The Circuit’s 2022 CFB 2nd Quarter Polls
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
We’re halfway through the college football season, and things are going… almost exactly as planned. Can anyone prevent Alabama, Georgia & Ohio State from making the playoff? Find out here at The Circuit’s CFB 2nd Quarter Polls!
Circuit Top 25 Poll
1- Georgia Bulldogs
2- Ohio State Buckeyes
3- Alabama Crimson Tide
4- Clemson Tigers
5- Michigan Wolverines
6- USC Trojans
7- Tennessee Volunteers
8- Ole Miss Rebels
9- Oklahoma State Cowboys
10- UCLA Bruins
11- Penn State Nittany Lions
12- Oregon Ducks
13- TCU Horned Frogs
14- Wake Forest Demon Deacons
15- Mississippi State Bulldogs
16- NC State Wolfpack
17- Kansas Jayhawks
18- Cincinnati Bearcats
19- Syracuse Orange
20- Texas Longhorns
21- Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
22- Utah Utes
23- Kansas State Wildcats
24- Illinois Fighting Illini
25- Minnesota Golden Gophers
The playoff race is breaking down into three groups; Georgia, Alabama & Ohio State are heavily favored to get in. Major upsets would need to happen for even one of them to miss. The next group is Clemson, Michigan, USC & Tennessee. The odds are overwhelming that at least one of these four teams will make the playoff (apologies to Ole Miss, Oklahoma State & UCLA. You just aren’t there yet). Then there's everyone else.
Texas, Kansas & Coastal Carolina are three teams that I love this season. While none of them have a chance at the playoff, I think they’re all fun teams that could be playing in major bowls and beat some “major” programs.
Circuit Heisman Watch Rankings
1- CJ Stroud (Ohio State QB)
2- Caleb Williams (USC QB)
3- Bryce Young (Alabama QB)
4- Hendon Hooker (Tennessee QB)
5- Blake Corum (Michigan RB)
This has become Stroud and everybody else; Williams has been great, but Stroud is doing this mostly without the guy that most people thought was the best receiver in the nation, and Williams has the best receiver in the nation. Young is third purely based on preseason hype, and I think Hooker could easily pass him as soon as this Saturday. And Corum is a great story so far, but he has less than no chance of winning this award.
SEC Championship: Georgia def Alabama
SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Hendon Hooker (Tennessee)
SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Will Anderson Jr (Alabama)
SEC Coach of the Year: Josh Heupel (Tennessee)
I finally gave in and flipped my SEC pick. Alabama has looked less than impressive, and now they’re starting to get banged up. I don’t think Georgia is perfect, but I think they will get the Tide in the SEC title game.
Tennessee is interesting here; I definitely think they could upset the Dawgs and play Alabama for the conference championship. I don’t think it will happen, but I didn’t give anyone in the east any chance of beating Georgia in the preseason, but now I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Vols do it.
Big Ten Championship: Ohio State def Minnesota
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year: CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year: Andre Carter II (Purdue)
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Ryan Day (Ohio State)
The real Big Ten championship will occur when Michigan goes to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes to end the regular season. Assuming they both are 11-0, the winner of that game goes to the playoff and could very well be the favorites to win the title. If the game was in Michigan, I would take the Wolverines but because it’s at Ohio State, give me the Buckeyes.
ACC Championship: Clemson def North Carolina
ACC Offensive Player of the Year: Drake Maye (North Carolina QB)
ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Bryan Bresee (Clemson)
ACC Coach of the Year: Dabo Swinney (Clemson)
Clemson is better than I thought they would be, and I think I have to admit defeat on my prediction that Dabo would go to Cade Klubnik. They haven’t looked great this season, but they’ve beaten a few highly-ranked teams, so I have to give them credit. I think they roll through the regular season and beat down the Tar Heels who will just be happy to be there.
Pac 12 Championship: USC def Oregon
Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Caleb Williams (USC)
Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Noah Sewell (Oregon)
Pac 12 Coach of the Year: Chip Kelly (UCLA)
USC vs. UCLA could not only determine the Big 12 champion, but could also impact the CFP. When was the last time that happened? Give me the Trojans in this conference because of Caleb Williams and Lincoln Reilly. The Trojans have done a great job at turning teams over, and while that doesn’t usually carry over season-to-season, there are always teams that manage to have magical seasons with turnovers.
Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma State def Texas
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Bijan Robinson (Texas)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
Big 12 Coach of the Year: Steve Sarkisian (Texas)
Texas has been a great story, and when Arch Manning arrives in Austin next fall I think they will become instant national championship contenders. But for now, making the Big 12 championship and losing to a really solid Oklahoma State team will suffice.
Let’s turn to the College Football Playoff! Who gets in? Who doesn’t? Who advances to the title game???
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl:
1 Georgia Bulldogs def 4 Clemson Tigers
Georgia will easily be the #1 seed with being 13-0 and beating Alabama in the SEC title game. Clemson will be a little controversial, as they will likely also be 13-0 and ACC champs. I put them at #4 however because I don’t think the committee will want to see Georgia vs. Alabama in the semi-finals. Not that it matters much for the Tigers; they would get killed by any of the other three playoff teams.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl:
2 Ohio State Buckeyes def 3 Alabama Crimson Tide
The Buckeyes offense will just be too much for Alabama. They struggled against Texas and Arkansas, so Stroud should be able to put up some big numbers. The Tide always demand respect, but they’ve been shaky too often this season to continue to get the benefit of the doubt.
National Championship Game:
2 Ohio State Buckeyes def 1 Georgia Bulldogs
The Buckeyes are really good on offense. Stroud is the best quarterback in the country, and they’ll find a way to move the ball against the Dawgs. Eventually they have to beat an SEC team, don’t they?
There you have it! My 2nd Quarter Polls for the 2022 college football season! Make sure to check back in towards the beginning of November for my 3rd Quarter Polls to see what I got right, and more importantly, what I got wrong!