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Preseason coaches poll highlights early opportunity for IU football, and gauntlet finish

Indiana has an early path to earn some votes in the national rankings, but after a 2-10 2021 season, not even head coach Tom Allen was willing to go there in the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA football coaches poll.

To the surprise of no one, IU did not receive any votes in the preseason coaches poll, but several of their 2022 opponents did.

The Hoosiers could open the season 3-0 with wins over Illinois, Idaho and Western Kentucky, three teams also not receiving votes at this time.  If Indiana claims those three games in impressive fashion they could certainly pick up a few votes along the way.

But week four is where the fun starts for IU, as a gauntlet of ranked programs and others receiving votes await.

Ohio State leads the way from the Big Ten at No. 2, and Michigan isn’t far behind at No. 6.  Indiana travels to Columbus on Nov. 12 and hosts Michigan on Oct. 8.

Another Big Ten East nemesis, Michigan State, is No. 16 in the poll.  IU travels to East Lansing on Nov. 19.

Week four will bring IU’s first road game as the Hoosiers will travel to No. 22 Cincinnati on Sept. 24 as they try to exact revenge for last year’s frustrating loss to the Bearcats.

Also receiving preseason votes in the first coaches poll are Penn State and Purdue, teams IU will host on Nov. 5 and 26, respectively.

Fellow Big Ten East schools Maryland and Rutgers find themselves in the same spot as IU with no preseason votes from the coaches, along with Nebraska.  IU will face those three on Oct. 15, Oct. 22 and Oct. 1, respectively, with Maryland coming to Bloomington and the other two on the road.

IU ascended to an all-time high No. 7 in a late-season 2020 coaches poll.

Indiana opens the season on Sept. 2 against Illinois under the Friday night lights at Memorial Stadium.  For the full 2022 schedule, GO HERE.

Allen is one of 66 college coaches voting in this year’s weekly polls.  Here are the full preseason coaches poll results:

2022 preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll

Rank Team Record Points 1st-place votes Previous Change High/low
1 Alabama 0-0 1634 54 NR 1/1
2 Ohio State 0-0 1564 5 NR 2/2
3 Georgia 0-0 1542 6 NR 3/3
4 Clemson 0-0 1356 0 NR 4/4
5 Notre Dame 0-0 1284 0 NR 5/5
6 Michigan 0-0 1232 0 NR 6/6
7 Texas A&M 0-0 1219 0 NR 7/7
8 Utah 0-0 1134 0 NR 8/8
9 Oklahoma 0-0 1027 0 NR 9/9
10 Baylor 0-0 891 0 NR 10/10
11 Oklahoma State 0-0 859 0 NR 11/11
12 Oregon 0-0 734 0 NR 12/12
13 NC State 0-0 726 0 NR 13/13
14 Michigan State 0-0 711 0 NR 14/14
15 Southern California 0-0 602 0 NR 15/15
16 Pittsburgh 0-0 450 0 NR 16/16
17 Miami 0-0 433 0 NR 17/17
18 Texas 0-0 383 1 NR 18/18
19 Wake Forest 0-0 381 0 NR 19/19
20 Wisconsin 0-0 369 0 NR 20/20
21 Kentucky 0-0 353 0 NR 21/21
22 Cincinnati 0-0 339 0 NR 22/22
23 Arkansas 0-0 334 0 NR 23/23
24 Mississippi 0-0 327 0 NR 24/24
25 Houston 0-0 257 0 NR 25/25
Others receiving votes: Iowa 248; Penn State 246; Tennessee 163; Brigham Young 152; Louisiana State 143; Auburn 98; Central Florida 55; North Carolina 34; San Diego State 25; Fresno State 21; Mississippi State 19; Florida 17; Utah State 12; Air Force 12; UCLA 10; Boise State 10; Appalachian State 10; Minnesota 6; South Carolina 5; Kansas State 4; Iowa State 3; Army 3; UL Lafayette 2; Southern Methodist 2; Purdue 2; Oregon State 2; Coastal Carolina 2; Texas-San Antonio 1; Louisville 1; Florida State 1.

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