The Georgia Bulldogs take the number one spot in the Top 25 on the Preseason AP Poll, coming off of back-to-back national championship seasons. The Associated Press preseason poll is usually based on hype surrounding teams and their expectations for the season, but there are a few surprise rankings and a few teams missing from the preseason poll.
Five Biggest Surprises in the Preseason AP Top 25
To no one’s surprise, Georgia takes the number one spot in the Associated Press’ Preseason Top 25 poll. The surprise is the Bulldogs receiving a whopping 60 of the 63 first-place votes.
Nearly all of the typical national championship contenders have questions at key positions, and the perception seems to be that the playoff race could be more open than in past seasons. This would have had me believe we’d see more variety in first-place votes between Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, and maybe even Alabama.
Florida State Seminoles Over Clemson Tigers
Clemson won the ACC last season and seems to have found the quarterback and offensive coordinator who can make their offense as good as their defense.
Florida State and Jordan Travis have been receiving tremendous offseason hype, which has shown up in the preseason poll. Florida State comes in at No. 8, receiving votes as high as third, while Clemson comes in at No. 9, with votes up to fifth.
Utah checked in at No. 7 on the preseason list last year, and they finished 10-3 and at No. 8 in last season’s final College Football Playoff ranking. The AP voters, surprisingly, did not build off of that momentum and placed Utah 14th.
They end up four spots behind Washington and just ahead of Oregon. They are also eight places behind the USC Trojans. This makes you wonder how many questions around Cam Rising’s injury are swaying voters.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
There’s a lot of hype around the Red Raiders as a wildcard to win the Big 12. Texas Tech had four first-place votes in the Big 12 media poll and ended up fourth, one spot ahead of TCU.
But they end up unranked in the AP preseason poll, despite receiving an 11th-place vote.
Mississippi State finished 9-4 last season and had an upset win over, then-No. 20 Ole Miss. The Bulldogs also return star quarterback Will Rogers.
Mississippi State only received one vote in the AP preseason poll, 22nd. After finishing 20th last season, they’ll head into 2022 unranked.