It’s hard to believe, but we’re already a quarter of the way through the 2022 college football season. Granted, in a 12-game season that’s only three games, but I think it’s enough to start forming some hard thoughts on a few programs. More below:
– South Carolina put the “oof” in “woof” this weekend, giving Georgia about as much of a fight as Oregon did—which is saying something. It’s always so sad to see a stadium pumped up and fans ready to go, and then their team get absolutely demolished. Simply put, they didn’t have anything for UGA on offense or defense. I thought it would be closer than the score indicated, but midway through the game I didn’t think it would be as close as it actually ended up being—and it was a final of 48-7. Beamer Ball may be the wave of the future, but I don’t think the future is now (With apologies to the late George Allen). Will boldly predicted the Gamecocks would win nine games this season; I don’t think they’re going to get there but they will get better.
– As far as wrong predictions go, I may have had one about UGA. Not only have they not come out flat, floundering for an identity, Stetson Bennett may be considerably improved from last year—and many considered him the weak point of the team. He has his detractors, but he looks locked in right now. And the UGA defense that replaced almost everyone is looking really good as well. They’re allowing 10 points over the course of the last three games, with two Power 5 schools in there. Will it last? I don’t know. But they are on a roll right now.
– Speaking of wrong predictions, I had Auburn winning seven games, but battling LSU for last in the SEC West. I’d like to rescind the win total as well as lock them in for last. Something is amiss on the Plains, and the 41-12 loss to Penn State highlighted almost every flaw the Tigers have. It’s obvious that there big issues at the quarterback position; TJ Finley’s lack of mobility and Robbie Ashford struggling to get into a rhythm passing are alarming. The fact that Coach Bryan Harsin won’t go with one or the other sends a message as well. Add in the question many fans have of is he the man for the job, or if he’d even get a chance to show it, and there’s a storm on the horizon, so to speak. This team just appeared outmanned and outmatched in every aspect of the game, especially on offense, and the road isn’t getting any easier from here. There may be big trouble ahead for the Tigers, on the field and in the coaching department.
– I think the Mike Leach experiment in StarkVegas may be on borrowed time as well. State came out strong, and seemed to be poised to blowout LSU—only to let the Bayou Bengals outscore them 24-3 in the second half and lose 31-16. I believe in the Pirate, but with Dan Mullen out in the coaching transfer portal, you have to wonder if the Bulldog faithful aren’t thinking about a reunion.
– I’m doubling down on App State to the SEC. This is a special program and a special team, and they’re a close loss to UNC away from being on the New Year’s Day Bowl radar. They have some tough games coming up against Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, and Marshall, but if they win out, they should be in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games.
– Ole Miss absolutely smoked Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have been outscored 83-10 in their two games against Power 5 schools this far in the season, and it ain’t gonna get any easier. With Herm Edwards at ASU and Scott Frost at Nebraska now gone, I think the race for the hottest seat is down to Tech’s Geoff Collins and Auburn’s Harsin. The Ramblin’ Wreck is just that right now, a wreck, and a serious overhaul is needed to restore the program to where it once was. Tech is one of those programs that have an important role in college football through its history, and while some Cumberland alumni are snickering right now, the last few seasons are no laughing matter in Atlanta.
– Did you ever think you’d be able to say the ACC season is on the line…in September…between Clemson and…Wake Forest?!? No? Well, welcome to 2022. The Demon Deacons continue to get overlooked, but Dave Clawson has the Winston-Salem group 3-0, ranked 21st, and staring down the powerhouse Clemson Tigers this weekend at home. I think the road may end here for the Deacs, but if they come out with a win, my dark horse prediction for them to take the ACC title looks a little less crazy.
On to Week 4!