I'm very excited for the college football season. I would say I really didn't get into college football seriously until 2020. I loved that 2020 season and fell in love with everything college football. Last year, I had a record setting gambling college football season which is another HUGE reason I'm so excited for this year. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING better than waking up and turning on Big Noon Kickoff and listening to the GOAT Gus Johnson.
I decided that this summer I would read some college football 2022 preview magazines to really get myself ready for the season. Last year, I had a pretty solid knowledge of CFB. but the magazines take it to a new level. The magazines really break down every single CFB team by conference, offensively and defensively. Here are a couple of the most interesting things I took away from the magazine.
Also, full credit goes to Brett at Pix Six Previews. He works extremely hard to make these awesome previews for us CFB fanatics and without him I would know nothing about this year's CFB season.
1. No one is beating Bama
This is Bama's year. The one thing that Bama really lacked in 2021 was leadership. They were a fairly young team and lacked someone who they could look up to. With Bryce Young returning to Alabama after winning the Heisman, I expect him to not only mature football skills wise, but I think his overall mentality and leadership skills will be a lot better. Another significant change with the Tide is the addition of former Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton. Burton was second on the Bulldogs with 497 receiving yards and tied for second with 5 receiving touchdowns. Besides Burton, they also added cornerback Eli Ricks from LSU and running back Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech. This season for Alabama eerily reminds me of the 2020 season. Alabama destroyed everyone in 2020 and won the blowing out Ohio State. I think this season will be the exact same national championship.
National Championship Game Prediction:
Ohio State 21
2. NC State is...good?
From reading the previews, it was very clear that NC State was going to be a very solid football team this year. They were good last year, however their bowl game was cancelled and everyone overlooked them. When looking back on it, NC State really gets screwed over a lot with their athletics. Last year, their college baseball team had to withdrawal from the College World Series and their bowl game got cancelled last year. But, I think NC State fans should be really excited about this year's team. NC State QB, Devin Leary is a really solid quarterback and I think he will just keep building on the great year he had last year. However, where NC State really shines is their defense. The NC State defense is ranked 5th in returning production on defense, no one else in the ACC is in the top 50. Their linebacker core is one of the best in the nation with Isaiah Moore, Payton Wilson and Drake Thomas. The biggest concern for them will be health. If there linebackers can stay healthy for the season, this might be the best football team in NC State history.
3. What's going on with the Big Ten?
Big Ten clearly runs through Columbus and it's not close. Ohio State returns 73% (!!) of their roster production this season which is insane considering it is a program that cranks out NFL draft prospects. Leading the offense, quarterback CJ Stroud who is currently the Heisman favorite. I mean he should win the Heisman right??? I might place a future on him winning the Heisman because to me it seems like a no brainer. Ohio State has another Heisman possibilty in WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba who was the Rose Bowl superstar last year.
Their achilles heel last year was defense. So what did they do? Well, they hired one of the nation's top defensive coordinators, Jim Knowels. Knowels will work with corner Denzel Burke and pass rusher Zach Harrison.
Other than Ohio State, the one school that might become an instant fan favorite is Purdue. Veteran QB, Aidan O'Connell is returning, who in my opinion is the second best QB in the Big Ten. I'm going to do a full Big Ten QB rankings below, however I do believe that this Purdue team could be 7-0 heading to Madison on October 22nd. They open their schedule at home against Penn State and have a pretty cupcake schedule. In the east division, they play Maryland and Indiana, both teams who are very very bad.
Big Ten QB Rankings (Top 8)
CJ Stroud, Ohio State
Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland
Peyton Thorne, Michigan State
JJ Mccarthy/Cade McNamara, Michigan
Sean Clifford, Penn State
Casey Thompson, Nebraska
Grahman Mertz, Wisconsin
Everyone else are bums
That's pretty much it. I am so excited. Again, big shoutout to Brett for making the magazine. His hard work is so appreciated and I would literally know nothing about this upcoming season without Pick Six Previews. So, I'm going to leave you with this. Just sit and listen to this video, and think about in just under two months, we will be waking up at 9 AM, sweating overs, and listening to Gus Johnson on the call. Chills.