National Championship Picks, Conference Championship Picks, Win Totals, Heisman Picks, and more for the 2022 College Football season
The time is finally upon us, the start of the 2022 college football season is here. Week 0 is less than a week away and you are probably realizing you haven’t placed any futures for the season yet. Not to worry, this preview will take you through all 5 power five conferences, picking a winner for each, and talking about some of the players and teams you need to keep an eye on.
All lines posted are accurate as of time of writing per BetMGM.
The sportsbooks consider the National Championship a three team race with Alabama +190, Ohio State +320, and Georgia +350 the favorites to win it all. The odds significantly increase after that with Clemson sitting at +1200 and USC at +2000. If you don’t want to listen to me go on about why Alabama and Ohio State are the best teams in the country then go ahead and skip to the Conference Champions section. It’s true though, no matter how I look at this season I can’t envision seeing anyone other than Alabama or Ohio State lifting the trophy. Alabama returns last years Heisman winning quarterback in Bryce Young as well as five other starters on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, they return 2021 Nagurski Award (Best Defensive Player) winner Will Anderson. Anderson is a 2022 Heisman candidate and likely top 10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Despite losing their top running back and top two receivers from last year, Alabama is poised once again to contend for its 19th national championship. Its chalky for sure, but I can’t deny the value anytime you can get Alabama at almost 2/1 to win the national championship. They’ll have a chip on their shoulder this year after losing to Georgia in January. Pick: Alabama to win the National Championship +190.
The second favorite to win it all in 2022 is of course the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes, known for their explosive offenses, seem primed for another dominate season on the offensive side of the ball. The Buckeyes return 3 legitimate Heisman candidates in CJ Stroud (QB), TreVeyon Henderson (RB), and Jaxson Smith-Njigba (WR). On defense, Ohio State returns eight starters from 2021 and will field Top 25 defensive lines and secondaries in 2022. They also draw a fairly easy road schedule, only playing at Michigan State, at Penn State, at Northwestern, and at Maryland. I expect Ohio State to run the table in the regular season, win the Big Ten Championship, and enter the CFB Playoff 13-0 alongside Alabama. Pick: Ohio State to win the National Championship +320.
If you’re worried this “preview” was just going to be me recapping the favorites, not to worry. If you’re looking for some more value for your National Championship ticket, take a look at the 2021 Rose Bowl winner, Utah Utes. Many people write off the Pac-12 when talking about the best teams/conferences in college football, but Kyle Whittingham’s Utes are not to be overlooked. Last year the Utes stumbled early in the year, but after switching to Cameron Rising they ended the year 9-1 in Pac-12 play and finished the year #12 in the AP Poll losing to the highly touted Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl. The Utes return 14 starters from that Rose Bowl team including junior quarterback, Cameron Rising. Utah also returns 1,000 yard rusher Tavion Thomas, tight end Brant Kuithe, and a typically strong O-Line. Utah has always bolstered strong defenses under Whittingham. They lose their best defensive player in Devin Lloyd but return six other starters and also bring in Florida’s top tackler in 2021, Mohamoud Diabate, at linebacker. Utah will be strong in 2022 and has very real potential to run the table in the Pac-12 and make the playoff. Pick: Utah to win the National Championship +5000.
The SEC is once again a two horse race between Alabama and Georgia. Alabama has already been featured above as a National Championship contender so I would be remised if I did not mention them as contenders for the SEC Championship. At -140, its a little juicy but looking at Alabama’s personnel, its hard not to see them winning the SEC for the third year in a row. Alabama plays conference road games against Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, and Ole Miss, all of which will be tough but all of which Bama should be well over double digit favorites in. Alabama also heads to Austin September 10 to face Texas. This will be a tough early road test but Nick Saban will no doubt have his guys ready to go at kickoff. Pick: Alabama to win the SEC -140.
My “underdog” pick for this conference, if you can even call it an underdog at +150, is the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia are the defending National Champions but lost their best receiver in George Pickens to the draft. They also lose their two leading rushers from 2021 in Zamir White and James Cook. Georgia reloads their backfield with sophomore Kendall Milton, junior Kenny McIntosh, and #1 freshman running back recruit, Branson Robinson. Georgia will also field a top 5 offensive line in the country, returning three starters from last year. Quarterback, Stetson Bennett, also returns for his senior season. Question marks surrounded Stetson entering the 2021 season, but finishing the season fourth in passing efficiency en route to a National Championship elevated many of those concerns heading into this year. On defense, Georgia loses nine starters as well as its DC Dan Lanning (HC at Oregon) but should still field one of the top units in the country. Georgia played 3 deep at almost every defensive position last year so they are not as inexperienced as they seem on paper. Georgia opens the season in Atlanta versus Oregon and also plays conference road games at South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi State, Kentucky, and of course against Florida in Jacksonville. Georgia will be favored in every game until they likely meet Alabama in Atlanta at the end of the year. Georgia finally broke the Alabama curse last year, now can they do it in Atlanta to win their first conference championship since 2017? Pick: Georgia to win the SEC +150
The Tennessee Volunteers are going to be Georgia’s biggest test in the SEC East. Tennessee broke the school’s all time scoring record last year averaging 39.3 points per game. Eight starters return from that offense including leading rusher Jabari Small, 1,000 yard receiver Cedric Tillman, and starting quarterback Hendon Hooker. Hooker was a freshman transfer (from Virginia Tech) last year and had to split time with Michigan transfer, Joe Milton. Hooker threw 12 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his first 5 starts after Joe Milton got injured. Hooker comes into this season comfortable in Josh Heupel’s system and a weight off his shoulders knowing the job will be his to lose. For the Volunteers, I want to take a look at their win total of 8. I like the over at this number and price and here’s why. I see 6 sure wins and 2 sure losses when looking at Tennessee’e schedule. I expect the Volunteers to beat Ball State at home Week 1, Akron at home, Florida at home, UT Martin at home, Missouri at home, and at Vanderbilt at the end of the year. Their two losses will come versus Alabama and at Georgia. That leaves 4 games that Tennessee has to go at least 2-2 in. Those games are at Pittsburgh, at LSU, at home against Kentucky, and at South Carolina. I like their chances to get at least 2 in those games and I see it most likely happening at home against Kentucky October 29 and at South Carolina November 19. This Tennessee team is going to be explosive on offense and if they can somehow steal on in Athens November 5, they could see themselves in Atlanta playing for the SEC Championship. Pick: Tennessee o8 wins -105.
One of the most interesting teams in the SEC this year is South Carolina. The Gamecocks bring in Oklahoma transfer, Spencer Rattler, at quarterback. It seems the entire country is waiting with bated breath to see if Spencer Rattler can return to the quarterback that was once the consensus #1 quarterback coming out of High School in 2019. South Carolina’s biggest struggle last year came at the quarterback position as they were plagued all year with injuries and inconsistent play. Shane Beamer is hoping Spencer Rattler is the answer to those problems. The Gamecocks return 14 total starters from their 7-6 2021 team. The Gamecocks win total currently sits at 6.5 and is juiced to the under. I’m gonna take a shot here on the Gamecocks. I think this team returns a lot of talent and even if Spencer Rattler is not the QB of old, he should still be significantly better than what USC had last year. I see 5 likely wins for the Gamecocks against Georgia State, Charlotte, South Carolina State, Missouri, and at Vanderbilt. That leaves 7 games for them to get 2 wins. Those 7 games include home games against Georgia, Texas A&M, and Tennessee and road games against Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, and Clemson. For a team with as much returning talent as the Gamecocks, and a name like Spencer Rattler at quarterback, I’m willing to take a shot on the Gamecocks win total over at plus money. Pick: South Carolina o6.5 wins +115
The Mississippi State Bulldogs return a lot of talent on both sides of the football in 2022. In 2021 this team began and ended with Will Rogers and the same will likely be true for this year. However, Mississippi State should have an improved and more experienced offensive line and they will also sport one of the SEC’s most underrated backfields with Dillon Johnson and Jo’quavious Marks. Will Rogers loses his favorite receiving target from last year, but Jaden Walley and Austin Williams both return. Mike Leach also went out and got Justin Robinson (Georgia) and Jordan Mosley (Northwestern) in the transfer portal. The defense returns 9 starters including 11 of its top 14 tacklers from 2021. This Bulldogs team looks to be the most talented and experienced team Mike Leach has had yet and they are poised to improve upon their 7-6 record from last year. I see wins from Mississippi State at home against Memphis, on the road against Arizona, and at home against East Tennessee State. They also play Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Auburn all at home. I expect them to get at two wins from those three games which puts the Bulldogs at 5 wins. This means the Bulldogs will have to get 2 wins from the following games: at LSU, at Kentucky, at home against Georgia, and at Ole Miss. You gotta pay the juice at -125, but I like this Mississippi State team and can’t see them having regression from last year. Pick: Mississippi State o6.5 wins -125.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are perennial favorites to win the National Championship because they have the best coach with the best players. Sometimes, it’s just that simple. Alabama has not lost more than 2 games since 2010 and has not missed a bowl game since 2003. What Alabama has done over the last 20 years is something that hasn’t been seen in any American sport. Because of this, the odds for Alabama are generally ridiculous because there are gobs of public money coming in on them every year. Example A and B of this can be seen above with the prices for Alabama to win the National Championship and the SEC. If you’re looking to bet Alabama but don’t want to deal with the chalk, you can play their win total over 11.5 at +110. Alabama has not lost regular season games in back to back seasons since 2014 and 2015. Last year Alabama lost on the road to Texas A&M. This year, I expect no slip ups from a team returning its Heisman winning quarterback and best defensive player in the country. Alabama gets Texas A&M and Auburn at home and has to play road games at Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. The SEC is never a cake walk, but Alabama seems primed to coast into the SEC Championship 12-0. Pick: Alabama o11.5 wins +110.
It’s Ohio State and everyone else. That has been the moniker of the Big Ten for the last decade. Last year, Michigan finally put an end to the Buckeyes reign and secured Harbaugh his first victory over the rival since he was hired back in 2015. It seems as though that Michigan team was one of destiny. Fielding one of the country’s best defenses Michigan lost a lot of talent to the draft and transfer portal in the offseason including #2 overall draft pick Aiden Hutchinson who was the heart and soul of the Michigan team that made it to its first CFB Playoff. Heading into 2022, Ohio State looks unstoppable and poised to dominate the Big Ten on its way to its fifth CFB Playoff appearance. The Buckeyes sit at -225 to win the Big Ten which is far too juicy for me. If you’re looking to make a play on the Big Ten winner I would look at Michigan at 6/1, Wisconsin at 12/1 and Nebraska at 18/1 but I personally won’t be making a play on this conference. Instead I am going to take the Buckeyes over 11 wins at -130. I expect this team to roll through its schedule and finish 12-0 at the end of the year. Worst case scenario, they drop a game and the bet pushes but there is no way I can see the Buckeyes losing 2 games to lose the bet. Ohio State’s toughest games will be to start the year versus Notre Dame, at Michigan State and Penn State in October, and of course Michigan to end the year which they get at home. Ohio State will likely be double digit favorites in all 12 of its games this year. They will also field one of the best offense in the country that will feature 3 Heisman candidates. CJ Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, and Jaxson Smith-Njigba should keep the offense running like a well oiled machine while the defense also gets an improvement with DC Jim Knowles coming over from Oklahoma State. Pick: Ohio State o11 wins -130.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers were 0-9 in one possession games in 2021. To make things even worse, Nebraska is 5-20 in one score games since Scott Frost became HC. That is almost unfathomable, but it tells me that the Cornhuskers are due for some serious positive regression. In 2021, Nebraska outscored opponents 28-23 on a per game average. They also outgunned opponents by 82 ypg. Despite this, the Cornhuskers were still a disappointing 3-9. In addition to their 9 one possession losses, Nebraska also had wins by 45, 25, and 49 points including a 56-7 beatdown of conference rival Northwestern. For Nebraska, I see 6 games I’m comfortable giving them the victory in. Those games are at home against North Dakota, Georgia Southern, Indiana, Illinois and on the road against Rutgers and Purdue. I would give them the win in Week 1 against Northwestern, but that game will be played in Dublin, Ireland and nothing spells a chaotic college football game like a Week 0 college football game across the pond. I expect Nebraska to lose at home against Oklahoma but that will not be an easy game for the Sooners. Assuming all that happens that leaves a 4 game gauntlet at the end of the year that Nebraska could very well be 6-2 or 7-1 heading into. In November the Cornhuskers will play at home against Minnesota, travel to Ann Arbor to play the Wolverines, Wisconsin at home, and then at Iowa to end the year. It’s a difficult stretch for sure but none of those games will be write offs for the Cornhuskers. I said earlier I would take a look at Nebraska to win the Big Ten if you’re looking for longer odds than what the books are offering on Ohio State, but for this article I am going to stick to their win total. Nebraska is due and I don’t know about you, but I want to be on the right side of history when the Scott Frost of old returns. Pick: Nebraska o7.5 wins -115.
The Maryland Terrapins went 7-6 last year under Mike Locksley. This year, for Locksley’s third season, they return 16 starters including junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa’s health is going to be a concern as a Maryland quarterback has only started every game 2 years in a row three times in the last 17 years. The offensive line allowed 25 sacks last year but they return all of its starters. This year the offensive line will be the deepest and most experiences Taulia has gotten to play behind. Five of the six losses Maryland had last year were against ranked teams. A more talented and experienced Maryland team should help them break their 10 game losing streak to ranked opponents. I see 6 sure wins for Maryland, which would push the bet of over 6 wins. Maryland opens the year at home against Buffalo and SMU and on the road against Charlotte. That should be a 3-0 start. In Big Ten play, I see Maryland beating Purdue, Northwestern, and Rutgers all at home. That leaves Michigan State and Ohio State at home and road games against Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Penn State for them to get one more win. Pick: Maryland o6 wins +100.
The ACC is one of the most intriguing conferences in college football this year. Question marks surround Clemson after a disappointing 2021 season. Both sides of the conference appear to be wide open. The ACC also features some of the best quarterbacks in the country in Tyler Van Dyke (Miami), Devin Leary (NC State), Brennan Armstrong (Virginia), Phil Jurkovec (Boston College), and Sam Hartman (Wake Forest). I will preview 4 teams that I think have a strong shot at winning the ACC.
Despite a down year in 2021, the Clemson Tigers were not as bad as many people made them out to be. Clemson’s defense was phenomenal, not allowing a touchdown in its first Clemson finished the year 10-3 with losses to Georgia, the National Champions, at Pitt, who won the ACC, and at NC State. None of those are bad losses, but for a team who’s expectations are playoff or bust, the season was one to throw away. DJ Uiagalelei needs to have a big 2022 campaign and things seem to be off on the right foot. Many are reporting DJ is coming into this season in the best shape of his life. Reports are that he lost anywhere from 10-25 pounds from the end of last year to now. Clemson had to do a full coaching overhaul heading into the 2022 season as they lost both coordinators, the offensive line coach, and the athletic director. If you think Clemson will bounce back this year, their win total is very enticing. It currently sits at 10.5 with the over priced at +110. Clemson is also the favorite at -145 to win the ACC. It’s chalky for sure but Clemson’s toughest games will be at Notre Dame and at home against NC State and Miami. They also face tough conference road games against Wake Forest, Boston College, and Florida State. I like this Clemson team, and I especially like their defensive line which should be on of the best in the country yet again. The Notre Dame game scares me away from the win total but even if Clemson goes 10-2 this year, I can only see them dropping one conference game at most. Clemson should once again return to the top spot in the ACC. Pick: Clemson to win the ACC -145.
Now that the chalk is out of the way, lets get into the fun stuff. I love the ACC this year because there are a lot of teams with legitimate shots to win the conference at some pretty long prices. The NC State Wolfpack return 17 starters this year including quarterback, Devin Leary. They will feature a great defense including one of the most experienced secondaries in the country. All four starters will return for 2022 including 1st Team ACC Safety, Tanner Ingle. The linebacking core is loaded too. The Wolfpack will get Payton Wilson and Isaiah Moore back from injuries and 2021 leading tackler, Drake Thomas, also returns. NC State is also the only ACC team to return their entire coaching staff which should give them an advantage against their completion early on who may still be adjusting to new schemes. NC State has all the makings of a team that can go 10-2 and knock off Clemson in the Atlantic. NC State opens the year at East Carolina before heading home for four straight games against Charleston Southern, Texas Tech, and UConn. East Carolina on the road is a tricky opening game but the Wolfpack should handle business and head into the Clemson game in October 4-0. I also see conference wins for NC State against Florida State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Boston College all at home. That gives you 8 wins with “toss up” games at Clemson, at Syracuse, at Louisville, and at North Carolina to end the year. I love the NC State win total at over 8.5 and I will also take a shot at NC State to win the ACC at 7/1. Pick: NC State o8.5 wins -160, NC State to win the ACC +700.
Now heading over to the Coastal division, I see two clear choices for ACC winner tickets here: Miami at 6/1 and Pitt at 9/1. Let’s start with Miami. The Hurricanes replace Manny Diaz at head coach with former Oregon HC, Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes went 7-5 last year with Diaz including a Cheez-It Bowl loss too Oklahoma State by 3. Despite their record, Miami was only a handful of plays away from having a 10-2 season instead. Miami will feature one of the best quarterbacks in the country with Tyler Van Dyke as well as an offensive line that is hopefully improved from last year. Miami returns 3 OL starters and Cristobal said he was pleasantly surprised by the talent he had to work with. Poor tackling plagued Miami’s defense last year but new DC Kevin Steele is hoping to change that. A big, physical defensive line should help Miami stay in control of the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. I see 8 sure wins from Miami in games against Bethune-Cookman, Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, at Virginia Tech, at Virginia, and at Georgia Tech. That means Miami will have to go 1-2 at Texas A&M, at Clemson, and at home against Pitt. The Hurricanes are looking dangerous this year with talent on both sides of the ball. Pick: Miami o8.5 wins -135, Miami to win the ACC +600.
Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt Panthers are coming off an 11-3 2021 campaign that earned them an ACC Championship and a New Year’s Six Bowl berth. On offense, they return 8 starters (including all 5 offensive lineman) but lose quarterback, Kenny “Small Hands” Pickett, Fred Blietnikoff Award winner (Best Receiver), Jordan Addison, and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. They replace Pickett with USC transfer, Kedon Slovis. On defense, Pitt will have on of the best defensive lines in the country with senior Deslin Alexandre (2021 HM All-ACC), juniors Habakkuk Baldonaldo (2021 2nd Team All-ACC) and Tyler Bentley, and sophomore Calijah Kancey (2021 1st Team All-ACC). I have Pitt projected to win against West Virginia, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Duke, and on the road against Western Michigan and Virginia. That means Pitt will have to go 1-3 on the road against Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, and at home against Tennessee. The Panthers return 15 starters overall and have a great shot to repeat as ACC Champions despite the loss of Kenny Pickett. Pick: Pitt o8.5 wins -115, Pitt to win the ACC +900.
The Louisville Cardinals have been one of the most volatile ACC teams in the past 5 years. In 2017, the Cardinals were 8-5 before dropping to 2-10 in 2018. In 2019, the Cardinals were back above .500, finishing 8-5, but have not had a winning season since going 4-7 and 6-7 in the two years following. Louisville was 0-4 last year in one possession games which is a strong indicator that they will have some positive regression coming into 2022. Entering the 2022 season, the success of this team lies solely on the shoulders of senior quarterback, Malik Cunningham. The offense should be more explosive this year since the Cardinals return their top 3 leading rushers and top receiver from 2021. They also bring in transfer running back Tiyon Evans from Tennessee and former Miami receiver Dee Wiggins. On defense, Louisville returns 7 starters and bring in 8 new players from the transfer portal. If Malik plays all 12 games, Louisville could be contending for the Atlantic Division bid to the ACC Championship. I see Louisville getting 6 wins at home against Florida State, USF, Wake Forest, James Madison, and on the road against Boston College and Virginia. That means Louisville will have to get one win from their games at Syracuse, at UCF, at home against Pitt, at Clemson, at home against NC State, and at Kentucky. A healthy Malik Cunningham should bring Louisville back above the .500 mark. Pick: Louisville o6.5 wins +105.
The Big 12 might be the most wide open conference in the country. There is a very real possibility we see a team in the Big 12 Championship with 2-3 conference losses. Oklahoma and Texas top the sportsbooks with the shortest odds to win the Big 12. Despite losing Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams to USC, Oklahoma still enters the 2022 season as the class of the Big 12. To replace Riley, Oklahoma brings in former Clemson DC, Brent Venables. Venables is one of the best defensive minds in college football and inherits a lot of talent on that side of the ball. Despite having only 5 returning starters on defense, the unit should be improved from its disappointing season in 2021. On offense, the Sooners bring in UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel at quarterback. Gabriel’s best season came in 2019 under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and he is reunited with his old coordinator this year at Oklahoma. The offense should be just as explosive if not more so than they were last year. Oklahoma gets both Baylor and Oklahoma State at home and will likely be favored in all 12 regular season games. Their toughest road test comes October 1 against TCU. The Sooners are a team that cannot be counted out of the Big 12 or the CFB Playoff. Pick: Oklahoma to win the Big 12 +200.
Salt Lake City is filled with anticipation heading into 2022. The Utah Utes were right on the cusp of a playoff appearance in 2019 before losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game and if it weren’t for a couple early road losses they would’ve been right there again in 2021. This year, Utah is coming off a 10-4 season and a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State. Utah returns 14 starters and enters the year a favorite to win the Pac-12 again. Utah is one of my favorite dark horses for the National Championship this year (as mentioned above). They’re +225 to win the Pac-12 and their win total is set at 9. Both are these are must plays for me with emphasis on the win total. USC is getting all the buzz entering the year with their additions of Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams from Oklahoma, I just don’t see it yet. The Trojans will be a playoff contender in the future, but I don’t see it happening this year. Plus, Utah gets to play the Trojans in Salt Lake City. I see 9 wins I’m comfortable giving Utah off the bat. Those games are at home against Southern Utah, San Diego State, Oregon State, Arizona, Stanford, and on the road against Arizona State, UCLA, Washington State, and Colorado. That pushes the bet and leaves at Florida, at Oregon, and at home against USC to get one more win. This Utah team is going to be dangerous and I see them with a legitimate shot at a 12-0 season. Pick: Utah to win the Pac-12 +225, Utah o9 wins -120.
One of my favorite ways to bet conference champion futures is taking a team from both divisions. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to sit back and relax in November holding a pre-season ticket for both teams in the championship. I like this strategy for the Pac-12. Out of the North, I am going to take Oregon. The Ducks bring in Dan Lanning, former Georgia DC, as their new head coach. In addition, Auburn transfer, Bo Nix, will play quarterback. Oregon returns 8 offensive starters including on of the most experienced o-lines in the country. Oregon can go three deep at any offensive position but will have limited experience with no junior or senior running backs or receivers. This year’s Ducks defense should be improved thanks to 7 returning starters and the help of Dan Lanning who fielded the best defense in college football last year. Oregon also plays one of the easiest schedules in the Pac-12 because they do not have to play USC and get Utah at home. Oregon has a relatively easy path to the Pac-12 Championship through the North. I’m confident giving them 9 wins with 3 toss up games. That would cash the win total of over 8.5. I see Oregon beating Eastern Washington, BYU, Washington State, Stanford, Arizona, UCLA, Cal, Colorado, and Oregon State. That leaves Georgia at a neutral site in Atlanta Week 1, and Washington and Utah at home at the end of the year. This Oregon team should be 9-3 at worst come November. Pick: Oregon to win the Pac-12 +300, Oregon o8.5 wins -130.
The Washington Huskies were one of the most surprising teams in 2021…in terms of how bad they were. The Huskies went 4-8 last year, their first season below .500 since 2009. This year, the Huskies enter the year with a new energy being head coaching hire Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer should fix the offensive struggles the Huskies suffered last year. To help with that, Kalen brings in his 2019 quarterback at Indiana, Michael Penix. The offense also returns eight starters including 2021 leading receiver, Jalen McMillan. The Huskies are not as bad as their 4-8 record showed last year. The offense should be rejuvenated under DeBoer and the Huskies also avoid having to play Utah or USC. Their conference road games will be at UCLA, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, and Washington State. I expect them to beat Arizona State, Cal, and Washington State (3 wins). At home they’ll play Kent State, Portland State, Michigan State, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon State, Colorado, all but possibly Michigan State I think will be wins. That’s 9 wins, and their win total is set at 7.5. A lot of people are down on the Huskies after their disappointing 2021 campaign, but I think Washington backers were just a year early to the party. Pick: Washington o7.5 wins -125.
The Colorado Buffaloes missed a bowl game for the first time in Karl Dorrell’s coaching career last year. 2022 will likely be no different. Talent wise, the Buffaloes are bottom tier in the Pac-12. They will also have a new offensive coordinator this year and they lose five of their top seven tacklers from last season. In addition to a lack in talent, the Buffs play a treacherous schedule. Their non-conference games are at home against TCU and at Air Force and Minnesota. That’s the first 3 weeks. They also draw arguably the six toughest teams in the Pac-12 this year with Utah, USC, Oregon, Washington, UCLA, and Oregon State (all of which are on the road except UCLA, Oregon, and Utah). I could see Colorado winning 3 games this year, and that’s being extremely generous. Prepare for disappointment yet again in Boulder. Pick: Colorado u3.5 wins -190.
Entering the 2022 season, the Heisman favorites are Bryce Young (last years winner) and CJ Stroud. Archie Griffin is still the only player to win the Heisman in back to back seasons (1974-1975) and I don’t anticipate that changing this year. I have 3 picks to win the Heisman and they all are coming out of Ohio State. Ohio State is a top 5 team in the country and has arguably the most explosive offenses in the nation so it’s no surprise they have 3 legitimate candidates. CJ Stroud has some of the best receivers in the country to throw to and one of the best running games behind him. Stroud threw for over 4,000 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2021 and he’s poised to put up even bigger numbers in 2022. Stroud should benefit greatly from his second year in the Ryan Day offense. The best quarterback on the best offense is never a bad choice for winning the Heisman. Pick: CJ Stroud to win the Heisman +200.
If it isn’t Stroud, then it has to be TreVeyon Henderson or Jaxson Smith-Njigba. Last year, TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns…as a true freshman. TreVeyon will likely split votes between Stroud and JSN, but he is no doubt the best back in the country and is in a position to have a Mark Ingram-esque road to the Heisman. As for JSN, Jaxson finished last year with 95 receptions, 1,606 yards, and 9 touchdowns. That was all on a team that also had 1st round draft picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. In the Rose Bowl, without Wilson or Olave, JSN had 15 catches for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. This year, Jaxson is the true #1 receiver and will benefit from having one of the best quarterbacks in the country throwing to him. If you’re worried about a receiver beating out his quarterback for the award, Devonte Smith beat Mac Jones in 2019. Pick: TreVeyon Henderson to win the Heisman +2000, Jaxson Smith-Njigba to win the Heisman +3000.
Alabama to win the College Football National Championship +190
Ohio State to win the College Football National Championship +320
Utah to win the College Football National Championship +5000
Alabama to win the SEC -140
Georgia to win the SEC +150
Tennessee o8 wins -105
South Carolina o6.5 wins +115
Mississippi State o6.5 wins -125
Alabama o11.5 wins +110
Ohio State o11 wins -130
Nebraska o7.5 wins -115
Clemson to win the ACC -145
NC State to win the ACC +700
NC State o8.5 wins -160
Miami (FL) to win the ACC +600
Miami (FL) o8.5 wins -135
Pitt to win the ACC +900
Pitt o8.5 wins -115
Louisville o6.5 wins +105
Oklahoma to win the Big 12 +200
Utah to win the Pac-12 +225
Utah o9 wins -120
Oregon to win the Pac-12 +300
Oregon o8.5 wins -130
Washington o7.5 wins -125
Colorado u3.5 wins -190
CJ Stroud to win the Heisman +200
TreVeyon Henderson to win the Heisman +2000
Jaxson Smith-Njigba to win the Heisman +3000
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