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2022 College Football Bowl predictions: Ohio State delivers on preseason hype and returns to the playoffs

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It’s early August, time to get ready for college football. It’s also time for preseason bowl predictions, and expect a familiar name when it comes to college football his playoffs.

Not to break tradition, Alabama is once again the expected No. 1 seed this season. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young is looking to join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as a repeat winner of the award. Elsewhere, Crimson his Tide is packed with talent as usual. Coach Nick Saban welcomes the 247Sports Composite team to his four consecutive recruiting classes where he ranked first or second in his rankings. The more it changes in Alabama, the more it stays the same.

Oklahoma is projected to be the No. 4 seed against Alabama in the Peach Bowl semifinals in Atlanta. The Sooners’ streak of six consecutive conference championships ended last season as OU lost to the road with eventual champions Baylor and Oklahoma State. Brett Venables his coach will replace Lincoln his Riley who took off for USC and brought in some players. But at OU the cupboards are not bare. Returning to the top of the league is a tough challenge, but the Sooners will take home the Bears and Cowboys this season.

Ohio State is predicted to return to CFP as the second seed in the Fiesta Bowl semifinals. After losing to Michigan State last season. The Buckeyes will bring back his QB CJ Stroud and he will have an array of talented wides in his receivers to target again. The Wolverines are still a formidable opponent, but this year the game will be played in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State will get another big home non-conference game as Notre Dame visits the Horseshoe to start the season. The Buckeyes will look to avoid a season-opening blunder like last year when Oregon won his OSU home opener.

Ohio State will face the expected No. 3 seed Georgia. The incumbent national champion has lost many players to the NFL, especially from the defensive side of the ball. However, the Bulldogs have recruited at such a high level recently that they have a very talented player waiting in the wings. If you enter the showdown 12-0, both are more likely to enter the CFP.

Combined, these four teams made 17 playoff appearances, with Alabama qualifying for seven. At least two of these four teams have been in his CFP throughout each season the CFP has been in.

college football playoffs

January 9

national championship
Inglewood, California

title game semi-final winner

December 31

peach bowl


(1) Alabama vs. (4) Oklahoma

December 31

fiesta bowl
glendale, arizona


(2) Ohio vs. (3) Georgia

The CFP selection committee is less flexible with regard to the other four so-called New Year’s Six games. Three of those games have contracted both spots with specific conferences and teams, with no minimum ranking to qualify. In 2019, No. 24 Virginia was the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl as the next highest ranked ACC team. Clemson was in the CFP that season. Bowl will select a team from that conference even if a scenario occurs where no other conference team is ranked.

The Rose Bowl will crown the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions. If those league champions are in his CFP, Bowl will select an alternate team. Traditionally the next highest ranked team in those conferences. In this prediction, Michigan replaces Ohio’s Big Ten, with expected champion Utah representing his Pac-12.

A similar situation exists in the Sugar Bowl, which rivals the SEC and Big 12 champions. The prediction predicts the champion of both leagues to be his CFP, and in the case of the SEC, so is the next highest ranked team. So the expected matchup here is his third highest ranked SEC team, Texas A&M, against Baylor, his second highest ranked team in the Big 12.

The Orange Bowl is predicted to take ACC champion Clemson. Contract opponents for that game are the highest-ranked teams remaining from the SEC or the Big Ten, unless Notre Dame is higher than both. Fighting Ireland will take the open spot in this prediction. It’s kind of an unfortunate matchup, as Clemson and Notre Dame will play his November 5 regulars in South Bend, Indiana during his season.

That leaves the Cotton Bowl as the only place G5 auto-qualifiers can go if they are not selected for the CFP. Cincinnati is expected to be in that position again, but the Bearcats could face tougher competition this season, both within their own league and from his champions in another Group of Five. Cincinnati’s opponent is expected to be USC, the highest-ranked at-large team. Riley has acquired a slew of new talent led by QB Caleb Williams and WR Jordan Addison. If Riley can get this team entrenched quickly, the Trojans could be a better threat than this one.

New Year’s Six Bowl Game

January 2nd

pasadena, california

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. Utah

January 2nd

Arlington, Texas.

atlarge and atlarge

USC vs. Cincinnati

December 31

new orleans

SEC vs Big 12

Texas A&M v Baylor

December 30th



Clemson vs. Notre Dame

With 41 bowl games scheduled this season, we need 82 teams to fill the slots. Last season, for the first time since 2016, bowl directors were forced to extend invitations to teams with sub-.500 records. Hawaii (6-7) was scheduled to play in the Hawaii Bowl, but the game was canceled due to his COVID-19 issue within the Rainbow Warriors program. Rutgers (5-7) last season with the Gator he played in the bowl, but was only invited as a last-minute replacement for Texas A&M, who had to sit out due to COVID-19.

In this preseason bowl projection, we expect 5 teams to enter the bowl game and finish under .500. It would break the most records in a season. There were three such teams in the 2015 bowl, and the first year sub .500 teams were allowed to bid for the bowl.

Can’t see your team? Check out the rest of Jerry Palm’s preseason bowl predictions.