College Football Preview 2022: CFN 131 Team Previews, Schedules, Rankings

CFN College Football Preview 2022: 131 Team Previews, Conference Previews, Predictions, Rankings

CFN College Football Preview 2022: Team Previews, Conference Previews, Predictions, Rankings


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

College Football Preview 2022

CFN Preseason Ranking of Every Team 1-131
CFN Preseason Bowl Predictions

CFN Predictions of Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

CFN All-Conference Teams, Top 30 Players
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

2022 Unit Rankings  
QB | RB | WR&TE | OL | DL | LB | DB
Offenses | Defenses

Note: Most team previews were done earlier in the summer. We try to update everything on the fly, but if we’re missing something please let us know at @ColFootballNews

ACC 2022 Team Previews

ACC Atlantic

Boston College
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Clemson
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Florida State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Louisville
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

NC State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Syracuse
PreviewTop 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Wake Forest
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

ACC Coastal

Duke
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Georgia Tech
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Miami
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

North Carolina
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Pitt
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Virginia
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Virginia Tech
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

American Athletic Conference 2022 Team Previews

Cincinnati
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

East Carolina
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Houston
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Memphis
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Navy
Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule

SMU
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Temple
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Tulane
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Tulsa
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UCF
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

USF
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Big Ten 2022 Team Previews

Big Ten East

Indiana
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Maryland
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Michigan
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Michigan State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Ohio State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Penn State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Rutgers
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Big Ten West

Illinois
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Iowa
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Minnesota
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Nebraska
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Northwestern
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Purdue
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Wisconsin
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Big 12 2022 Team Previews

Baylor
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Iowa State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Kansas
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Kansas State
Preview | Top 10 Players | Schedule Analysis

Oklahoma
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Oklahoma State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

TCU
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Texas
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Texas Tech
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

West Virginia
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Conference USA 2022 Team Previews

Charlotte
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
FIU
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Florida Atlantic
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Louisiana Tech  
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Middle Tennessee
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

North Texas
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Rice
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UAB
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UTEP
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UTSA
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
WKU 
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Independent 2022 Team Previews

Army
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

BYU
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Liberty
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

New Mexico State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Notre Dame
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UConn
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UMass
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

MAC 2022 Team Previews

MAC East

Akron
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Bowling Green
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Buffalo
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Kent State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Miami University
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Ohio
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

MAC West

Ball State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Central Michigan
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Eastern Michigan
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Northern Illinois
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Toledo
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Western Michigan 
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Mountain West 2022 Team Previews

Air Force
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Boise State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Colorado State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Fresno State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Hawaii
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Nevada
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

New Mexico
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

San Diego State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

San Jose State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

UNLV
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Utah State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Wyoming
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Pac-12 2022 Team Previews

Arizona
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Arizona State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis
Cal
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis
Colorado
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Oregon
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Oregon State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Stanford
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

UCLA
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

USC
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Utah
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis
Washington
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis
Washington State 
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

SEC 2022 Team Previews

SEC East

Florida
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Georgia
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Kentucky
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Missouri
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Tennessee
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

South Carolina
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Vanderbilt
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

SEC West

Alabama
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Arkansas
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Auburn
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

LSU
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Mississippi State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Ole Miss
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Texas A&M
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

Sun Belt 2022 Team Previews

Sun Belt East

Appalachian State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Coastal Carolina
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Georgia Southern
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Georgia State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
James Madison
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Marshall
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Old Dominion
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Sun Belt West

Arkansas State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Louisiana
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

South Alabama
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Southern Miss
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

Texas State
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule
Troy
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

ULM
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

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2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

25 Winningest Programs To Not Make The College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff: 25 winningest teams to not make the tournament

What are the 25 winningest programs to not make the College Football Playoff? Here are the top schools in the CFP era to miss out on the fun.


Cincinnati and Michigan were able to make the College Football Playoff last season. Their doors might have been blown off by Alabama and Georgia, respectively, but they at least brought some new energy to the mini-tournament.

The College Football Playoff has only been around for eight seasons and just 13 schools – Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington – have played in it and just five won it all.

That means 90% of the FBS college football programs haven’t been in the post-season – at least the version that matters – since this grand experiment started.

That’s the equivalent of only 36 college basketball programs making the NCAA Tournament over the last eight years – which is a good idea, by the way, but I digress.

What college football programs were able to win a lot of games over the last eight years without the playoff payoff? 25 have won 60 or more games in eight seasons – averaging 7.5 a year, but it’s better than that considering some played a short schedule in 2020 – without getting the call.

If you didn’t get to 60 victories – no Texas, or Tennessee, or Nebraska, Michigan State, or North Carolina – you don’t get on the list. So with that, here are the 25 winningest teams to not make the College Football Playoff.

CFN Predictions of Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
CFN Preview 2021: All 131 Teams
2022 Bowl Projections | Preseason Rankings 1-131
Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

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25. USC

Wins Since 2014: 60
Best Season in CFP Era: 2017, 11-3, Pac-12 champion, Rose Bowl win
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Strong

Bottom Line: USC might be last on this list, but it’s got the best shot of going to the College Football Playoff this year with Lincoln Riley and a loaded all-star team ready to roll. The 2020 team would’ve had a case for the CFP if it won the Pac-12 title to finish 6-0 – it lost to Oregon, but no unbeaten Power Five champ has ever been left out. It’s been a disappointing run since going 12-1 in 2008. That’s all about to change.
USC Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

T22. NC State

Wins Since 2014: 61
Best Season in CFP Era: 2017, 9-4, Sun Bowl win
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Possible

Bottom Line: The Wolfpack have been strongly consistent since Dave Doeren took over, but they haven’t been able to get a turn in the ACC Championship mix – being in the same division with Clemson has something to do with that. This should be his best team yet, and if it can somehow get by the Tigers on the road, there’s a real shot at going 12-1 with an ACC Championship and a CFP shot. That’s a massive if, though.
NC State Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

T22. Miami

Wins Since 2014: 61
Best Season in CFP Era: 2017, 10-3, ACC Championship loss, Orange Bowl loss
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: Slim

Bottom Line: Miami flirted with something fun in 2017 with a 10-0 start before losing the last three games. However, had it beaten Clemson in the ACC Championship – it lost 38-3 – it would’ve been in the CFP. This year’s schedule is too tough for a reloading team – with road games at Clemson and Texas A&M – but new head coach Mario Cristobal might just restore the glory in a hurry.
Miami Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

T22. Western Michigan

Wins Since 2014: 61
Best Season in CFP Era: 2016, 13-1, MAC champion, Cotton Bowl loss
Realistic Chance To Make College Football Playoff This Season: None

Bottom Line: Now-Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck led the way to a phenomenal 13-0 regular season with a MAC title in 2016, and it still wasn’t enough to get near the College Football Playoff. The Broncos have been good ever since, but they haven’t been able to come close to repeating the glory. They’ll be strong this season, but even if they can win at Michigan State and against Pitt – and can run through the MAC unbeaten – it still shouldn’t be enough for a CFP shot.
WMU Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

NEXT: College Football Playoff: Top 21 Programs To Not Make the CFP

College Football Playoff: Top 20 Ranking Of Teams With A CFP Path

Ranking the top teams in the College Football Playoff chase. Here’s our ranking of the 20 with a chance, and what has to happen.

Going into the 2022 season, which teams have the most realistic shot of making the College Football Playoff? Here’s our ranking of the 20 teams with a path to the playoff and what has to happen for each.


CFN Predictions of Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
CFN Preview 2021: All 131 Teams
2022 Bowl Projections | Preseason Rankings 1-131
Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

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It’s really hard to make the College Football Playoff.

Just winning your conference championship isn’t enough, and if you’re a Group of Five program, going undefeated doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything.

What have we learned since the start of the CFP experience in the 2014 season? You win your Power Five conference and finish with one loss, you’re a mortal lock to get in. You go 11-1 with that one loss to the eventual powerhouse conference champ, and you’ve got a shot.

You lose two games, and there’s a fun bowl game somewhere with a delightful array of goods, services, and prizes waiting before your glorified exhibition, but you’re not going to the show.

What’s the path to the College Football Playoff for all of the top contenders? Below are the key games that matter for each team that can reasonably dream about being among the top four, along with whether or not they’ll make it in.

Before diving in, some ground rules …

Again, one loss and a Power Five championship, or unbeaten and a Group of Five title. Outside of a few special circumstances – SEC Championship loser, Notre Dame – two losses ends the run.

Schedules mean almost everything. Take just about anyone in the SEC West and put it just about anywhere else but the Big Ten East, and it would be a contender to get into the CFP. Oklahoma’s path is a whole lot different than Texas A&M’s.

Getting into the College Football Playoff and winning it require two very, very, very different skill sets. A team might have the schedule and magical formula to be one of the top four, only to find a two-piece of Alabama reality waiting behind the door.

The consensus odds to win the College Football Playoff are listed, but the goal is to find the teams that can get there. Here’s our ranking from the least likely among the top realistic options to make the College Football Playoff to the most likely.

This isn’t based on how good the teams are. This is about who controls their destiny, what has to happen, and the pecking order of 20 teams with the most realistic chances, starting with …

20. Cincinnati

Odds To Win the College Football Playoff: +20000
Must Win Game: at Arkansas, Sept. 3
Landmine To Sidestep: at SMU, Oct. 22
Where It Could All Go Wrong: at UCF, Oct. 29

Bottom Line: The College Football Playoff repeat appearance dream could be over right away with a trip to Arkansas. However, win that, and it’s Game On. Going to SMU and UCF in late October is a bear, but everything else – including the home date against Indiana – is doable. One loss, though, and the CFP is out. There will likely be more than one loss.

Will Cincinnati Make the College Football Playoff? No. The Bearcats will be great, but they’re not recreating the 2021 magic.
UC Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

19. Tennessee

Odds To Win the College Football Playoff: +10000
Must Win Game: at Georgia, Nov. 5
Landmine To Sidestep: at South Carolina, Nov. 19
Where It Could All Go Wrong: at Pitt, Sept. 10

Bottom Line: It’s a HEAVY lift, but if the Vols somehow go 11-1 and get into the SEC Championship, the respect given to the schedule might be enough to keep them in the playoff hunt even with another loss. They’ll be good, but at Pitt, Florida, at LSU, Alabama, at Georgia, Kentucky, at South Carolina … that’s too nasty.

Will Tennessee Make the College Football Playoff? No, but they’re going to screw up someone’s CFP hopes.
UT Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

18. Florida

Odds To Win the College Football Playoff: +9020
Must Win Game: Georgia (in Jacksonville), Oct. 29
Landmine To Sidestep: South Carolina, Nov. 12
Where It Could All Go Wrong: Utah, Sept. 3

Bottom Line: Florida will be much, much better under new head coach Billy Napier, but it’s not beating Utah, and Kentucky, and LSU, and South Carolina, and getting by Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Florida State away from Gainesville. The College Football Playoff is too tough a goal, however, beat Georgia and the SEC East race gets interesting.

Will Florida Make the College Football Playoff? Ehhhhhhhh, Florida will be better than everyone thinks, but no. The schedule is too tough.
Florida Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

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17. Penn State

Odds To Win the College Football Playoff: +9100
Must Win Game: Ohio State, Oct. 29
Landmine To Sidestep: Minnesota, Oct. 22
Where It Could All Go Wrong: at Purdue, Sept. 1

Bottom Line: Considering the Big Ten East is much tougher than the West, if the Nittany Lions can get by Auburn on the road early on and split the dates against Michigan and Ohio State, they’ll be favored in the Big Ten Championship. It’s all too daunting for an elite Penn State team, but this version doesn’t appear to be close to that. However, if Michigan could do it last year …

Will Penn State Make the College Football Playoff? No. The team isn’t strong enough to go 12-1 and win the Big Ten title.
Penn State Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

16. LSU

Odds To Win the College Football Playoff: +7520
Must Win Game: Alabama, Nov. 5
Landmine To Sidestep: Tennessee, Oct. 8
Where It Could All Go Wrong: Mississippi State, Sept. 17

Bottom Line: Welcome to the SEC, Brian Kelly. Yeah, LSU might be able to stun Alabama if everything goes right, but can it go at least 12-1 with road games at Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas A&M, and home dates against Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State? No, and all of that – and Alabama, too – comes with a season-opener against Florida State and whatever happens in the SEC Championship if everything goes right.

Will LSU Make the College Football Playoff? No. Kelly will have a good first year, and the team is good, but the schedule is too tough.
LSU Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule Analysis

NEXT: Top 15 College Football Playoff Chase Rankings

Preseason All-America Defense: CFN 2022 Preview

2022 CFN Preseason All-America Team: Defense. Who are the stars going into the college football season?

Who are the best and brightest stars going into the 2022 season? The CFN Preseason All-America Team – the defense. 


They’re the top defensive players going into the season – let the hype begin. Along with the 2022 CFN All-America Defense are the rest of the top 12 players at each position.

CFN All-Conference Teams, Top 30 Players
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
2022 CFN Preview of Every Team

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Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers

Will Anderson, EDGE/OLB Jr. Alabama

Arguably the nation’s best football player going into 2022, the star hybrid pass rusher was everyone’s All-American 2021 and should be deep in the mix for the Heisman this time around. He made 102 tackles with 17.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss in a steadily unstoppable run, and now he’ll be one of the season’s signature stars.

Andre Carter, EDGE/OLB Jr. Army

The running game always takes center stage at Army, but its pass rusher will be the main man. Carter led the nation in sacks per game in a stellar 44 tackle, 15.5 sack, 18.5 tackle for loss season with four forced fumbles with an interception. He’s 6-7, 260 pounds with a tremendous closing burst from the outside in his hybrid role.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers

Will McDonald, DE Sr. Iowa State

The 2021 All-American comes into the season as the veteran to rebuild a great defense around – he might just be the best defensive player in the Big 12 if everything goes right. Going into his fifth year, he has 89 career tackles with 29 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, and nine forced fumbles.

Myles Murphy, Jr. Clemson

Possibly the first true defensive end off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft – calling Will Anderson an edge rusher – the 6-5, 275-pound Murphy is a versatile all-around veteran on what should be the nation’s best line. He made 79 tackles with 11 sacks and 26 tackles for loss in his first two seasons – he might get 11 sacks this season.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Defensive Ends, Edge Rushers

5. BJ Ojulari, Sr. LSU
6. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Jr. Washington
7. Isaiah Foskey, DE Jr. Notre Dame
8. Zach Harrison, DE Sr. Ohio State
9. Habakkuk Baldonado, Sr. Pitt
10. Josaiah Stewart, Soph. Coastal Carolina
11. Collin Oliver, Soph. Oklahoma State
12. Derick Hall, Sr. Auburn

CFN Preseason Ranking of Every Team 1-131
CFN Preseason Bowl Predictions

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Defensive Tackles

Bryan Bresee, Jr. Clemson

All that’s missing is a healthy season. The 6-5, 300-pound former super-recruit showed off his incredible blend of skills in his first two campaigns, but a knee injury knocking him out last year after getting banged up a bit as a true freshman. When he’s right, he’s too quick and too active to keep contained without a whole lot of attention, making 48 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss in his first two seasons.

Jalen Carter, Jr. Georgia

While he was a bit outside of the spotlight with all the stars on last year’s national championship team, it’s not totally wrong to think he might have been the best pro prospect on that historic D. The 6-3, 310-pound new anchor up front made 51 tackles with three sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in his first two years. His job this season will be to lead another great line.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Defensive Tackles

Tyler Davis, Sr. Clemson

Bryan Bresee might be the prototype NFL defensive tackle on the Clemson defensive front, but the 6-2, 300-pound Davis can get after it, too. He wasn’t the recruit Bresee was, but he quickly emerged as a factor as an interior pass rusher and tough run stopper. Injuries limited him at times, but he still made 79 tackles with ten sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss in his first three seasons.

Siaki Ika, Jr. Baylor

Getting into the backfield is nice, and quick, versatile tackles are always great, but a giant brick wall in the middle of the line is what every coach loves. The 6-4, 358-pound Ika transferred in from LSU and gummed up the works for the Big 12 champion defense, finishing with 24 tackles for 3.5 sacks and six tackles for loss. He can’t be moved.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Defensive Tackles

5. Tuli Tuipulotu, Jr. USC
6. Keeanu Benton, Sr. Wisconsin
7. Jonah Tavai, Sr. San Diego State
8. Dante Stills, Sr. West Virginia
9. Calijah Kancey, Jr. Pitt
10. PJ Mustipher, Sr. Penn State
11. Zacch Pickens, Sr. South Carolina
12. Scott Matlock, Sr. Boise State

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Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Linebackers

Jack Campbell, Sr. Iowa

A 6-5, 243-pound tackling machine, Campbell gets to everything, finishing with 143 tackles last season and 177 stops in his first three seasons. He’s not a big pass rusher – two career sacks and eight tackles for loss – but that’s not really his role. He makes up for it with his pass coverage skills, picking off three passes with 12 broken up passes in his last two years.

Noah Sewell, Soph. Oregon

The best all-around linebacker in college football has more than lived up to the prep hype as a do-it-all playmaker for the Duck D over the last two seasons. He started out with a strong 45 tackle season, and it all came together in 2021 with 114 stops with four sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and six broken up passes.

Payton Wilson, Jr. NC State

He has to be 100% coming off a shoulder problem, but assuming he’ll be back to normal, he’ll be the star of an incredible linebacking corps that’s as good as any in college football. Only able to see time in two games last year – making five tackles – he came up with 117 in his first two seasons with 3.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and four broken up passes.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Linebackers

Justin Flowe, RFr. Oregon

Can he finally catch an injury break? The superstar recruit has all the tools to be a next-level must-have, but he only saw time in one game in 2020 thanks to COVID, and last season was out for most of the year with a foot injury. If he’s right, he’ll combine with Noah Sewell to give the Ducks the nation’s best 1-2 linebacking punch.

Bumper Pool, Sr. Arkansas

One of the key parts in the resurgence of Arkansas football, the 6-2, 232-pound veteran led the team with 125 tackles last season to make it 349 stops with 23 tackles for loss and 16 broken up passes in his four years. He’s not going to rush the passer, but he’ll get in on everything against the run.

Nolan Smith, Sr. Georgia

He hasn’t quite played up to the massive recruiting hype, but he’s been more than fine with 96 tackles in three season with 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. With the big loss of talent along the amazing Georgia defense, Smith now goes from being a big part of a national championship to one of the featured stars.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Linebackers

7. Jackson Sirmon, Jr. Cal
8. Henry To’o To’o, Sr. Alabama
9. Nick Herbig, Jr. Wisconsin
10. Darius Muasau, Sr. UCLA
11. Brenton Cox, Sr. Florida
12. Vince Sanford, Sr. Air Force

CFN Predictions of Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Cornerbacks

Kelee Ringo, Soph. Georgia

He’ll be forever known as the one who allowed Georgia fans to light the national championship victory cigar with his pick six against Alabama, but the 6-2, 205-pounder is more than just that historic play. With his size, tools, and coverage skills – 34 tackles last season with a sack, two picks, and ten broken up passes – all of the NFL upside is there.

Eli Ricks, Jr. Alabama

The former superstar recruit for LSU moved over to Bama where he’ll instantly be the No. 1 lockdown corner. The 6-2, 190-pounder was banged up and missed half of last year, but he’s back and should be ready to erase half of the field. As a freshman he made 20 tackles with four picks, taking two for scores – he’s about to be that 2020 version for the Tide.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Cornerbacks

Kyu Blu Kelly, Sr. Stanford

A favorite among the NFL scouting circuit, the 6-1, 190-pounder has the size, can hit, and he’s coming off his best season yet. The stats matched the tools with 58 tackles, two picks – one for a score – and 11 broken up passes after coming up with 54 stops in his first two seasons.

Clark Phillips, Soph. Utah

The 5-10, 183-pound sophomore isn’t huge, but he can hit, he’s experienced, and he’s fantastic when the ball is in the air. He was strong as a true freshman, and last year he blew up with 61 tackles with two picks and 13 broken up passes. Great with the ball in his hands, he returned two of his four interceptions for scores.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Cornerbacks

5. Cam Smith, Jr. South Carolina
6. Riley Moss, Sr. Iowa
7. Denzel Burke, Soph. Ohio State
8. Emmanuel Forbes, Jr. Mississippi State
9. Joey Porter, Jr. Penn State
10. Darrell Luter, Sr. South Alabama
11. Steven Gilmore, Sr. Marshall
12. Cam Hart, Sr. Notre Dame

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Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Safeties

Jordan Battle, Sr. Alabama

The Crimson Tide secondary is loaded with depth, talent, and options, and Battle should be the leader of the fun. The 6-1, 206-pounder was all over the place as a playmaking strong safety – three of his four picks over the last two years went for scores – with 182 career tackles with a sack, six tackles for loss, five interceptions and 13 broken up passes in three years.

Brandon Joseph, Sr. Notre Dame

Joseph was one of the best defensive backs in the country at Northwestern over the last two seasons – six interceptions in eight games in 2020, and 79 tackles with three picks in 2021 – and now he’s moving over to the Irish defensive backfield. It’s his job to take over for Kyle Hamilton, and he’s one of the few who can do it.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Safeties

Antonio Johnson, Jr. Texas A&M

A tall, rangy 6-3, 200-pound safety who came in as a good recruit, he turned into an elite player in 2021 with 79 tackles with a sack, an interception, six broken up passes and 8.5 tackles for loss. Versatile, he’s equally good as a tough run supporter and in pass coverage.

Rashad Wisdom, Sr. UTSA

The two-time First Team All-Conference USA defender might fly under the national radar, but there are few better playmaking safeties. A compact 5-9 and 205 pounds, he packs a big punch with 227 tackles, two sacks, 12 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 13 broken up passes, and four forced fumbles over the last three seasons.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Safeties

5. Kenny Logan, Sr. Kansas
6. Teja Young, Jr. Florida Atlantic
7. Antavious Lane, Jr. Georgia State
8. Sydney Brown, Sr. Illinois
9. Jammie Robinson, Jr. Florida State
10. Kelee Ringo, Sr. Georgia
11. Cam Allen, Sr. Purdue
12. Christian Izien, Sr. Rutgers

2022 Unit Rankings  
QB | RB | WR&TE | OL | DL | LB | DB
Offenses | Defenses

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Schedules of all 131 teams

Preseason All-America Offense: CFN 2022 Preview

2022 CFN Preseason All-America Team: Offense. Who are the stars going into the college football season?

Who are the best and brightest stars going into the 2022 season? The CFN Preseason All-America Team – the offense. 


Who are the stars on the offensive side going into the college football season? It’s our 2022 All-America Offense, with the top 12 players at every position – and certainly open to debate and second-guessing – to highlight the main men you need to know.

CFN All-Conference Teams, Top 30 Players
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
2022 CFN Preview of Every Team

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Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Quarterback

Bryce Young, Jr. Alabama

Ohio State’s CJ Stroud could easily be the First Teamer. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker might end up being the most efficient passer in the SEC – the All-America quarterback list could easily be mostly SEC passers and it probably wouldn’t be wrong – and yeah, Caleb Williams could be the best quarterback in the country once this all gets started.

The guy who won the Heisman is pretty good, too.

Coming off a 4,872-yard season with 47 touchdown passes and seven picks, Young will have to work even harder with a refurbished receiving corps to throw to. It seems crazy, but he might actually be underrated nationally going into the season considering he’s got the right demeanor, the accuracy, the ability to read the field, and the skills that make him just that special.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Quarterback

CJ Stroud, Soph. Ohio State

This is the warning that has to keep going off over and over again when it comes to Stroud – don’t think he’s slipping in any way if the numbers aren’t quite as amazing after throwing for over 4,400 yards with 44 touchdowns and six picks.

Ohio State is going to rip through everyone – if everything goes as planned – with a great running game and a much-improved defense. Stroud should be ultra-efficient and deep in the Heisman hunt, but he’s not going to have to bomb away like he did last season.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Quarterbacks

3. Caleb Williams, Soph. USC
4. Hendon Hooker, Sr. Tennessee
5. Tyler Van Dyke, QB Soph. Miami
6. KJ Jefferson, Jr. Arkansas
7. Devin Leary, QB Jr. NC State
8. Grayson McCall, Jr. Coastal Carolina
9. Cameron Ward, Soph. Washington State
10. Anthony Richardson, Soph. Florida
11. Jake Haener, Sr. Fresno State
12. Will Levis, Sr. Kentucky

CFN Preseason Ranking of Every Team 1-131
CFN Preseason Bowl Predictions

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Running Backs

Bijan Robinson, Jr. Texas

The first two years have been terrific, and he still hasn’t come close to letting it rip for a full season. He averaged over eight yards per carry in 2020 and was unstoppable at times in 2021 before getting hurt, but if he gets going like the world knows he can, he has the upside to match his first two seasons of production – 1,830 yards and 15 touchdowns – in 2022.

TreVeyon Henderson, Soph. Ohio State

You’re not wrong if you think Henderson could be the Heisman winner if Ohio State gives him the ball a little bit more. A big-time home run hitter who averaged seven yards per pop, he should blow past the 1,245 yards and 15 touchdowns – with four receiving scores – of last year with just a little more work.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Running Backs

Braelon Allen, Soph. Wisconsin

The then-17-year-old power runner all but saved the Wisconsin season with 1,268 yards and 12 scores as the next great Badger back. Now with running mate Chez Mellusi back and healthy, Allen should be that much fresher and possibly even more effective.

Sean Tucker, Soph. Syracuse

Everyone in the house knows 34 is going to run, and it still doesn’t matter. How good is Tucker? Let’s just say the Orange offensive line hasn’t been the strongest positive over the last few years, but it knew how to block for Tucker last season. He came through with close to 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. No pressure, but now it’s his job to put the football program on his back – and he will.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Running Backs

5. Deuce Vaughn, Jr. Kansas State
6. Mohamed Ibrahim, Sr. Minnesota
7. Chris Rodriguez, Sr. Kentucky
8. Lew Nichols, Soph. Central Michigan
9. Zach Charbonnet, Sr. UCLA
10. Rasheen Ali, Soph. Marshall
11. Travis Dye, Sr. USC
12. Jahmyr Gibbs, Soph. Alabama

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Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Wide Receivers

Jordan Addison, WR Jr. USC

And now he gets to operate in the Lincoln Riley offense with Caleb Williams throwing his way. The 2021 Biletnikoff winner as the nation’s best receiver, Addison caught 100 passes for close to 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. He won’t have to do it all for the USC passing game, but he’ll come up with another massive season.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jr. Ohio State

He already announced that 2022 might be his season with a dominant Rose Bowl performance – 15 catches for 347 yards and three scores in the win over Utah – and don’t expect it to stop now. He might not have Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave around to take the attention away, but Ohio State is more than loaded at receiver. Smith-Njigba is the unquestioned go-to No. 1 star.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Wide Receivers

Kayshon Boutte, Jr. LSU

The talent is unquestioned, and now it might be his time to show just how good he really is. Very fast and very smooth, he caught 83 passes for 1,244 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons – he might get that this year.

Xavier Worthy, Jr. Texas

Not everything about the 2021 Texas season went wrong. Worthy averaged 16 yards per catch with 12 touchdowns, and this year he should be more consistent with an improved offense and coaching staff that settled in.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Wide Receivers

5. Josh Downs, Jr. North Carolina
6. Marvin Mims, Jr. Oklahoma
7. Zay Flowers, Sr. Boston College
8. Cedric Tillman, Sr. Tennessee
9. Nathaniel Dell, Jr. Houston
10. AT Perry, Jr. Wake Forest
11. Jacob Cowing, Jr. Arizona
12. Jayden Reed, WR Sr. Michigan State

CFN Predictions of Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Tight End

Brock Bowers, Soph. Georgia

Georgia has been great at getting top tight end prospects over the years, and Bowers was able to take the position to a whole other level with a team-leading 56 catches for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns, and he ran for a score, too. He’s one of three amazing tight ends on the Dawg O – Arik Gilbert and Darnell Washington the others – but he should still be the first option.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Tight End

Michael Mayer, Jr. Notre Dame

Everything is there to be a future star at the next level. He’s got the 6-4, 250-pound size, he can hit, and he can be a leading receiver who can stretch the field. With 113 catches for 1,290 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons, he’s experienced and proven as one of the team’s signature stars.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Tight Ends

3. Brant Kuithe, Jr. Utah
4. Cameron Latu, Sr. Alabama
5. Arik Gilbert, Soph. Georgia
6. Zack Kuntz, Jr. Old Dominion
7. Ben Sims, Sr, Baylor
8. Will Mallory, Sr. Miami
9. Sam LaPorta, Sr. Iowa
10. Payne Durham, Jr. Purdue
11. Josh Whyle, Jr. Cincinnati
12. Benjamin Yurosek, Jr. Stanford

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Offensive Tackles

Jaxson Kirkland, Sr. Washington

The 6-7, 340-pound mauler is a two-time First Team All-Pac 12 blocker who has the NFL scouts loving his next level potential. He’s built more like a giant tight end than a thick blocker, but he’s great for the running game to go along with all he can do in pass protection.

Peter Skoronski, Jr. Northwestern

One of the best offensive line recruits the program was ever able to land, he has more than come through in his first two seasons. The two-time all-Big Ten blocker is in a salary drive as a potential early first round franchise NFL draft pick.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Offensive Tackles

Ryan Hayes, Sr. Michigan

How did Michigan rise up last year into a College Football Playoff program? The play of the offensive line had a whole lot to do with it, and it should be strong again around the 6-7 veteran going into his fifth year up front.

Zion Nelson, Jr. Miami

The 6-5, 316-pounder wasn’t an elite prospect, but he took over a starting job right away at left tackle in 2019. He took his lumps, but he grew into the gig and showed off his NFL upside last year protecting rising star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. The frame, the feet, and the experience are all there.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Offensive Tackles

5. Paris Johnson, Jr. Ohio State
6. Tyler Steen, Sr. Alabama
7. Darnell Wright, Sr. Tennessee
8. Cooper Beebe, Jr. Kansas State
9. Jack Nelson, Soph. Wisconsin
10. Jaelyn Duncan, Sr. Maryland
11. Anton Harrison, Jr. Oklahoma
12. Blake Freeland, Jr. BYU

2022 Unit Rankings  
QB | RB | WR&TE | OL | DL | LB | DB
Offenses | Defenses

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Offensive Guards

TJ Bass, Sr. Oregon

Bass is a two-time All-Pac-12 performer – a First Team star last year as a fantastic run blocking technician – but is was mostly as a tackle. He came to Oregon from the JUCO ranks as a guard, and started there again last season before moving one spot over. He’ll likely live at left guard under the new coaching staff, but no matter where he is, he’ll be one of the nation’s best O linemen.

Jarrett Patterson, Sr. Notre Dame

He’s more than good enough as a run blocker, but he’s at his best against the quicker interior linemen. An elite pass protector for a guard, he’s experienced, versatile enough to move to center if needed, and he has been a rock for a young line that’s growing into its immense talent.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Offensive Guards

Emil Ekiyor, Sr. Alabama

Last year’s line struggled in pass protection and wasn’t as strong as it should’ve been, but the 6-3, 307-pound Ekiyor did his part as a sledgehammer on key downs. This year he should be the line’s anchor for an improved front five.

Sataoa Laumea, Soph. Utah

The 6-4, 308-pound third-year starter earned his all-star honors at right guard for the physical Utah offense. Now it’ll be his job on the left side as he takes his game up a few notches. Good so far, he’s got the potential and talent to be even more of a force for the ground game.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Offensive Guards

5. Zak Zinter, Jr. Michigan
6. Tyler Beach, Sr. Wisconsin
7. Nick Broeker, Sr. Ole Miss
8. Lorenz Metz, Sr. Cincinnati
9. Christian Mahogany, Jr. Boston College
10. Sidy Sow, Sr. Eastern Michigan
11. Willie Lampkin, Jr. Coastal Carolina
12. Hunter Woodard, Sr. Oklahoma State

Preseason All-America Team: CFN First Team Center

Olusegun Oluwatimi, Sr. Michigan

The Michigan line returns a ton of talent from the 2021 version that paved the way to the Big Ten title, but it needed a center. In comes the 6-3, 310-pound Oluwatimi from Virginia to fill the gap. Big enough to play guard and just quick enough to be fine at tackle, the veteran all-star should be the perfect fit.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Second Team Center

Ricky Stromberg, Sr. Arkansas

The 6-4, 318-pounder has found his home. A powerful guard when he first started, he grew into a center as a sophomore and started dominating for the ground game as a junior. The veteran can pass protect, too, but with his size and power, he’s the center everyone is looking for.

Preseason All-America Team: CFN Honorable Mention Centers

3. Brett Neilon, Sr. USC
4. Jacob Gall, Sr. Baylor
5. Alex Forsyth, Sr. Oregon
6. Sedrick Van Pran, Soph. Georgia
7. John Michael Schmitz, Sr. Minnesota
8. Grant Gibson, Sr. NC State
9. Jake Renfro, Jr. Cincinnati
10. Joe Tippmann, Jr. Wisconsin
11. Alama Uluave, Sr. San Diego State
12. Trevor Downing, (OG) Sr. Iowa State

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Schedules of all 131 teams

College Football Preseason Offense Unit Rankings: CFN Preview 2022

Top 10 College Football Offenses: Which Os are the most talented going into the 2022 college football season? How good are each attacks in every conference?

College Football News Preview 2022 preseason unit rankings, looking at the top ten offenses along with each ranking within the conferences.  


Defense might win championships, but offense is more fun.

Who has the most talented offenses going into the 2022 college football season?

This isn’t a ranking of who’ll have the top statistical offenses – some high-powered attacks will put up massive yards and big numbers because of scheme and lesser opponents. This is about which offenses return the most experience, talent, depth, and … yeah, scoring and yards matter.

So call this a mix of the teams with the best combination of skill and stars with the expected production. Okay, enough stalling – if you think we whiffed by not having Western Kentucky or Texas Tech in the top ten, you’re probably not wrong.

These ten, though, are about to be among the best and most effective and the highest of levels – at least that’s where the expectations are set.

The top ten offenses of 2022 are …

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CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Unit Rankings: Offenses

Unit Rankings By Conference: Offenses 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

2022 Unit Rankings
QB | RB | WR&TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

1 Ohio State

Fair warning: Ohio State probably won’t have the No. 1 offense in college football again – it averaged 561 yards per game last year – so it might be more about its effectiveness and efficiency than the big numbers. Remember, last year’s O had to keep bombing away because the D wasn’t up to snuff. This year’s defense will be better.

There’s NFL talent all across the starting 11. CJ Stroud might be the nation’s best quarterback, TreVeyon Henderson might be the top running back, Jaxon Smith-Njigba might be the best wide receiver, and they all work around one of the best offensive lines in the country.

2 USC

It’s going to be a massive disappointment if this isn’t one of the most exciting offenses in college football. Getting QB Caleb Williams, RB Travis Dye, and receivers Jordan Addison, Mario Williams, and Brenden Rice from the transfer portal should provide an instant jolt to Lincoln Riley’s attack. As long as the line doesn’t disappoint, look out.

Alabama

The offensive line has to be better, the wide receiver talent isn’t quite where it’s been over the last few years, the running backs are just okay if Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs isn’t great, and … whatever. The O line is full of NFL-caliber blockers, the transfer portal helped the receiving corps, Gibbs could be devastating, and there’s that Bryce Young guy leading it all.

Texas

No pressure, Steve Sarkisian and the Texas coaching staff, but the talent level is more than good enough to win and win big.

There’s no excuse considering QB Quinn Ewers is a superstar prospect – shhhhhh, not everyone is assuming Arch Manning will walk in and take over next year – Xavier Worthy and Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor lead a great receiving corps, and Bijan Robinson might just win the Heisman. However, the O line has to be good enough to make it all go.

Utah

It took a few years to pivot a bit to more of a dynamic attack after years of pound, pound, pound, but this group can grind away, too. The offensive line is loaded with talent, the backs are in place, and Cameron Rising turned into a find as he led the way to the Pac-12 title. The one question is at wide receiver – it’s a young corps – but the tight ends are great.


2022 CFN Predictions For Every Game 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
CFN 2022 Preseason Ranking of all 131 Teams
CFN 2022 Preview of all 131 Teams


Tennessee

The Josh Heupel offense all kicked in right away, and now it should go up a few notches after finishing ninth in the nation overall. Hendon Hooker is a terrific quarterback who’s starting to get his due, the receiving corps could be unstoppable if USC transfer Bru McCoy rolls, and the backs are good enough to crank up yards in chunks behind a line with a whole lot of potential all-star talent.

Ole Miss

This is a leap of faith ranking believing the transfer portal will bring the parts to keep the top 2021 SEC offense rolling. It’ll still be fast, it’ll still be explosive, and it’ll still tough to keep in check.

Running backs Zach Evans (TCU) and Ulysses Bentley (SMU) are great, USC transfer Jaxson Dart will push hard for the quarterback gig, and transfers are about to crank up the passing game. Now the O line has to keep defenses out of the backfield.

Wake Forest

The 11th best offense in college football last year – at least in yards – returns loaded. AT Perry is the star of a great wide receiver show, four starters return to a good line, the rotation of backs will be productive again, and in a league full of great quarterbacks, Sam Hartman might be the standout star.

Florida

For all of Florida’s problems last season, it still finished 15th in the nation in total offense. If you’re buying into the hype around QB Anthony Richardson – and you should – and if you think new head coach Billy Napier is about to make the O and ground game roll like he did at Louisiana – and you should – then believe the Gators are about to be in for a big offensive season.

10 Texas Tech

Fine, so stats matter. The offensive coordinator who made the WKU attack that finished second in the nation in total yards was brought in by new head coach Joey McGuire – look out. Zach Kittley will take the Red Raider attack up a few notches once the parts are in place after fall camp.

Texas Tech might not have settled on a starting quarterback quite yet, but that’s because it has three great options. The running backs will be ultra-effective for what they need to do, and the receivers will grow into statistical stars.

Unit Rankings By Conference: Offenses 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

2022 Unit Rankings
QB | RB | WR&TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

 

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Offenses Unit Rankings: ACC

CFN Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team, Top 30 Players: Preview 2022

Who are the best players in the Mountain West going into the 2022 college football season? They’re highlighted in the CFN 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West team and top 30 players.

Who are the best players in the Mountain West going into the 2022 college football season? They’re highlighted in the CFN 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West team and top 30 players.


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2022 Preseason CFN Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year

QB Jake Haener, Sr. Fresno State

The superstar recruit started out at Washington, went to Fresno State, was expected to join head coach Kalen DeBoer at Washington, changed his mind, and now he’s back with the Bulldogs – current head man Jeff Tedford knows a thing or two about how to coach up quarterbacks.

Haener threw for over 4,000 yards last season with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions, but he can do so much more – like win lead the program to the Mountain West title.

2022 Preseason CFN Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year

LB Vince Sanford, Sr. Air Force

Take your pick of at least ten linebackers or ten more safeties or ten more pass rushers to be the Preseason Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, and you might not be wrong. Sanford gets the nod because of all he can do, coming off a breakthrough season with 59 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. He broke up three passes, too.

College Football News 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West Team: Offense

QB Jake Haener, Sr. Fresno State

RB Brad Roberts, Sr. Air Force

WR Jalen Cropper, Sr. Fresno State

RB Titus Swen, Sr. Wyoming

WR Jesse Matthews, Sr. San Diego State

TE Treyton Welch, Sr. Wyoming

OT Aaron Frost, Sr. Nevada

OG Gray Davis, Sr. Colorado State

C Alama Uluave, Sr. San Diego State

OG Micah Vanterpool, Sr. Hawaii

OT John Ojukwu, Sr. Boise State

College Football News 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West Team: Defense

DE Keshawn Banks, Sr. San Diego State

DT Scott Matlock, Sr. Boise State

DT Jonah Tavai, Sr. San Diego State

DE Cade Hall, Sr. San Jose State

LB Cam’Ron Carter, Sr. Colorado State

LB Easton Gibbs, Soph. Wyoming

LB Caden McDonald, Sr. San Diego State

CB Cam Lockridge, CB Jr. Fresno State

S Patrick McMorris, Sr. San Diego State

S JL Skinner, Sr. Boise State

CB Nehemiah Shelton, Sr. San Jose State

College Football News 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West Team: Special Teams

PK Jonah Dalmas, Jr. Boise State

P Aaron Rodriguez, Jr. New Mexico

KR/PR Jordan Byrd, Sr. San Diego State

CFN 2022 Team Previews
Air Force | Boise State | Colorado State | Fresno State
Hawaii | Nevada | New Mexico | San Diego State
San Jose State | UNLV | Utah State | Wyoming
M-West Predictions For Every Game | CFN Preview 2022
Bowl Projections | Preseason Rankings

College Football News 2022 Preseason Top 30 Mountain West Players

30. David Perales, DE Sr. Fresno State

29. Ilm Manning, OT, Sr. Hawai

28. Jesse Matthews, WR Sr. San Diego State

27. Haaziq Daniels, QB Sr. Air Force

26. Tavian Combs, S, Jr. New Mexico

25. Viliami Fehoko, DE Sr. San Jose State

24. Trey Taylor, S Jr. Air Force

23. Hunter Reynolds, S Sr. Utah State

22. Harrison Bailey, QB Soph. UNLV

21. Jerrick Reed, S Sr. New Mexico

20. Easton Gibbs, LB Soph. Wyoming

19. Jalen Cropper, WR Sr. Fresno State

18. Brad Roberts, RB Sr. Air Force

17. Patrick McMorris, S Sr. San Diego State

16. Cam’Ron Carter, LB Sr. Colorado State

15. Hank Bachmeier, QB Sr. Boise State

14. Evan Williams, S Sr. Fresno State

13. JL Skinner, S Sr. Boise State

12. Dom Peterson, DT Sr. Nevada

11. Patrick McMorris, S Sr. San Diego State

10. Aaron Frost, OT Sr. Nevada

9. Scott Matlock, DT Sr. Boise State

8. Keshawn Banks, DE Sr. San Diego State

7. John Ojukwu, OT Sr. Boise State

6. Jonah Tavai, DT Sr. San Diego State

5. Cade Hall, DE Sr. San Jose State

4. Caden McDonald, LB Sr. San Diego State

3. Logan Bonner, QB Sr. Utah State

2. Vince Sanford, LB Sr. Air Force

1. Jake Haener, QB Sr. Fresno State

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CFN 2022 Team Previews
Air Force | Boise State | Colorado State | Fresno State
Hawaii | Nevada | New Mexico | San Diego State
San Jose State | UNLV | Utah State | Wyoming
M-West Predictions For Every Game | CFN Preview 2022
Bowl Projections | Preseason Rankings

Mountain West Preseason Predictions For Every Game: Preview 2022

Mountain West predictions for every team and every game in the 2022 college football season

With all the chatter in the college football world about expansion and realignment – the Mountain West is deep in the rumor mix with a whole lot of possibilities – there’s still a 2022 season to play. How should it all shape up in the Mountain West?

Beyond just seeing if the Pac-12 and Big 12 are interested, there’s one huge change – the divisions are gone.

The conference has several strong teams, and the two best will play for the championship.

It’s a free for all among the teams to get into the top spots, but the schedules stay intact. There’s a slight imbalance with the stronger teams in what used to be in the West Division facing each other, but they would’ve had to do that anyway.

How should the season go and where is everyone projected to finish? Here are the preseason predictions for all the Mountain West teams.

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2022 Mountain West Preseason Predictions

1. Boise State
T2. Fresno State*
T2. San Diego State
T4. Air Force
T4. Utah State
T6. Colorado State
T6. Wyoming
T8. Hawaii
T8. Nevada
T8. San Jose State
11. UNLV
12. New Mexico
*Fresno State predicted to beat San Diego State in their head-to-head matchup.

Air Force Falcons

2022 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 5-3
2021: 10-3, Prediction: 7-5
2020: 3-3, 2019: 11-2, 2018: 5-7

Sept 3 Northern Iowa W
Sept 10 Colorado  L
Sept 17 at Wyoming  L
Sept 24 Nevada W
Oct 1 Navy W
Oct 8 at Utah State  L
Oct 15 at UNLV W
Oct 22 Boise State W
Oct 29 OPEN DATE
Nov 5 vs Army (in Arlington, TX)  L
Nov 12 New Mexico W
Nov 19 Colorado State W
Nov 26 at San Diego State  L
Air Force 2022 Preview
Air Force 10 Best Players
Air Force Schedule

Boise State Broncos

2022 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 7-1
2021: 7-5, Prediction: 8-4
2020: 5-2, 2019: 12-2, 2018: 10-3

Sept 3 at Oregon State  L
Sept 10 at New Mexico W
Sept 17 UT Martin W
Sept 24 at UTEP W
Oct 1 San Diego State W
Oct 8 Fresno State W
Oct 15 OPEN DATE
Oct 22 at Air Force  L
Oct 29 Colorado State W
Nov 5 BYU W
Nov 12 at Nevada W
Nov 19 at Wyoming W
Nov 26 Utah State W
Boise State 2022 Preview
Boise State 10 Best Players
Boise State Schedule

Colorado State Rams

2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 4-4
2021: 3-9, Prediction: 5-7
2020: 1-3, 2019: 4-8, 2018: 3-9

Sept 3 at Michigan  L
Sept 10 Middle Tennessee W
Sept 17 at Washington State  L
Sept 24 Sacramento State W
Oct 1 OPEN DATE
Oct 8 at Nevada  L
Oct 15 Utah State W
Oct 22 Hawaii W
Oct 29 at Boise State  L
Nov 5 at San Jose State  L
Nov 12 Wyoming W
Nov 19 at Air Force  L
Nov 26 New Mexico W
Colorado State 2022 Preview
Colorado State 10 Best Players
Colorado State Schedule

Fresno State Bulldogs

2022 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 6-2
2021: 10-3, Prediction: 6-6
2020: 3-3, 2019: 4-8, 2018: 12-2

Sept 3 Cal Poly W
Sept 10 Oregon State W
Sept 17 at USC  L
Sept 24 OPEN DATE
Oct 1 at UConn W
Oct 8 at Boise State  L
Oct 15 San Jose State W
Oct 22 at New Mexico W
Oct 29 San Diego State W
Nov 5 Hawaii W
Nov 12 at UNLV W
Nov 19 at Nevada  L
Nov 26 Wyoming W
Fresno State 2022 Preview
Fresno State 10 Best Players
Fresno State Schedule

Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-7
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 3-5
2021: 6-7, Prediction: 7-6
2020: 5-4, 2019: 10-5, 2018: 8-6

Aug 27 Vanderbilt  L
Sept 3 WKU W
Sept 10 at Michigan  L
Sept 17 Duquesne W
Sept 24 at New Mexico State W
Oct 1 OPEN DATE
Oct 8 at San Diego State  L
Oct 15 Nevada W
Oct 22 at Colorado State  L
Oct 29 Wyoming W
Nov 5 at Fresno State  L
Nov 12 Utah State  L
Nov 19 UNLV W
Nov 26 at San Jose State  L
Hawaii 2022 Preview
Hawaii 10 Best Players
Hawaii Schedule

Nevada Wolf Pack

2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 3-5
2021: 8-5, Prediction: 8-4
2020: 7-2, 2019: 7-6, 2018: 8-5

Aug 27 at New Mexico State W
Sept 3 Texas State W
Sept 10 Incarnate Word W
Sept 17 at Iowa  L
Sept 24 at Air Force  L
Oct 1 OPEN DATE
Oct 8 Colorado State W
Oct 15 at Hawaii  L
Oct 22 San Diego State  L
Oct 29 at San Jose State W
Nov 5 OPEN DATE
Nov 12 Boise State  L
Nov 19 Fresno State W
Nov 26 at UNLV  L
Nevada 2022 Preview
Nevada 10 Best Players
Nevada Schedule

New Mexico Lobos

2022 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 0-8
2021: 3-9, Prediction: 5-7
2020: 2-5, 2019: 2-10, 2018: 3-9

Sept 3 Maine W
Sept 10 Boise State  L
Sept 17 UTEP W
Sept 24 at LSU  L
Oct 1 at UNLV  L
Oct 8 Wyoming  L
Oct 15 at New Mexico State W
Oct 22 Fresno State  L
Oct 29 OPEN DATE
Nov 5 at Utah State  L
Nov 12 at Air Force  L
Nov 19 San Diego State  L
Nov 26 at Colorado State  L
New Mexico 2022 Preview
New Mexico 10 Best Players
New Mexico Schedule 

San Diego State Aztecs

2022 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 6-2
2021: 12-2, Prediction: 8-4
2020: 4-4, 2019: 10-3, 2018: 7-6

Sept 3 Arizona W
Sept 10 Idaho State W
Sept 17 at Utah  L
Sept 24 Toledo W
Oct 1 at Boise State  L
Oct 8 Hawaii W
Oct 15 OPEN DATE
Oct 22 at Nevada W
Oct 29 at Fresno State  L
Nov 5 UNLV W
Nov 12 San Jose State W
Nov 19 at New Mexico W
Nov 26 Air Force W
San Diego State 2022 Preview
San Diego State 10 Best Players
San Diego State Schedule

San Jose State Spartans

2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 3-5
2021: 5-7, Prediction: 9-3
2020: 7-1, 2019: 5-7, 2018: 1-11

Sept 3 Portland State W
Sept 10 at Auburn  L
Sept 17 OPEN DATE
Sept 24 Western Michigan W
Oct 1 at Wyoming  L
Oct 8 UNLV W
Oct 15 at Fresno State  L
Oct 22 at New Mexico State W
Oct 29 Nevada  L
Nov 5 Colorado State W
Nov 12 at San Diego State  L
Nov 19 at Utah State  L
Nov 26 Hawaii W
San Jose State 2022 Preview
San Jose State 10 Best Players
San Jose State Schedule

UNLV Rebels

2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 2-6
2021: 2-10, Prediction: 3-9
2020: 0-6, 2019: 4-8, 2018: 4-8

Sept 3 Idaho State W
Sept 10 at Cal  L
Sept 17 North Texas W
Sept 24 at Utah State  L
Oct 1 New Mexico W
Oct 8 at San Jose State  L
Oct 15 Air Force  L
Oct 22 at Notre Dame  L
Oct 29 OPEN DATE
Nov 5 at San Diego State  L
Nov 12 Fresno State  L
Nov 19 at Hawaii  L
Nov 26 Nevada W
UNLV 2022 Preview
UNLV 10 Best Players
UNLV Schedule

Utah State Aggies

2022 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 5-3
2021: 11-3, Prediction: 4-8
2020: 1-5, 2019: 7-6, 2018: 11-2

Aug 27 UConn W
Sept 3 at Alabama  L
Sept 10 Weber State W
Sept 17 OPEN DATE
Sept 24 UNLV W
Sept 30 at BYU  L
Oct 8 Air Force W
Oct 15 at Colorado State  L
Oct 22 at Wyoming  L
Oct 29 OPEN DATE
Nov 5 New Mexico W
Nov 12 at Hawaii W
Nov 19 San Jose State W
Nov 26 at Boise State  L
Utah State 2022 Preview
Utah State 10 Best Players
Utah State Schedule  

Wyoming Cowboys

2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2022 Mountain West Prediction: 4-4
2021: 7-6, Prediction: 7-5
2020: 2-4, 2019: 8-5, 2018: 6-6

Aug 27 at Illinois  L
Sept 3 Tulsa W
Sept 10 Northern Colorado W
Sept 17 Air Force W
Sept 24 at BYU  L
Oct 1 San Jose State W
Oct 8 at New Mexico W
Oct 15 OPEN DATE
Oct 22 Utah State W
Oct 29 at Hawaii  L
Nov 5 OPEN DATE
Nov 12 at Colorado State  L
Nov 19 Boise State  L
Nov 26 at Fresno State  L
Wyoming 2022 Preview
Wyoming 10 Best Players
Wyoming Schedule

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College Football Rankings: 2022 CFN Preseason Ranking Of All 131 Teams

CFN’s preseason ranking of all 131 teams along with the top players, early games, and predicted finishes.

College Football News Preview 2022 preseason college football rankings with top players, early games, and predicted finishes for all 131 teams.


Here we go with 2022 college football rankings for all 131 teams. Call this the jumping off point.

As always, the preseason rankings are about how good the teams appear to be going into fall camp, and then they’ll change drastically once the season starts and the results come in.

Teams are never ranked based on the projected finish, but the season prediction is added along with everyone’s season opening matchup and a player you need to know.

The teams at the very, very top are relatively obvious, but it gets interesting fast with the hype jacked for a whole slew of programs that pushed through into the elite. Of course, the fun comes when the lower-ranked teams show us just how wrong the early thoughts were.

What are the expectations for each team? How do they compare and contrast with everyone else? The 2022 college football season is about to get rolling.

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CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Rankings

2022 CFN Predictions For Every Game 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
Preseason Predictions AP Poll | Coaches
CFN 2022 Preview of All 131 Teams

CFN Preview 2022 Rankings 
76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10

131 UConn

Player You Need to Know: Jackson Mitchell, LB Soph.
Season Opener: at Utah State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2021 Record: 1-11 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 129 2021 CFN Final Rank: 128
CFN Final Rankings 2020 NR 2019 126 2018 129
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

130 UMass

Player You Need to Know: Ellis Merriweather, RB Sr.
Season Opener: at Tulane
2022 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2021 Record: 1-11 2021 CFN Prediction: 2-10
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 130 2021 CFN Final Rank: 129
CFN Final Rankings 2020 127 2019 130 2018 104
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

129 New Mexico State

Player You Need to Know: Chris Ojoh, LB Sr.
Season Opener: Nevada
2022 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2021 Record: 2-10 2021 CFN Prediction: 2-10
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 126 2021 CFN Final Rank: 126
CFN Final Rankings 2020 NR 2019 127 2018 124
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

128 Akron

Player You Need to Know: Jeslord Boateng, LB Jr.
Season Opener: Saint Francis
2022 Preseason Prediction: 1-11
2021 Record: 2-10 2021 CFN Prediction: 2-10
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 125 2021 CFN Final Rank: 127
CFN Final Rankings 2020 123 2019 129 2018 102
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

127 FIU

Player You Need to Know: Davon Strickland, DT Jr.
Season Opener: Bryant
2022 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2021 Record: 1-11 2021 CFN Prediction: 5-7
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 115 2021 CFN Final Rank: 130
CFN Final Rankings 2020 125 2019 85 2018 43
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

126 ULM

Player You Need to Know: Boogie Knight, WR Sr.
Season Opener: at Texas
2022 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2021 Record: 4-8 2021 CFN Prediction: 1-11
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 124 2021 CFN Final Rank: 124
CFN Final Rankings 2020 124 2019 100 2018 89
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

125 Ball State

Player You Need to Know: Brandon Martin, LB Sr.
Season Opener: at Tennessee
2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2021 Record: 6-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 7-5
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 90 2021 CFN Final Rank: 98
CFN Final Rankings 2020 46 2019 83 2018 106
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

124 Bowling Green

Player You Need to Know: Darren Anders, LB Sr.
Season Opener: at UCLA
2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2021 Record: 4-8 2021 CFN Prediction: 2-10
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 127 2021 CFN Final Rank: 108
CFN Final Rankings 2020 126 2019 124 2018 118
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

123 Buffalo

Player You Need to Know: James Patterson, LB Sr.
Season Opener: at Maryland
2022 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2021 Record: 4-8 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 99 2021 CFN Final Rank: 109
CFN Final Rankings 2020 63 2019 39 2018 34
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

122 New Mexico

Player You Need to Know: Jerrick Reed, S Sr.
Season Opener: Maine
2022 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 5-7
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 106 2021 CFN Final Rank: 125
CFN Final Rankings 2020 95 2019 120 2018 110
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

121 Arkansas State

Player You Need to Know: Kivon Bennett, LB/DE Sr.
Season Opener: Grambling State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 2-10 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 97 2021 CFN Final Rank: 123
CFN Final Rankings 2020 112 2019 67 2018 72
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

120 Rice

Player You Need to Know: Gabe Taylor, S Soph.
Season Opener: at USC
2022 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2021 Record: 4-8 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 120 2021 CFN Final Rank: 116
CFN Final Rankings 2020 106 2019 115 2018 127
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

119 Charlotte

Player You Need to Know: WR Grant DuBose, Jr.
Season Opener: at Florida Atlantic
2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2021 Record: 5-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 119 2021 CFN Final Rank: 115
CFN Final Rankings 2020 116 2019 72 2018 93
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

118 Texas State

Player You Need to Know: Marcell Barbee, WR Sr.
Season Opener: at Nevada
2022 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2021 Record: 4-8 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 114 2021 CFN Final Rank: 122
CFN Final Rankings 2020 111 2019 114 2018 123
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

117 UTEP

Player You Need to Know: Praise Amaewhule, DE Jr.
Season Opener: North Texas
2022 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2021 Record: 7-6 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 123 2021 CFN Final Rank: 106
CFN Final Rankings 2020 121 2019 128 2018 130
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

116 Georgia Southern

Player You Need to Know: Derrick Canteen, CB Jr.
Season Opener: Morgan State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 87 2021 CFN Final Rank: 121
CFN Final Rankings 2020 78 2019 55 2018 28
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

115 Ohio

Player You Need to Know: Kurtis Rourke, QB Jr.
Season Opener: Florida Atlantic
2022 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 111 2021 CFN Final Rank: 112
CFN Final Rankings 2020 109 2019 51 2018 30
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

114 Eastern Michigan

Player You Need to Know: Sidy Sow, OG Sr.
Season Opener: Eastern Kentucky
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 7-6 2021 CFN Prediction: 5-7
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 117 2021 CFN Final Rank: 100
CFN Final Rankings 2020 107 2019 80 2018 71
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

113 Kent State

Player You Need to Know: Dante Cephas, WR, Jr.
Season Opener: at Washington
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 7-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 107 2021 CFN Final Rank: 90
CFN Final Rankings 2020 89 2019 66 2018 114
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

112 James Madison

Player You Need to Know: Kris Thornton, WR Sr.
Season Opener: Middle Tennessee
2022 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2021 Record: 12-2 2021 CFN Prediction:
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: NR 2021 CFN Final Rank: NR 
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

111 South Alabama

Player You Need to Know: Darrell Luter, CB Sr.
Season Opener: Nicholls State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 5-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 122 2021 CFN Final Rank: 120
CFN Final Rankings 2020 108 2019 119 2018 109
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

110 Southern Miss

Player You Need to Know: Hayes Maples, LB Jr.
Season Opener: Liberty
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 116 2021 CFN Final Rank: 119
CFN Final Rankings 2020 117 2019 68 2018 75
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

109 Old Dominion

Player You Need to Know: Zack Kuntz, TE Jr.
Season Opener: at Virginia Tech
2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2021 Record: 6-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 2-10
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 128 2021 CFN Final Rank: 94
CFN Final Rankings 2020 NR 2019 125 2018 105
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

108 Middle Tennessee

Player You Need to Know: Jordan Ferguson, DE Sr.
Season Opener: at James Madison
2022 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2021 Record: 7-6 2021 CFN Prediction: 5-7
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 118 2021 CFN Final Rank: 95
CFN Final Rankings 2020 119 2019 107 2018 59
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

107 Temple

Player You Need to Know: Isaac Moore, OT Sr.
Season Opener: Duke
2022 Preseason Prediction: 2-10
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 5-7
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 84 2021 CFN Final Rank: 118
CFN Final Rankings 2020 110 2019 54 2018 58
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

106 UNLV

Player You Need to Know: Harrison Bailey, QB Soph.
Season Opener: Idaho State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2021 Record: 2-10 2021 CFN Prediction: 3-9
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 110 2021 CFN Final Rank: 113
CFN Final Rankings 2020 120 2019 106 2018 107
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

105 Hawaii

Player You Need to Know: Ilm Manning, OT, Sr.
Season Opener: Vanderbilt
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-7
2021 Record: 6-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 7-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 74 2021 CFN Final Rank: 102
CFN Final Rankings 2020 74 2019 32 2018 73
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

104 Florida Atlantic

Player You Need to Know: Teja Young, S Jr.
Season Opener: Charlotte
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 5-7 2021 CFN Prediction: 8-4
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 101 2021 CFN Final Rank: 111
CFN Final Rankings 2020 101 2019 13 2018 91
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

103 Central Michigan

Player You Need to Know: Lew Nichols, RB Soph.
Season Opener: at Oklahoma State
2022 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2021 Record: 9-4 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 108 2021 CFN Final Rank: 70
CFN Final Rankings 2020 105 2019 71 2018 128
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

102 Louisiana Tech

Player You Need to Know: BeeJay Williamson, S Jr.
Season Opener: at Missouri
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 3-9 2021 CFN Prediction: 7-5
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 100 2021 CFN Final Rank: 114
CFN Final Rankings 2020 103 2019 43 2018 77
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

101 Miami University

Player You Need to Know: Brett Gabbert, QB Jr.
Season Opener: at Kentucky
2022 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2021 Record: 7-6 2021 CFN Prediction: 6-6
2021 CFN Preseason Rank: 109 2021 CFN Final Rank: 96
CFN Final Rankings 2020 93 2019 47 2018 70
Preview | Top 10 PlayersSchedule

CFN Preview 2022 Rankings 
76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Rankings: Top 100

College Football Preseason Defensive Line Unit Rankings: CFN Preview 2022

College football unit rankings – the defensive lines. Ranking the top 10 overall, and then ranking each conference’s situations.

College Football News Preview 2022 preseason unit rankings, looking at the top ten defensive line situations and rankings by conference.


The defensive lines are going to be outstanding this season – there were at least 20 that could’ve made the preseason top 10 unit rankings.

There’s plenty of talent returning to some of last year’s top defenses, the lost parts on some of the powerhouses will quickly be replaced, and there’s more depth than usual – at least among the top defenses – thanks to the transfer portal adding more options.

As always, styles matter. Some programs know how to get into the backfield and hit the quarterback every year no matter who’s on the defensive front, and others know how to get big humans to clog things up with a three-man line.

Get the job done up front, and everything else on the defense will usually fall into place.

Again, this is a great year for the lines, and there are other options that probably should be here, but the top 10 defensive lines on this list are strong.

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CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Unit Rankings: Defensive Lines

Unit Rankings By Conference: Defensive Lines 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

Clemson

It’s almost unfair how good this defensive line is – if everyone is healthy. The tackle combination of Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis are NFL-good right now, but Bresee hasn’t had any injury luck so far. Xavier Thomas and Myles Murphy are elite all-around ends, and the depth is there after getting plenty of work thanks to all the fill-in time for the injured parts last season.

Georgia

But … but … Georgia lost Travon Walker and Jordan Davis. They’re off to the NFL, but tackle Jalen Carter might end up being the best all-around pro prospect from last year’s line – yeah, potentially even better than the No. 1 overall pick. There’s size among the front three, talent thanks to years of good recruiting classes, and a new wave of freshmen who might be too strong to keep off the field.

Alabama

There aren’t any big-name superstars compared to what Bama brings with its phenomenal linebacking corps, but you know what’s coming. Three giant, NFL-caliber linemen who can all move. Byron Young can get into the backfield, DJ Dale is an elite anchor, and the backups are all more giant. NFL-caliber linemen who can all move.

Wisconsin

There’s nothing flashy about the Badger front three, but the brick wall on the nation’s No. 1 defense of 2021 is once again loaded with tough run stoppers. The linebackers do the heavy lifting when it comes to getting in to the backfield, and the line takes care of everything between the hashmarks – there’s no moving Keeanu Benton on the nose.

LSU

The starting four was already good, and then it got Mekhi Wingo from Missouri to add even more to the interior. BJ Ojulari will be one of the SEC’s top playmakers in the backfield, Ali Gaye is ready to roll on the other side, and Maason Smith has huge upside at one of the tackle spots.


2022 CFN Predictions For Every Game 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt
CFN 2022 Preseason Ranking of all 131 Teams
CFN 2022 Preview of all 131 Teams


Oklahoma State

The tackles are experienced upperclassmen – they’ll be fine. The ends, though, will form a special rotation with almost all the parts back from the defense that led the nation in sacks and was second in tackles for loss. Collin Oliver, Brock Martin, and Tyler Lace are a good pass rushing end tandem as is, and now the rotation gets Trace Ford back after suffering a knee injury.

7 Baylor

The Baylor back seven might be going through some reshuffling, but the line is once again going to be a problem for the Big 12. Siaki Ika is one of the nation’s best nose tackles, Gabe Hall is an all-star on the end, and in comes Jaxon Player from Tulsa as a good option in the rotation.

Pitt

It’s Pitt, so you know what’s coming. The D will be among the best in the nation at getting into the backfield – it was second in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss – and it gets back Habakkuk Baldonado to lead the way on the end. Combined with tackle Calijah Kancey, the show goes on.

South Carolina

The pass rush needs to be more consistent throughout the season, and it could stand to be a wee bit better against the run – the team lost in the five games the D allowed 200 rushing yards – but the talent is there to be strong for what should be another statistically-solid defense. Zacch Pickens gets into the backfield from the interior and Jordan Strachan is a good pass rusher who can do even more.

10 Florida State

There’s one giant question when it comes to Florida State’s defensive front living in the top ten – can Albany transfer Jared Verse translate his production to the next level with Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas gone? If so, the Noles are set thanks to a great group of tackles that should be a dominant against the run.

Unit Rankings By Conference: Defensive Lines 
Top 10 | ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | M-West | Sun Belt

NEXT: CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Defensive Lines Unit Rankings: ACC