The sport you know and love is changing quickly. Change came quickly, and without warning, through the transfer portal and NIL. Before that, the College Football Playoff system and a huge infusion of television money sent us on this path.
Still, we will continue to love Saturdays. We will still root for our home team, our alma maters, and underdogs. Waking up to a full Saturday slate is still one of the greatest moments of the year.
Here are some things I will be looking for in 2022.
The 2021 season did not produce many standouts at the quarterback position. That will not be the case this year. There was only one quarterback selected in the top 73 picks in the 2022 NFL draft. That will not be the case next spring.
Ohio State has C.J. Stroud and Alabama has Bryce Young, Both are the top two favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. And there are other signal callers who will catch the eyes of NFL scouts.
Caleb Williams should emerge at USC. Tyler Van Dyke may win Player of the Year at Miami. Dillion Gabriel takes over at Oklahoma and will be heard from.
Another storyline for me concerns Georgia. Can the Bulldogs make another run at a national title. Georgia had an elite defense in 2021 and ended up having 15 players taken in the NFL draft, The Bulldogs are ranked third in the country heading into the season, behind only Alabama and Ohio State.
Will the same handful of schools battle for the four national championship playoffs? History says a combination of Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame will make the four team playoff. Can we get a surprise or two like we did last year with Michigan and Cincinnati? If so, I like Utah, USC,, and Oklahoma State to make a run.
I always pick the best games of the year that are must-see TV for college football fans. Here are a few for this fall.
Ohio State and Notre Dame play this weekend. The Buckeyes’ loaded offense will welcome Notre Dame to town to begin the season, and the spread is two touchdowns. Marcus Freeman’s first regular season game as Notre Dame’s coach will be a true test.
Alabama plays Texas A&M on October 8th. Nick Saban vs. Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies won last year and the Crimson Tide will have revenge on their minds. And remember, these two coaches do not like each other.
Utah and USC square off on October 15. Both have the talent to make the playoffs. They will dominate the Pac-12. The winner of this game has a shot for a berth. Speaking of Utah, the Utes will be the surprise team of the year.
While talking of surprises, let me close by saying that freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik could become a household name in the ACC. Clemson’s five-star true freshman QB enrolled early, and he is likely to be a fascinating piece to the Tigers’ puzzle on offense. The moment D.J. Uiagalelei struggles the chants for Klubnik will begin. Although he hasn’t thrown a pass yet, he’s still 60-1 to win the Heisman. Stay tuned.