10 teams with realistic odds

The 2022 college football season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to finalize preseason projections for the college football playoffs. With a full regular season and a slate of conference championships to go before the board is even nearly clear, there are a handful of teams that could already be considered in contention.

Whether they’re regulars with a few wins under their belt or a newcomer to the college football playoff scene, the 2022 season will have some interesting teams and storylines to follow.

Here are 10 teams that have a realistic chance of making the college football playoffs before the season even begins.

ten

Michigan

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Michigan finished the 2022 season with a respectable 12-2 record. Ohio State is the biggest obstacle in the Wolverines’ way. Take down the Buckeyes and Michigan will have a spot in the final four teams. It can be an uphill battle all season long, but far from impossible.

9

Miami

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The Miami Hurricanes are in the first season of another program rebuild. Mario Cristobal left Oregon to return home and coach ‘The U.’ In 2021, Clemson hasn’t been as dominant as it has been in recent seasons. ACC may experience a change in power. Could Miami be the program to rise up and overtake the Tigers for the throne?

8

Oklahoma

Michael C. Johnson – USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma made the playoffs, but never won a semifinal game, head coach Lincoln Riley just couldn’t do it during his time in Norman, Oklahoma. However, the Sooners now have head coach Brent Venables at the helm and a new team. Other Big 12 programs have taken big steps in the right direction, so Oklahoma will need to go undefeated in the conference to have a chance of making the playoffs.

seven

USC

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Lincoln Riley couldn’t make it while in Oklahoma, but could a change of location help? Riley moved west to USC and brought his young star quarterback Caleb Williams from the Sooners. Much like the aforementioned Miami, USC is in its first season of program reconstruction, but that doesn’t mean the playoffs are out of the question.

6

Clemson

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Clemson’s 2021 season has been a momentous one for anyone not affiliated with the Tigers football program. A 10-3 record for a team that had national championship hopes and dreams is devastating. Quarterback DJ Uigalelei didn’t seem like the star many thought he would be. If he can turn things around in 2022, chances are Clemson will stay atop the conference and sneak into the college football playoffs again.

5

our Lady

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Notre Dame will open the 2022 college football season with a game against Ohio State. Although this game is the first of the season and is months away from the College Football Playoff Committee’s final selection, it has huge implications. The Buckeyes will be the favorites, but if the Fighting Irish can pull off a win, the landscape of college football will be affected for the rest of the season.

4

Utah

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The Utes are getting closer and closer to a playoff spot. After winning the Pac-12 championship in 2021, there’s a good chance that Utah could retake it in 2022. If the team can win every game convincingly, it will be difficult for the committee to let the Utes out of side.

3

Georgia

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We can’t leave out the reigning national champions, can we? The Athens, Georgia Dawgs won it all in 2021 behind a historically strong defense. Many impact players from the championship-winning team are now in the NFL. Will Kirby Smart have enough firepower to keep up with the other competitors battling for a playoff spot?

2

ohio state

Ken Ruinard – USA TODAY Sports

The Buckeyes are considered one of the strongest teams in the country heading into 2022. CJ Stroud started 2021 a little inconsistent but turned it around significantly to finish the season. Much like last year, many expect Stroud to return to New York for the annual Heisman Trophy ceremony. He’s joined by dangerous skill position players on offense that could make even the strongest defenses a little jittery.

1

Alabama

Dale Zanine – USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide fell short of winning it all in 2021, but came very close in what many Alabama fans would call a slack year. The return of a majority of key starters on both sides of the ball, as well as the retention of the two coordinators will be major factors in the success of this team. There aren’t many teams in the country that can match this Alabama roster, but nothing can be ruled out. Many have already entered the Crimson Tide somewhere in the four-team bracket for the college football playoffs.

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