Half of the college football regular season has been accounted for. Most programs have seen the field six times. Nine teams are clinging to an undefeated record through their first six contests, while six others carry a 5-0 slate.
Would you believe me if I said the SEC, which has assembled 12 of the last 16 national champions, has just four squads left undefeated? What if I told you USC and UCLA are looking more like Big Ten representatives as the weeks pass? What about if I said that Notre Dame or Oklahoma isn’t in the Associated Press’ Top 25 rankings, but the James Madison Dukes, TCU and Kansas are?
It’s been an unexpected season of college football, filled with feel-good underdog stories that prove anything can happen. But will all of this carry on into the second half of the season? Keep scrolling to check out three teams we think will keep the momentum heading into the next couple of months of play.
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Where Were They Then Vs Where Are They Now?
|Team||2022 Record||2021 Record|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||6-0||6-1|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||6-0||7-1|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||5-0||6-2|
|Ole Miss Rebels||6-0||7-1|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||5-0||2-5|
|TCU Horned Frogs||5-0||3-5|
|James Madison Dukes||5-0||0-0|
|Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||6-0||5-2|
Who Will Have The Strongest Second Half To The College Football Season?
Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)
If there was one typical top-three team to finish out the strongest, it’ll be the Buckeyes. After wrapping up Week 6, Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Ryan Day and his group kicked off the season with a statement, taking down Notre Dame and its new era in a 21-10 victory. They’ve since gone on to average a nation-high 48.8 points per game while allowing competitors only 15.7 to rank 11th in that category. It’s clear favored QB C.J. Stroud is gunning for the Heisman Trophy. The junior ranks first with 24 touchdowns and a 94.8 QBR.
The Buckeyes are 3-2-1 ATS and three of their last five lines have been -30 or more. High-scoring Ohio State’s OVER/UNDER is at 4-2, with the OVER hitting in its last four matchups. The Bucks haven’t been tested too much so far, meeting a then-ranked top-10 squad only once (Notre Dame). But even with a couple of games needing some extra preparation, Ohio State won’t be easy to take down.
Games To Watch For
The Penn State Nittany Lions are scheduled for Week 8. In the last decade, the Buckeyes are 9-1 against the Nittany Lions, with Penn State’s lone triumph in that span a 24-21 victory in 2016. A year ago, Ohio State won 33-24 but failed to cover as an 18.5-point favorite.
Week 12 features one of our CFB games of the year and wraps up the regular season. Ohio State will host the Michigan Wolverines for an annual matchup in which the Wolverines have the upper hand at 59-51-9. In 2021, Michigan killed an eight-year losing streak to Ohio State in a 42-27 finish that was the most viewed regular-season game of the year.
James Madison Dukes (5-0)
In their first season since joining the Sun Belt Conference, the Dukes are 5-0 and have officially earned their first AP ranking in program history following a 42-20 victory over Arkansas State in Week 6. Ranking 14th in the nation for points per game (39.5) and points allowed per game (17.0), James Madison could become the first team to reach 6-0 in its first year joining the Football Bowl Subdivision if a win follows in its visit to Georgia Southern.
The Dukes, one of the most profitable Top 25 teams, have been putting money in bettors’ pockets all season long. Complementing their undefeated record is a perfect 5-0 ATS mark, including a -41.5 cover in Week 2 over Norfolk State. The Week 7 matchup line vs Georgia Southern is set at -11.5 favoring JMU at Allen E. Paulson Stadium, which the Dukes will likely cover.
Though the Dukes are currently trying to overturn the decision, since JMU is transitioning into its first FBS season, it is currently ineligible to get a bowl game or participate in the Sun Belt championship. James Madison promotes the phrase The Sky Is The Limit. I don’t think they’ll cap off at No. 25 … especially not with an easier schedule than most undefeated programs left.
Games To Watch For
As of current rankings, James Madison does not face a fellow ranked team again in the regular season. If the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the Dukes both carry undefeated records until Week 12, only one will walk off the field with a perfect record and likely win the division title.
Clemson Tigers (5-0)
This season was all about redemption for the Tigers after missing last year’s College Football Playoff for the first time in six years. Dabo Swinney and his team posted a 10-3 overall record, including 6-2 within the ACC, which for Clemson is terrible.
Having not dropped a game yet this season, QB DJ Uiagalelei has bounced back. He has picked up 14 touchdowns so far, placing him in the nation’s top 20, including five in a double-overtime win over Wake Forest in Week 4. Currently on the brink of breaking into the top 10, Clemson averages 40.2 points per game. The Tigers came into the year ready to face adversity on the field, but have battled to come out on top and stay undefeated.
Games To Watch For
Clemson has one of the easier second-half schedules. The Tigers only face one more ranked team in the regular season, the Syracuse Orange in Week 8. Though the line hasn’t been released yet, Clemson’s tougher matchups suggest them entering at around -7 favorites. Being 3-3 ATS, it’s a toss-up but they’ve covered in their last two contests.
They do meet the Florida State Seminoles and Notre Dame, but both those programs are having lackluster seasons. So, unless Clemson is handed an upset, the Tigers should continue to carry a record solid enough to make the CFP.
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