The 2022 college football kickoff is around the corner and, as expected, only a few teams have a real chance to run the table and make the playoffs.
And even fewer teams that are projected by oddsmakers to be favored in every game of the 2022 season.
Let’s take a sneak preview at which teams have that edge over all their opponents, according to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.
The Falcons won 10 games a year ago, finishing second in the Mountain Division behind Utah State, and boasted wins at Boise State, at Nevada, and against Power 5 school Louisville in the First Responder Bowl. And they have a shot at making a good first impression against Northern Iowa and Colorado to start this season.
Oddsmakers don’t see the Crimson Tide tripping up anywhere on this schedule, which includes a road trip to Texas in Week 2 and the usual obstacle course of the SEC West.
That includes a home tilt against upstart Texas A&M, fresh off signing that elite recruiting class. Alabama tops most, if not all, preseason college football rankings.
Nick Saban called the 2021 season — in which the Tide won the SEC and played for the national championship — a “rebuilding” year.
Now, armed with the nation’s premier roster and a small but elite group of transfers, Saban once again has a team that can run the table.
College football’s defending national champion has some surgery to do on its historic defense in replacing key starters, but has recruited more than well enough to plug in those holes.
Plus, the Bulldogs return a quartet of vital skill players offensively, including quarterback Stetson Bennett, tight ends Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington, and LSU transfer Arik Gilbert.
Apart from the Week 1 game against Oregon in Atlanta, this is a winnable schedule for Georgia, with an early date at South Carolina and at Kentucky in November.
A generous defense doomed the Buckeyes to a pair of costly losses a year ago, at home to Oregon and on the road to arch rival Michigan.
That was despite Ohio State boasting the No. 1 offense in college football, a unit that came in handy in a back-and-forth Rose Bowl win over Utah.
The core of that group returns, led by Heisman finalist quarterback CJ Stroud, in tandem with leading receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but the defense will tell the tale if OSU belongs in the playoff.
Ohio State opens at home against a likely top 10 ranked Notre Dame team, hosts Big Ten West favorite Wisconsin, and plays on the road to Michigan State and Penn State in an active October.
Brent Venables steps in as the Sooners’ new head coach with a reputation as the premier defensive strategist in college football over the last generation.
Venables coached OU’s defense to a national championship in 2000 and won two more with Clemson during the playoff era.
But it could be offense that makes its mark early this year after Oklahoma brought on play-caller Jeff Lebby and signed transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel. The two engineered a top 10 offense at UCF a few years ago.
OU goes to a rejuvenated Nebraska in Week 3, but gets both Big 12 champion Baylor and rival Oklahoma State at home this year. Both were losses a year ago.
The reigning Pac-12 champs are getting a lot of preseason publicity after a strong finish to the 2021 campaign that included beating Oregon twice and playing Ohio State to the wire in Pasadena.
Now the Utes bring back the two cornerstones of their offense: quarterback Cameron Rising, who passed for 20 touchdowns and had just five picks, and lead rusher Tavion Thomas, an 1,100-yard plus back who scored 21 times.
It’s not often a non-SEC team is favored on the road against an SEC opponent, but the Utes are favored in their Week 1 tilt at Florida, and at home to USC midseason.