College football teams that could disrupt the 2022 playoff race are defined by a group of programs with sizable expectations inside the locker room and considerable buzz among fanbases, but are not necessarily categorized as title contenders from oddsmakers and those in the know ahead of the season. It’ll take overall roster strength and coaching prestige for these teams to make noise down the stretch, or potentially thwart the perceived heavyweights’ path to a final four berth with the right amount of execution and breaks in several spotlight matchups this fall.
The only caveats to this group of teams who could derail the playoff picture is that each Power Five conference gets one representative and preseason-top-10 teams are excluded from the conversation since they’re largely-believed to already be in the race.
That excludes options like Notre Dame and Texas A&M, for instance.
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We’ve taken the cumulative average ranking of five way-too-early polls — 247Sports, ESPN, Athlon Sports, Sporting News and USA Today — and used those as a guide for programs eligible to be potential playoff chaos-causers this fall.