College Football Playoff 2022 Predictions: Why No. 4 The Ohio State Buckeyes can win their first title since 2015.

For six days, Ohio State’s chances of winning the College Football Playoff National Championship were as long as it had been all season. A 45-23 home loss to No. 2 Michigan on Nov. 26 kicked off a week of disaster as coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes found themselves losing a shot at a Big Ten championship following a loss to their most hated rival. At the time, it looked like Ohio State would miss out on a chance to play for a national championship for the second year in a row.

But the college football gods often have an answer for the Buckeyes. A Utah team that faced Ohio State last year defeated USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, Dec. 12 in a modern New Year’s Six story. 2. It opened up a spot for Ohio State, then no. 5 in the CFP rankings, to enter the top four. From anticipation to destruction, and now back with a renewed passion for title pursuit, Ohio State experienced it all in one week.

The Buckeyes were among the preseason favorites to win the national title thanks to the return of quarterback CJ Strode and an offense that put up video game numbers in the Rose Bowl. And while not Ohio State. of The favorite to win the national championship, or the favorite in the semifinal matchup against no. 1 Georgia, there are plenty of reasons to believe this team has the odds to win it all.

1. Hitting anyone is wrong.

Let’s start with Ohio State’s best weapon: offense. If he can score against Georgia, he can score against anyone. Other than Tennessee, no other team on Georgia’s schedule poses the same threat that Ohio State will on Saturday night.

The Buckeyes arguably have a better passing attack than the Vols — or at least a deeper and more impressive wide receiver class to try to defend against for Georgia’s secondary. Georgia had one 1,000-yard receiver all year (Hyatt); Ohio State has a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. This is a passing attack that Jackson Smith-Njigba hasn’t even had for an entire season, but has been one of the premier pieces in all of college football.

Of course, Georgia was impressive when Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman and the rest of the Tennessee offense came to town in November. 5. The Bulldogs did an excellent job pressuring Hooker, limiting his ability to develop deep routes and not allowing a single passing play of more than 30 yards. Hooker, who had played like a Heisman Trophy contender up to that point, had less than 200 yards passing (5.9 yards per attempt), zero touchdowns, and had Kelly Ringo pick off a pass in the end zone late in the first half.

But Strode has been one of college football’s hottest players for the past two years, and has the potential to be a popular bookie this postseason. Stroud has done a lot in his short time as an Ohio State starter: He’s a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and led the nation in passing efficiency and touchdowns in 2022. In 2021, he ranked among the top three nationally in both categories. He’s 21-3 as a rookie and now has a chance to turn the disappointment of Michigan’s second-straight loss into a defining moment in the college football game.

With Georgia’s defense dominating Hendon Hooker, and Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, there is another level of quarterbacking at the college level, and the Bulldogs will see it Saturday night.

2. Take the hardest enemy out of the way

Ohio State’s title chances have a second lease on life, but they could fall thanks to its semifinal opponent: a Georgia team looking to solidify its dynasty status with a second straight national championship. Fortunately for Ohio State, the talent differential against the extremely talented Bulldogs is slim, and the Buckeyes can improve their chances of winning a national championship by winning this game.

Georgia and Ohio State no. 2 and no. The 3 most talented teams, in order, according to the 247Sports Team Talent Composition. Georgia has 15 five-star prospects and 53 four-star prospects, while Ohio State has 14 five-star prospects and 52 four-star prospects. And while Georgia ranks high in team talent, the average rating per player is 93.37 for Georgia and 92.82 for Ohio State.

If Ohio State beats Georgia, the new bet becomes the favorite to win the national championship. There’s certainly a chance for a rematch against a Michigan team that has had the Buckeyes’ number for the past two seasons. Once again, the power ratings show that the day team has the upper hand in the title game.

Big or small, Georgia has more talent than any opponent on the field. When considering Ohio State’s odds of winning it all, the conversation has to start with a win over the Bulldogs. On that note…

3. An unusual position under the dog

While Day and Stroud may feel some big-picture pressure following their second-straight loss to Michigan, overall, the Buckeyes should be loose. This is the first time Ohio State has entered the game all season. Defeat will be disappointing, but it doesn’t come with the added angst of an unexpected defeat.

There is also a story at play here. Ohio State jumped into the College Football Playoff at the last minute in 2014. 4 seed Alabama in a showdown with the SEC champion. Even though the Crimson Tide was the favorite, the Buckeyes played devastatingly behind their onslaught against Oregon en route to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Those title-winning Buckeyes had few future pros like the 2022 team, and despite being one of the best talented teams in the country, they were able to play with a chip on their shoulder.

The environment in Atlanta adds to the playing experience. That allows Ohio State’s year-round team to be a free and loose team at key moments in this New Year’s Eve showdown.

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