that, Georgia begins the season ranked third. Only 10 starters are returning for 2022 — none from that demolition crew of a defensive line — which reasonably played a part in ranking both Alabama and Ohio State ahead of Georgia. However, while Georgia has some inexperience what the program is not lacking is talent. Their 2020 recruiting class was ranked the best in America by both 24/7 Sports and Rivals. Jalen Carter was a five-star recruit in that class, and expect him to pick up where Jordan Davis left off. Georgia appears ready on paper to plug talent in where it left for the NFL, let’s see if it works out on the field.
Clemson No. 4, interesting
Dabo Swinney’s crew suffered quite the setback in 2021. They finished the season 10-3, and failed to make the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2014. D.J. Uiagalelei, was a disappointment in his first year as Clemson’s starter at QB. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and Clemson didn’t score more than 21 points against a Power 5 opponent until its eighth game of the season.
Uiagalelei’s rough year hasn’t openly shakes Swinney’s faith #1 for the overall ranked pro-style quarterback coming out of high school in 2020. It doesn’t shake voters’ confidence either, because they rank Clemson at #4. Perhaps they are expecting Uiagalelei to play much better in 2022, or they believe the Tigers’ defensive front can make up for what he lacks. It can be the best in the water, returning the entire line of defense and some reserves. Georgia last season showed what a dominant defense can do for a show without a beautiful midfielder.
However, at least Stetson Bennett IV can perform a functional attack. Last season, Uiagalelei completed 55.6% of his passes for just nine touches. In Clemson’s dismal win over Iowa State, he threw 187 yards in 32 attempts with no touchdown and no interception. No defense can push that into the College Football Knockout
Caleb Williams and Lincoln Riley must be the best Febreze ever
In 2021, USC had its worst season in 30 years. It wasn’t since Charles Barkley wore the Philadelphia 76ers that the Trojans had such a lousy performance. They are 4-8, 3-6 in the conference game.
The Clay Helton era came to an abrupt end last season, when he was sent off two games during the season, with a 1-1 record. It didn’t help, obviously, but it opened the door for one of the best football talent recruiters from the state of California to surprisingly slip into the job last November: Lincoln Riley. His name always rises as NFL coach positions open up, but this time he let Norman coach at a show that hasn’t found a place since it was punished for the scandal. Reggie Bush.
Even a coach as successful as Riley seems to have a long way to go with a program that won’t guarantee a top 60 spot in 2020. To try to fix it, he’s brought in reinforcements. institute, specifically Caleb Williams. A true freshman, he was an electric current from the moment he stepped foot on the school grounds at Cotton Bowl is arguably the best Red River Cavalry game of all time. He’s one of 13 players that will move to USC this season, and voters must think that’s enough to turn the show around since Trojan is ranked 14th.