It was a staunch defensive effort that ultimately powered Georgia to its first national title in over 40 years last season — but nonetheless, offense is the dominant theme in today’s era of college football.
The country is rife with highly-potent offensive forges, and those will soon be on full display when the season kicks off in the coming months.
But which offensive unit is poised to be the best next season?
It’s never too early to take a look.
In 2021, USC went 4-8, but they landed a head coach in Lincoln Riley who is widely known as one of the chief offensive minds in college football. Riley brought over a slew of offensive weapons that played for him at Oklahoma, including standout freshman Caleb Williams and wide receiver Mario Williams.
Last season, Riley’s Sooners were eighth in the NCAA in points per game (39.1), 18th in yards per game (451.0), and 33rd in passing yards per game. Oklahoma generally took care of the ball under Riley, only committing 12 turnovers all season, which was tied for 13th in college football. When the Sooners got into the end zone, they scored 75.8% of the time, second-best in college football. Oklahoma’s high-powered offense scored 40 or more points in six of their 13 games last season.
Riley hopes that his offensive expertise translates to USC for the 2022 season. USC ranked 65th in points scored (28.7) and 23rd in total yards per game (443.9) last season.
Ole Miss ranked sixth in yards per game with 492.5, 11th in rushing yards per game (218.5), and 22nd in passing yards per game. The arrival of former USC quarterback Jaxson Dart should keep former quarterback Matt Corral’s offense at least on par with last season.
The Rebels were a high-scoring offense, scoring 30 or more points in seven of 13 games, and moved at a fast pace, generating the second-most plays per game (78.2). More plays typically mean more turnovers, but Ole Miss kept its turnovers at bay, typing Oklahoma for the 13th-fewest in college football (12).
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes fell just shy of a College Football Playoff berth, finishing the season ranked sixth in the AP Poll. They were the pinnacle of college football in terms of offense, leading the country in points per game (45.7) and yards per game (561.2). Additionally, Ohio State averaged 380.0 passing yards per game, ranking third in college football, and was also third in passing yards per game. The Buckeyes offense scored 40 or more points in nine of 13 games, and scored 50 or more in six.
While producing all that offense, Ohio State protected the ball, only turning the ball over 11 times all season, which was the ninth-fewest in the NCAA.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has been considered the class of college football for quite some time and understandably so. Finishing the 2021 season as the runner-up, losing to Georgia in the National Championship Game, Alabama looks to return to form in 2022.
Last season, the Tide were a balanced offense, ranking sixth in points per game (39.9), seventh in yards per game (488.2), seventh in passing yards per game (338.2), and had the second-most passing touchdowns in college football (48). They also scored 40 or more points in nine of their 15 games.
Most notably, the Tide will be returning their Heisman-winning, AP Player of the Year quarterback, Bryce Young.
Is Texas finally back? After finishing the 2021 season unranked, head coach Steve Sarkisian has brought in some big fish to Austin, Texas.
The headliner for Texas’ hopeful turnaround is their new transfer quarterback from Ohio State, Quinn Ewers, who was the top-ranked quarterback out of high school coming out of Southlake, TX. Not to mention, Texas still has Bijan Robinson.
Texas hopes to grow on an above-average that averaged 35.3 points per game, which was 18th in college football, and the fourth-best red zone touchdown percentage, scoring touchdowns on 74.5% of redzone trips. The Longhorns also scored the third-most points in a single game in 2021 after scoring 70 on Texas Tech.
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