We’re only a few weeks away from the start of the 2022 college football season, which means it’s time for a time-honored (but ultimately pointless) tradition: the first preseason Top 25 of the season! This installment is from the Coaches Poll: 

1 Alabama (54) 1634
2 Ohio State (5) 1564
3 Georgia (6) 1542
4 Clemson 1356
5 Notre Dame 1284
6 Michigan 1232
7 Texas A&M 1219
8 Utah 1134
9 Oklahoma 1027
10 Baylor 891
11 Oklahoma State 859
12 Oregon 734
13 NC State 726
14 Michigan State 711
15 USC 602
16 Pittsburgh 450
17 Miami 433
18 Texas (1) 383
19 Wake Forest 381
20 Wisconsin 369
21 Kentucky 353
22 Cincinnati 339
23 Arkansas 334
24 Ole Miss 327
25 Houston 257

As you can see, Iowa did not crack the Top 25 in the preseason Coaches Poll. They didn’t miss by much, though — they got 248 points in the poll, good for tops among the “Others receiving votes” category (aka, #26 in the poll). 

Is that a fair spot for Iowa to start the 2022 season? Maybe. They ended last season #23 at 10-4 overall, albeit with losses in their final two games. They lost their two best offensive players from that team (Tyler Linderbaum and Tyler Goodson), suffered some transfer losses at wide receiver (Tyrone Tracy, Jr. and Charlie Jones), and also lost some key defensive leaders in Zach VanValkenburg and Dane Belton. Plus, that 10-win mark last season was achieved with some good record in close games and you might expect some regression on that front in 2022. This is the first year since 2018 that Iowa hasn’t been ranked in the preseason Top 25, though. 

The top of the poll features the usual faces — Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame. Yawn. The biggest shock was Texas — yes, that Texas — receiving a first-place vote. Texas is BACK, y’all. Or not. Probably not. 

Just four Big Ten teams were in the preseason Top 25 — Ohio State (2), Michigan (6), Michigan State (14), and Wisconsin (20). Ohio State is where they always are, more or less. Michigan’s ranking looks like a reaction to their big year in 2021. Wisconsin has a near-permanent spot in the preseason Top 25 between 15 and 25, I think. Michigan State at 14 is a little eyebrow-raising, since they seem poised for a bit of a course correction in close games (like Iowa) this year.

Outside of the Top 25, Penn State was right behind Iowa in the “Others receiving votes” category, but the only other Big Ten teams to get any love were Minnesota and Purdue, who received a smattering of votes from the pollsters. That does seem to make sense, though, because I don’t think anyone has a very good read on the Big Ten this year other than “Ohio State should be really good” and “Wisconsin is usually the best of the West idk.” 

2022 Big Ten football: ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway. Thoughts, opinions, impassioned rants? Let’s hear ’em. 

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