The Circuit’s 2022 CFB 1st Quarter Polls
We’re three weeks into college football, and what a crazy 3 weeks it’s been! From App State knocking off Texas A&M to Texas almooooost knocking off Alabama, we’ve seen a lot! So it’s time to take a look at the 1st quarter polls and see who I have winning it all! Getty Images/ Circuit Artwork Let’s kick things off with my top 25 poll; I got some things right in the preseason poll (Georgia, Alabama), and some things way wrong (Utah, Notre Dame). Here is the 1st quarter top 25 poll! Circuit Top 25 Poll Getty Images 1- Georgia Bulldogs 2- Ohio State Buckeyes 3- Alabama Crimson Tide 4- Michigan Wolverines 5- USC Trojans 6- Oklahoma Sooners 7- Kentucky Wildcats 8- Clemson Tigers 9- Oklahoma State Cowboys 10- Penn State Nittany Lions 11- Arkansas Razorbacks 12- Tennessee Volunteers 13- Washington Huskies 14- NC State Wolfpack 15- Wake Forest Demon Deacons 16- Ole Miss Rebels 17- Texas Longhorns 18- Baylor Bears 19- Utah Utes 20- Oregon Ducks 21- Florida Gators 22- Texas A&M Aggies 23- BYU Cougars 24- Miami Hurricane 25- Appalachian State Mountaineers Alabama stumbles here for me after escaping Austin with a narrow win against Texas, while Georgia has been demolishing teams. Other than Georgia, there really isn’t a team that would scare me. Except… USC! These Trojans look nasty on offense. Whether or not the defense will hold up or not is certainly a question that needs to be answered, but there is no one in the country that can out-score them. Michigan also has looked good, and now that they have switched to McCarthy, I think they could be even better than last year. Could we see 11-0 Michigan vs. 11-0 Ohio State come November? I think we might. Meanwhile, Notre Dame tumbled out of the rankings, and App State has climbed in! We’ve seen some big-time programs really struggle this season, which I gotta say has been somewhat refreshing. Notre Dame and Texas A&M have struggled more than usual this year, which makes these rankings even more interesting. Circuit Heisman Watch: Getty Images 1- Caleb Williams (USC QB) 2- CJ Stroud (Ohio State QB) 3- Bryce Young (Alabama QB) 4- JJ McCarthy (Mighican QB) 5- Stetson Bennett (Georgia QB) Caleb Williams is on a roll right now, but Stroud and Young will come on strong with some huge games coming this fall. McCarthy is a sleeper here though. Despite not starting week 1, if he can lead the Wolverines to the Playoff and put up some big numbers along the way, he could steal this award. Now let’s take a look at how the Power 5 conferences are shaping up heading into conference play! SEC Getty Images SEC Championship: Alabama def Georgia SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Bryce Young (Alabama QB) SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Will Anderson Jr (Alabama LB) SEC Coach of the Year: Mark Stoops (Kentucky) SEC Freshman of the Year: Barion Brown (Kentucky WR) While I have Georgia at #1, I do still think Alabama will find a way to win the SEC, but I don’t feel great about it. The only switch I’m making from my preseason picks is the coach of the year; I did not see Kentucky being this good, so give me Stoops as the SEC Coach of the Year for 2022! Big Ten Getty Images 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: Jim Harbough (Michigan) Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Will Johnson (Michigan CB) Well I clearly missed on Purdue; they are not very good. Minnesota seems to be the best team in the West division, so give me the Gophers getting crushed by Ohio State in the title game. The real Big Ten championship will be in Columbus with Ohio State vs. Michigan, and I see the Buckeyes squeaking out a tough win in another classic The Game games. ACC Getty Images ACC Championship: Clemson def Miami ACC Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Van Dyke (Miami QB) ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Bryan Bresee (Clemson) ACC Coach of the Year: Mario Christoball (Miami) ACC Freshman of the Year: Cade Klubnik (Clemson QB) The problem with this conference is the 3 best teams (Clemson, NC State & Wake Forest) are all in the same division, so whoever gets out of that gauntlet should win the conference. As for the other division… I guess it’s still Miami? No one stands out, so I won’t bail on my pick. Pac 12 Getty Images Pac 12 Championship: USC def Washington 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: Lincoln Riley (USC) Pac 12 Freshman of the Year: Domani Jackson (USC DB) I was wrong about USC; they aren’t a year away! This is clearly the best team in the Pac 12 right now, and they should roll to the conference championship. Washington and Oregon are close, but I love what I saw from the Huskies against Michigan State. Big 12 Getty Images Big 12 Championship: Baylor def Oklahoma State Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Bijan Robinson (Texas) Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Jeffrey Johnson (Oklahoma) Big 12 Coach of the Year: Dave Aranda (Baylor) Big 12 Freshman of the Year: Kelvin Banks (Texas OT) I’m keeping all my picks the same because this conference is just flat-out average at best. There are no playoff contenders in the Big 12, so does it really matter all that much? (Watch Oklahoma get into the Playoff come December) Let’s turn to the College Football Playoff! Who gets in? Who doesn’t? Who advances to the title game??? Getty Images Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 1 Alabama Crimson Tide def 4 USC Trojans PlayStation Fiesta Bowl 3 Georgia Bulldogs def 2 Ohio State Buckeyes A one-loss Georgia is getting in. Period. In an ideal world they would slip to #4, but I think the committee would try and avoid that rematch, so I have USC edging out Clemson for the final spot. As much as I love this Trojans team, their defense cannot stop Alabama. The Tide should Roll USC. For the other semifinal, give me the Dawgs over the Buckeyes. Their defense will be too much for Ohio State. National Championship Game: Getty Images 1 Alabama Crimson Tide def 3 Georgia Bulldogs There is no way Alabama loses two years in a row to Georgia in the title game. I just don’t believe that will happen. Bryce Young is the best quarterback in that game. Nick Saban is the best coach in that game. Will Anderson is the best defensive player in that game. Alabama is the hungrier team in that game. I think the Texas game was a wake-up call, and I see the Tide Rolling through Georgia for yet another championship parade in Tuscaloosa. There you have it! My 1st Quarter Polls for the 2022 college football season! Make sure to check back in towards the middle of October for my 2nd Quarter Polls to see what I got right, and more importantly, what I got wrong!