Providence College Investigates: Who Will Win the 2021-22 College Football Season?

by The Cowl Editor


PCI


Alabama Crimson Tide

As always, we head into this NCAA football season with the spotlight centered on the same couple teams that we always see.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide enters the season as the favorites to win the national championship, with The Ohio State University, Clemson University, and The University of Oklahoma right behind them as teams to look out for.

Although they each have a chance, no one will be stopping Alabama, who will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season.

The Crimson Tide will have a tough task ahead of them replacing nearly all of the superstar talent that they had on offense during the 2020 CFB season.

At quarterback, Nick Saban suffered a huge loss this offseason when his record-breaking quarterback, Mac Jones, was drafted in the first round to the New England Patriots (let’s go Mack). The man to fill his rather large shoes is 20-year-old Bryce Young.

The coaching staff in Tuscaloosa is more than confident that their young quarterback can get the job done, and scouts around the country concur.

Reigning Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith (WR) was also taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and will be dearly missed by the Alabama offense. Najee Harris (RB), Jaylen Waddle (WR), Alex Leatherwood (OT), Landon Dickerson (C), and Deonte Brown (G), are also key members of the 2021 Crimson Tide offense who were drafted to the NFL, so they definitely have their work cut out for them this off-season.

While expected to be great, it’s quite unrealistic to ask rookie Bryce Young to repeat what Alabama has done the past few years under Mac Jones.

Reports state that while comfortable in the pocket, Young will not be slinging the rock as frequently and effectively as past ‘Bama quarterbacks have.

And we can’t forget about their defense losing exceptional cornerback Patrick Surtain II to the Denver Broncos in the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay on the lookout for a hole in the Alabama defensive backfield.

Oklahoma is another team that I plan on keeping my eye on throughout the 2021 CFB season (as they always are). They are coming off an explosive season, ranking number 1 amongst all CFB offenses in 2020 and averaged close to 500 yards per game.

Oklahoma native quarterback Spencer Rattler is returning to the Sooners with his eyes on one thing: a National Championship. With seven returning starters around him, he may have the supporting cast to get the job done. With that being said, good luck against Alabama, Spencer.

Clemson Tigers

All the talk is about the Alabama University Crimson Tide this season, but the Clemson University Tigers are going to be National Champions once again under head coach Dabo Swinney.

To win in college football, you need a coach who can round his team together. Besides Nick Saban of Alabama, Dabo Swinney is the bestcoach in college football, and he has shown that for years now. Coaching matters.

The Tigers come into the 2021 season with the second best odds to win it all behind the Crimson Tide, but quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has already shown flashes of what he is going to do for Clemson this year.

After losing Trevor Lawrence, who entered into the NFL Draft and was the number one pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team suffered a huge loss. However, Uiagalelei is no scrub. He is more than capable of leading his team to a National Championship.

Uiagalelei is a five-star and top- ten recruit out of California from the class of 2020 who played last season when Lawrence was ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols.

He is exactly the type of player Clemson often recruits. He’s a very big player, standing at six foot four and 249 pounds with the arm strength to run any type of offense.

Although the Tigers lost to the University of Notre Dame in the first game Uiagalelei played, he still stood out with 439 passing yards and three touchdowns.

In the next game against Boston College, Uiagaleilei led the Tigers to a come-from-behind win and made one thing sure: He is impressive enough to be starting this upcoming season.

Then, it is not hard to look at the other side of the ball and see how impressive Clemson’s defense really is.

It becomes a lot easier for Dabo Swinney when he recruits top star talent, but he still needs to mesh everyone together. Even when theirbest players are out the door after three seasons, Swinney and his staff recruit well.

This year, the Tigers bring back nine of their 12 top tacklers. Linebacker Baylon Spector is the key returner in the heart of the defense as he led the team with 65 tackles and tackles for loss with 10.5.

Clemson dismissed All-ACC corner Derion Kendrick, but still had steady options in the backfield with Nolan Turner and Lannden Zanders.

By putting this team together with DJ Uiagalelei under center and a defense with a lot of returners, Dabo Swinney will win his third National Championship at Clemson.