CFB Power Rankings End 2021-2022 Season | See How Teams Rank After CFB Championship

Posted: Jan 12, 2022Last updated: Mar 3, 2022

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In the end, Georgia was just too good.

Despite the loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs prevailed to win the national championship for the first time in more than four decades.

Spoiler alert: Georgia is indeed No. 1 in our final CFB Power Rankings. The rest, of course, gets a bit weird.

A wild and eventful season is now complete, which means our rankings are as well. Cheers to a wonderful year of CFB.

50. Boise State (7-5) ↔️

Like many, the Broncos were unable to compete in their bowl game. They hang onto the final spot as a result, after a year of volatile stretches and ups and downs.

49. Liberty (8-5) Unranked

48. Georgia State (8-5) Unranked

47. East Carolina (7-5) ⬇️ 1

46. Western Michigan (8-5) Unranked

45. Mississippi State (7-6) ⬇️ 9

One could argue that no team put forth a worse bowl performance than this one. Mike Leach‘s team was crushed by Texas Tech in the Liberty Bowl, putting a damper on a season that showed promise along the way.

44. South Carolina (7-6) Unranked

43. Penn State (7-6) ⬇️ 6

42. Washington State (7-6) ⬇️ 12

41. Kansas State (8-4) ⬆️ 6

40. SMU (8-4) ⬆️ 1

SMU was unable to play Virginia in the Fenway Bowl because of COVID. After an electric start, the Mustangs finish the season with a new head coach. They also lost four of the last five games.

39. Army (9-4) ⬆️ 5

38. Tennessee (7-6) ↔️

37. UAB (9-4) ⬆️ 11

36. Appalachian State (10-4) ⬇️ 3

35. Western Kentucky (9-5) ⬆️ 14

Western Kentucky closed out the season with a massive win over App State in the Boca Raton Bowl. Quarterback Bailey Zappe, who will now make a run at the NFL, finished the year with an absurd 5,977 yards and 62 touchdowns

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34. Air Force (10-3) ⬆️ 5

33. Coastal Carolina (11-2) ⬆️ 1

32. Minnesota (9-4) ⬆️ 3

31. UCLA (8-4) ⬆️ 1

30. Fresno State (10-3) ⬆️ 1

It wasn’t easy against UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl, but Fresno State secured its 10th win of the season. Jeff Tedford will return to the program in 2022 as head coach, and the Bulldogs could be in for another big year in 2022.

29. UTSA (8-4) ⬆️ 3

28. Texas A&M (8-4) ⬇️ 3

27. Purdue (9-4) ⬆️ 2

26. San Diego State (12-2) ⬆️ 2

25. NC State (9-3) ⬇️ 1

The Wolfpack’s year ended with a canceled bowl game, which is a shame considering the kind of season it was. NC State won four of the final five games, beat Clemson, and likely would have beaten UCLA had they played.

24. Iowa (10-4) ⬇️ 4

At one point this year, the Hawkeyes were the No. 2-ranked team in the country. But a loss to Kentucky to close out the season brings Iowa to No. 24. Some great, some not-so-great. Overall, however, it was a successful year.

23. Wisconsin (9-4) ⬆️ 3

The Badgers started slow but finished strong. Wisconsin beat Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl to finish 9-4, winning eight of their final nine games.

22. Wake Forest (11-3) ⬆️ 1

The Demon Deacons ultimately played Rutgers in the Gator Bowl, where they had little issue securing their 11th win of the year. QB Sam Hartman was superb, and he could be in line for another monster fall.

Ryan Smenda Jr Wake Forest LB

Wake Forest surprised with their strong play this season, culminating in a dominant win over Rutgers in the 2021 Gator Bowl. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

21. Utah State (11-3) ⬆️ 6

What a close. Utah State dominated Oregon State in the LA Bowl, giving it its eighth win in nine games. The Aggies won a conference title along the way as well.

20. Oregon (10-4) ⬇️ 5

The win over Ohio State early in the year feels like it took place years ago. The Ducks head into 2022 with a new head coach, Dan Lanning, and a loss to Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

19. BYU (10-3) ⬇️ 6

I thought BYU was going to destroy UAB in the Independence Bowl. That proved to be incorrect. It was still a wonderful season for the Cougars, although it ended with a bit of a thud.

18. Kentucky (10-3) ⬆️ 4

The Wildcats were on the winning side of the Citrus Bowl against Iowa, and Mark Stoops once again delivered a sensational season for a program where it doesn’t come easy.

17. Houston (12-2) ⬆️ 2

Dana Holgorsen delivered a 12-win season at Houston, which was capped off with a nice win over Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl. The Cougars are likely to be plenty competitive for a while.

16. Louisiana (13-1) ↔️

On the topic of being competitive, what a year Louisiana had. They lost their opener, then ripped off 13 straight wins to close out the season. Even with a coaching change, the Ragin’ Cajuns are here to stay.

15. Clemson (10-3) ⬆️ 2

This is not where we expected Clemson to end up, and yet we can still appreciate the fact that the Tigers ended up with 10 wins after a rocky start. With a new staff, it’ll be a fascinating offseason for Dabo Swinney.

14. Pittsburgh (11-3) ↔️

Yes, Pitt lost to Michigan State in the Peach Bowl. But I refuse to bump the Panthers down considering quarterback Kenny Pickett didn’t suit up.

13. Arkansas (9-4) ⬆️ 5

Don’t let the four losses fool you. The Razorbacks had a superb season despite playing one of the more difficult schedules in the country. Head coach Sam Pittman deserves a raise and more love.

12. Utah (10-4) ⬇️ 2

Utah couldn’t seal the deal in the Rose Bowl, although the effort against Ohio State was plenty noteworthy. The Utes are set to be a force in the Pac-12 for 2022.

11. Michigan State (11-2) ↔️

Mel Tucker delivered an 11-win season, and he was handsomely rewarded with a contract for his efforts. His key will continue to be recruiting and the transfer portal for sustained success.

10. Oklahoma (11-2) ⬆️ 2

No team has dealt with more change in the past few months than this one, although Oklahoma heads into the offseason with 11 wins. Still, QB Caleb Williams is likely gone, Lincoln Riley is at USC and the new-look Sooners have plenty of work to do.

9. Ole Miss (10-3) ⬇️ 2

While the season ended with a loss to Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, the injury to quarterback Matt Corral early in that game didn’t help. Lane Kiffin has it rolling.

8. Notre Dame (11-2) ⬇️ 1

Marcus Freeman‘s first game as head coach featured plenty of good, although the second-half collapse against OK State in the Fiesta Bowl was less than ideal. Still, this is a team with talent. And the return of Tommy Rees as OC is massive.

7. Oklahoma State (12-2) ⬆️ 2

The Pokes didn’t make the playoff, although the Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame was a nice consolation. Given the changes at Oklahoma, OK State could be in line to win the conference in 2022.

6. Ohio State (11-2) ⬆️ 2

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is going to be a problem for the Buckeyes. That much was clear in the Rose Bowl. Even with an exodus of talent, Ohio State’s roster is still plenty loaded.

5. Baylor (12-2) ⬆️ 1

Dave Aranda is the coach of the year. With the job he did at Baylor this season, culminating with a convincing win over Ole Miss, that much seems clear. What a year for the Bears.

4. Cincinnati (13-1) ↔️

The Bears’ unbeaten season finally came undone against Alabama in the playoffs, although what a season it was. Luke Fickell has built Cincinnati into a power that is not likely to go away.

3. Michigan (12-2) ⬇️ 1

The Wolverines were absolutely dominated by Georgia, although that shouldn’t take away from a special year in Ann Arbor. The question now, of course, is where Jim Harbaugh will coach next year.

2. Alabama (13-2) ⬇️ 1

Alabama’s season concluded with a loss to Georgia, although I’m not sure Nick Saban has done a better job with a team, given the losses to the NFL and injuries suffered during the home stretch. With Will Anderson Jr. and Bryce Young returning, Alabama will be back.

1. Georgia (14-1) ⬆️ 2

The Bulldogs did it. With a roster compiled of elite prospects, the Bulldogs won a title with former walk-on QB Stetson Bennett. Kirby Smart assembled an exceptional group, stuck with his QB, and delivered. With so much talent in place, Georgia is likely to compete for a title in the years to come.


Adam Kramer

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