Over the last 13 years, Phil Steele has projected in February who will land in the preseason AP Top 25’s top 10. Of those 130 projected teams, Steele has hit on 125 of them. For four straight years, he hasn’t missed a single one.

This season, Steele is predicting that Utah will land at No. 8 and Oregon will land at No. 10 in the preseason poll. Here’s his full top-10 prediction:

  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Ohio State
  4. Clemson
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Michigan
  8. Utah
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Oregon

The Utes won 10 games and the Pac-12 last season, and nearly won a Rose Bowl to boot. Highlighted amongst their returning pieces from that squad are quarterback Cameron Rising, running back Tavion Thomas, and corner Clark Phillips III. But even if they have to replace key defenders like Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell, is it really smart to bet against head coach Kyle Whittingham at this point?

Steele doesn’t seem to be. They’re one of the safest bets in the Pac-12 next season, the Utes.

Oregon is a little more uncertain, but not for lack of talent, there’s just an incredible amount of interest in how first-time head coach Dan Lanning will fare in his first year at the helm.

The Ducks were No. 12 in ESPN’s way-too-early top-25, released the night of the national championship game. The Worldwide Leader called Lanning a “gamble.” Other preseason predictions have the Ducks at 11th (NCAA), 13th (247Sports), 14th (Athlon), and even as low as 18th (CBS Sports)

Steele makes it clear his predictions aren’t his projections for the upcoming season, just the way he thinks AP poll voters will behave.

Steele has one of the most respected and well-read college football preview magazines in the business. The 2022 Phil Steele College Football Preview will be available in mid-June.