2022 Season Bold Predictions
In early August, every team is undefeated, and their story of what the football season will bring has yet to be written. All across the country, schools are setting high expectations and aspirations of grandeur fuel their offseason workouts in the hot summer sun.
Ohio State football does not escape those expectations, which already start off lofty as they were ranked 2nd in the preseason Coaches Poll with 5 first place votes, just behind Alabama, and above defending national champions Georgia. Ohio State will fill in 5 spots on offense, including two holes at wide-receiver with the departures of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, the number 10 and 11 overall pick in this years NFL draft. With the offseason hire of Jim Knowles as the two-million-dollar-man to be the head coach of the defense, and the dominant recruiting for offensive skill players, and the returning Big Ten Quarterback of the Year in CJ Stroud, “National Championship or Bust” feels like the theme amongst Buckeye fans for 2022.
We are not betting or gambling experts, but it is hard to not make some bold predictions as well for this upcoming season. Here is what our staff came up with for Ohio State or the college football landscape.
Ohio State will have double digit wins in all games, set a new scoring record, and score for the most points for a season. The Buckeyes have a favorable schedule this year to host their biggest games (Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan), and they are spaced out enough to let their leaders take over, and their youth grow. The leap from year 1 to year 2 in Ryan Day’s offense with CJ Stroud could open up a chance to not only set a new scoring record, but lead the country for most points in a season. With skill talent at wide receiver and running back, and an offensive line that could challenge for the Joe Moore award, this offense should be humming as it roles into the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State will win every game by double digits and have 2 in the top 5 in the Heisman voting. Ohio State is favored in every game this year, and along with Alabama, are favored by Vegas to win every game by more than 10 points. With so many weapons on offense, there could easily be 2 in the top 5 for Heisman voting, or even 3 in the top 10 with CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TreVeyon Henderson.
Two new teams will be in contention for the playoff, USC and NC State. I feel that Alabama and Ohio State are on a collision course to meet for the National Championship, which a lot of experts are predicting, so I don’t feel that prediction their wins this year is that bold personally, so I am going to look at the college landscape. USC hired Lincoln Riley, who used the offseason as a free agency with the transfer portal to get Caleb Williams from Oklahoma, and reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison from Pitt. The PAC-12 has beat itself out of the playoff since Washington made it in 2016, and the only competition for the Trojan’s could be Utah, who they could play twice this year with the new championship game format where they removed divisions. NC State will be returning a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and are an experienced team. They beat Clemson last year, and their 2 in conference losses were by a combined total of 4 points. With other teams in the ACC rebuilding, they could make a surprise this year with a favorable non-conference schedule, and an away game against Clemson as their season defining game. With these two teams, I think you will see a playoff without a Big-12 team, and it would be Ohio State, Alabama, USC, and NC State or a 2nd SEC team to be the final 5 teams in the end.
Clemson will still be bad. The coaches feel that Clemson might be back with the ACC not having a true contender and ranked them 4th, but there are too many changes for Clemson to overcome. The Tigers lost both their defensive and offensive coordinators, and instead of getting an outside hire, Dabo promoted from within the program. DJ Uiagalelei is returning as the starting quarterback who will add experience, but after a strong showing in 2020 when filling in for Trevor Lawrence, his 2021 season was inconsistent. He passed for 2246 yards and only 9 touchdowns for the entire season, and added 4 touchdowns on the ground. It would be too big of a jump from year 2 to year 3 in the program to rewrite his legacy. Clemson could still win the ACC based on the level of competition but still could have a few losses in the season.
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