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College Football – Three Underdogs That Could Win Their Conference in 2022

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Football

Aug 17, 2022 · 6:00 AM PDT

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez celebrate winning the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame
Jan 1, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (20) celebrate after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia were ranked 1-2-3 in the preseason AP Top 25
  • There are several underdogs with value to win their conference this season
  • Read below for 2022 conference title odds and predictions of potential upset winners

No surprise here — Alabama, Ohio State and defending NCAA champion Georgia were ranked 1-2-3 in the preseason AP Top 25. Clemson, Notre Dame and a third SEC team, Texas A&M, round out the top six.

Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson are listed as the teams to beat in the current college football conference title odds, but that does not always translate. Just last season, Michigan took down Ohio State, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh were the surprise ACC division winners, and Utah State shocked the Mountain West.

Given the upset potential in college football, here’s a look at three underdogs who could win their conference in 2022.

2022 ACC Title odds

Team Odds
Clemson Tigers -152
Miami Hurricanes +450
North Carolina State Wolfpack +700
Pittsburgh Panthers +1000
North Carolina Tar Heels +1400
Florida State Seminoles +2000
Louisville Cardinals +2000
Virginia Cavaliers +2000
Boston College Eagles +2800
Wake Forest Demon Deacons +2800
Virginia Tech Hokies +5000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +12500
Syracuse Orange +25000
Duke Blue Devils +50000

All odds as of August 16th at Barstool Sportsbook.

 

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NC State Will Challenge Clemson

Clemson is once again the odds-on favorite to win the ACC, although there is much less wiggle room at the top than there was during the Tigers’ recent dominance that began in 2016 — six straight ACC division titles, four appearances in the CFP championship game and titles in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

After looking sharp as a fill-in in 2020, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei struggled as the full-time replacement for NFL No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence, forcing Clemson to win with defense a year ago — it was No. 8 in the FBS in total defense and No. 100 in total offense.

Uiagalelei had the lowest passer rating in the ACC a year ago, with 10 interceptions against nine touchdowns, although he is still listed in the Heisman Trophy odds. Top running back Will Shipley and the stout defense need help. In a year of change, the Tigers lost both defensive coach Brent Venables (head coach, Oklahoma) and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott (head coach, Virginia) in the offseason.

North Carolina State went through Clemson last year in a 27-21 double-overtime victory over the Tigers in the Textile Bowl, which means Clemson will be aching for the rematch in Death Valley on Oct. 1. Efficient Wolf Pack quarterback Devin Leary punctured the Tigers with four of his school-record 35 TD passes a year ago, and the gap between the programs is not as great as the odds make it seem.

The pick: North Carolina State (+700)

2022 Big 12 Title Odds

Team Odds
Oklahoma Sooners +200
Texas Longhorns +250
Baylor Bears +500
Oklahoma State Cowboys +550
Kansas State Wildcats +1100
Iowa State Cyclones +1400
TCU Horned Frogs +1400
West Virginia Mountaineers +1800
Texas Tech Red Raiders +4000
Kansas Jayhawks +25000

OK State Undervalued in Big 12 Odds

Oklahoma State returns arguably the best quarterback in the Big 12 in senior Spencer Sanders, who goes hot and cold. Sanders threw four picks in the Big 12 title game loss to Baylor that kept them out of the CFP Final Four but followed that with 371 yards and four touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 37-35 victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl as the Cowboys overcame a 28-7 deficit.

Arch-rival Oklahoma lost coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams to USC in the offseason, and the Sooners will transition under new coach and long-time Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and transfer Dillon Gabriel, a net loss. The Cowboys will miss defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who went to Ohio State, but they’ve recruited well on that side of the ball.

Texas returns Heisman candidate running back Bijan Robinson, but Steve Sarkisian has yet to find his groove, enduring an embarrassing six-game losing streak in his first season in Austin. Baylor is without a proven quarterback, while Iowa State lost Breece Hall and Brock Purdy. OK State is the Big 12 team you can trust and offers great value as conference underdogs at +550.

The pick: Oklahoma State (+550)

2022 SEC Title Odds

Team Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide -177
Georgia Bulldogs +155
Texas A&M Aggies +1600
Ole Miss Rebels +4000
Tennessee Volunteers +5000
Kentucky Wildcats +5500
Arkansas Razorbacks +6000
Florida Gators +6000
LSU Tigers +6600
Auburn Tigers +15000
Missouri Tigers +40000
Vanderbilt Commodores +100000

Aggies Are Threat to Dethrone Alabama

Remember when Nick made Jimbo mad last spring, accusing A&M of “buying” their players in reference to the Aggies’ proliferation of NIL deals? No one will forget that when the Aggies visit Tuscaloosa on Oct. 8, a day short of the one-year anniversary of A&M’s rousing 41-35 victory in College Station. The game matches the West’s two contenders and two of the top five teams in the national championship odds.

The Aggies do not have Bryce Young, but they do have a running back capable of doing damage in Devon Achane and transfer quarterback Max Johnson, who left LSU after a big 2021 season. A&M misses East toughies Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and if it can avoid the upsets that plagued them a year ago while getting steady play from Johnson, it will all come down to Oct. 8.

There’s value with this Texas A&M team in the SEC Title odds because most people believe it’s a two-horse race between Alabama and Georgia. This Aggies team is loaded with talent and lands a very favorable schedule in 2022. Given A&M’s price tag in the conference title odds, the value is too good to pass up. A $100 bet on this A&M underdog team would payout $1700 if it cashes.

The pick: Texas A&M (+1600)

 

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