College Football Rankings 2022: Week 2 Standings, Schedule and Predictions
The SEC is assumed to be the best conference in college football every season.
The presence of the Alabama Crimson Tide at its peak helps to settle that argument before a game is even played.
Alabama has an opportunity in Week 2 of the season to showcase that dominance in a national showcase game on the road against the Texas Longhorns.
Texas will be a conference foe soon enough for the Crimson Tide, but for now, the Longhorns are viewed as a Big 12 side hoping to pull off one of the biggest upsets of 2022.
Alabama did not create any doubt in its opening-week win over the Utah State Aggies and its offense should be Texas' biggest concern.
The Crimson Tide will catch most of the Saturday spotlight, but there is one other SEC team that can further the league's dominance with a nonconference win on the road.
The Tennessee Volunteers take their fast-paced offense into the ACC when they face the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Vols had an easier start to the season compared to Pitt and that may help them from a confidence perspective in one of Saturday's four Top 25 matchups.
The other two ranked battles will give us idea of how the SEC East will shape up and whether the Baylor Bears are capable of replicating last season's success.
Week 2 Schedule
Saturday, September 10
No. 1 Alabama at Texas (noon ET, Fox)
Arkansas State at No. 3 Ohio State (noon ET, BTN)
Southern Miss at No. 15 Miami (noon ET, ACC Network)
South Carolina at No. 16 Arkansas (noon ET, ESPN)
No. 23 Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (noon ET, SEC Network)
Charleston Southern at No. 18 NC State (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Southern Utah at No. 13 Utah (1:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)
Marshall at No. 8 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
Furman at No. 5 Clemson (3:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network)
Appalachian State at No. 6 Texas A&M (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pittsburgh (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Washington State at No. 19 Wisconsin (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)
Samford at No. 2 Georgia (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Akron at No. 14 Michigan State (4 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 25 Houston at Texas Tech (4 p.m. ET, FS1)
Kent State at No. 7 Oklahoma (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Central Arkansas at No. 22 Ole Miss (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+/SEC Network)
No. 10 USC at Stanford (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Arizona State at No. 11 Oklahoma State (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Hawai'i at No. 4 Michigan (8 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU (10;15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Alabama, Tennessee Make Road Statements for SEC
Alabama and Tennessee have opportunities to make two different types of statements on Saturday afternoon.
Alabama can reinforce its place among the top of college football's elite programs with a win on the road at Texas, while Tennessee can take a step forward under Josh Heupel if it goes to Pittsburgh and knocks off a ranked ACC opponent.
Alabama will be expected to win big in Austin because of its offensive outburst of 55 points and 559 total yards in Week 1 and Texas' recent history against the top teams on its schedule.
The Longhorns went 1-3 against Top 25 teams in 2021. The lone win was over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. The losses all came against Big 12 foes. They also lost on the road to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Texas went 1-3 against Top 25 foes with a loss to the LSU Tigers in 2019.
Texas could put up a fight for a half or so, but it may not have enough to handle Bryce Young and Co., who looked in midseason form in Week 1.
Tennessee also looked stellar in Week 1 with a 59-point outburst against the Ball State Cardinals. Saturday's trip to Pittsburgh is a much greater test for where the Vols stand this season and they could pass it with ease.
Pittsburgh's defense gave up 404 total yards to the West Virginia Mountaineers, which are expected to have a worse offense than Tennessee. Hendon Hooker and the Vols have plenty of motivation to light up the Pitt defense after losing to the Panthers in Knoxville last season.
A road power five scalp would do wonders for Tennessee and could elevate six SEC teams into the top 20 of the Top 25. That number might reach seven if the Florida Gators lose a close game to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night.
Baylor Picks Up Road Win Over BYU
The Baylor Bears are not going to put up 69 points in a road game against the BYU Cougars, as they did in Week 1 against the Albany Great Danes from the FCS.
Dave Aranda's program could use some elements of its Week 1 performance to pick up a huge road win in the last of four Top 25 battles on Saturday.
Baylor's defense gave up 237 total yards and 87 rushing yards at home against its FCS foe. BYU allowed 279 total yards against the South Florida Bulls.
Of course, the sample sizes are small and different, but they suggest Baylor will have a slightly better defensive unit going into Provo, Utah.
If that is the case, the Bears can hang around and win a low-scoring contest without having to rely too much on quarterback Blake Shapen in his first true road game as their starting quarterback.
More of the pressure will be on BYU on Saturday because the Cougars are playing at home and have the potential for a historic season to develop if they win. They also play Arkansas at home and take on Notre Dame in Las Vegas.
Baylor might be expected to lose a road game in Week 2 with a new quarterback in place, but if it pulls off the win with its defense and a solid performance out of Shapen, it could be thrust back into the early College Football Playoff conversation.