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Jon Joseph

Rebound or Foul out? Teams Likely to Improve or Decline in 2022.

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In keeping with upcoming March Madness, what CFB teams are likely to rebound in 2022 and what teams are like to 'foul out?' Here are my guesses.

 

REBOUNDING - 

 

Pac-12 South - USC - The Portal King, sorry Lane Kiffin, is coming off a low 4-8 2021 floor. Many the quality transfer has come to Troy, including QB Caleb Williams, WR Mario Williams and sigh, RB Troy Dye. And having Lincoln Riley 'transfer in' and replacing the over-his-head Clay Helton as head coach (HC), is a big upgrade at the HC position.

 

The OL play for SC in 2021 was the best in 4 seasons, averaging 4.4 yards per run attempt. 4 starters are back and a 2nd team OT from the ACC has also transferred in, coming from UVA. The OL gave up only 18 sacks in 12 games in 2021 and Caleb Williams is far more athletic than was QB Dart.

 

The D? Long way to go, but Grinch as the new DC should be an improvement.

 

All 3 out-of-conference (OOC) games, Rice, Fresno State and Notre Dame are being played in LA. The Notre Dame game is the last regular season game and Stanford falls between Rice and Fresno, giving the Trojans a good shot to be 3-0 entering the balance of Pac-12 play. However, Troy is on the road for 5 conference games, including at south division favorite Utah.

 

I expect to see Troy play a lot of shoot-out games in 2022. I will be surprised if SC does not at least flip the script and finish 8-4, or better.

 

Pac-12 North - Sorry my Ducks friends, but I see UW in 2022 at the very least becoming bowl eligible. New HC DeBoer lit it up in NAIA ball at Sioux Falls and did a very good job as the HC at Fresno. QB Penix, if he can stay healthy, is coming in from Indiana where he played his best football under DeBoer when DeBoer was the OC at Indiana. 

 

Kent State and Portland State in Seattle should be OOC lay-ups. And a win over a Michigan State team that lost many a good player including Doak Walker award-winning RB Kenneth Walker, at home in Seattle is IMO, doable. UW does play 5 conference road games this season but under new leadership and with a decent returning roster UW should be greatly improved.

 

FOULING OUT -

 

Pac-12 South - ASU last season started 4-1 before finishing 3-4, then losing a hard fought bowl game to Wisconsin. QB Daniels has left the building along with 5 assistant coaches who left in the middle of an NCAA investigation. ASU President, Michael Crow, has supported HC Herm Edwards, but Crow was also a big fan of Larry Scott. 

 

2 of the 3 OOC games are definitely winnable but I do not see the Sun Devils winning at Oklahoma State and I do not think ASU will go bowling in 2022.

 

Pac-12 North - OREGON STATE - The Beavers made it to bowl eligibility in 2021, finishing 7-6. But the departing excellent RB will be hard to replace. OR ST does not play a P5 opponent OOC but Boise State and at Fresno State are two worthy Mountain West opponents. In its favor the Beavs do play 4 conference road games.

 

The Beavers have been surprisingly weak this year, to date, in attracting players from the transfer portal. I do not see Oregon State being bowl eligible in 2022.

 

NATION-WIDE REBOUNDING -

 

Clemson and Ohio State. I will be surprised if these two playoff 'usual subjects' are not in the 2022 final 4.

 

Ohio State has brought in Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State to be the new DC. QB Stroud is one of the top 2 Heiman favorites. Ohio State has 10 WRs on its 2022 roster, all were top 150 recruits. And WR Ngata-Smith, who is back, was all-world in the Rose Bowl vs Utah. I think last season's loss in Ann Arbor was an aberration. 

 

Clemson - In a 'bad season,' Clemson went 10-3, defeating Iowa State in its bowl game. The Clemson D was strong the entire 2021 season. QB DGU played solid ball for Doctor Pepper, in Fansville, but not in the real world; 10 TDs, 9 Ints. 5* QB Klubnik, has enrolled early and the Clemson OL that was young and struggled last season returns 4 starters from 2021, who should all improve. 

 

Clemson's roster coming in to 2021 was ranked No. 4 in the nation and Clemson just signed another top 10 group of recruits. 

 

The Tigers do not face Georgia OOC. Clemson does play at Notre Dame on on 11/5, but gets Miami and South Carolina at home in the last 2 games of the regular season. 

 

 

NATION-WIDE FOULING OUT -

 

TEXAS A+M - Jimbo has lost at least 4 games every season as the Aggies HC. A new QB will be starting for A+M in 2022. A+M lost all of its excellent DL starters all who are expected to be drafted come April. I think A+M will have a decent season, but when I see this team ranked No. 4, 5 or 6 in the 2022 preseason; well, I don't see it. I think A+M gets the same roster-rankings-bump at did SC for many the season post-Pete Carroll.

 

CINCINNATI - HC Fickle has definitely down a great job at Cincy, producing the 1st G5 team to make the final 4. But this is not yet a 're-load program.' Cincy lost QB Ridder, RB Ford, DBs and certain to be NFL draft picks, Sauce Gardner and Coby Bryant. The Bearcats won at Notre Dame last season, a signature win in 2021. I do not see The Bearcats winning at Arkansas in 2022.

 

Like A+M, I think Cincy will have a good season but will finish behind Houston and perhaps UCF, both to be future B12 members along with Cincy, in the AAC in 2022.

 

Agree with me? What other teams do you see improving or floundering in 2022?

 

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A great take JJ.

My only addition is that WSU will be sneaky good this year. They get Utah and Oregon at home and USC and Wisconsin on the road.

They will score a lot of points. I see them challenging for the P12 Nth.

 

OSU will become bowl eligible again, just. They should get better qb play, and Smith always seems to win games you don't expect.

( If they don't get bowl eligible I'm hoping it's enough to gain my grandson back as a Duck. He is only Beaver fan in the fam and we've been working on him for 10 years! He has moved to Idaho now and is a Bo Nix fanclub member. This is the year!)

 

I expect Stanford to surprise also. Shaw is too good a coach.

 

Cal will have another loser year making all us Duck fans sigh in big relief that he said no.

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Jon, discouraging but true, the 750's will probably have little trouble with their home OOC games, beating the Spartans in East Lansing, "Not so fast!" I agree about Clemson and OH.ST, I expect they will be back in the CFP next season, and Cincy most certainly will decline from that stage. A & M, yeah, don't see it, Jimbo. ASU? What to make of this team? It looks like Arizona should improve. Stanford. Shaw has done well, but his real coaching prowess will be revealed this season. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2022 at 3:40 PM, DanLduck said:

A great take JJ.

My only addition is that WSU will be sneaky good this year. They get Utah and Oregon at home and USC and Wisconsin on the road.

They will score a lot of points. I see them challenging for the P12 Nth.

 

OSU will become bowl eligible again, just. They should get better qb play, and Smith always seems to win games you don't expect.

( If they don't get bowl eligible I'm hoping it's enough to gain my grandson back as a Duck. He is only Beaver fan in the fam and we've been working on him for 10 years! He has moved to Idaho now and is a Bo Nix fanclub member. This is the year!)

 

I expect Stanford to surprise also. Shaw is too good a coach.

 

Cal will have another loser year making all us Duck fans sigh in big relief that he said no.

Thank you DanL.

 

I considered including WSU as being a team on the rise? In 2022, WSU has but 4 conference road games. And 2 of its OOC games are home versus Idaho and Colorado State. These games should be Cougars Ws. 

 

And with Diekert now the official full time HC, and with the 2021 Walter Payton Award winner (the 'little Heisman') Cameron Ward, transferring in to play QB, along with his Immaculate Word U (IMU) head coach following Cameron to Pullman to be the Cougars OC, it will be 'bombs away!'

 

Can WSU get into and win a shoot-out at Wisconsin? I expect the Badgers in 2002 to continue to be an O-challenged team. A WSU win in Madison will not be a shock to me.

 

WSU Cougars get Oregon in Pullman the week after Oregon has played the BYU Cougars in Autzen. THIS is a 'best look out' game for the Ducks.

 

Stanford did have a good 2022 recruiting class, no doubt. But Stanford's roster is nowhere close the days when McCaffery played what should have been Heisman-winning ball down on The Farm. The days when TEs, OL and DL guys routinely matriculated to the NFL. In addition to SC 'stealing' Dye from the portal, Stanford also lost its best RB to SC.

 

BTW: Last season at Immaculate Word U, Ward threw for close to 5000 (not a typo) yards! 

Edited by Jon Joseph
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On 3/5/2022 at 4:11 PM, 30Duck said:

Jon, discouraging but true, the 750's will probably have little trouble with their home OOC games, beating the Spartans in East Lansing, "Not so fast!" I agree about Clemson and OH.ST, I expect they will be back in the CFP next season, and Cincy most certainly will decline from that stage. A & M, yeah, don't see it, Jimbo. ASU? What to make of this team? It looks like Arizona should improve. Stanford. Shaw has done well, but his real coaching prowess will be revealed this season. 

 

Stanford vs SC in week 2, after SC has eaten Rice for lunch and Stanford has brushed off Colgate, should be a very interesting game. 

 

The Pac-12 'newbie' coach vs the Pac-12 'veteran coach.'

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On 3/5/2022 at 2:39 PM, Jon Joseph said:

 

The Pac-12 'newbie' coach vs the Pac-12 'veteran coach.'

With the RB switching from the Vet Coach to the New Coach. It's at Stanford so that could help the Cardinal.

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In the NFL the question, "Which team that missed the playoffs last season is most likely to make it next season?" is actually an interesting one. The Bengals missed the playoffs the season before and got to the Super Bowl at the end of this season. In college the answer(s) are Clemson and Ohio State. Hard to make a case for any other team(s).

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On 3/5/2022 at 2:39 PM, Jon Joseph said:

Stanford vs SC in week 2, after SC has eaten Rice for lunch and Stanford has brushed off Colgate, should be a very interesting game. 

 

The Pac-12 'newbie' coach vs the Pac-12 'veteran coach.'

"SC has eaten Rice for lunch and Stanford has brushed off Colgate." I always appreciate a good double pun.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2022 at 6:30 PM, 30Duck said:

In the NFL the question, "Which team that missed the playoffs last season is most likely to make it next season?" is actually an interesting one. The Bengals missed the playoffs the season before and got to the Super Bowl at the end of this season. In college the answer(s) are Clemson and Ohio State. Hard to make a case for any other team(s).

Yes. Unfortunately, I see no G5 team or Michigan, or sigh, a Pac-12 team, beating out these 2 out in 2022. 

 

ACC? Pitt lost its QB. Slovis is perhaps a replacement at QB, but not enough, IMO, to keep Clemson out of the playoff. Slovis was beaten out by Dart who will playing at Ole Miss. And I think that NC State along with A+M is preseason too highly ranked?

 

Clemson still has, by far, the best roster in the ACC. I know Dabo lost both his DC to OK and his OC to UVA but I still think Clemson is better than any team in the ACC and I also think that the Tigers will win at Notre Dame. I am not sold on Freeman as the new Domers HC. A defense oriented guy who got schooled by Gundy's half time adjustments in the Fiesta Bowl. And opening at Ohio State? 

 

South Carolina could have been mentioned as a team on the rise with Rattler coming over to QB, but I think that USC east Gamecocks winning at Clemson is a big ask?

 

 

Edited by Jon Joseph
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