The 2022 Coaches Poll, and there weren't too many surprises at the top. Alabama earned the top spot, followed by Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson. Notre Dame chimed in at No. 5, with Michigan, Texas A&M, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor rounding out the top 10.
Where these teams end up in December is anyone's guess, but for right now it's still talkin' season, which means that it's time to yell at one another at the top of our lungs about the rankings that were just released. Which team is overrated? Which team is underrated? Here are my thoughts on where the panel of Division I head coaches missed the mark in the first edition of the Coaches Poll.
Overrated: No. 5 Notre Dame
Look, I love Marcus Freeman. The first-year coach of the Fighting Irish has injected new energy into the program and it's paying off -- particularly on the recruiting trail. This year, however, a preseason top-five ranking is a little absurd.
The absence of running back Kyren Williams, safety Kyle Hamilton and quarterback Jack Coan are all issues that need to be resolved before anointing the Fighting Irish as legit playoff contenders. Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne are solid options at quarterback, but neither is experienced enough to elevate this team to the top five at this time. All-American Brandon Joseph taking over one of the safety roles after a successful stint at Northwestern is a big deal, but we have to see it before we believe it.
Underrated: No. 8 Utah
The negative stigma associated with the Pac-12 seems to have cost the Utes here. They boast a big-time one-two punch with dual-threat quarterback Cameron Rising and running back Tavion Thomas. Plus, they're also almost always stout up front, and the presence of coach Kyle Whittingham makes them the best-coached team in the conference (yes, USC with Lincoln Riley included). Defensively, it seems like they are getting knocked for the dramatic Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State despite being razor thin in the secondary.
Utah isn't just the best team in the Pac-12, it should be considered a legit playoff contender. Apparently, the rest of the coaches in the country haven't caught on yet.
Overrated: No. 7 Texas A&M
The Aggies are the darling of the SEC and a trendy pick to contend with Alabama for the West division title, but a No. 7 ranking is too much too soon. The Aggies have a three-man battle at quarterback with LSU transfer Max Johnson, last year's opening-day starter Haynes King and hotshot freshman Conner Weigman. Coach Jimbo Fisher requires more out of his quarterbacks than virtually every other coach in the SEC, so expecting any of those three to step in and become a difference-maker is a bit aggressive.
What's more, championship-caliber teams run nine- or 10-deep along the defensive line. The Aggies are lacking experience in that area and will have to rely on three or four true freshmen out of the stellar 2022 recruiting class to serve in that rotation. They might be talented, but it's a huge challenge for an 18-year-old to go up against juniors and seniors who have grown into their bodies.
The Aggies are not Alabama's primary threat in the West. That designation belongs to Ole Miss. Speaking of which ...
Underrated: No. 24 Ole Miss
Too much emphasis has been put on the absence of star quarterback Matt Corral and not enough has been put on the offensive skill players brought in by coach Lane Kiffin brought. Kiffin upgraded at running back with TCU transfer Zach Evans and SMU transfer Ulysses Bentley IV. The Rebels also brought in hybrid wide receiver/tight end freak Michael Trigg and versatile receiver Jaylon Robinson from UCF. The quarterback battle between Jaxson Dart and Luke Altmeyer will dominate fall camp, but Kiffin will be fine either way.
If it can just play adequate defense, this team should be a serious contender for another Sugar Bowl bid and is definitely Alabama's biggest threat in the SEC West.