Your complete college football primer 100 days before Week 1 kicks off

NCAAF

After 10 FBS video games (plus Howard-Alabama State within the MEAC/SWAC Problem) kick issues off in Week 0, everybody will begin getting in on the motion when Week 1 kicks off precisely 100 days from now, on Sept. 1.

The arrival of the 100-day mark to the start of the school soccer season carries with it each pleasure and panic.

On the one hand, the clock is ticking down for the return of the best sport on the planet, together with the bands, mascots and followers that make it so. Then again, this implies we’ve to get every thing else performed now. Yard work? Dwelling-improvement initiatives? Holidays? Weddings? You’ve got received simply 14 Saturdays left till we’re locked in.

It has been fairly an offseason. A brand new rivalry has dawned between Southern California and Oklahoma — a minimum of amongst their followers on Twitter — after the defection of Lincoln Riley (and Caleb Williams) to the West Coast. The Trojans added a number of haters to the bandwagon just lately with the addition of Pitt star Jordan Addison.

Texas A&M and Alabama have thrown a complete bunch of kerosene on the already flamable SEC West. Talking of, Bryan Harsin remains to be at Auburn after a cleaning soap opera enveloped his spring trip. He’s most likely able to get again to some soccer too.

And what higher option to kick off Week 1 than with a superb ol’ Thursday night time Yard Brawl, with West Virginia touring to Pitt for his or her a hundred and fifth assembly.

However earlier than we get began, this has been an offseason of change, on and off the sphere. And you will be forgiven if you cannot fairly bear in mind all that is occurred. So this is a rundown of the important thing coaches in new locations, elite transfers on new groups, place battles nonetheless to be decided and a complete lot extra.

— Dave Wilson

Bounce to: State of the game | Coaches
Transfers |
Top players | Position battles
Offseason sights & sounds | September games

What occurred with CFP growth and realignment once more?

Faculty Soccer Playoff growth discussions had been placed on pause after the ten FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick in February forged an 8-3 vote that can keep the four-team format in place for four more years. The Pac-12, Massive Ten and ACC voted towards growth on the time for varied causes. The CFP is anticipated to revisit the subject within the subsequent six to 12 months, as a plan remains to be wanted for after the 2025 season, when the present 12-year contract expires. The CFP additionally has to announce websites for the nationwide championship video games in 2025 and 2026.

Whereas the postseason format stays in limbo, the realignment shuffle is on observe.

Massive 12 co-founders Oklahoma and Texas are nonetheless anticipated to hitch the SEC in 2025.

Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are leaving the American Athletic Convention and heading to the Massive 12 (together with BYU), however the actual timing remains to be in query. AAC bylaws require the faculties to remain till July 1, 2024; however in good religion, the convention has been prepared to attempt to negotiate an earlier exit. Sources informed ESPN just lately no settlement has been reached. (BYU will take part July 2023.) With these colleges leaving the AAC, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA will be part of the convention on July 1, 2023.

James Madison will be part of the Solar Belt no later than July 1, 2023, together with new additions Southern Miss, Old Dominion and Marshall.

And what’s coming subsequent with the state of CFB?

A whole restructuring of the collegiate panorama is on the horizon, with the NCAA rewriting its structure, restructuring the way in which it’s ruled and trying to find a brand new president to replace Mark Emmert.

Finally, the NCAA will cede extra energy to the faculties and conferences, however there are various views on what that ought to seem like. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told ESPN recently the ten FBS conferences ought to function below the umbrella of the Faculty Soccer Playoff. The Knight Fee on Intercollegiate Athletics additionally has recommended making a separate group to handle the ten conferences and 130 colleges that compete on the FBS degree. It is an concept that solely just lately has been garnering traction amongst college presidents and the game’s decision-makers, however there are way more questions than solutions at this stage.

Some really feel it is best to attend till the NCAA’s transformation committee, which is co-chaired by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio University athletic director Julie Cromer, finishes its work.

Whereas the NCAA undergoes its most important modifications since 1996, the wealthy proceed to get richer. The Massive Ten’s new blockbuster media rights deal, which is reportedly expected to be worth up to $1 billion, needs to be in place close to the top of Could. Conference commissioner Kevin Warren told ESPN he quickly expects a “memorandum of understanding” to be agreed upon round Memorial Day. The Massive Ten’s profitable new deal, coupled with the SEC’s eventual progress to 16 groups with the additions of Oklahoma and Texas in 2025, will additional separate these two leagues because the wealthiest and strongest in faculty athletics. The Pac-12 ought to really feel snug in third place, because the league’s media rights expire in the summertime of 2024, and a brand new deal will a minimum of place the convention forward of the redesigned Massive 12 and the ACC, which is locked into its present contract with ESPN till 2036.

— Heather Dinich

Replace on key first-year coaches

After a wild teaching carousel over the winter, the checklist of first-year coaches options each established entrance males and notable assistants making their debuts. Brian Kelly and Lincoln Riley, who’ve 221 mixed FBS wins, enter new roles at LSU and USC, respectively. Every coach’s beautiful exit in late November places his first season below particularly vibrant spotlights. The identical goes for his or her replacements: Marcus Freeman, the 36-year-old who took over for Kelly after just one season as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator; and Brent Venables, 51, the profession coordinator who lastly left Clemson to return to Oklahoma, the place he labored from 1999 to 2011.

Venables is not the one longtime Clemson assistant to start his head-coaching journey. Tony Elliott, the offensive playcaller for Clemson’s nationwide championship groups in 2016 and 2018, takes over at Virginia. Many of the ACC intrigue will likely be at Miami, the place Mario Cristobal tries to recapture nationwide prominence with newfound sources behind him. Cristobal leaves Oregon within the arms of Dan Lanning, a first-time head coach who coordinated Georgia’s nationwide championship protection final yr and can open the season towards the Bulldogs. Billy Napier begins his Energy 5 head-coaching quest at Florida, whereas the Group of 5 options a number of first-year coaches with Energy 5 expertise, together with Clay Helton (Georgia Southern), Jim Mora (UConn), Joe Moorhead (Akron) and Jerry Kill (New Mexico State).

Coaches below strain for 2022

The variety of strikes and distinguished groups concerned in final yr’s carousel might lighten the following cycle, however a number of coaches are in desperation mode. Will Arizona State’s Herm Edwards even make it to the season? His workers has been gutted throughout an NCAA investigation, and an overhaul in Tempe seems inevitable. Edwards has assist from prime ASU directors, however NCAA sanctions or different attrition might speed up change. Nebraska’s Scott Frost survived his fourth straight dropping season in Lincoln, however he needed to revamp his offensive workers and take a lowered contract and buyout quantity. Something lower than a bowl look will assure his departure from his alma mater.

Auburn’s Bryan Harsin made it by way of an inside evaluation in February, and he has gained a second wind on the Plains, however a poor file and any inside strife might set off a change. The ACC is perhaps a carousel hotspot, as Syracuse’s Dino Babers, Louisville’s Scott Satterfield, Florida State’s Mike Norvell and Georgia Tech’s Geoff Collins all have to win. Colorado’s Karl Dorrell additionally possible should ship, whereas UCLA’s Chip Kelly goals to construct on progress from 2021. Group of 5 scorching spots embrace Memphis (Ryan Silverfield), North Texas (Seth Littrell) and UNLV (Marcus Arroyo).

— Adam Rittenberg

Greatest transfers of the offseason

​​1. QB Caleb Williams: This switch made headlines for weeks after Williams entered the switch portal and introduced he was leaving Oklahoma. He transferred to USC to observe coach Lincoln Riley and instantly upgraded the offense for the Trojans.

2. QB Quinn Ewers: Leaving Ohio State got here as a shock to some, however Ewers had been dedicated to Texas out of highschool at one level and transferred to play for the Longhorns after just one season with the Buckeyes.

3. DB Eli Ricks: Ricks was a freshman All-American, then handled accidents this previous season for LSU. He’s a former five-star prospect and may be capable to contribute instantly to the Alabama secondary. He was one of many greatest will get this offseason.

4. WR Jordan Addison: When it was reported that Addison would enter the switch portal, it introduced fairly a little bit of shock at Pittsburgh and past. USC was talked about as a pacesetter, then Addison took a go to to Texas. However the Trojans received the previous Biletnikoff Award winner, and they’re including one other offensive choice to a very revamped roster.

5. QB Jaxson Dart: Lane Kiffin wanted a substitute for Matt Corral at quarterback at Ole Miss, and Dart is a superb choice. He tried 189 passes final season for USC, finishing 117 for 1,353 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Greatest transfers nonetheless out there

1. WR Marcus Washington: As a junior, Washington had 277 receiving yards and two touchdowns final season for the Longhorns.

2. LB Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey: At James Madison, Tucker-Dorsey tallied 116 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss. He’s a grad switch and may have loads of choices.

3. QB Carlos Del Rio-Wilson: The previous Florida quarterback was the No. 58 prospect within the 2021 class out of Georgia. He redshirted his first season, and he’s now wanting elsewhere to play out the remainder of his eligibility.

4. OL/DL Jonah Miller: Miller was an ESPN 300 recruit out of highschool who transformed to the defensive position at Oregon. He might play on offense or protection at his new vacation spot.

5. OL Chris Akporoghene: An offensive lineman with SEC expertise is hard to return by. Akporoghene was primarily a backup for Tennessee, however he might make a superb choice for a staff in search of some assist up entrance.

–Tom VanHaaren

Hiya Heisman? Meet CFB’s prime returning gamers

1. OLB Will Anderson Jr.: He was probably the most dominant participant in faculty soccer a season in the past (regardless that he did not win the Heisman Trophy), and he returns to Alabama in 2022 as the sport’s most dominant participant. Unblockable as a pass-rusher and a run-stopper, the 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson is among the finest defenders Nick Saban has ever coached.

2. QB Bryce Young: Trying to repeat because the Heisman Trophy winner, Younger was the essence of calm in his first season as Alabama’s beginning quarterback. He handed for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns and was intercepted simply seven instances. He will likely be with out his prime two extensive receivers from a yr in the past, however Younger and Alabama offensive coordinator Invoice O’Brien will likely be collectively for a second straight yr.

3. QB C.J. Stroud: There have been a number of hiccups early in his 2021 marketing campaign at Ohio State, however there is not any cause Stroud should not choose up proper the place he left off a yr in the past with 573 passing yards and 6 landing passes within the Rose Bowl win over Utah. Needless to say he put up these numbers with eventual first-round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave sitting out the sport.

4. DT Jalen Carter: Georgia produced a file 5 NFL first-round draft picks on protection final month, together with prime general choose Travon Walker. More than one opposing coach told ESPN final yr that the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Carter was the Dawgs’ most disruptive defender on their 2021 nationwide championship staff. Carter completed second on the staff with 33 quarterback pressures, and his manufacturing will solely improve in 2022.

5. WR Jordan Addison: He gained the Biletnikoff Award final season at Pittsburgh because the nation’s finest receiver whereas tying for the lead nationally with 17 landing catches. He is among the premier playmakers in faculty soccer and brings his abilities to the Trojans.

The true freshmen we won’t wait to see

1. WR Luther Burden III: Ranked as the highest extensive receiver prospect within the 2022 class, Burden seemed the half this spring with an array of huge performs, quickness and the flexibility to make defenders look helpless within the open subject. Getting “LB3” out of St. Louis was an enormous recruiting win for Eliah Drinkwitz and Missouri, and if you are going to win huge within the SEC, you higher have dynamic playmakers like Burden.

2. RB Nicholas Singleton: Penn State must run the ball higher than it did a yr in the past, and Singleton was a key a part of a 2022 signing class that was ranked sixth nationally by ESPN. He was one in all eight true freshmen who went by way of spring apply. Already weighing 215 kilos, Singleton confirmed the form of explosiveness, energy and quickness that ought to get him on the sphere early.

3. DT Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy: One among 11 early enrollees in Texas A&M’s blockbuster 2022 signing class, the 6-foot-3, 276-pound Brownlow-Dindy missed spring apply after injuring his knee within the Below Armour All-America Sport. Initially an Oklahoma dedication, Brownlow-Dindy has every thing it takes to make an instantaneous influence and might be particularly efficient as an inside pass-rusher.

4. CB Domani Jackson: He confirmed up on USC’s campus this spring with an NFL physique (6-foot-1, 190 kilos and lengthy arms), and he needs to be a welcome addition to a Trojans protection that ranked ninetieth nationally towards the cross final season. Jackson was restricted this spring after injuring his knee final fall as a senior in highschool. USC beat Alabama to get Jackson, who has observe pace and excels in press protection.

5. S Kye Stokes: He was hardly the Buckeyes’ highest-ranked signee within the 2022 class, however Stokes was simply probably the most spectacular of the 11 early enrollees this spring. The coaches raved about his cowl abilities, vary and power, and regardless that Ohio State returns a number of veterans within the secondary, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Stokes has the flexibility to assist in various completely different spots.

— Chris Low

High place battles resolved in spring

There aren’t too many high-profile positional selections set in stone throughout spring ball, however Dave Aranda did not want to attend till the autumn to determine who could be below middle for Baylor. On paper, Aranda had a troublesome choice to make. Gerry Bohanon was an All-Massive 12 choice who began 12 of 14 video games final yr, threw for two,200 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 323 yards and one other 9 scores. Bohanon was a vital a part of the Bears’ 12-2 season. However final month, Aranda named Bohanon’s backup Blake Shapen (who began two video games and accomplished 17 straight passes in one in all them) because the starter, giving Bohanon the chance to enter the switch portal, which he has. Regardless of Bohanon’s steadiness, there’s an expectation that Shapen’s ceiling might be larger.

In Eugene, Oregon, the scenario is not as resolved as it’s in Waco, Texas, however Bo Nix’s arrival (alongside his former offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham) has put him within the driver’s seat for the beginning quarterback job. New head coach Dan Lanning hasn’t made a proper choice for the Geese, and Ty Thompson additionally has impressed loads, however even because the competitors will proceed in fall camp, Nix seems to be primed to get the primary crack on the job. Whether or not he’ll maintain it throughout the season is one other query.

Whereas Ohio State has breakout wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba returning and taking the highest extensive receiver spot, it has turn into evident that Marvin Harrison Jr. is primed to be the Buckeyes No. 2 wideout. After a powerful three-touchdown efficiency within the Rose Bowl, Harrison has continued his sturdy play into spring. “The expectations have at all times been there for him, and it is not been straightforward,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day mentioned of Harrison. “Some guys are blessed with an amazing quantity of expertise, however they’ve a tough time discovering that talent and that self-discipline. He has each.”

Most intriguing place battles for fall

Quarterbacks, quarterbacks and extra quarterbacks. From South Carolina to Faculty Station and Baton Rouge to Austin, the quarterback battles to return would be the discuss of faculty soccer — outdoors of title, picture and likeness (NIL) — till kickoff.

At Texas, Quinn Ewers’ return to the state has garnered plenty of pleasure, however Hudson Card has proven he’s greater than as much as the problem. Card has impressed in spring, and whereas Ewers was a extremely touted five-star recruit, it appears he has his work reduce out for him to overhaul Card within the fall.

Texas A&M has plenty of thrilling prospects arriving this yr, however questions stay at quarterback. Haynes King handled accidents final season, however familiarity with Jimbo Fisher’s system is his benefit over LSU switch Max Johnson, who’s coming off a 2,800-yard, 27-touchdown season. Rounding out the battle is Connor Weigman, a five-star prospect from this vaunted 2022 class who might begin to make his manner up the depth chart if alternatives break his manner.

Johnson’s previous staff is coping with a quarterback battle of its personal, after Jayden Daniels made a spring switch transfer from Arizona State to LSU. Myles Brennan was anticipated to be the chief within the clubhouse (with Garrett Nussmeier attempting to chase him), however Daniels’ arrival as a dynamic choice for Brian Kelly’s new problem places strain on Brennan to stave off Daniels, who left a surefire beginning job in Tempe for this chance.

Lastly, Clemson might be dealing with a troublesome choice. After an up-and-down yr for D.J. Uiagalelei, Dabo Swinney has a quarterback battle on his arms with Cade Klubnik, the highest quarterback within the 2022 class who as an early enrollee introduced the warmth in spring. With new offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter dealing with not simply the quarterbacks however the entire offense and Clemson attempting to bounce again from a down season, there will likely be plenty of strain on the Tigers to make the suitable name. This one might go all the way down to the wire and may find yourself with extra twists and turns because the season progresses.

— Paolo Uggetti

The strangest sights and sounds of the offseason

After some Auburn boosters tried to oust Bryan Harsin, he arrived at SEC conferences and got here in by way of the again door to keep away from the spectacle outdoors.

Sam Pittman debuted an unbelievable new “slobbering hog” statue at his home.

Caleb Williams made his option to his first USC apply… finally.

Texas working again Bijan Robinson’s latest NIL perk is even sooner than he’s …

Lane Kiffin dubbed himself the “Portal King.”

Then he tried to switch the title to a different switch portal fanatic, Lincoln Riley.

Brian Kelly received plenty of consideration for his dance strikes, even with a recruit who finally signed with Alabama.

Seeing Gary Patterson in burnt orange will take some getting used to.

After which we received this new feud between Nick Saban and Fisher to make us stay up for Oct. 8, when Texas A&M will face Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

September video games we won’t wait to see

1. Notre Dame at Ohio State (Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m., ABC and ESPN app): There aren’t many matchups you would provide you with to open up the season higher than this one. Two of probably the most storied applications in faculty soccer are coming off appearances in New 12 months’s Six bowls and trying to compete once more in 2022. Marcus Freeman enters his first full season as Notre Dame’s head coach, and he can have his arms full with Ohio State’s prolific offense, led by Heisman candidate C.J. Stroud.

2. Georgia vs. Oregon (Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC and ESPN app): The defending nationwide champions open up their season in Atlanta (most likely the closest you will get to a neutral-site residence recreation) towards a Pac-12 favourite in Oregon. The Geese can have some familiarity with the Bulldogs with Dan Lanning as their head coach, who simply left Georgia after main an all-time nice protection that produced 5 first-round NFL draft picks.

3. Alabama at Texas (Sept. 10): The Crimson Tide are going to be the most effective soccer groups you’ll watch all season lengthy. They will as soon as once more be outfitted with two of one of the best gamers within the nation in Bryce Younger and Will Anderson Jr., together with a forged of different future NFL gamers. Texas enters its second marketing campaign below Steve Sarkisian with rising expectations. Regardless of your private expectations, watching Bijan Robinson towards the Tide’s protection will likely be a spectacle of bodily abilities. Regardless of the results of this recreation, it’s certain to supply us with leisure.

4. Florida State vs. LSU (Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC and ESPN app): The Seminoles are 8-13 over the previous two seasons, together with an 0-6 file in September. A win towards a reputation model like LSU (even when not the Tigers’ finest staff) would really feel huge for FSU given the place it is at. LSU, then again, is coming off of a 6-7 season and has excessive expectations below Brian Kelly.

5. Utah at Florida (Sept. 3): The Utes are coming off arguably one of the thrilling Rose Bowl matchups we’ve ever seen. They will have some rebuilding to do defensively, however they’re anticipated to be one of many contenders out of the Pac-12, together with Oregon. They will be an important opening take a look at for first-year Gators coach Billy Napier, who went 33-5 in his final three seasons at Louisiana.

— Harry Lyles Jr.

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