This week, a national outlet released its projection for the top 25 teams in college football for 2022.
Athlon Sports on Wednesday published its college football top 25 rankings for 2022, noting that it’s not a preseason ranking of teams entering the season but rather a ranking that factors in where they project teams to finish after the national championship game in January.
With that said, Athlon Sports projects Alabama to be the national champion and has Ohio State at No. 2, followed by defending national champion Georgia at No. 3.
Clemson checks in at No. 4 in Athlon’s ranking, with Texas A&M, Michigan, Notre Dame, Utah, Southern Cal and Oregon rounding out the top 10, respectively.
Here’s some of what Athlon’s Steven Lassan wrote about Clemson’s outlook heading into this season:
The Tigers won double-digit games for the 11th consecutive year in 2021 but failed to make the CFB Playoff for the first time since ’14. Was last season a one-year blip or a sign of a small slip from the top of college football? Although question marks remain, coach Dabo Swinney’s team should be able to lean on its defense to return to the top of the ACC. … Few questions surround the defense, but the story is different on the other side of the ball. New coordinator Brandon Streeter has to get quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (9 TDs, 10 INTs) back on track or turn to touted freshman Cade Klubnik to jumpstart an offense that averaged only 24.5 points a game in ACC contests last year. … Clemson’s defense is good enough to win the ACC title again. However, in order to return to the playoff, the offense has to improve.
Other ACC teams in Athlon’s projected top 25 include NC State (No. 12), Wake Forest (No. 16), Miami (No. 20) and Pittsburgh (No. 23).
Clemson will kick off its 2022 campaign with a neutral-site game against Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 5.
The national championship game is scheduled to be held on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.