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The Biggest Threat to Each Power 5 Favorite

Biggest Threat to Each Power 5 Favorite

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Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The ACC got a new champion for the first time since 2014 last season when the Pitt Panthers led by 1st round draft pick Kenny Pickett took down Wake Forest to claim their first ever ACC crown. Clemson had been the leader of the pack since Jameis Winston left Florida State for the NFL. Currently the Tigers are the favorites to win the league and take back control. The biggest threat in my opinion to keep Dabo Swinney's boys off their goal is the U! Miami (FL) has been batting down the hatches in the transfer portal bringing in talent to help them win right away. Throw in that Tyler Van Dyke is the best returning QB in the league, and Mario Cristobal who knows what winning conference titles looks like and there is a recipe. Of the traditional powers that be, Clemson probably has the most to prove. QB DJ Uiagalelei has not performed up to his five star billing. Long time defensive Coordinator Brent Venables left to take the head job at Oklahoma. Can Cristobal and Van Dyke replicate what Pitt was able to do in 2021?

Big 10 Conference (B1G)

Michigan defeated Ohio State for the first time since 2014 a season ago, which led to Wolverines winning the Big 10 East division and get to the College Football Playoff. Ohio State however is still the standard of the league, and Ryan Day has just one loss in conference play as the head man of the NFL factory Buckeyes. With CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Treyveon Henderson returning its hard to imagine a repeat of a season ago. So who has the best chance to upend the Buckeyes in 2022? Michigan wont get them, don't expect lightning to strike twice. Perhaps Penn State? But the Nittany Lions have a Sean Clifford problem. Until Mel Tucker shows he has any ability to field a defense that can stop the pass I cant trust 49 point loser of a season ago. Ill go outside the box here and go with Nebraska. Cringed just a little bit writing that, but here's the deal. The Huskers are the most curious case since Benjamin Button. Last season despite going 1-8 in league play they actually scored the same amount of points as their B1G opponents. They lost games in close fashion all season long. 7-8 plays go their way maybe they go to Indianapolis (For the conference championship) last year. Can Scott Frost finally get over the hump?

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Big 12 Conference (Big XII)

Baylor came out of nowhere last season to win the Big 12 championship. Dave Aranda has done a tremendous job in Waco. He also recently named Blake Shapen to be his starting QB. Shapen was the hero of the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington, and appears to be a clear upgrade over Gerry Bohanon who has since entered the transfer portal. However, Oklahoma has won 6 consecutive titles in a row, and was expected to again a season ago. However, late in the year the Sooners sputtered, likely in events that seem not so coincidental their head coach Lincoln Riley packed his bag in the middle of the night and left for USC. OU hired Brent Venables and are currently the favorite in the league. The Big 12 Championship's path runs through Norman. Literally because both Oklahoma State and Baylor will have to pay a visit there in 2021. Baylor is the most likely to knock off the favorite Sooners, also don't sleep on the Longhorns.

Pacific 12 Conference (Pac-12)

Utah, the reigning Pac 12 Champion is currently considered the favorite in a bit of a 3 horse race by the odds makers between themselves USC, and Oregon. With the idea that Utah is the favorite, I would place USC as the most likely to beat them and steal thier thunder. USC has a ready made QB, and a coach who has already been to 3 college football playoffs. Sure, the Trojans must travel to Salt Lake to beat the Utes in 2022, but they will only increase their odds if the rumors regarding Jordan Addision are true. Alex Grinch is familiar with how to slow down Pac 12 offenses as well.

Southeastern conference (SEC)

Alabama is the odds on favorite to win the SEC, just like they are basically every year. This time however the defending SEC champs, lost to SEC foe Georgia in the national title game. Quit the twist and reversal from 2017. The Dawgs are the most likely to take down the Tide again. No, Texas A&M will not have lightning strike twice, and even if they did they wouldn't actually win enough SEC games to make it count. The Dawgs on the other hand, young and unproven will have a whole season in the lackluster east, to figure things out. Georgia is as talented as any team around, and 12 games into the 2022 season they could be the final product that can beat the Tide once again.

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