It finally happened in 2021. We saw a group of 5 schools break through and grab one of the coveted college football playoff spots. Cincinnati went undefeated winning the AAC and defeating Power 5 schools Notre Dame and Indiana and reached the last four in college football. Sure, Alabama overpowered the Bearcats, but at least it showed the country that a team outside the typical power circle could reach the biggest stage in the sport.
That said, the playoffs are still club exclusive. In 2022, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State are back in the heart of the race. While many applaud Cincy’s efforts last year, they simply don’t believe it will happen again.
Yet some schools could disrupt the status quo. A bit of new blood. These schools aren’t the only ones having a huge impact on the 2022 college football playoffs. Just because a team isn’t ranked in the top four or five doesn’t mean they can’t become a title contender. Nor does it mean that not being a title contender prevents a team from having an impact on the playoff race. Remember, Michigan came out of nowhere to earn a playoff berth.
It’s not just teams that could crash the playoff party. These are teams that could pull off that upset that keeps a title contender out of one of those coveted four spots. We saw a few upsets during the season that ended another school’s playoff hopes.
Here are 15 schools that could throw a wrench in the 2022 College Football Playoffs.