Last season featured big upsets, like Texas A&M defeating Alabama, with Cincinnati and Michigan making unexpected playoff appearances. After a flurry of offseason moves, 2022 promises to be another exciting year. Check out five bold NCAA football odds for the upcoming season.
USC Loses Over Two Games in Lincoln Riley’s Debut
After becoming Head Coach at USC, Lincoln Riley made flashy offensive moves. The Trojans added QB Caleb Williams and the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner, Jordan Addison, through the transfer portal.
The hype has steadily increased as the season nears. Many are expecting a Pac-12 championship and playoff berth in Riley’s first season. Instead of meeting lofty expectations, USC will not make the playoff and will total more than two losses.
People are expecting too much. The offense should be good with Williams throwing to Addison and Mario Williams, but what about the defense? In 2021, USC ranked 84th in yards allowed per game (409.8), 81st in passing yards allowed per game (241.8), 75th in rushing yards allowed per game (145.3), and 98th in points allowed per game (31.8). With many returning starters, this defense will not become elite overnight.
Texas Wins the Big 12 for the First Time Since 2009
Texas is advertised as one of college football’s most prominent programs. Yet, the Longhorns have one 10-win season and zero conference championships since 2010. Will second-year Head Coach Steve Sarkisian turn the program around following a 5-7 season?
The offense is promising with a good surrounding cast. Bijan Robinson is perhaps the best running back in the country as he comes off 1,422 scrimmage yards. A second-year leap is expected from wide receiver Xavier Worthy. In his true freshman season, Worthy totaled 981 receiving yards along with a memorable 261-yard performance vs. Oklahoma.
FIRST PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE.
Xavier Worthy ran by the Oklahoma defense 🔥
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 9, 2021
Transfer Quinn Ewers can take the offense to the next level. Ewers has superstar potential as one of the highest-rated QB recruits ever.
The Big 12 is up for grabs. Oklahoma enters its first season with Brett Venables, Baylor lost major contributors following a 12-2 season and Oklahoma State replaces Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles. With an explosive offense, the Longhorns will finally win a Big 12 title.
Notre Dame Loses Four Games in Marcus Freeman’s First Season
After the 2021 regular season concluded, Brian Kelly made a shocking move to LSU. Notre Dame moved quickly, promoting Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman to Head Coach. The Irish will stumble in Freeman’s first season.
The season opens with a road game vs. title contenders Ohio State. In addition, Notre Dame has BYU, Clemson, and USC on the schedule. The college football world says the same thing every season… Notre Dame is overrated. The Fighting Irish still lack elite QB play and are replacing running back Kyren Williams — who recorded 2,828 yards from scrimmage.
Notre Dame’s offense will struggle to keep up with high-scoring offenses.
Utah Makes its First College Football Playoff
Utah is being overshadowed by USC’s offseason hype. The defending Pac-12 champs proved they could hang with the best. In 2021, the Utes dismantled Oregon twice and played down to the wire with Ohio State.
All-American Devin Lloyd was the only major loss. Quarterback Cameron Rising returns with great momentum after throwing for 2,493 yards in 2021. In addition, lead rusher Tavion Thomas is back following a 1,111-yard season. The defense has potential breakout players with cornerback Clark Phillips and Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year, Junior Tafuna.
The Utes check nearly every box. The roster is balanced with stars on both sides of the ball. Plus, Utah has a favorable schedule with Florida, Oregon, and USC as its toughest opponents. Look out for the Utes, they are playoff quality.
Georgia Loses Two Regular Season Games and Misses the Playoff
Georgia set a record with 15 players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. With that said, the Bulldogs will be replacing a ton of production. With an improved SEC East, Georgia will lose two regular season games and miss the playoffs.
The Bulldogs are loaded with talent, but many inexperienced players step into starting roles. Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo are defensive stars; this will be one of college football’s best units yet again. Furthermore, Georgia has America’s best tight end room with Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, and Arik Gilbert. However, the 2022 roster has potential holes.
Georgia has less running back depth than normal. Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton lead the group, but neither has reached 350 rushing yards in a season. The Bulldogs won a championship thanks to a historic defense. This unit will decline, meaning the offense needs to score more. It’s a broken record, but quarterback Stetson Bennett is not elite. Bennett cannot carry an offense by himself.
The SEC East could be college football’s most improved division. Many expect an improved Tennessee and South Carolina, plus, Kentucky is in store for another good year. Georgia has concerning flaws for the 2022 season.