Northwestern college football rankings: Wildcats ranked No. 22 in USA Today Coaches Poll

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

We don't know about you, but the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling 22.

Get ready for those little numbers next to Northwestern's name this season: the Wildcats begin the season ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll, at No. 22.

It's a little bit of a drop from the end of last season, when Northwestern was ranked No. 16, which is kinda weird based on the fact that nothing about this team has changed since last year, but it also generally makes sense: NU should be ranked after a 10-3 year, but the top 15 would really be overvaluing them based on what we know.

Looking around the B1G, NU is the third of three ranked teams from the Legends Division, but Michigan (No. 18) and Nebraska (No. 19) aren't considered wayyyyy better. As expected, Northwestern's two big cross-division opponents are ranked, with Ohio State up at No. 2 and Wisconsin at No. 23 -- just a tad below the Wildcats, which may or may not be accurate.

Here's more analysis:

And the full rankings:

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS RANK
1 Alabama (58) 13-1 1545 1
2 Ohio St. (3) 12-0 1427 NR
3 Oregon 12-1 1397 2
4 Stanford 12-2 1262 6
5 Georgia 12-2 1250 4
6 Texas A&M (1) 11-2 1215 5
7 South Carolina 11-2 1136 7
8 Clemson 11-2 1047 9
9 Louisville 11-2 1010 13
10 Florida 11-2 930 10
11 Notre Dame 12-1 872 3
12 Florida St. 12-2 844 8
13 LSU 10-3 797 12
14 Oklahoma St. 8-5 726 NR
15 Texas 9-4 622 18
16 Oklahoma 10-3 620 15
17 Michigan 8-5 589 NR
18 Nebraska 10-4 426 23
19 Boise St. 11-2 420 14
20 TCU 7-6 400 NR
21 UCLA 9-5 202 NR
22 Northwestern 10-3 186 16
23 Wisconsin 8-0 172 NR
24 USC 7-6 165 NR
25 Oregon St. 9-4 135 19
Schools Dropped Out
No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).
Others Receiving Votes
Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.

Gonna be an exciting year, y'all.

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