Week 0 kicks off this Saturday before Labor Day weekend’s huge slate of games. So with the season about to start, here are the top five college football storylines to watch.
Arguably the biggest college football storyline this season, it remains to be seen only how big the SEC and Big Ten want to get, especially with their new media deal.
Oklahoma and Texas are in their final seasons within the Big 12 before transitioning to the SEC. BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF are set to join the Big 12 next season.
The ACC is taking away divisions in 2023, as the Atlantic and Coastal will be no more.
The Pac-12 on the other hand, looks to be disassembled as Oregon is in talks to join the Big Ten along with USC and UCLA.
Mo’ Money, No Problems
The second top college football storyline is the fact that NIL is making athletes into small corporations.
Millionaires. Cars. Shiny bling. Endorsements. These are among the parts of NIL rights after its first calendar year. We enter the second season of NIL with somewhat of a calm that has centered over the landscape.
2022 sure feels set to be the first season where NIL deals are widely accepted and no longer a novelty in the world of college sports. NIL contracts established a standard for recruiting and team personnel, but some of the deals in 2022 have created a national buzz. Then there’s the booster funded collectives that garner recruitment for teams like Texas A&M and the University of Miami.
Here are some of the most unique NIL deals of 2022:
- Bijan Robinson signs with Lambroghini Austin
- DeColdest Crawfords signs with HVAC company
- Jaden Rashada’s $9.5 million NIL Contract
- Texas Tech players receiving base pay of $25,000
Are they really back?
Another top college football storyline this season is the emergence of the Texas Longhorns and Miami Hurricanes.
After 20 years getting lost in the championship wilderness, Miami may have finally figured it out. The solution? Money. Miami native Mario Cristobal got a $80 milllion contract.
Miami finally got a coach who understands the culture and can recruit, added an NIL battleship in John Ruiz, and a plan to spend their way to a championship that doesn’t seem outlandish — and not that far off for the Hurricanes.
But will it translate on the field?
Head coach Steve Sarkisian has a slew of all-star talents across the board, and he’s got the skill guys that could, and should, be as good as any in the country outside of Alabama and Ohio State.
Arch Manning, Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and not to mention the glorified football powerhouse transitioning into the SEC. However, with its stars and money — can Texas win the Big 12?
Alabama vs. Texas A&M
The date is Oct. 8. Texas A&M at Alabama. Circle it in red. Hell, circle it in blood. This has immediately escalated into the most bitter rivalry of 2022 — if not ever.
One of the biggest college football storylines, if not THE biggest storyline, is the fuel-raged inferno between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.
May 18th, Nick Saban opened Pandora’s box and launched an attack on Jimbo Fisher saying the Aggies “bought every player on their team.” Jimbo Fisher fired back and called his former boss’s statements “despicable”, stating that Saban is a “narcissist who thinks he’s God.”
Texas A&M beat Alabama last year 41-38 last year, but the Crimson Tide have dominated the matchup over the years. One day, the Aggies could post a problem for the Saban led Crimson Tide.
Per 24/7 sports, the Aggies landed four five-star recruits in the 2022 class and finished with the No. 1 signing class for the 2022 cycle.
October 8th, 2022 will just mean more.
College Football games to watch
Of course, there are no college football storylines without games actually being played. Here are the top three games to watch this college football season:
Notre Dame at Ohio State, September 3rd
Marcus Freeman has done everything right since taking over the Fighting Irish. Now, he must face his alma mater in his first game as a head coach. Heisman hopeful C.J. Stroud and his Buckeyes, of course, are aiming to start a potential national title season with a bang.
Alabama at Texas, September 10th
Two college football powerhouses will look to put on a spectacular show. This is not your old Texas Longhorns team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They will face a tough test as the Crimson Tide have reloaded with names like Jahmyrr Gibbs, Jermaine Burton, and Tyler Harrell.
Miami at Texas A&M, September 17th
First-year coach Mario Cristobal and the Miami Hurricanes get a tough test against the hyped up Aggies. Cristobal is a proven recruiter and winner, and has put together a legitimately great support staff. While the Hurricanes have Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback, can the Hurricanes protect him against a talented Aggie defense?
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