College Football 2021-22 Season Outlook
College football starts on Saturday, August 28. While the playoff committee comes to terms with playoff expansion, College football continues to move forward and anticipate favorites to reach the top. Alabama is the defending champions as they knocked off Ohio State. Clemson and Notre Dame finish in their respective #3 and #4 rankings. With the game returning to a full schedule and with fans, here is an outlook per conference on the favorites:
Cincinnati Bearcats (9-1) only lost against Georgia 24-21 at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Star Duo Threat QB Desmond Ridder (Senior) threw a career-high 2,445 yards of passing and rushed 150 times, gaining 572 yards.
The Bearcats seek to win the AAC and start the season in the top ten rankings. With their elite defense, which allowed the fewest points against their opponents in the conference, expect the team to repeat.
Another school that can challenge Cincinnati is Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.
Notre Dame won the ACC conference. Now that they return to being independent, Clemson is the favorite to win the conference. The Tigers have a demanding schedule with their first game against the University of Georgia. D.J. Uiagalelei will be the starting Quarterback. He did well as he filled in for Trevor Lawrence. However, it is now his time to shine. RB Will Putnam gets the start.
A sleeper schools - North Carolina, Miami, and Virginia.
Iowa State made a massive surprise despite a short season. RB Breece Hall is a potential Heisman candidate and is hopeful that the running game and the defense can stop Oklahoma Sooners.
Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (RS Sophomore) had an impressive first year and repeated with head coach Lincoln Riley. Although Iowa State won in their first meeting, the Sooners defeated the Cyclones in the Big 12 Championship.
Both schools should be in the top ten rankings, favorable for the Sooners to win the conference.
Ohio State (7-1) politically made it to the National Championship. There will be no excuses with a full schedule. However, I would not expect the Buckeyes to win the conference this season. QB J.C. Stroud is expected to start this season, and there will be new faces in the starting lineup.
Head Coach of Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald had his team prepared. Despite losing to Michigan State, and Ohio State, their players, have returned with Johnson Hunter (QB) leading the offense.
Another team to consider will be Wisconsin. Graham Mertz had a fabulous season as a Quarterback. I would expect him to continue to be talked about, especially for the Heisman. Danny Davis, Kendric Pryor are Seniors in the Wide Receiver positions. The Pro-Style offense can evolve into something spectacular.
The sleeper team will be Penn State, which had an unprecedented season.
Marshall Thundering Herd had a great 2020 season. Although they finished 7-3, the team was interrupted with postponement and cancelations. Marshall defeated Appalachian State and won 7 straight games. The losses to Rice, UAB, and Buffalo were deep as they dealt with the pandemic. Could Marshall make a strong run? The team has veteran offensive linemen, but Grant Wells is expected to start, a Red Shirt Freshman.
UAB has their starters returning. Tyler Johnston III is entering his fifth year and seeks to win another conference championship.
Notre Dame will have a challenging task to reach the top four in the rankings. BYU may crumble, and Army may finish the season between the rankings 20-25.
Buffalo made a lot of noise with their awesome ground game. Jaret Patterson rushed 409 yards in one game and drafted to the Washington Football Team. The Ohio Bobcats, led by QB Kurtis Rourke look favorable statistically, but other teams are Ball State and Miami (OH).
Mountain West Conference
San Jose State seeks to repeat and remain undefeated in the conference. They finished 6-0. How about the 12-0 season? QB Nick Starkel is a graduate transfer from Arkansas and Texas A&M. His experience in the SEC will help guide the team for success.
The conference is open to all teams. If Oregon can get past Ohio State, expect them to win the conference. Many will choose USC but let's be honest - USC lucked out in their games with last-second victories on Arizona State, Arizona, and UCLA.
Oregon has defeated USC two consecutive games.
Alabama and Georgia have a more significant advantage than any teams in the conference. However, that is if they win all their games. Georgia finally found their starting QB in JT Daniels. But can he lead the team and win over Clemson?
Texas A&M believes that they can knock out Alabama and be playoff contenders. Ole Miss and LSU can play spoiler alert, but they seem to have mishaps in managing their athletes healthy.
- Texas A&M
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