College Football Predictions: A Second Chance for the Experts for the 2022 National Champion, the Playoff Stadium and More

Seven weeks into the 2022 college football season kicking off, let’s just say it didn’t play as expected. One of the most chaotic seasons of the past 15 years is entering the middle of the road with Tennessee, USC, Ole Miss and perhaps even Texas in the College Football Playoff conversation, while programs like Alabama and reigning national champion Georgia don’t always look as impressive as they once were. in the recent past.

While the Bulldogs were the clear No. 1 team in the nation at this point last season, the top spot has yet to be held in 2022. Georgia ranks first in the AP Top 25 and coaches poll, but Ohio State leads the pack in CBS Sports 131 with The Buckeyes are also a +180 favorite for winning the National Championship, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

Arguably Tennessee has the best midway appeal as it was at 6-0 with four wins over the top 25 contender and its first victory over the Alabama contender in 15 seasons. Led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, the Volunteers sit with the nation’s No. 2 attack, averaging 47.7 points per game, as Hooker himself quickly moved into the Heisman Trophy as lead contender (+450) alongside OSU signal caller CJ Stroud (+100).

Besides Georgia, Ohio State, and Tennessee, six other undefeated programs remain halfway: Michigan, Clemson, Ole Miss, TechU, UCLA, and Syracuse. The Horned Frogs are in the midst of a massive first-year transformation under Sonny Dykes, while the Bruins seem to be putting it all together behind Dorian Thompson-Robinson in Year Five with Chip Kelly.

Speaking of the Bruins, it looks like the Pac-12 is going through a bit of a roll as it prepares for the USC and UCLA to leave for the Big Ten. Oregon and Utah bounced back from first-week losses for SEC opponents; They now sit in the top 15 nationally with the formerly undefeated Trojans now hoping to seize power through the rest of their machines after the fall at Utes last week.

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Besides its on-pitch successes, the coaching circuit is already in full swing with five positions open among the Power Five programs (Arizona, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, and Wisconsin) with more job openings expected in the coming weeks.

We at CBS Sports open every season by having our employees crack their selections for college football, National Champion, Coach of the Year, and Heisman Cup winner. But we are human, and we can even make mistakes. There was even a change in our area All-America picks on our mid-season team.

That’s why we’re back in the middle of the season with a batch of expert second-chance picks. Here’s how we think the rest of the 2022 college football season will end.

college football predictions

The first two out

2022 National Champion

Ohio State: I can sit here and list all the reasons why Ohio State crime is elite…but you’re probably already familiar with it. But the catch is that her defense – widely seen as the Achilles heel of last year’s squad – is not only decent, but elite. The Buckeyes ranks among the top 10 defensive yards per game (4.47), 3rd defense down (27.16%), and fewer plays allowed over 10 yards (48). It limits big games and narrows down when it counts – two important factors that lead to defensive success. When you combine that dominance with the explosion of crime on a consistent basis, you have a recipe for a national hero. Ohio State will turn the table in a College Football Playoff game and elevate the elite level of supplemental football to its first national crown since 2014. – Barrett Sally (unanimous employee expectations)


Mid-season coach of the year

Lance Leibold, KS: Four coaches came and chased Mark Mangino in Kansas without getting the Jayhawks in a ball game. Leopold has KU on the cusp of ending that misery with five regular season games remaining. Even if the Kansas finished 5-7 in a seven-game losing streak, he would still serve as a superb coach from Leipold, who led the Jayhawks in the second year to their biggest win since 2009. The past three seasons sum By October 1, when he set the cap initially 5-0 with a victory over Iowa State. Two competitive losses to TCU and Oklahoma amid a shoulder injury to quarterback Jalon Daniels in the past two weeks have not detracted from the remarkable improvement seen so soon under Leibold. David Cobb (also Tom Fornelli, Jerry Palm, and Sheehan Giaraja)

Josh Hubble, Tennessee: Twenty-one months into his 3-7 mess amid the NCAA scandal, Heupel has brought the Volunteers back into the national conversation. In doing so, he developed Heisman Trophy candidate (Hendon Hooker) and the nation’s No. 1 offensive (scoring offense No. 2) who had just scored more points against Alabama (52) than he had conceded in any game since 1907. Oh, and Heupel also commissioned Sports Division A few hundred million in goal posts and quick penalty kicks on the field after the Vols beat Crimson Tide for the first time in 15 years. Dennis Dodd (also Barrett Sally)

Brett Belima, Illinois: In just two years, Belima has brought Illinois back into the top 25 for the first time since 2011. The Fighting Illini has a real chance to compete for the Big Ten West title and finish in 25th place for the first time since 2007. But points are awarded not only for quick turnaround but For how to get the job done, relying on elite defense and overcoming major injury ordeal to keep pace in the division title race. Bret Bielema runs the ball well, plays great defense and is in the mix for some equipment in the Big Ten. looks familiar? – Chip Patterson


Heisman Cup first winner

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio: While Hendon Hooker is making a solid and well-deserved push to win the award after Tennessee’s win over Alabama, Stroud entered the season as Heisman’s MVP and did nothing to stop him from continuing to hold the mantle. He leads the nation in one-mile passing efficiency and is tied with North Carolina’s Drake May on most touchdown passes (24), but Stroud threw it while playing one game less. He also did all this while Ohio State was missing out on the best wide receiver (Jaxon Smith-Njigba) for all but one quarterback. Also, despite Tennessee State’s cool, Stroud plays on the team most likely to remain undefeated and win its conference. Whether this should be important to debate, but we all know it is. – Fornelli (also Dodd, Palm, Patterson, Sally, Cobb)

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee: The Heisman is a narrative bounty, and no one has put together a more compelling novel so far this season than Hooker. Tennessee wasn’t eligible to start the year, but Hooker took his game into the stratosphere. He ranks No. 2 among Power Five’s all-attack players and was the face of the Vols’ unexpected rise to third in the country, their highest rating of the season since 2001. Hooker also has a trump card: the legitimacy of his Heisman moment during which he delivered five hits against Alabama Tennessee outperformed its opponent for the first time since 2006. Vols recovered the ball just 15 seconds into the game and traveled 45 yards onto Hooker’s arm for a 40-yard field goal win. Even if Tennessee loses to Georgia, Hooker’s case is airtight. – Jiargah

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