We have just a few weeks left in the 2022 college football season, and things are heating up! Is Alabama done? Can USC sneak into the playoff? Will Ohio State-Michigan be the new “Game of the Century”? All that and more with The Circuit’s 2022 3rd Quarter Polls!
Circuit Top 25 Poll
1- Georgia Bulldogs
2- Ohio State Buckeyes
3- Michigan Wolverines
4- TCU Horned Frogs
5- Tennessee Volunteers
6- Oregon Ducks
7- USC Trojans
8- LSU Tigers
9- UCLA Bruins
10- Alabama Crimson Tide
11- Clemson Tigers
12- Ole Miss Rebels
13- Utah Utes
14- North Carolina Tar Heels
15- Penn State Nittany Lions
16- Tulane Green Wave
17- Illinois Fighting Illini
18- NC State Wolfpack
19- Texas Longhorns
20- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
21- Liberty Flames
22- Kansas State Wildcats
23- UCF Golden Knights
24- Washington Huskies
25- Kansas Jayhawks
Wow this is not what I thought the 3rd quarter polls would look like! Alabama barely hanging onto a top-10 spot? TCU a top-5 team? Tulane is GOOD??? A lot of these rankings surprise me, but the top three are not surprising at all. I expected Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan to be in the playoff hunt, and I even expected USC to be a sneaky playoff contender. But with three weeks left in the season, there is plenty left to be settled.
Circuit Heisman Watch Rankings
1- CJ Stroud (Ohio State QB)
2- Hendon Hooker (Tennessee QB)
3- Caleb Williams (USC QB)
4- Bo Nix (Oregon QB)
5- Blake Corrum (Michigan RB)
Hendon Hooker has had a great season so far, and had he been able to pull off another huge win against Georgia, he definitely would have found himself in the pole position for the Heisman. But alas, he lost and therefore Stroud continues to be the front-runer. Now if he loses to Michigan (again), this award is going to the winning QB of the PAC-12 title game. But for now, Stroud is still the guy to beat.
SEC Championship: Georgia def LSU
SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Hendon Hooker (Tennessee QB)
SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Jalen Carter (Georgia DL)
SEC Coach of the Year: Josh Heupel (Tennessee)
Well obviously I whiffed on Alabama this year. I thought they would be stellar coming off of the tough national championship game loss, but turns out they just aren’t as good as they used to be. Nick Saban washed? Question mark? I’m not quite ready to go out on that limb yet, but Georgia is officially the new bully on the SEC block. LSU is a fun story, but they will get crushed by the Dawgs in the SEC title game.
Big Ten Championship: Ohio State def Illinois
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year: CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year: Andre Carter (Purdue Edge)
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Bret Beilema (Illinois)
Ohio State and Michigan will be the real Big Ten championship game, and because the game is in Columbus I have to give the edge to the Buckeyes. They have the Heisman leader and one of the best offenses in the nation without maybe the best receiver in the nation. Assuming Ohio State can survive the Wolverines, they should beat down the feel-good Fighting Illini.
ACC Championship: North Carolina def Clemson
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: Mack Brown (North Carolina)
This Clemson team is not good. Sure, they’re 10-2, beat down all the mid-major teams in the country-good, but they aren’t national championship contender-good. In my preseason predictions, I said Klubnik would be the starter after the BC game. Well I was a few weeks off, but there is no doubt he should take over now after the bad loss to the unranked Irish. Drake Maye and the Heels will pull off the upset and win the ACC.
Pac 12 Championship: USC def Oregon
Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Bo Nix (Oregon QB)
Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Noah Sewell (Oregon)
Pac 12 Coach of the Year: Chip Kelly (UCLA)
USC vs. Oregon in the Pac-12 title game will be the first officially unofficial CFP quarterfinal, as the winner is going to get into the playoff. With Alabama, Clemson and Tennessee all falling off and virtually eliminating themselves, the winner of this game is in a great position to get in and get blown out by either Georgia or Ohio State.
Big 12 Championship: Texas def TCU
Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Max Duggan (TCU QB)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Kansas State Edge)
Big 12 Coach of the Year: Sonny Dykes (TCU)
TCU is a cute story, but does anyone really think the Horned Frogs are contenders? Last year I fully believed in Cincinnati, but I just can’t get there with this team. They will lose before the regular season is over, and Texas will get ‘em in the Big 12 title game and finish off a great rebuilding year before a certain famous nephew arrives in Austin next summer and takes the Longhorns to the next level.
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 Ohio State Buckeyes def 4 Michigan Wolverines
Georgia has answered every question people have, and just refuses to let anyone else take their throne. They obliterated Oregon, they quietly handle the *ridiculously ranked* #1 Volunteers, and now they don’t have to play Bama? They will cruise to the #1 seed and will once again beat a highly ranked team in Michigan in the semifinals. Deja Vu? A week ago I didn’t think 2 Big Ten teams could get in, but with every top contender losing again and again, Michigan will lose to Ohio State and still get in.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl:
2 Ohio State Buckeyes def 3 USC Trojans
This will be an offensive explosion! The over/under for this game could start with an 8. USC will finish their unexpectedly great season with a tough loss to the eventual national champions.
National Championship Game:
2 Ohio State Buckeyes def 1 Georgia Bulldogs
I do not feel as great about this pick as I did at the 2nd quarter polls, but I’m sticking with the Buckeyes. Georgia looks great, but the better quarterback resides in Columbus, so give me the Buckeyes to win the 2022 national championship!
There you have it! My 3rd Quarter Polls for the 2022 college football season! Make sure to check back in towards the end of November for my awards and postseason predictions!