6 College Football Teams Most Likely to Disappoint in 2022 Season

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2022

6 College Football Teams Most Likely to Disappoint in 2022 Season

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    Cam Rising | John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Rarely are fans more optimistic about their favorite team than at the start of a new college football season. There's a path to a conference title, and hey, a national championship may even feel attainable.

    Those confident thoughts can disappear quickly, though.

    Rough schedules, poor performance and straight-up bad luck can shatter a once-promising year. And it happens every season.

    Inevitably—and understandably—the initial perception may be this doubles as a projection of teams that will disappoint in 2022. However, the angle is that if a high-tier program falls, it's most likely one of these valued preseason teams.

    While the list is naturally subjective, we added a bit of objectivity with DraftKings lines. All teams considered had +9000 championship odds ($100 bet wins $9,000) or shorter plus a projected win total, as of Aug. 3, of eight or more.

Miami Hurricanes

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    David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Championship odds: +9000

    Win total over/under: 8.5

    It's the same old song and dance, right?

    Miami has typically had a talented roster that underperforms on the field. Following a 10-win season and legitimate College Football Playoff flirtation in 2017, the Hurricanes have managed a 28-18 regular-season mark that has included some truly inexplicable losses.

    Still, the debut season for Mario Cristobal could be quite strong. Tyler Van Dyke is one of the nation's most promising quarterbacks. While trips to Texas A&M (Sept. 17) and Clemson (Nov. 19) loom large, Miami isn't lacking for talent relative to the ACC Coastal.

    But the 'Canes have numerous uncertainties.

    Who will step up at receiver after the departures of Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley Jr.? Will the running game stop being toothless? Can the defense tackle consistently? Does a transfer-filled defensive line have a reliable pass-rusher?

    Cristobal's arrival has already been a huge victory for the recruiting trail, but Miami needs to win.

Texas Longhorns

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    Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Championship odds: +5000

    Win total over/under: 8.5

    Opening the list with Miami and Texas is admittedly basic, but history keeps telling us the same thing.

    Copy and paste the "not short on talent" part. Do the same for the "underwhelming results" section. And, voila, you have the recent-half decade of the Longhorns too.

    According to the 247Sports Team Talent rankings, Texas has landed no worse than 13th nationally since 2017. In that span, however, the Horns have produced a 33-24 record in the regular season with a single 10-win year and Big 12 Championship Game appearance.

    The former trend isn't changing after Texas brought in the fifth-ranked recruiting class. Now, in the aftermath of a dismal seven-loss season, will the latter be different?

    Long story short: We'll find out relatively quickly. Alabama (Sept. 10), Oklahoma (Oct. 8) and Oklahoma State (Oct. 22) await the Longhorns in a thorny run to November.

Wisconsin Badgers

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    Graham Mertz | Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Championship odds: +8000

    Win total over/under: 8.5

    Exactly how much will Wisconsin be leaning on its defense?

    Although it's always the strength of the team, the unit has shouldered an especially heavy burden the last two years. Wisconsin's yards per play ranked 106th and 81st, respectively, in 2020 and 2021. That's a precipitous drop from top-40 marks in the three previous seasons.

    Running back Braelon Allen is a rising star, and the offensive line looks solid. Business as usual at both spots. But the main concern is that Graham Mertz—who's already only averaged 6.7 yards per throw in 487 career attempts—practically has an entirely new receiving corps.

    Wisconsin tends to figure it out. Twelve consecutive years (excluding coronavirus-shortened seven-game 2020) of eight-plus victories is more than enough evidence to say that.

    The potential flaws are evident, though. And it doesn't help that the Badgers' likely three toughest games—Ohio State (Sept. 24), Michigan State (Oct. 15) and Iowa (Nov. 12)—are all on the road.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Marcus Freeman | Norm Hall/Getty Images

    Championship odds: +4500

    Win total over/under: 8.5

    Ohio State may have the nation's most prolific offense. Clemson should have one of the country's stingiest defenses. USC boasts Caleb Williams, one of college football's top quarterbacks.

    And they're all on the schedule for first-year coach Marcus Freeman.

    Yes, the converse outlook is reasonable. Few teams boast the combination of the Irish's offensive line and their defense. It's not like Notre Dame will be overwhelmed against any opponent.

    The challenge is the offensive skill positions. Beyond a new quarterback—likely Tyler Buchner—the Irish have a running back room loaded with injury concerns and an unproven receiving group that also has health questions.

    If those resolutions aren't as positive as hoped, Notre Dame's five-year streak of 10-win seasons will be in jeopardy.

Texas A&M Aggies

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    Jimbo Fisher | Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Championship odds: +2500

    Win total over/under: 8.5

    Sweet mercy, this schedule.

    Texas A&M doesn't have the singular most difficult slate in the country, yet it's absolutely gnarly.

    After hosting Miami (Sept. 17), there's the usual neutral-site clash with Arkansas (Sept. 24) and trips to Mississippi State (Oct. 1) and Alabama (Oct. 8). Oddly enough, the Aggies only toppled Alabama within the latter group in 2021.

    SEC West programs Ole Miss (Oct. 29), Auburn (Nov. 12) and LSU (Nov. 26) are annual foes. In crossover play, A&M gets a pesky South Carolina (Oct. 22) and Florida (Nov. 5).

    As with Utah, a disappointing year isn't the likely outcome. Texas A&M's defense can be excellent, either Haynes King or Max Johnson should be an upgrade at quarterback and 2022's top-ranked recruiting class has padded the roster significantly.

    But it's certainly not a strain to envision how A&M's season could go sideways.

Utah Utes

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    Cam Rising | Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Championship odds: +6000

    Win total over/under: 9

    Do I personally believe it will happen? No. Flatly ignoring a recent trend seems unwise, though.

    Utah has reached the Pac-12 Championship Game in three of the last four seasons, and the lone exception was a strange 2020 campaign. During the three traditional years, the Utes went 18-1 at home and 11-6 otherwise in regular-season games.

    That's a reasonable concern for 2022.

    Utah begins the season at Florida (Sept. 3), also traveling to Arizona State (Sept. 24) and UCLA (Oct. 8) within the first six weeks. The closing stretch sends the Utes to Washington State (Oct. 27), Oregon (Nov. 19) and Colorado (Nov. 26).

    Add in a home showdown with USC (Oct. 15), and Utah's schedule is no walk in the park. If the Utes struggle on the road, the season could turn disappointing very quickly.


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