Here are five bold predictions for the 2022 season:
The new college football season is nearly here, and the hot take machine is in full effect on every website, blog, and message board on Al Gore's internet. That said, let's get to some bold predictions for this season. Some may happen, and some may not. Fortune rewards the bold, and here are five bold predictions for the college football season.
5. Jackson State runs the table on its way to the Celebration Bowl
Not only will the Jackson State Tigers win the SWAC, but they will also do so on their way to an undefeated season. This bold prediction has little to do with signing Travis Hunter. Frankly, a defensive back is not the value add to a team that an offensive skill player or an EDGE rusher is defensively. No, the Tigers go undefeated because of what head coach Deon Sanders and the staff have done in the trenches.
Jackson State added Louisiana transfer Tyler Brown and Florida Atlantic transfer Devin "Deebo" Hayes along their offensive line. Defensively, Miller Coynis and Gaddy Niles return. The Tigers could have the best offensive/defensive line combination in the SWAC.
4. Baylor repeats as Big 12 Champions
Everyone is talking about Texas because of a player (Arch Manning) who likely won't see the field unit 2025 and Oklahoma because they are, well, Oklahoma. However, no one talks about last season's Big 12 Champion, the Baylor Bears. There are a lot of reasons to like the Bears again this season.
Despite losing six players to the NFL Draft (two additional players are in camps), Dave Arranda and his staff have built an impressive two-deep roster. Specifically, Baylor has veterans all over their two-deep. They are experienced where it counts, in the trenches. Expect to see the Bears bully the rest of the Big 12 this season.
3. Utah, not USC, wins the Pac 12
There are some things in college football that you learn to trust. Wisconsin churns out great running backs. Notre Dame produces great offensive linemen. Start trusting that Utah will always have a great defense under head coach Kyle Whittingham. USC has all the fancy new toys under new head coach Lincoln Riley, but it is hard to trust that offensive line, and the defensive line looks to be without 5-star stand-out Korey Foreman once again.
Running back, Tavion Thomas is back for the Utes, as is quarterback Cameron Rising. There is no offense in the Pac 12 (including USC) that will have much success against the Utes. Utah could have the best o-line/d-line combination in the conference.
2. Clemson returns to the College Football Playoff
Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State are this season's frontrunners for the College Football Playoff. Which team gets the fourth seed? Why not Clemson? Despite the worst quarterback play in the conference and injuries on both sides of the football, the Tigers won ten games for the eleventh straight season.
The defensive line should be one of the best units in the country and the best in the ACC. There are options at quarterback if DJ Uiagelelei does not play well, and Will Shipley/Kobe Pace is one of the best running back duos in the country. Don't be surprised if Clemson returns to the playoff this postseason.
1. Scott Frost gets fired mid-season
The Nebraska Cornhuskers were billed as "The Best 3-9 team in college football" after last season. If they were so much better than their record, why the need to turn things over? Mark Whipple comes in from Pitt to take over the offense, and Adrian Martinez is off to Kansas State.
The two most pressing questions for Nebraska are, can they block, and who is the playmaker? This roster is not very good, and if Frost struggles early, he could be gone mid-season. His buyout drops 50% after October 1, something to keep in mind.