College football rankings: Alabama, Ohio State lead post-spring top 25 ahead of 2022 season


Following the loss of six first-round draft choices, 2021 was definitely supposed to be a “rebuilding” year. The Crimson Tide then won the SEC and went to their ninth national title game under Nick Saban. That means look out for this year when Bama is loaded. You can’t be surprised. Saban fields arguably the best offensive player (Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young) and best defensive player (linebacker Will Anderson Jr.) in the country. Louisville transfer Tyrell Harrell is the next difference-making wide receiver. Coming out the spring, the offensive line needed work. Way-too-early ranking: 12

The Rose Bowl might have provided us with the top two Heisman contenders: QB C.J. Stroud (573 yards passing, six touchdowns) and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (15 catches, 347 yards). It certainly provided optimism for 2022. The biggest, huge, mega question is defense. Ryan Day addressed the growing concern by stealing Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State as defensive coordinator. That will be the difference between a Big Ten title and a playoff run. Way-too-early ranking: 2

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