College football Q&A for 2022 season
What you need to know ahead of kickoff this year
When does the 2022 season begin?
"Week 0" kicks off the season on Saturday, Aug. 27. Most other FBS programs will begin their season in traditional Week 1 action the following weekend.
Week 0 college football games
— Nebraska at Northwestern (Dublin)
— Duquesne at Florida State
— Florida A&M at North Carolina
— Wyoming at Illinois
— Vanderbilt at Hawaii
— Austin Peay at Western Kentucky
— Nevada at New Mexico State
— UConn at Utah State
Week 1 CFB schedule
Saturday, Sept. 3
Oregon vs. Georgia. Dan Lanning goes from calling the Bulldogs' defense to running the Ducks program after replacing Mario Cristobal. Lanning's first game comes against his old team in a Pac-12 vs. SEC matchup.
Notre Dame at Ohio State. Another homecoming, this time for former OSU player Marcus Freeman. He comes into his first full season as Irish head coach in a bombshell on-campus game against the Buckeyes' No. 1 ranked offense.
West Virginia at Pittsburgh. The Backyard Brawl is back for 2022 after a decade-long hiatus. And with a first look at new Pitt quarterback Kedon Slovis, who transferred from USC to step in for Kenny Pickett.
Cincinnati at Arkansas. Cincy comes off a historic College Football Playoff berth, but with a lot of new faces. And starting with a road tilt in the SEC West. We'll see if the Bearcats have what it takes to stick around.
Utah at Florida. The reigning Pac-12 champs try their luck in the Swamp as Billy Napier opens things up as the Gators' new head coach in a must-watch non-conference game down south to open the season.
Sunday, Sept. 4
Florida State vs. LSU. An interesting ACC vs. SEC affair with Brian Kelly stepping in to lead LSU after stunning the world and leaving Notre Dame, and a chance for Mike Norvell to finally chalk up a quality win with the Seminoles.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech. A relative down year for Dabo Swinney and company, but the Tigers still won 10 games a year ago. Clemson's quest to return to College Football Playoff consideration begins in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against the Rambling Wreck.
Who is the defending national champion?
Georgia Bulldogs. The mailman delivered as Stetson Bennett and a generational defense helped bring the Dawgs their first natty since 1980. Kirby Smart finally got the Alabama-shaped elephant off his (and the program's) back with the statement victory. The win also gave the SEC its 12th national championship in the last 16 seasons. The super-conference's dominance continues.
2021-22 College Football Playoff recap
No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Michigan
Final score: Georgia 34, Michigan 11
No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Alabama
Final score: Alabama 27, Cincinnati 6
National Championship Game
No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 1 Alabama
Final score: Georgia 33, Alabama 18
Who are the defending conference champions?
SEC: Alabama. Going against a Georgia defense that allowed under a TD per game was no match for the Tide's attack. Bama upended the Bulldogs' then-perfect season in Atlanta before losing the rematch in Indy.
Big Ten: Michigan. A resurgence for the Wolverines just when Jim Harbaugh needed it most. Michigan trounced Iowa, and then got trounced, by eventual CFP champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl semifinal.
ACC: Pittsburgh. Kenny Pickett broke a pile of school records to lead the Panthers to conference glory. Pitt upended Wake Forest in Charlotte to earn an eventual Peach Bowl bid. Michigan State downed Pitt by 10 in that game.
Big 12: Baylor. A last-second play on defense just inches from the goal line kept Oklahoma State out and handed the Bears a league crown. Just a year after Dave Aranda's bunch won two games. Baylor could be headed for some good years.
Pac-12: Utah. You gotta hand it to the Utes, stepping on Oregon twice, keeping the Ducks from the College Football Playoff, and getting their first Rose Bowl berth. A close loss to Ohio State in a legendary game followed in Pasadena.
AAC: Cincinnati. The only undefeated team left in America going into bowl season last year. Cincy went 13-0 and earned a historic first CFP berth for a Group of 5 team. Then, Alabama did what it usually does, getting past the Bearcats with relative ease.
College football programs on the rebound
LSU Tigers. Good luck, Brian Kelly. The head coach inherits a program long on talent, but short on results. Kelly signed a top 15 class, including 5-star linebacker Harold Perkins, and LSU cleaned up in the transfer portal. Now comes the hard part — winning consistently in the SEC West.
Texas Longhorns. Year 1 started off alright for Steve Sarkisian as the Horns started 4-1, but it didn't last. UT lost six straight, finished 5-7, and lost at home to Kansas. Adding generational quarterback prospect Quinn Ewers should help with the turnaround, but we'll stop short of saying Texas is #back.
USC Trojans. Lincoln Riley moved west and brought some major talent with him. Caleb Williams transferred in at QB, as did wideout Mario Williams, among others. But can the Trojans patch up this awful defense? This team may not be College Football Playoff material just yet, but expect it to be in the mix for the Pac-12.
Nebraska Cornhuskers. It looks like Scott Frost has one more chance to do this. No team in college football history ever lost as many games as the Huskers did as close as they did a year ago — all of NU's nine losses were by single digits. This year finds former Pitt OC Mark Whipple joining the program and Casey Thompson in at quarterback as a transfer from Texas after leading the Big 12 in TDs.
When is the 2022-23 College Football Playoff?
Dec. 31, 2022 Fiesta Bowl
Dec. 31, 2022 Peach Bowl
Jan. 9, 2023 National Championship
Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff national championship in the 2014-15 season. Alabama has appeared in every CFP except one and has won three national titles. Clemson is a two-time national champion and has appeared in three total championship games.
Here's a list of every national championship game and score in College Football Playoff history.
2014-15 CFB Playoff
No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20
2015-16 CFB Playoff
No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40
2016-17 CFB Playoff
No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31
2017-18 CFB Playoff
No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23
2018-19 CFB Playoff
No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16
2019-20 CFB Playoff
No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25
2020-21 CFB Playoff
No. 1 Alabama 52, No. 3 Ohio State 24
2021-22 CFB Playoff
No. 3 Georgia 33, No. 1 Alabama 18
This is the ninth year that college football has a playoff system, which replaced the former Bowl Championship Series (BCS) ahead of the 2014 season.