The 2022 college football season is almost here and each week will present an interesting slate of games to sink your teeth into. We’ve combed through the entire FBS schedule and made predictions for the top games for each week.
Week 0 (Saturday, August 27)
Nebraska vs. Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland (12:30 p.m. ET, Fox)
Week 0 has become the appetizer for college football fans in recent years and we’ll be treated to an international Big Ten battle to kick things off as Northwestern and Nebraska fly all the way out to Ireland to face each other. This may not be the most aesthetically pleasing game to watch, but there are some interesting storylines to follow. In particular, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost is on the hot seat heading into the year and laying an egg overseas would not help his cause moving forward. On the other side, Northwestern has traded down seasons in odd-numbered years with successful seasons in even-numbered years recently. Their performance in this game could be a harbinger of whether or not that pattern will continue.
Week 1 (Saturday, September 3)
Notre Dame at Ohio State (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Week 1 will have a full smorgasbord of options for viewers to choose from and the best game will most likely be the marquee matchup of the weekend as Notre Dame heads to the ‘Horseshoe’ to face Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently have the second-highest odds to win the College Football Playoff on DraftKings Sportsbook and will be led by the preseason frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy in quarterback C.J. Stroud. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is kicking off a new era with Marcus Freeman as its new head coach and will have plenty of talent to place on the field when facing his alma mater. Considering the brands involved, this will most likely be the highest rated college football game of the regular season.
Week 2 (Saturday, September 10)
Alabama at Texas (12 p.m. ET, Fox)
Similar to Notre Dame-Ohio State the week prior, this game will feature two of the biggest brands in the entire sport as Alabama travels to Austin to meet future conference foe Texas. The Crimson Tide enter the season as the CFP favorites and will have both reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young and Heisman hopeful Will Anderson starting at DKR in Week 2. Meanwhile, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian will face his former employer and this game will serve as a barometer for either how far the Longhorns have come or how far they’ll need to go to be considered as national title contenders.
Week 3 (Saturday, September 17)
Miami at Texas A&M (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
There’s a handful of contenders for best game in Week 3, but we’ll we go with the night showdown in College Station, TX, between Texas A&M and Miami. The Aggies have been the “it” team of the offseason and have been tabbed as a potential College Football Playoff contender. A win over Miami would be the first step in determining if all the offseason hype was warranted. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes will be playing their first marquee game under head coach Mario Cristobal. An upset here would go a long way towards both the momentum of the program and the potential Heisman candidacy for quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.
Week 4 (Saturday, September 24)
Wisconsin at Ohio State (Time TBA/ABC)
We return to Columbus, OH, in late September for a big-time, Big Ten showdown in late September between Wisconsin and Ohio State. It was at this point of the season last year where the Buckeyes started to get a little bit sleepy and them demolishing the Badgers at home would go a long way towards them making a statement as national title contenders. Meanwhile, UW has the next potential all-time great Badger running back in Braelon Allen and a strong performance here could elevate him into the national spotlight.
Week 5 (Saturday, October 1)
NC State at Clemson (Time/Network TBA)
It’ll be a bit of a sleepy weekend as far as marquee matchups are concerned to open the month of October, so we’ll go with an ACC showdown in Death Valley between NC State and Clemson. With quarterback Devin Leary among several returning for Dave Doeren this season, the Wolfpack have been tabbed as a sleeper in the ACC and knocking off the Tigers for a second year in a row would make a statement. For Clemson, they’re trying to climb back into the national zeitgeist after a “down” season where it went 10-3 last year. Beating down the Pack could restore order for the entire conference.
Week 6 (Saturday, October 8)
Texas A&M at Alabama (Time/Network TBA)
The Red River Shootout, BYU-Notre Dame, and Ohio State-Michigan State are all strong contenders for Week 6. But c’mon. After the very public beef between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban this offseason, it’s A&M-Bama. You’ll be able to feel the tension radiating through you screens.
Week 7 (Saturday, October 15)
USC at Utah (Time/Network TBA)
From the hiring of Lincoln Riley, to the acquisition of stars like Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison, to their shocking jump to the Big Ten, USC has sucked up the attention of the college football world this offseason. There will be plenty of eyeballs and pressure on the Trojans this fall and if they were to emerge as a serious Pac-12 contender, they’ll have to survive in Salt Lake City against Utah. The Utes are being somewhat overlooked as reigning Pac-12 champs and would love to meet the flash and sizzle of USC with physicality and brute force. This should be a good clash of styles.
Week 8 (Saturday, October 22)
UAB at Western Kentucky (8 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)
We’ll dip into Conference USA for a late-October showdown between UAB and Western Kentucky. These are the two highest ranked C-USA teams in SP+ heading into the season and should be strong contenders for the league title. The Blazers are hunting for one more C-USA title before bolting for the AAC next year and the Hilltoppers will have former West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege operating the controls in what should be an explosive offense this season. This could be a fun one.
Week 9 (Saturday, October 29)
Cincinnati at UCF (Time/Network TBA)
Florida-Georgia and Michigan-Michigan State are among the options to choose from during Halloween weekend but we’ll stay in the Group of Five and go with Cincinnati-UCF for Week 9. These two programs have been the class of the AAC for the last five years and will carry this rivalry into the Big 12 next season. Cincinnati lost several starters from last year’s CFP team but will still have plenty of talent to make a run at a third straight conference title. Meanwhile, UCF is in Year 2 of the Gus Malzahn-era and it’ll most likely have wily Ole Miss transfer John Rhys Plumlee operating the controls at quarterback. A win would go a long way towards catapulting one of these teams to the top of the AAC standings.
Week 10 (Saturday, November 5)
Baylor at Oklahoma (Time/Network TBA)
Baylor is the reigning conference champion in the Big 12 and is projected to have a strong shot at back-to-back titles. If the Bears are rolling late into the regular season, then they’ll have a tremendous opportunity on the road against preseason conference favorite Oklahoma. Clash in styles make for good fights and it’ll be fun watching Dave Aranda’s defensive oriented Baylor squad go up against OU’s aerial attack led by former UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel and new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.
Week 11 (Saturday, November 12)
Appalachian State at Marshall (Time/Network TBA)
The Sun Belt has been a quiet beneficiary of the latest round of conference realignment as it has been able to structure a competitive league forged by regional rivalries. That’s going to be apparent late in the season when Appalachian State makes the trek up to Huntington, WV, to face conference newcomer Marshall. The Mountaineers have been one of the heavyweights in the conference for the better part of a decade while the Thundering Herd jumps in with one of the most talented rosters in the league. This game could not only determine the East division champion, but the balance of power in the Sun Belt moving forward.
Week 12 (Saturday, November 19)
Georgia at Kentucky (Time/Network TBA)
Week 12 will be this year’s “SoCon Saturday”, where several top programs in the SEC play tuneup games prior to their rivalry games the following weekend. However, UGA at UK late in the season could be intriguing. The Bulldogs have the talent to make a run at yet another SEC East title this season, but could potentially be walking into a trap in Lexington, KY. The Wildcats have made strides to replicate an NFL offense with their offensive coordinator hires the past two seasons and if they have success, we could be talking about quarterback Will Levis as a potential Heisman finalist by the time UGA rolls into town.
Week 13 (Saturday, November 26)
Minnesota at Wisconsin (Time/Network TBA)
We’ve reached rivalry week during Thanksgiving weekend and you can take your pick at what will be the best game. We’ll go with the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe in Madison, WI, between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 9-4 season and with Tanner Morgan back for one final season at quarterback, a win here could potentially launch them to the Big Ten Championship Game. On the other side of the field at Camp Randall Stadium, the Badgers will be trying to get back the Axe and re-establish their grip on the Big Ten West.