- Before we get on to the other issues of Fact or Fiction, Brent holds a few opinions that are different from Erik.
National Photo of the 2022
- Clemson has been re-elected as a perennial national champion candidate.
I vote for Fictionhere. Clemson is a great talent. I was surprised at how well they rebounded from the initial fall. It looks like it is sinking. Dabo’s success is tied to elite QB play, from DeShaun Watson and Tahj Boyd. These elite coordinators were the ones that kept the show at its peak for so many years. DJ Uiagalelei may not be there. They’ll continue to be a team with dangerous defense and scary skill players but they won’t be a top-tier contender.
- Southern Cal will participate in the College Football Playoff.
FACT THAT I nearly laughed, so I just said fiction and left the rest at that. USC is a great school with some talent, but it has been struggling to recruit because of the shallow classes that have been in place for almost ten years. It is not easy to get a coach right away. And, frankly, I have no faith in Lincoln Riley’s ability to manage a program for that long.
But, have you ever looked at the Trojans’ agenda? Woof. They avoided Washington and Oregon. Notre Dame’s chances of falling after losing their coach are likely to be low. Outside of Utah, the Pac-12 is a breeze. The Trojans have essentially won one game in this season.
They will be defeated in the playoffs (it’s a Lincoln Riley tradition after all), but they’ll make it.
- Ohio State goes 13-0 (regular season plus B1GCG).
Fiction-Buckeyes is the opposite of Trojans. They are neck-and-neck with Alabama as the best team in the country and probably more complete than the Tide. Here’s a snippet: Wisconsin and Rutgers (perennial Buckeye Slayer), Michigan State. Iowa, Penn State. Next, a trio of tough “easy” games against Northwestern, Indiana, and Maryland followed by a match with Michigan before the Big-10 Championship.
This is absolutely horrific.
Ohio State will lose one game, but will win Big 10 and reach the playoffs.
SEC Image OF 2022
- Brian Kelly is expected to win more SEC games than Jimbo Fisher this year (the tiebreaker, which is a head on match),
Fiction Kelly will have a tough first year. The Aggies also have a lot more talent that the Tigers over the past two years. However, I don’t think there will be much of a chasm between them and I’ll even say LSU wins the head to head. Jimbo takes on Jimbo, and they reach 8-4 or 9-3. LSU will win 7 games, but it’s not an easy feat.
Fiction. A great team doesn’t lose so many players and comes back stronger than ever before. Many Saban teams have been starved in the years following winning a national title. This was also the first time since the Mayflower arrived. They’ll need to get over the mental hangover.
The East appears to be more dangerous than usual this year. Florida under Napier could be very dangerous in Year 1. Tennessee could have something going for them (*gags*), while Kentucky could have the best QB in conference (how wonderful is this world). Don’t forget to open the season against the Oregon Ducks. I think 10-2 or 9-3 is more likely.
- Vanderbilt scores 0-9 against Power-5 teams.
For the past year, the Dores have been close to South Carolina and Missouri for the championship. I don’t think either team will improve. They could win it, I suppose. Let’s not forget to give them undeserved faith. FICTION! Vandy wins the East for the 1st time this year.
ALABAMA EXPERIMENT 2022
- Will Anderson will win The Heisman. It is not a question of whether he should, but if he can take it away.
Fiction. It’s impossible. He won’t have his stats in 2021 and it’s unlikely that the media will allow three Alabama players to beat Heisman in a row, let alone one boring defensive lineman.
- The Crimson Tide offensive lines will be prominent.
Fact that. They won’t be as good in 2020 or 2012, but they will be much better in 2021. Javion Cohen is named All-SEC point guard. Tyler Steen secures a tackling position, while JC Latham, a young talent, takes the other side and does big. The season progresses throughout. For me, the real problem is in the center. Darrian Dalcourt can fix your calling and chemistry issues? Seth McLaughlin can add muscle and help you hang in the middle. Eric Wolford, the new OL coach, can combine them to make a complete player.
However, I believe the coaching role change here is a big difference to the “chemistry dump fire” last year.
- Alabama wins 12-0 in this season
I believeagain. This is a relatively weak schedule and Saban seems to be on the warpath every season after a disappointing season finale. He must be the culmination Saban’s defensive shift towards the 3-3-5/4-2-5 defense, which began with Pete Golding’s signing. This defense is veteran-laden and has been fully recruited into the scheme. I don’t see any weaknesses. Offensively, OL, WR, and WR remain question marks, but I am optimistic about OL. Long-term prospects for the WRs are still uncertain. We rely on two transfers and one true rookie to build chemistry with Bryce.
While there will be some offensive setbacks, as we saw in some of the games last year, the Tide’s defense and best QB in America are strong enough to make it into the playoffs.