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Predictions Before the Preditions: I've yet to break down every team's outlook for the 2022 college football season, but I do have some initial thoughts on the season ahead.

College football prognosticator Phil Steele recently tweeted his projections for the first poll of the season. He boasts a 96.2 percent accuracy rate.

These are Steele's best guesses for the preseason rankings, not the year-end version.

Steele picked Bama No. 1, who many have already proclaimed to be the year-end champ. The Tide is followed by last year's winner Georgia, then Ohio State and Clemson.

There's a very good chance that those four will be your playoff choices.

Let me make some general picks of my own. First off, Georgia won't repeat. Why? I'm playing the percentages. Not one team has yet to go back-to-back with nattys during the playoff era.

Georgia will still be good. But, I'll take the field against them. Which team will reign supreme for 2022? Let's narrow it down to the contenders.

Alabama is one. You've probably seen the recent post that the title must go through Bama. 15 of the last 16 champs have either been the Crimson Tide or had to beat them.

One of the question marks for this year is who are the playmakers outside of Bryce Young. Young won't repeat as the Heisman winner either. That's happended just once in the history of the award.

Who is Young's go-to receiver? It'll probably be Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton, but I don't think he's of the caliber of Williams, Metchie or any of the first-rounders who've preceded them.

Alabama will be good on offense, but the defense might be what determines if this is a title team or not (see Georgia 2021).

And the defense should be dang good with Will Anderson leading the charge. He might just be a Heisman frontrunner himself - even if being on that side of the ball rarely brings the honor.

Ohio State will likely rise back to the top in the Big Ten. That time at the top for Michigan (No. 7), might be short-lived.

Clemson's off year last season was probably just a fluke. I'm rolling with the odds that Dabo is back in contention this go-round.

Utah was one of last year's surprises. The Utes won the Pac-12 and are in Steele's forecast for the AP Top 10. Expect a different surprise from that league this season - USC.

The Trojans have been one of my favorite punching bags in recent years. They're always overrated. This year should be different.

Lincoln Riley racked up in the transfer portal bringing his Oklahoma QB with him in Caleb Williams. Riley does well in weak conferences.

Notre Dame is also in the top ten. They've been a top ten team in the past with Brian Kelly, but there's a new coach in Marcus Freeman.

A transition usually means a slight decline. Expect a few more losses than in recent years. And I would say the same for top ten pick Oklahoma.

Texas A&M is fifth in Steele's picks. Much of this will lie on Max Johnson, the LSU transfer at quarterback. A&M beat Bama last year but lost four overall finishing fifth in the SEC West.

Two SEC teams which might continue trending in the right direction are Tennessee and Arkansas. Can they give Georgia and Alabama a run for their money?

One thing in their favor is experienced quarterback play. Tennesse has Hendon Hooker. Arkansas has KJ Jefferson.

How about Auburn? They're not in Steele's projected top ten. Many of the early pickers are saying bottom of the SEC West. Usually these low expectations end up in the Tigers' favor.

Quarterback play will be a key player. Transfer Zach Calzada should beat out TJ Finley. He'll need some help around him. Ask Bo Nix. Tank Bigsby is among the best running backs anywhere and can help.

The 1-7 talk is a bit far-fetched. That's what some have Auburn doing in the SEC. The Tigers were 3-5 last year. It would be flukey to be so bad. It just doesn't happen if you look back at Auburn's history.

Auburn's worst year in conference came ten years ago. It was Gene Chizik's 3-9 team that was winless in the SEC. That ended up being his last year on the Plains. Anything close to that would seal Bryan Harsin' fate as well.

I just don't see Auburn being so bad. 3-5 could happen again, but 4-4 would be an improvement and maybe buy Harsin some time showing that the program is on the incline - even if it's gradual.

It is just year two. Let's give this guy a chance.