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10 teams poised to have a step back 2022

Earlier this week we took a glance at some teams that people thought would make contact with their winning ways in 2022. Now you have to reveal who we think may underachieve in 2022. Listed below are 10 college football teams that people think may have worse seasons in 2022 than they did in 2021.

Arizona State (8-5 in 2021)

ASU is really a program in tumult entering the 2022 season. An NCAA investigation for recruiting violations looms on the program and five coaches have gone, including defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce. SUNLIGHT Devils return just seven starters from last seasons team that went 3-4 down the stretch. Former Florida QB Emory Jones is defined to displace Jayden Daniels and ASU will have to find some receivers for him to throw to.

Andre Johnson had 12 receptions in 2021 and hes the teams leading returning receiver. Leading tackler Kyle Soelle is back but you can find just three other starters back alongside him on a defense that has been underrated in 2021. How will things vary without Pierce?

It may be an extended year in Tempe and perhaps the ultimate one for Herm Edwards because the Sun Devils coach.

– Nick Bromberg

Baylor (12-2)

The Big 12 looks spacious at the very top in 2022 and theres no reason to believe that Baylor wont maintain the mix again. But it is a team that also looks worse than it had been this past year. Blake Shapen is defined to function as teams starting quarterback after winning the work in the spring. Hell have plenty of new skill position talent around him. Baylor lost its top three rushers and top three receivers in the offseason. Replacing Abram Smith and Tyquan Thornton is key. Ben Sims may be the only returning player on the roster who had a lot more than 10 catches in 2021.

Three of the very best four tacklers may also be gone from the defense including Jalen Pitre and Terrel Bernard. Dave Arandas defense ought to be excellent again, but with games at BYU, Oklahoma and Texas, weren’t sure Baylor reaches 10 wins this year.

– Nick Bromberg

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Luke Fickell of the Cincinnati Bearcats stands on the sidelines during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Cincinnati starts the 2022 season with a casino game at Arkansas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Cincinnati (13-1)

Just how do the Bearcats follow-up a College Football Playoff berth in 2022? The sequel will have to happen with out a large amount of key parts from that team that has been undefeated until a semifinal loss to Alabama. The largest replacement comes at quarterback where either Evan Prater or Ben Bryant is in line to dominate for Desmond Ridder. Ridder accounted for 36 total touchdowns in 2021. Bryant comes over from Eastern Michigan and Prater served as Ridders backup.

The Bearcats should also replace RB Jerome Ford and his 1,300 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns and leading receiver Alec Pierce. The very best three tacklers may also be gone from the defense alongside cornerbacks Coby Bryant and Sauce Gardner. Cincinnati ought to be good in 2022, but its also easy to understand the way the Bearcats are underdogs at Arkansas to start out the growing season. If Cincinnati gets a win in Fayetteville, then it will likely be very easy to start out dreaming about another New Year’s Six bowl appearance.

– Nick Bromberg

Kentucky (10-3)

Last season marked the next amount of time in four seasons that Kentucky won 10 games. Before that, UK had only reached double-digit wins twice in 1950 and 1977. Obviously, Mark Stoops does an excellent job and the Wildcats ought to be bowl-bound once more in 2022. But getting back the 9-or-10-win range feels lofty.

Will Levis gets a lot of NFL hype, but how will he fare without do-it-all receiver WanDale Robinson and offensive coordinator Liam Coen? Levis is really a bruising runner and had some nice moments as a passer late last season, but this recent infatuation from NFL draftniks is overshadowing how poorly he played sometimes in 2021.

Entering 2022, Kentucky must replace the majority of its offensive line and wide receiver may be the biggest question mark on the roster. Thats a whole lot on the shoulders of Levis and the defense, which lost its top three linemen. Sufficient reason for games like Ole Miss, Florida and Tennessee all on the highway, this feels similar to a 7-5 season.

– Sam Cooper

Louisiana (13-1)

The Ragin Cajuns remain the presumptive favorites in sunlight Belt West but look primed never to be as dominant because they were in 2021 after ending the growing season on a 13-game win streak. Michael Desormeaux gets control as head coach with Billy Napier at Florida and QB Levi Lewis must be replaced, too. Chandler Fields may be the presumptive starter and the teams top three receivers from 2021 return. However the defense must replace its top three tacklers and leading sacker Chauncey Manac.

A Nov. 19 game vs. Florida State is really a fascinating late-season non-conference matchup. Louisiana’s only lack of 2021 came against Texas. If Louisiana is preferable to we think they’re in 2022, a make an impression on Florida State isn’t likely to be a lot of a surprise.

– Nick Bromberg

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 30: Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker and players stream on to the field before the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl between the Michigan State Spartans and the Pitt Panthers on December 30,2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mel Tucker’s Michigan State was among the surprise teams of 2021. Will they stay near the top of the Big Ten in 2022? (Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Michigan State (11-2)

Michigan State arrived of nowhere with an 11-2 season in 2021. It had been Year 2 under Mel Tucker, also to call per year like this before schedule for an application with a fresh coach will be putting it lightly. Expecting another season with double-digit victories will not seem very realistic.

The Spartans hit a house run last season with the addition of running back transfer Kenneth Walker III (1.636 yards, 18 TDs) and they’ll again depend on a range of portal additions on both sides of the ball in 2022. Walkers big play ability was an enormous difference-maker on an otherwise average offense. Will the staffs portal scouting create a big difference just as before?

In 2021, MSU was 4-0 in one-score games despite having among the worst pass defenses in the united kingdom. Thatll be tough to reproduce in 2022. MSU plays Michigan and Penn State on the highway, includes a tricky early-season road visit to Washington and drew Minnesota and Wisconsin as two of its cross-division matchups. Thats lots of tough games, and doesnt even are the home game vs. Ohio State.

– Sam Cooper

Oklahoma State (12-2)

Oklahoma State went 12-2 this past year, beating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and coming inches from a large 12 championship and possible College Football Playoff berth. For some of Mike Gundys amount of time in Stillwater, Oklahoma States strength has been offense. This past year, it had been defense. The architect of this defense, Jim Knowles, left for Ohio State and several of the Cowboys top defensive players particularly at linebacker and in the secondary have shifted.

If the defense takes an expected step back, can the offense constitute some ground? Spencer Sanders is what he could be at this stage in his career. Hes a quarterback who is able to make some highlight reel plays, but he turns the ball over a significant amount of. Tay Martin, Sanders top target (undoubtedly), is currently in the NFL. So can be 1,200-yard rusher Jaylen Warren and Josh Sills, the teams top offensive tackle. Can Sanders grab the slack? This team is required to score more points to contend for the Big 12 title again, but Sanders background doesnt inspire lots of confidence he will significantly improve.

– Sam Cooper

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 30: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers and head coach Pat Narduzzi take the field before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Heinz Field on October 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

With Kenny Pickett now playing in the NFL in Pittsburgh, will be the Panthers primed for a step back 2022? (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh (11-3)

Theres still too much to like about Pitt on the heels of winning the ACC title. The complete offensive line is back and the defense ought to be among the ACCs best. However the two biggest stars from the 2021 team QB Kenny Pickett and WR Jordan Addison are no more with this program. Pickett was a first-round pick while Addison used in USC. Those two thrived in Mark Whipples pass-happy offense, leading Pitt to its best season in decades.

And not just are Pickett and Addison gone, Whipple left too. He and head coach Pat Narduzzi didnt see eye-to-eye Narduzzi has made that abundantly clear and Whipple left for Nebraska. Despite the fact that the passing game was pivotal in his teams success this past year, Narduzzi really wants to run the ball more and earned Frank Cignetti Jr. from Boston College to implement a far more balanced offense. Despite having ex-USC QB Kedon Slovis transferring in, its hard never to project a drop-off in offensive explosiveness for the Panthers in 2022. Dont be surprised should they fade back to the center of the pack in the ACC.

– Sam Cooper

UTSA (12-2)

UTSA was among the best stories of the 2021 season. The Roadrunners, who only began playing college football in 2011, come up with a 12-win season. UTSA started the entire year 11-0, won Conference USA and had easily the very best season in program history. Along the way, UTSA went an extraordinary 6-0 in one-score games. Thats not at all something to easily replicate as well as top, especially with workhorse running back Sincere McCormick shifting to the NFL. McCormick ran the ball 299 times, the second-most in the united kingdom, for 1,479 yards and 15 touchdowns. In addition, offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. left UTSA for Illinois.

Despite those departures, this will still be among the better teams in C-USA, that is right down to just 11 members (UTSA is headed to the AAC in 2023). You can find forget about divisions, therefore the top two teams will compete for the conference title. Expect UTSA to stay that mix, however the difficulty of the non-conference schedule will take a few of the magic out from the equation. With Houston, Army and Texas in Weeks 1-3, the Roadrunners wont be undefeated for long.

– Sam Cooper

Wake Forest (11-3)

The Demon Deacons ought to be solid once more in 2022 though its hard to see them repeating the 11-win campaign from the year ago. Wake Forest won the ACC Atlantic because of Clemsons struggles and its own hard to start to see the Tigers passing up on the ACC title game for another consecutive season. The defense must also replace players like Luke Masterson and Luiji Vilain after amassing 38 sacks in 2021. The schedule is doable; Clemson plays in Winston-Salem and both toughest road games are in Louisville and NC State. Pencil us set for eight wins for Wake Forest this year because the Demon Deacons should continue their run of solid football under Dave Clawson.

– Nick Bromberg

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