The 2021-22 college football season is only a few weeks old, but we already have a good idea of which teams will challenge for the National Championship at the end of the campaign. Those players competing in college football have high hopes of progressing their careers and becoming NFL stars where unimaginable riches await. Being on the National Championship winning team can help further their fledgling careers, opening the door to a long and lucrative career as a professional athlete.
The Princeton Tigers are the most successful men’s NCAA Division I football team, with 28 championships to their name. However, much of the Princeton Tigers’ success came in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the Tigers have not claimed a championship since 1950, although they did win the 2021 Ivy League Conference. Yale Bulldogs are next on the list with 27 championships, followed by Alabama Crimson Tide (23) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22). No other team has 20 or more championships in its trophy room; Ohio State Buckeyes (17), Oklahoma Sooners (17), and USC Trojans (17) are close to hitting that impressive milestone.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide is the overwhelming favorite to retain their title, according to the latest college football odds online. The Crimson Tide bulldozed their way to victory in 2020 final, turning over Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24 at the Hard Rock Stadium, which is the famous home of the Miami Dolphins.
Alabama has gotten off to a 4-0 start and looks, frankly, unstoppable. Head coach Nick Saban had to reshuffle the pack after losing several key players from his title-winning roster. Saban looks to have successfully done that and more.
There were very few players who fancied the Georgia Bulldogs’ chances of glory before the start of the season, but head coach Kirby Smart has worked some magic with his team. They, too, started the campaign 4-0 and outscored their opponents 158-20. Continuing this form would make the Bulldogs serious contenders for the championship.
The Georgia Bulldogs are one of college football’s up-and-coming teams. Under Mark Richt, they won the SEC Conference in 2002 and again in 2005, with Kirby Smart guiding his young Bulldogs to the same conference title in 2017. Do write off this Bulldogs team despite Alabama being the firm favorite for glory this campaign.
The Oklahoma Sooners remain the favorited to win the Big 12 thanks, in part, to the incredible Spencer Rattler. The 21-year-old quarterback put up ridiculous figures in 2020, throwing for more than 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Rattler has continued thriving in 2021, leading his team to a 4-0 start.
The Oklahoma Sooners have some incredible players on their roster, with at least six or maybe seven youngsters heading for the 2022 NFL Draft. Linebackers Nik Bonitto and Brian Asamoah are the picks of the players heading for the bright lights of the National Football League.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes, or the OSU, saw their roster severely depleted, with Justin Fields and Trey Sermon drafted to the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers, respectively. They have a talented quarterback in CJ Stroud, and the likes of Master Teague and Chris Olave are superb players. They may be weakened, but do not write off the OSU.
This is the third year that the Ohio State Buckeyes are coached by Ryan Day after the legendary Urban Meyer left for pastures new at the end of the 2019 season. Day and his coaching staff helped Ohio State Buckeyes win the 2019 and 2020 Big Ten Conference. Winning anything this year would be a massive achievement for the reasons mentioned earlier.
The Oregon Ducks are outsiders for national championship glory, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football. Anthony Brown continues pulling strings from the quarterback position; Brown has helped the Ducks win 15 consecutive home games.
Ducks supporters are hoping for a big final season from a host of their best players, all of whom are destined to compete in the NFL next season after declaring themselves for the 2022 NFL Draft. Brown is one of them, as are Johnny Johnson III, Verone McKinley III, George Moore IV, C.J. Verdell, Devon Williams, and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux; the latter is touted to be a first-round pick.
Once you get as far as the Texas Longhorns, the odds of winning the championship are very long. This is true despite an impressive start to the season for the Longhorns. A 38-18 win over Louisiana, a 58-0 win over Rice, and a high-scoring 70-35 victory over local rivals Texas Tech show the Longhorns are a good team. However, they lost 40-21 against Arkansas, the only real test they have faced so far.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State Nittany Lions have gone 4-0 from their opening fixtures, but the fourth seeds are not expected to challenge for glory. A very disappointing 2020 season saw them start 0-5 and allow at least 30 points n each of those games. That defensive frailty was fixed, but there are lingering doubts about the Nittany Lions.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame Fighting Irish look like the team every neutral fan will tune in to watch, thanks to their high-scoring games early in the season. They won 41-38 on Week 1, 32-29, 27-13, and 41-13 last time out. Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan is leading the offense well, although he did pick up an injury in Week 4.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State Bulldogs finished 4-7 across the 2020 season, including three wins during the regular season. ESPN’s Football Power Index predicted a 4-0 start for the Bulldogs, but they are 2-2, those losses being a narrow 31-29 against Memphis and a 28-25 against LSU.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 4-0 from their opening four games and look to have adapted to life without James Hudson, who the Cleveland Browns drafted in 2021. The Bearcats have a strong starting team, but experts say they lack strength in depth.