2022 college football predictions from Yahoo Sports

2022 college football predictions from Yahoo Sports
2022 college football predictions from Yahoo Sports

Week 1 of the 2022 college football season is here. And what better way to start the season than with some forecasts which will undoubtedly be imperfect? Here are the conference and college football playoff champion predictions from our Yahoo Sports college football staff with a look at Nick Bromberg and Sam Cooper on their playoff picks below.

2022 college football predictions from Yahoo Sports.

College Football Playoff Predictions

Nick Bromberg: I realize we had Clemson ahead of Utah in our preseason top 25, but I’m backing Utah to make the playoffs against the Tigers because of a few factors. Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei needs to take a big step forward in 2022 for the Tigers to make the playoffs or Cade Klubnik needs to play like Trevor Lawrence did in freshman year. The quarterback game Clemson got in 2021 isn’t good enough for a playoff spot.

Utah’s Cam Rising was the Pac-12’s top QB in 2021 and is second only to USC’s Caleb Williams in the pecking order this year. Tavion Thomas is a fantastic running back and the Utes have great tight ends. Throw in a win over an improved Florida team in Week 1 and Utah makes the playoffs at 12-1 with a Pac-12 title.

It’s pretty chalky for me everywhere else. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alabama and Georgia meet again twice in the playoffs at the end of the 2022 season and I think the Crimson Tide wins the national title.

Sam Cooper: It’s hard not to go with chalk this year. I think Clemson will rebound enough on offense to win the ACC, although I considered NC State there. The Tigers defense is too mean. I think Alabama will edge out Georgia in the SEC, but it’s very possible that both will go through the regular season undefeated. That’s why I have them both in the CFP field. I’ve also considered both Ohio State and Michigan succeeding (the OSU game being Michigan’s only loss) but the two SEC teams making the pitch seem like a result much more likely.

Our Favorite College Football Playoff Sleeper

Nick Bromberg: The domestic title odds at BetMGM clearly show a brand bias, as punters like to bet on teams they know. USC is at +2000 and the No. 5 favorite while Utah and Oregon are at +5000. Texas is +4,000 ahead of Oklahoma at +5,000 even though the Sooners are Big 12 favorites. Arizona State is +10,000 despite transferring a group of players and leaving a host of coaches due to of an NCAA investigation.

I wanted to keep that in mind as I searched for my sleeper, but I got stuck on a team that also might have had slightly inflated odds: Miami. The Hurricanes are at +6600 and look ripe for a new coach in Mario Cristobal’s freshman year. QB Tyler Van Dyke is a potential first-round pick and four of the team’s top five tackles are returning. Miami is also expected to rebound in the revenue department after finishing the 2021 season -6 in revenue margin. The games at Texas A&M and Clemson are extremely tough and the Hurricanes will likely be underdogs either way, but those games also provide great opportunities for Miami to get wins and climb up the playoff standings.

Sam Cooper: I’m pretty high on Oregon (+5000) this year. I don’t expect a Week 1 upset against Georgia, but it could do a lot from a perception standpoint if the Ducks fight back in the fourth quarter. From there, it’s possible Oregon will be favored every game the rest of the season. The Ducks host UCLA, Washington and Utah at home. Mario Cristobal left a lot of talent to Dan Lanning, especially in defense with guys like Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe. The offensive line is stellar, and Bo Nix could potentially have a lot more success against Pac-12 defenses than he has against SEC competition at Auburn every week.

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