Comprehensive guide to the 2022 college football season
After an offseason filled with big-name coaching hires, star players transferring, and USC and UCLA shocking the world by announcing a future move to the Big Ten, the 2022 college football season is finally upon us.
The usual suspects - Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State - are expected to once again be among the nation's elite, with Michigan looking to build off last year's run and Clemson seeking a return to the College Football Playoff.
theScore has compiled all the preview content for the 2022 season in this guide to get you ready for kickoff.
Power 5 previews
Big changes are coming to the Big Ten in the future with the addition of USC and UCLA, but 2022 will still feature a traditional setup in the conference. Last season saw high drama in the Big Ten, with Michigan finally knocking off Ohio State and winning Jim Harbaugh's first conference title with the Wolverines. The Buckeyes will be out for revenge, led by quarterback CJ Stroud and perhaps the best offense in the country. On the other side of the conference, Wisconsin will look to knock Iowa off its perch with a steady diet of Braelon Allen this season. See full preview.
The strongest conference in the country will yet again be a force in 2022, with last year's title combatants leading the way. Alabama features arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the country with Bryce Young and Will Anderson, respectively, while Georgia's defense reloads with plenty of talent after losing five players to the first round of the NFL draft. Florida and LSU look to rebound from a tough 2021 with new coaches Billy Napier and Brian Kelly, while Jimbo Fisher will look to build off Texas A&M's historic recruiting class. See full preview.
Texas and Oklahoma have one foot out the door as they head to the SEC in the next couple of years, but for now, the two powerhouse programs will be focused on knocking Baylor from its perch atop the Big 12. The Bears lost a number of players from their dominant defense, but Dave Aranda has shown that his system can make up for roster turnover in the short term. Oklahoma starts the post-Lincoln Riley era with Brent Venables at the controls, while Texas will be looking to get back to a bowl game in Steve Sarkisian's second season with the program. See full preview.
For the first time since 2014, a program other than Clemson was crowned ACC champions last season. However, it will be a challenge for Pitt to repeat in 2022 with the loss of star quarterback Kenny Pickett and standout receiver Jordan Addison. Dabo Swinney lost both of his longtime coordinators to head-coaching gigs in the offseason, but Clemson's talent remains the best in the conference. The other major program to watch for in the ACC is Miami, which faces a tough early test in the Mario Cristobal era with a non-conference game in Week 3 at Texas A&M. See full preview.
The Pac-12 is set to lose USC and UCLA shortly, but the Los Angeles schools remain in the conference for the 2022 campaign. The Trojans made a huge splash in the offseason by bringing Riley over from Oklahoma. The high-priced coach brought in a number of big-name transfers, most notably Addison and Caleb Williams, to help USC rebound from a dismal 2021. While the Trojans should be improved, Utah remains the class of the conference, with Oregon and UCLA both expected to compete for the title. See full preview.
National storylines to follow
The more things change in college football, the more they stay the same. The offseason was filled with drama as big-name coaches like Kelly and Riley moved jobs, while top players like Addison and Williams switched programs. Though that certainly brought some excitement to the sport, it's likely we'll once again see Alabama and Georgia battle it out for the national championship in January. See full article.
Players to watch
There's plenty of star power across the college football landscape this season, with Alabama standouts Anderson and Young leading the way on the AP preseason All-America team. Georgia may have lost a number of players to the NFL, but tight end Brock Bowers is among the returnees that should keep the Bulldogs near the top of the sport, while a pair of Big Ten running backs are worth keeping an eye on this season. See full list of the top 10 players to watch.
- Alabama gives Saban new 8-year, $93.6M deal
- Commissioner Warren: 'I could see' Big Ten expanding to 20 teams, paying athletes
- Big Ten signs 7-year media deal with CBS, Fox, NBC for reported $7B
- Alabama stars headline AP preseason All-America team
- Texas A&M's Fisher putting verbal spat with Saban behind him
- 2022 NCAA rules changes address targeting, faking injuries
- NCAA asks members for help with NIL violation investigations
National championship betting odds
Ohio State +350
Texas A&M +3,000
Notre Dame +5,000
Oklahoma State +10,000
Ole Miss +10,000
Odds via theScore Bet.