Alabama Football: Half of this list of six teams will be in the 2022 College Football Playoff Field.
It is never too early for Alabama football fans to talk College Football Playoff. More than a few Alabama Crimson Tide fans are confident Nick Saban’s 15th Tide team will not only make the Playoffs but repeat as National Champions as well.
Beyond the world of Alabama Football, there are many fans who would be ecstatic if four or five of the six teams predicted below fail to make the Playoff field. Many in that group of fans choose equalizing opportunity over rewarding excellence. This post is not for those fans. Others can fret that Cincinnati was not a Final Four team last season. They can argue in the current system, no Group of Five team will ever be treated fairly. That claim is fuel for an expanded Playoff. Eventually, the Playoff will be expanded, but not in 2022.
For this discussion, it is contended at the end of every season, six teams can be identified as legitimate College Football Playoff contenders. Based upon CFB Playoff history two or three of those teams will actually not be Playoff worthy. The CFBP Selection Committee can afford to be wrong on one team each year without impacting the credibility of its Nation Champion. Examples are Florida State in 2015, Michigan State in 2016, Washington in 2017 and Notre Dame in 2019 and 2021.
What does matter is that every season two or three legitimate Championship contenders are chosen. Some seasons there will only be two real Championship contenders in the Playoff Field. That was the case in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021.
There are three primary requirements for becoming a Championship team. They are a roster deep in elite talent, coaching expertise and luck. The number of teams with rosters deep with game-changers and superior coaching is small. No one can predict luck, which is mostly tied to injuries, but the other components are predictable. As in consistently predictable.
Based on all the above, consider this early prediction that three teams in the 2022 CFBP field will come from the short list below. Alabama football fans will notice the Crimson Tide is listed first, but the list is only loosely ranked.
Three on the list will make Playoffs
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Ohio State
- Iowa State
The Crimson Tide has a huge amount of offensive production to replace. It has a roster to do it. It will also have an improved defense. Plus it has Nick Saban.
Clemson has to replace Trevor Lawrence but D.J. Uiagalelei might be better than Lawrence. Dabo’s returning talent on defense is superior to any other team.
Ohio State will return if it has a capable replacement for Justin Fields. The Buckeyes have been stockpiling talent and Ryan Day can coach.
Georgia is on the list because Kirby has the best QB of his head coaching career. Unless J.T. Daniels proves to be a bust, the Dawgs are in great shape with a strong defense and like the teams above, a roster loaded with elite talent.
Oklahoma coach, Lincoln Riley might have the nation’s top QB in Spencer Rattler. Sarkisian cannot get the Longhorns to the Sooners’ level in one season. Oklahoma should even have a respectable defense.
The wild card on this list is Iowa State. If any Big 12 team can take down the Sooners it will be the Cyclones. Matt Campbell is a tremendous coach and QB Brock Purdy is a winner.
Are there a few other teams with a chance? Sure there are, as in every season. Four more to consider are Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Florida and Michigan. Maybe there is one Pac 12 team that should be on this also list. If so, pick among Oregon, Utah and USC.
The total number of teams mentioned in this post is 13. Are there more 2021 teams that can contend for a National Championship? Not likely.