College Football Milestones Coming Up In 2022

College Football Milestones
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As the spring sports season winds down, college sports fans around the country are starting to count the days to the return of college football. And counting is a large part of how we measure success on the gridiron. The upcoming 2022 season presents some opportunities for some interesting college football milestones.

College Football Milestones Coming Up In 2022

It’s interesting that after 150 years of college football, the Top 15 All-Time Wins teams are grouped so close together. One of the most high-profile college football milestones coming up this season is the re-shuffling of the All-Time Wins list with several teams in the Top 15.

All Time Wins List

Michigan is safe (for now) at the top of the All-Time wins list with 976 wins. They will be looking to be the first program to hit 1,000 wins, but that likely won’t happen until early in the 2024 unless the Wolverines make a national title run this year or next. But behind Michigan, there are 10 teams in the FBS Top 10 that are jockeying for position in four different groupings. (Rankings here do not include FCS teams in the All-Time Wins list: Yale, Harvard, and Penn)

The Battle for Second

But right behind Michigan, Alabama and Ohio State enter the 2022 with 942 program wins apiece. Ohio State has held this spot for several years with Alabama charging hard during the Nick Saban era. This could be the year that the Crimson take control of the second spot for good. Both of these programs have national followings and being in different conferences, these fan bases are always looking for different ways to claim superiority over one another. This will be one of the key milestones to watch for the upcoming season. For the record, Alabama has won their 942 games in less games played (1318 to 1324) and less ties (43 to 53) but has more losses as well (333-329). With both of these programs showing no signs of decline, this is a milestone battle that promises to keep fans engaged for many years to come.

The “Next 900s”

After Michigan, Ohio State, and Alabama, only five other teams have more than 900 wins, and they are all separated by just three wins. Oklahoma (931), Notre Dame (929), and Texas (928) are the next grouping of teams to watch for. There is some controversy with Oklahoma’s win total, but most sources use either 931 or 929, so they are still squarely in this group. Interestingly, of these three teams only one current coach, Steve Sarkisian at Texas, has head coaching experience and he only has one of his eight total seasons with Texas. Longhorn fans are hoping that the abrupt transitions in Norman and South Bend will help them stop their slide relative to these two teams and get back into the Top Five of the All-Time Wins list.

Penn State (909) and Nebraska (908) are neck-and-neck at positions seven and eight. Like Texas, Nebraska’s recent slide has allowed Penn State to slowly catch and pass them on the all-time list. Cornhuskers fans are hoping Scott Frost can right the ship in Lincoln and get back in front of the Nittany Lions this season. Either way, these two teams seem destined to battle for seventh and eighth for several years.

Rounding Out the Top 10

The last grouping of teams are at the end of the Top 10 list and include Southern California (856) and Tennessee (856) tied for ninth and Georgia (853) at eleventh but charging hard trying to catch one of these teams for the last Top 10 spot. The Bulldogs, coming off  a 14-win national championship season, look to maintain that momentum and continue to climb the all-time list. Both Southern Cal and Tennessee have struggled recently, the Vols most noticeably, but have optimism heading into 2022 with Lincoln Riley taking over in Los Angeles and Josh Heupel‘s offense putting up a lot of points in 2021.

Other All-Time Wins Battles

Outside of the Top 10, there are a few more all-time win positions likely to change in 2022. Texas A&M (766) is currently one win behind West Virginia (767) for 21st place. A topped ranked recruiting class should push Jimbo Fisher‘s Aggies over the Mountaineers. Washington (750), Pitt (749), and Florida (747) are currently at 26th, 27th, and 28th place, respectively, but with trends, that could be completely reversed by season’s end. Lastly, Syracuse (730), Arkansas (729), Navy (729), and Wisconsin (728) are currently sitting in 30th-33rd place and are separated by two total wins. Syracuse could very realistically lose three spots in the All-Time Wins list by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

Individual Records

It’s hard to predict individual records for a season, especially in the era of the Transfer Portal. There are, however, a couple of college football milestones career records that are within striking distance in the upcoming season. There will be some consternation with any of these potential records, however, as players are taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility.

Passing

Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall is in position to take over the top overall spot in NCAA history in both Passing Yards per Attempt (y/a) and Adjusted Passing Yards per Attempt (Ay/a). He currently trails Mac Jones (11.01 Y/A) with 10.88 yards per attempt and Tua Tagovailoa (12.7 Ay/a) with 12.5 Ay/A. Using 200 pass attempts as a marker, McCall needs about 11.37 y/a this season to take over the top spot for both categories (assuming he throws in a few touchdowns in there for the Ay/A category). He averaged 11.9 y/a and 13.6 Ay/a last season, so McCall is well on pace to end his career as an all-time leader in these two categories. With these categories being averages, McCall’s record will be less susceptible to the “extra COVID year” scrutiny.

Defense

Carlton Martial, of Troy, is in position to take over one of the top records in college football. Martial, at 5’9″, 210, is poised to become the NCAA all-time leader in career assisted tackles and total tackles. Marital is currently 443 total tackles, 89 behind the record of 532. Martial has tallied 127, 114, and 126 tackles in his last three seasons. Entering the season, he has 242 assisted tackles, only 48 behind the all-time career mark of 290. He has 57, 60, and 82 assisted tackles in the last three seasons. Barring injury, the diminutive Trojan linebacker will quietly sneak into the NCAA record books as the career leader in both assisted tackles and total tackles.

In addition to Martial, Arkansas’ Bumper Pool (212) has an outside shot at the assisted tackles record. Pool is 78 assisted tackles short. He’ll have to make up those tackles and pass Martial for the top spot however.

Alabama’s Will Anderson is currently sitting at 24.5 sacks in his two year career after an astounding 17.5 sacks last season. The current record is 45, which is out of reach for now, but Anderson only needs 11 sacks (…”only 11 sacks”…) to move into third place all time. If for some reason Anderson doesn’t go to the NFL in 2023, he has a legitimate shot at Khalil Mack’s ridiculous mark of 45 career sacks.

Punting and Kicking

Rutgers’ Adam Korsak is set to etch is name in punting history in 2022. The “Punting God” and 2021 All-American is 2,525 yards away from the all-time punting yards record. And let’s face it, playing for Rutgers, Korsak might break this college football milestone by the third quarter of game four. Korsak is also in range of the NCAA record for most career punt attempts, 73 attempts short. That comes out to six punts per game, with one seven punt game. The spirit of Pat McAfee lives in Piscataway.

Down on the Plains, in the prettiest little village, Auburn’s Anders Carlson is looking to move up into rare territory in two categories. First, Carlson is 23 Field Goal Attempts shy of the NCAA record (116). Carlson’s brother, Daniel, is currently second on that list with 114. Carlson attempted between 21 and 25 FGs in the last four years, so this milestone is a pretty good bet. But Carlson (67) also has an outside shot at the career record for FGs made at 96. This is a little bit of long shot, however, as Carlson needs 29 made FGs and his career season best is 20. Looks like his big brother’s mark of 92 should hold for the family record.

Others To Watch for College Football Milestones in 2022

Alabama’s Will Reichard has an outside shot to enter the Top 5 Career Made Extra Points.

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has a legitimate chance to finish his career joining McCall in the Top 1o of career yards per attempt.

East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers has a chance to finish in the career Top 5 for yards per play.

Alabama’s Jordan Battle has an outside chance at the NCAA record for career interceptions returned for touchdowns.

And Texas Tech’s Khoury Bethley, after four years at Hawaii, has a chance to enter the career Top 5 for tackles.

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