Published 6 days ago
2022 Season Set To Open August 27
Although the first week of the season starts with a very abbreviated schedule, the opening weekend on August 27 is upon us. Highlighted by Nebraska and Northwestern squaring off in Dublin Ireland, the opening weekend shows a scant schedule of less than 15 games with only 7 between FBS versus FBS opponents. Labor Day weekend, week two on the schedule is the traditional opening weekend and offers a King's feast of highly anticipated games. Thursday September 1 kicks off the party with the renewal of an old rivalry between West Virginia hosting Pittsburgh. The series between these two rivals dates to 1895 with the Panthers holding a 61-40-3 lead. They have not met since the 2011 season. The fireworks kick off full force on Saturday September 3 as Cincinnati looks to extend their national prominence by travelling to SEC country to face Arkansas. I can hear the HOG CALL already reverberating through the Ozarks. Oregon and Georgia face off in Atlanta while Utah, the pre-season PAC 12 favorite, visits the Swamp to tackle Florida. In the prime time night game the most highly anticipated match finds Notre Dame travelling to the Horseshoe to battle Ohio State. These two college football king pins have only met 6 times, with the last two being in Bowl Games. The Fighting Irish won the first two way back in 1935 and 1936, with the Buckeyes taking the last 4. With both teams being highly ranked, Notre Dame #9 and Ohio State #8, the winner is likely to jump at or near the top of week 2's Billingsley Report due out the Tuesday after Labor Day. The Sunday night game finds Florida State at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge to face new LSU head coach Brian Kelly. The Monday night Labor Day game features Clemson at Georgia Tech. Needless to say the 2022 season should be an interesting one, full of upsets and surprises. Will someone be able to knock the SEC off their perennial perch? Perhaps Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, Utah, or maybe even a rebuilt Oklahoma or upstart Texas? Hmmm…. maybe the hyped up USC? Time will tell. Let the games begin!
Baylor and Georgia Register All Time Best Teams in 2021
Calculations released in the newly updated Billingsley Encyclopedia reflect two major notable entries. Both Baylor and Georgia registered their best all time teams in 2021. The 2021 14-1-0 National Champion Bulldogs scored 349.912 points in the final Billingsley Report, significantly better than their 11-1-0 1982 season of 333.804. The undefeated 12-0-0 National Champion team of 1980 falls to #3 on Georgia's list of best teams. Baylor also posted their best team in history with a rating of 304.020, better than both the 2014 and 2013 teams which virtually tied with 291 points. The 1982 Georgia team is arguably their best ever but the Bulldogs fell just short of winning the Sugar Bowl and the National Title, falling to Penn State 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl. The 2021 Baylor Bears registered their best team by virtue of winning the Big 12 Championship over Oklahoma State 21-16 followed by a stunning 21-7 defeat of Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
After 41 Years, The Dawgs Finally Have Their Day
You could see the joy all over Vince Dooley's face. Kirby Smart and his beloved Bulldogs had just brought the National Championship home again. The last time was 1980 when Dooley's Dawgs whipped Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl 17-10. This time may have even tasted sweeter as Georgia beat old nemesis Alabama 33-18. Fans were treated to a 1960's style defensive slugfest for almost the entire game until Georgia exploded for two touchdowns, one a defensive pick six which sealed the championship. The Billingsley Encyclopedia will be updated over the course of the next few weeks. Stay tuned to see which teams set CFRC Rating Records for 2021!
Alabama and Georgia Set To Tangle For Title
In a repeat of the SEC Championship, the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs will play for the 2021 College Football National Championship. Both teams won their Bowl Games in convincing fashion. Alabama crushed Cincinnati 27-6 and Georgia manhandled Michigan 34-11. The game is set for Monday January 10, 2022 with a 7pm CT telecast. Their were 35 Bowl Games played this year after 5 cancellations due to covid protocols. Billingsley Projections were 24-11 which was a tie for first in the nation in a report released today by the PREDICTION TRACKER. More to follow on a wrap up of the Bowl Season.
Navy Surprises Army 17-13
The Navy defense rose to the occasion Saturday afternoon, holding Army on 4th down and 4 with 1:27 left in the game to seal the upset win for the Midshipmen. It was Navy's 2nd win in the last 3 meetings. The Commander-in Chief's Trophy will be shared 3 ways by virtue of Army's win over Air Force and Air Force's win over Navy. Army will maintain physical possession of the trophy. The Bowl participants have all been announced and will commence play this coming Friday, December 17. Billingsley's Projections will be posted early in the week. Happy Holidays and may all your favorite teams win!
Championship Weekend Turns Topsy Turvy As Alabama Downs Dawgs 41-24
Upsets dotted the landscape Saturday as Championship Games unfolded over the course of the day. Baylor started things rolling by holding off a furious comeback bid by Oklahoma State including an amazing goal line defensive stand to end the game. The Bears won the Big 12 Conference Title with a 21-16 win over the Pokes. In the afternoon SEC Title game Georgia's vaunted defense was no match for Bryce Young and Alabama as the Tide rolled off 41 points on the nation's top defense. Young's performance probably sealed a Heisman Trophy and completely altered the landscape of the CFP as the SEC will now most certainly send two teams to the playoff. Cincinnati, 35-20 winners over Houston, and the Nation's only undefeated team, leaped to #1 in the latest Billingsley Report and will most likely make history by becoming the first Group of Five team to make the playoff. The Bearcats are expected to nab the #4 position behind Alabama, Michigan and Georgia. The official results, along with the 2021 Bowl Pairings will be released on ESPN today beginning at 11AM CT.Around the Nation: Pittsburgh secured their first ACC Championship with a 45-21 win over Wake Forest. Michigan finally grabbed the elusive Big 10 Title that Wolverine fans have longed for with a 42-3 whipping of Iowa. Looks like sticking with Harbaugh through tough times was the right move. Texas-San Antonio finished 12-1 after jumping out to a huge lead then holding off Western Kentucky 49-41 in the C-USA Championship. Northern Illinois surprised slightly favored Kent State in Detroit 41-23 for the MAC Title. In one of the days biggest shockers Utah State won their first MWC Crown with a 46-13 dismantling of heavily favored San Diego State. Utah beat Oregon 38-10 making it two in a row for the Utes over the reeling Ducks. It is the first PAC 12 Title for Utah. And down in the mighty Sun Belt La. Lafayette finished the regular season 12-1 and took the Sun Belt Title over Appalachian State 24-16. The projections for the 2021 Bowl Games will be posted later this week.
Michigan Blasts Buckeyes 42-27, Enter Playoff Picture
The highly inspired Wolverines finally got over the hump, putting together a stellar game plan that beat Ohio State for the first time since 2011 and the first win in the Jim Harbaugh era. The Buckeye loss eliminated Ohio State from the CFP and will likely elevate Michigan into the Top 4. The next edition of the CFP Rankings will be released Tuesday. Around the Nation: The 10 conference championship games are now set, with Georgia/Alabama in Atlanta taking top billing. Oklahoma State, 37-33 Bedlam winners over Oklahoma will meet Baylor in a rematch in Arlington, while Pittsburgh will face Wake Forest for the ACC Title and Oregon will face Utah for the PAC 12 crown. In a bit of a surprise Michigan will face Iowa for the Big 10 Title. The Hawkeyes beat Nebraska 28-21 Friday and then saw Minnesota upset Wisconsin 23-13 Saturday giving Iowa the West Division Title. In the American, undefeated Cincinnati, 12-0, will face their greatest challenge of the season since Notre Dame against a very good 11-1 Houston team. In Conference USA Texas-San Antonio will try to rebound after a stunning 45-23 loss at North Texas when they host Western Kentucky. The MAC will feature Kent State and Northern Illinois while in the MWC San Diego State will host Utah State. In the Sun Belt Appalachian State will travel to La. Lafayette. Rivalry weekend saw very few surprises. Clemson clobbered South Carolina 30-0, North Carolina State nipped North Carolina 34-30, Purdue pounded Indiana 44-7, Oregon outlasted Oregon State 38-29, Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 31-21, Florida squeaked by Florida State 24-21 and in perhaps the best game of the day Auburn came oh so close but fell to Alabama 24-22 in 4 overtimes.
Ohio State Makes Playoff Statement With 56-7 Destruction of Michigan State
For weeks the Buckeyes have been playing like National Title contenders and this week they removed all doubts with a completely dominating win over the Spartans 56-7. Only arch rival Michigan stands in the way of a spot in the Big 10 Championship game and we won't have long to wait. The 10-1 Wolverines, 59-18 winners over Maryland Saturday, host the high flying Buckeyes this upcoming Saturday morning at Noon ET. Around the Nation: Clemson's 48-27 win over Wake Forest significantly tightened the ACC race. The Tigers are battling North Carolina State for the Atlantic Division crown while Pittsburgh is on top of the Coastal Division. Rivalry weekend, my favorite weekend of the year, is upcoming which means Clemson will face South Carolina Saturday. The Gamecocks were 21-17 surprise winners over Auburn this week. Billingsley's All Time Scores are online again so check out all the great series records under the Historical Data link on the CFRC Home page. Cincinnati quieted a few doubters themselves by destroying SMU 48-14. The Bearcats travel to East Carolina for a tricky game before facing a very good Houston team in the AAC Championship. A lethargic Oklahoma offense got a much needed boost from the Sooner defense in a 28-21 win at home over Iowa State. Bedlam is on the horizon and Oklahoma State did their part to make it a huge game in Stillwater between two 10-1 teams. The Cowboys traveled to Lubbock and shut out Texas Tech 23-0. The Longhorn program is reeling with a 6th straight loss after falling to West Virginia 31-23. Texas returns home to face Kansas State in the season finale. UTSA moved to 11-0 on the season with an amazing 34-31 come from behind win at home over UAB. Notre Dame, the seemingly forgotten playoff contender, moved to 10-1 by blasting Georgia Tech 55-0. Oregon saw their playoff hopes dwindle with a 38-7 shellacking at the hands of Utah. Now the Ducks must recover and fight the civil war with arch rival Oregon State, 24-10 winner over Arizona State late Saturday night. UCLA scored the most points ever in their series with cross town rival USC. The Bruins put up a whopping 62 points against the Trojan's 33. Louisiana-Lafayette completely dominated a very good Liberty team 42-14, moving to 10-1 on the season. The majority of the SEC took a break from conference play this weekend and blasted much lesser competition, but Alabama and Arkansas put on quite a show in Tuscaloosa with the Razorbacks throwing a scare into the Crimson Tide before falling 42-35. Missouri surprised Florida with a two point conversion to nip the Gators 24-23. Watch for Billingsley's Projections to be posted late Tuesday, and don't forget to check out the Billingsley Historical Data Section from the Home Page for a totally new and improved look at Billingsley's Encyclopedia!
Baylor Surprises Sooners, Diminish Oklahoma's Playoff Hopes
A very well prepared Baylor team created a defensive masterpiece Saturday morning, holding the mighty Oklahoma offense to just 14 points in a 27-14 home win over previously undefeated Oklahoma. The Sooners still control their destiny in the Big 12 Conference race, but the loss all but shut the door on Oklahoma's shot at the College Football Playoff. The best the Sooners can hope for now is total chaos in the remaining few weeks of the season among the nations top teams.Around the Nation: The ACC's two top teams in the Atlantic Division squared off Saturday night with the Demon Deacons coming away with a thrilling 45-42 win over North Carolina State. Pittsburgh positioned itself well as the top team in the Coastal Division with a 30-23 win over North Carolina. Cincinnati remained unbeaten with a 45-28 win over South Florida. The Bearcats chances for a playoff spot increase with every win and a conference showdown at home with SMU is looming on the horizon Saturday. Ohio State shot down Purdue's giant killer dreams with a 59-31 win over the Boilermakers. The Buckeyes continue to dominate games like a true playoff contender ever since their loss to Oregon. Michigan continues to impress. The Wolverines went on the road and nipped Penn State 21-17. Texas fans are up in arms after a shocking 57-56 overtime loss to conference cellar dweller Kansas. The Longhorns have now dropped 5 games in a row, the longest losing streak since 1956, the year before Darrell Royal took over the reins in Austin. San Diego State took control of the MWC West Division with a 23-21 win over Nevada. Oregon enhanced their playoff hopes with a 38-24 win over Washington State. A huge game at Utah is upcoming this week. Down in the SEC, Tennessee held tough for a half, but Georgia proved to be the Nation's best team again after pulling away for a 41-17 win. Ole Miss dashed Texas A&M's conference title hopes with a 29-19 win over the Aggies. The loss all but handed the West Division crown to Alabama. Geez.....how about them Hogs! Arkansas is having quite a season. The Razorbacks traveled to Baton Rouge and beat LSU in overtime 16-13. Arkansas now stands 7-3 on the season with games against Alabama and Missouri remaining. Watch for Billingsley's Projections to post late Tuesday.
Purdue Does it Again With 40-29 Win Over Spartans
Only one week after the huge win over arch rival Michigan, Michigan State fell victim to the Big 10 Giant killer….the Boilermakers of Purdue. Iowa was the first victim of Purdue’s magic season falling at home in Iowa City 24-7 on October 16. Purdue, now 6-3 on the season became Bowl eligible with the win.Around the Nation: North Carolina outscored previously undefeated Wake Forest 58-55 in an offensive slug fest in Chapel Hill. Cincinnati’s dream season almost went up in smoke as the Bearcats survived a tense final few seconds in a 28-20 win over Tulsa. SMU dropped it’s second game in a row with a 28-25 thrilling loss at Memphis. Ohio State managed a 26-17 win over an inspired Nebraska squad in Lincoln while Michigan was bouncing back with a 29-7 win over Indiana. The Ohio State/Michigan game is shaping up to be a very important game, not only in the Big 10, but nationally. Don’t look now but very quietly Oklahoma State is creeping up to perhaps be the best team in the Big 12. While the Sooners took the day off the Cowboys traveled to Morgantown to face a good West Virginia squad and promptly took care of business 24-3 in dominant fashion. Bedlam is looming pretty large. Embattled TCU, facing an opponent without Gary Patterson for the first time since 2000, rose to the challenge and surprised Baylor 30-28. Were the Bears looking ahead to the Sooners? The Roadrunners are 2021’s Cinderella Squad. Texas-San Antonio went on the road and beat Texas-El Paso 44-23 moving to 9-0 on the season. LSU put up quite a struggle but fell in Tuscaloosa to the Tide 20-14 while Texas A&M was putting Auburn away in College Station 20-3. Josh Heupel is doing an amazing job at Tennessee. The Volunteers are now only one win away from being bowl eligible after traveling to Lexington and squeezing out a 45-42 win over the Wildcats…..and surprise surprise, the Razorbacks will be going bowling too. Arkansas, the turn around team of 2021 is now 6-3 after a 31-28 win over Mississippi State. Watch for the week 12 Projections late Tuesday.
Michigan State Comeback Spoils Wolverine's Dream Season
Michigan seemingly had the game under control over their in state rival Spartans but Michigan State hung around long enough and the breaks started falling their way just in time to come away with a 37-33 victory over the stunned Michigan fans. The Spartan's remaining schedule is formidable with games at Purdue, home against Maryland, at Ohio State and home against Penn State, but winning all four plus a Big 10 Championship, would surely put Michigan State in the CFP.Around the Nation: The undefeated ranks are shrinking as two more unblemished teams bit the dust Saturday. The SMU Mustangs traveled to Houston and were beaten by a last minute 100 yard kickoff return for a 44-37 Cougar win. Out on the West Coast in a late game Saturday night Fresno State traveled to San Diego and and spoiled the Aztecs unbeaten season with a 30-20 win. Wake Forest kept rolling in the ACC with a 45-7 shellacking of Duke. The Demon Deacons stand at 8-0 with a tough road game at North Carolina looming this coming Saturday. Ohio State held off Penn State 33-24 and still look like the best team in the Big 10, although Michigan State is making things look very interesting. Oklahoma finally got untracked and put together their best win of the season at home against Texas Tech. The Sooners beat the Red Raiders 52-21 on the heels of a stellar performance by Caleb Williams who passed for 405 yards and 6 touchdowns. Spencer Rattler came into the game in the 4th quarter to a standing ovation by the much appreciative Sooner Nation. I wonder if Texas has Tom Hermann on speed dial? If the Longhorns can't compete in the Big 12 how can they possibly survive in the SEC? Baylor, now 7-1, took care of business with a 31-24 win. I don't believe anyone can beat Georgia. I'm beginning to wonder if anyone can even slow them down. The Bulldogs looked invincible in Jacksonville Saturday with a runaway 34-7 win over rival Florida. Auburn put together an amazing performance on the plains Saturday night, slowing down the Ole Miss offensive machine for a 31-20 win over the Rebels. War Eagle travels to College Station for a huge SEC match with Texas A&M this Saturday. Bo Nix looks very capable of leading the Tigers to an SEC West title. And don't look now but the mighty Sun Belt Conference boasts 3 teams in the Top 26 of the Billingsley Report this week. 7-1 Louisiana Lafayette moves to #15 followed by 6-2 Appalachian State at #23 and 7-1 Coastal Carolina at #26. No wonder teams are jumping ship from other conferences to join. The Sun Belt is on fire my friends! Look for week 11 projections to post Tuesday afternoon.
Nittany Lions Fall To Illinois 20-18 in 9 Overtimes.
Long gone are the days you can overlook any team on your schedule. Penn State, a 17 point favorite over Illinois at home in Happy Valley got caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Ohio State and paid the price. The Fighting Illini outlasted the stunned Nittany Lions 20-18 in nine overtimes.Around the nation: Miami (Fla.) threw the ACC into chaos with a 31-30 win over North Carolina State. Only the surprising Demon Deacons remain undefeated in the conference. Wake Forest survived an offensive explosion with Army, topping the Cadets 70-56. Pittsburgh positioned itself well in the Coastal Division race with a win over perennial power Clemson, 27-17. AAC league leader and #3 ranked Cincinnati struggled with Navy but came away with a 27-20 win while SMU kept pace by thrashing Tulane 55-26. Are the Bearcats and Ponies headed for an undefeated showdown on November 20th? What a treat that would be for college football fans. One thing is for certain now, there will be no undefeated match in the Bedlam game. Iowa State saw to that with a 24-21 win over Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon. Speaking of being unprepared, Oklahoma’s hopes for a playoff bid almost bit the dust in Lawrence, Kansas. The Sooners, a whopping 38 point favorite were totally unfocused and if not for the 4th quarter heroics by QB Caleb Williams the Sooners would most certainly have bit the dust on the plains of Kansas. Up in the Big 10, Ohio State has been playing like champions ever since their upset loss to Oregon a few weeks back. The Buckeyes destroyed Indiana 54-7. Michigan dismantled Northwestern 33-7 in preparation for next week’s undefeated match with arch rival Michigan State who was idle this week. San Diego State remains unbeaten after going on the road and nipping Air Force 20-14. The Aztecs moved to 7-0 on the season and Appalachian State removed Coastal Carolina from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 30-27 win at home Wednesday night.
Purdue Destroys Iowa's National Title Hopes With 24-7 Win
The Hawkeyes were in the process of creating one of the best teams in program history. Visions of National Championships like 1921 and 1922 were dancing in their heads. After all, they had already defeated arch rival Iowa State and downed national power Penn State. A spot in the Big 10 Championship Game seemed realistic. But a funny thing happened on the way to Indianapolis. Purdue. The great defensive play of 2021 disappeared in the face of the Boilermaker Train. The Hawkeye offense never got untracked and Purdue dominated the game from start to finish. The Iowa loss leaves the Big 10 with only Michigan and Michigan State undefeated on the season.Around the Nation: In the ACC undefeated Wake Forest was idle while North Carolina State was making a huge statement by going on the road and dominating Boston College 33-7. Pittsburgh traveled to Blacksburg and took care of business with a convincing 28-7 win over the Hokies. Cincinnati is making a run at the CFP look realistic. The Bearcats continue to run over opponents in convincing fashion, this time the victim was Central Florida, 56-21. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State appear on a Big 12 Collision Course. Both teams are 6-0 fast approaching mid-season. The Sooners downed the Horned Frogs 52-31 while the Cowboys were victorious in Austin over the Longhorns. Steve Sarkisian is finding life in the Big 12 difficult. Utah handed Arizona State it's first conference loss in the unpredictable PAC 12. Kentucky gave Georgia all they could handle in the first half, battling to a 14-7 deficit, but the Bulldogs proved way to much in the second half pulling away to a 30-13 win over the Wildcats. Alabama took out their frustrations on Mississippi State 49-9. Ole Miss survived a tough road trip to Rocky Top, squeezing by Tennessee 31-26. Watch for the week 9 projections to be posted Tuesday afternoon.
Texas A&M Topples Tide 41-38 On Late Field Goal
Late Saturday night in front of an overflow Kyle Field crowd of 106,815, the Texas A&M Aggies managed to do what no one has been able to do since the end of the 2019 season, slow down Alabama enough to outscore them. Roaring to a 24-10 halftime lead A&M held off the Tide comeback in the second half. Alabama took a 38-31 lead late in the 4th quarter but Texas A&M tied the game and held Bama on their next possession, then methodically moved down filed and kicked a chip shot field goal to end Alabama’s 18 game winning streak.Around the Nation: College Football Research Center Executive Vice-President Steve Billingsley and his lovely wife Jill enjoyed the festivities at the Texas State Fair before attending the Red River Rivalry Game in Dallas where Oklahoma performed a second half miracle rally after falling behind by 21 points. Maneuvering for a potential game winning field goal with seconds left in the game, Kennedy Brooks busted through the line and scored a touchdown giving the Sooners a 55-48 win over the shocked Longhorns. The Top Five showdown in the Big 10 turned into an instant classic with Penn State controlling the game for 3 quarters before the Hawkeye offense managed to put together just enough offense to squeak out a 23-20 home victory. The win puts Iowa at #2 in this week’s Billingsley Report. Michigan held off a noticeably improved Nebraska team, kicking a late field goal to down the Huskers 32-29 in Lincoln. Michigan State also remained unbeaten with a 31-13 win at Rutgers. Texas-San Antonio continues to surprise with a 52-46 win on the road over Western Kentucky. The Roadrunners are undefeated at 6-0 and moved into this week’s Top 25 at #25. Brigham Young suffered their first loss of the season, at home no less to Boise State 26-17. Notre Dame came from behind to spoil Virginia Tech’s upset bid, kicking a late field goal to top the Hokies 32-29. Surprising Kentucky continues to rack up impressive wins, this time over LSU 42-21. The Wildcats are 6-0. Down in the Sun Belt Coastal Carolina moved to 6-0 with a lopsided Thursday Night win over Arkansas State 52-20. Watch for Billingsley’s Projections to be posted late Tuesday.