College Football 2021-22 Preview!

Note: Beginning next Friday 9/3/21 Pop & Sports will be posting a weekly “Football Friday” article throughout the College and NFL football seasons previewing the upcoming weekend’s top match-ups as well as gambling and fantasy advice.

2020-21 College Football Recap

Alabama has won 18 national championships ... or has it? The complicated  story behind a simple question – The Athletic
Alabama celebrates its 2020-21 National Championship Credit: Mark Rebilas

COVID cancelled some match-ups, but overall the 2020-21 NCAFF season was an entertaining success. In what was a shock to many, #3 ranked Ohio State dismantled #2 Clemson 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl to advanced to the National Championship. In the Rose Bowl, #1 Alabama took care of business against #4 Notre Dame 31-14. Alabama continued their decade-plus run of dominance with a commanding 52-24 victory over Ohio State to win their 18th National Championship and 6th since 2009. Alabama WR Devonta Smith monopolized award season taking home the Heisman Trophy, AP Player of the Year, Maxwell Award, and many other accolades.

2021-22 Pre-Season AP Rankings

  1. Alabama
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio State
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Iowa State
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Notre Dame
  10. North Carolina
  11. Oregon
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Florida
  14. Miami
  15. USC
  16. LSU
  17. Indiana
  18. Iowa
  19. Penn State
  20. Washington
  21. Texas
  22. Coastal Carolina
  23. Louisiana
  24. Utah
  25. Arizona State

National Championship Favorites

(Odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on 8/27)

Alabama (+265)

What Bryce Young said in his first media appearance
Alabama QB Bryce Young Credit: Catie McMekin

QB Bryce Young takes the helm of HC Nick Saban’s machine. Despite losing 8 players in the top 40 picks of the 2021 draft, Alabama (as per usual) is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and poised for another National Championship run.

Clemson (+410)

How do you pronounce D.J. Uiagalelei? Here's a guide to the Clemson  quarterback's name (and nicknames) | Sporting News
Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei Credit: Sporting News

QB DJ Uiagalelei looked promising in his two starts last season with 781 yards passing, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs. Clemson should continue it’s dominance in the ACC and is almost a lock to make the College Football Playoff.

Georgia (+500)

Coach on QB JT Daniels: Georgia Bulldogs need to 'turn him loose'
Georgia QB JT Daniels Credit: Perry McIntyre

With USC transfer JT Daniels finally healthy, HC Kirby Smart is ready to make some noise in the SEC East.

Ohio State (+610)

Ryan Day Announces C.J. Stroud as Ohio State's Starting Quarterback |  The-Ozone
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud Credit: The Ozone

Ohio State lost superstars QB Justin Fields and RB Trey Sermon to the NFL Draft, as well as 7 starters on defense. They bring in strong recruiting classes year after year, but if QB C.J. Stroud and other young stars struggle this could be the year another Big 10 squad makes the playoffs.

Oklahoma (+820)

Spencer Rattler - 2021 - Football - University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler Credit: Joshua R. Gateley

Oklahoma and Texas are set to join the SEC in 2025, but for now Oklahoma HC Lincoln Riley and his star QB Spencer Rattler are set to win their 7th straight conference title in 2021.

2021-22 NCAFF Best Bets

Clemson to win the National Championship (+410)

AND

Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei to win the Heisman Trophy (+1100)

I’m all-in on Clemson this year. They have a clearer path to the National Championship game then any other contenders and Uiagalelei has already shown what he can do in HC Dabo Swinney’s offense.

Alabama to win the SEC (-160) parlayed with Oklahoma to win the Big 12 (-170) for +158 odds

Do you really think both these things don’t happen? Throw in Clemson to win the ACC at -900 if you want a slight boost up to +186.

North Carolina to win the ACC Coastal Division (+125)

UNC should take care of business in the regular season behind projected #1 pick QB Sam Howell.

Remember to come back next Friday September 3rd for the first official “Football Friday” before all the College Football Action over Labor Day Weekend!

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