Lincoln Riley, Will Anderson Jr. and C.J. Stroud ESPN
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Week 1 of the college football season will kick off on Sept. 1 with 10 FBS games and Howard in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

The arrival of the 100 day mark to the beginning of the college football season carries with it both excitement and fear.

The clock is running for the return of the greatest sport on the planet, along with the bands, mascots and fans that make it so. We have to get everything else done now. Yard work? Home improvement projects? What about vacations? Are weddings? You have 14 Saturdays left until we are locked in.

It has been quite a while since the last time. The defection of Lincoln Riley to the West Coast has created a new rivalry between Southern California and Oklahoma. The addition of Pitt star Jordan Addison has added to the hatred of the USC.

Texas A&M and Alabama have made a lot of noise in the SEC West. Bryan Harsin is still at auburn after a soap opera. He's ready to get back to football.

West Virginia will travel to Pitt for their 105th meeting in a good way to kick off Week 1.

This has been an off season of change, on and off the field. You will be forgiven if you can't remember all that happened. Here is a rundown of the key coaches in new places, elite transfers on new teams, position battles still to be determined and a lot more.

Dave Wilson is a person.

Jump to: State of the game | Coaches

Transfers |

Top players | Position battles

Offseason sights & sounds | September games

The four-team format for the College Football Playoff will remain in place for four more years. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

What happened with CFP expansion and realignment again?

College Football Playoff expansion discussions were put on hold after the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director voted to keep the four-team format in place for four more years. There were a number of reasons why the Big Ten and the Pac-12 voted against expansion. The current 12-year contract with the CFP will end after the 2025 season, so a plan is still needed. The national championship games will be held in 2025 and 2026.

The realignment shuffle is on track despite the postseason format being in limbo.

Oklahoma and Texas are expected to join the SEC.

The exact timing of the departure of Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF from the American Athletic Conference to the Big 12 is still unclear. In good faith, the conference has been willing to try to negotiate an earlier exit from the conference. Sources told the sports network that no agreement has been reached. BYU will join in July of 2023. Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, and UTSA will join the conference on July 1, 2023.

James Madison will join the Sun Belt on July 1, 2023.

And what's coming next with the state of CFB?

The NCAA is about to rewrite its constitution, restructure its governance and search for a new president as part of a complete restructuring of the collegiate landscape.

The NCAA will give more power to the schools and conferences, but there are differing opinions on what that should look like. The College Football Playoff should encompass the 10 FBS conferences, according to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. The 10 conferences and 130 schools that compete at the FBS level should be managed by a separate organization, according to the Knight Commission. It is an idea that has been gaining traction among university presidents and the sport's decision-makers, but there are far more questions than answers.

The NCAA's transformation committee, chaired by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Ohio University athletic director Julie Cromer, is supposed to finish its work.

The rich continue to get richer as the NCAA undergoes its most significant changes since 1996. The Big Ten's new blockbuster media rights deal, which is expected to be worth up to $1 billion, should be in place by the end of May. Conference commissioner Kevin Warren expects amorandum of understanding to be agreed upon around Memorial Day. The SEC and Big Ten are the wealthiest and most powerful conferences in college athletics with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas. The Pac-12 should be in third place, as the league's media rights will expire in the summer of 2024, and a new deal will at least position the conference ahead of the realigned Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Heather Dinich.

Brent Venables begins his head-coaching odyssey at Oklahoma. Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Update on key first-year coaches

The list of first-year coaches features both established front men and notable assistants. Brian Kelly and Lincoln Riley, who have a combined 221 wins, are moving to LSU and USC, respectively. The first season of each coach is under a lot of scrutiny. The same goes for their replacements, as long as they are the same as Kelly and Venables.

Venables is not the only one who has been an assistant at the school. Tony Elliott is the offensive playcaller for the national championship teams in 2016 and 2018). Most of the intrigue will be at Miami, where Mario Cristobal is trying to reestablish himself as a national figure. Dan Lanning, a first-time head coach who coordinated Georgia's national championship defense last year, will take over for Cristobal at Oregon. The Group of 5 features several first-year coaches with Power 5 experience, including Clay Helton, Jim Mora, Joe Moorhead, and Jerry Kill.

Coaches under pressure for 2022

Several coaches are in desperation because of the number of moves and prominent teams involved in last year's carousel. Will Arizona State's Herm Edwards make it to the season? During the NCAA investigation, his staff has been destroyed. NCAA sanctions or other attrition could change the situation. Scott Frost survived his fourth straight losing season in Lincoln, but he had to change his offensive staff and take a reduced contract. He will leave his alma mater if he doesn't appear in a bowl.

Bryan Harsin made it through an internal review in February and has gained a second wind on the Plains, but a poor record and internal turmoil could cause a change. Syracuse's Dino Babers, Louisville's Scott Satterfield, Florida State's Mike Norvell, and Georgia Tech's Geoff Collins all need to win. Colorado's Karl Dorrell must deliver, while UCLA's Chip Kelly wants to build on progress. Group of 5 hot spots include Memphis, North Texas, UNLV and Ryan Silverfield.

Adam Rittenberg.

Caleb Williams immediately upgrades USC's offense. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Biggest transfers of the offseason

It is : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : After Williams entered the transfer portal and announced he was leaving Oklahoma, this transfer made headlines for weeks. He immediately upgraded the offense for the USC when he joined the team.

2. Ewers had committed to Texas out of high school at one point and transferred to play for the Longhorns after only one season with the Buckeyes, but leaving Ohio State came as a surprise to some.

3. Ricks was a freshman All-American and dealt with injuries this past season. He is a former five-star prospect and should be able to contribute immediately to the Alabama secondary. He was one of the biggest purchases this year.

4. When it was reported that Jordan would enter the transfer portal, it was quite a bit of a surprise. USC was mentioned as a leader, then he went to Texas. The former Biletnikoff Award winner was added to the roster as another offensive option.

5. Lane Kiffin needed a replacement for Matt Corral at quarterback at Ole Miss, and he has an excellent choice in Jaxson Dart. He completed 118 passes for 1,353 yards and nine touchdown for USC last season.

Best transfers still available

1. Washington had over 250 receiving yards and two touchdown as a junior for the Longhorns.

2. Tucker-Dorsey had 116 tackles, 2.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss at James Madison. He should have a lot of options.

3. Carlos Del Rio-Wilson was a quarterback out of Georgia. He is looking for a new school to play out the rest of his eligibility after redshirting his first season.

4. Miller was a recruit out of high school who went to the defensive line at Oregon. He could play defense or offense.

5. An offensive lineman with SEC experience is hard to come by. Akporoghene could be a good option for a team looking for some help up front.

Tom VanHaaren is a person.

Will Anderson Jr. is the most dominant player in all of college football. Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

Hello Heisman? Meet CFB's top returning players

1. Will Anderson Jr. was the most dominant player in college football a year ago, and he will return to Alabama as the game's most dominant player in 2022. Anderson is a pass-rusher and a run-stop, which makes him one of the best defenders Nick Saban has ever coached.

2. Young was the epitome of calm in his first season as Alabama's starting quarterback. He passed for over 5,000 yards and scored over 50 points. He will be without his top two wide receivers from a year ago, but Young and O'Brien will be together for a second straight year.

3. There were a few stumbles early in his Ohio State career, but there is no reason why he shouldn't pick up where he left off a year ago, when he had 573 passing yards and six touchdown passes in the Rose Bowl. He put up those numbers with the two first-round picks sitting out the game.

4. Georgia produced a record five NFL first-round draft picks on defense last month, including the top pick. Carter was the most disruptive defender on the Dawgs' national championship team, according to one opposing coach. Carter finished second on the team with 33 quarterback pressures, and his production will increase in 2022.

5. He was the best receiver in the country last season and tied for the lead with 17 touchdown catches. He brings his talents to the USC and is one of the premier players in college football.

The true freshmen we can't wait to see

1. Ranked as the top wide receiver prospect in the 2020 class, Burden looked the part this spring with an array of big plays, quickness and the ability to make defenders look helpless in the open field. Getting LB3 out of St. Louis was a huge recruiting win for Eliah Drinkwitz and Missouri, and if you are going to win big in the SEC, you better have dynamic players like Burden.

2. Penn State needs to run the ball better than it did a year ago, and Nicholas Singleton is a key part of the class of 2022. He was one of eight true rookies who went through spring practice. The kind of strength and speed that should get him on the field early is what Singleton showed.

3. Brownlow-Dindy missed spring practice after injuring his knee, but he was one of 11 early enrollees in Texas A&M's blockbuster signing class. Brownlow-Dindy has everything it takes to make an immediate impact and could be an effective interior pass-rusher.

4. The USC CB Domani Jackson showed up on the USC campus this spring with an NFL body and he should be a good addition to the USC defense. Jackson injured his knee in high school and was limited this spring. USC beat Alabama to get Jackson, who has track speed.

5. The most impressive of the 11 early enrollees this spring was Kye Stokes, who was hardly the highest-ranked signee in the Buckeyes' 2022 class. Even though Ohio State returns several veterans in the secondary, the coaches are still impressed with the cover skills, range and energy of the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Stokes.

Chris Low.

Baylor thinks Blake Shapen could have a high celling. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Top position battles resolved in spring

Dave Aranda didn't need to wait until the fall to decide who would be under center for the Bears. Aranda had a difficult decision to make. Bohanon was an All-Big 12 selection who started 12 of 14 games last year and threw for 2,200 yards and 18 touchdown and ran for 323 yards and nine scores. The Bears had a 12-2 season. Aranda gave Bohanon the opportunity to enter the transfer portal, which he has, because he named Bohanon his backup last month. There is an expectation that Shapen's ceiling could be higher.

In Eugene, Oregon, the situation isn't as resolved as it is in Waco, Texas, but Bo Nix's arrival has put him in the driver's seat for the starting quarterback job. Even though Dan Lanning hasn't made a decision on the job, Ty Thompson has impressed a lot, and even though the competition will continue in fall camp, he looks like he will get the first crack at the job. It is not certain whether he will keep it during the season.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is poised to be the second wide receiver for Ohio State, despite the fact that the top wide receiver is returning. The expectations have always been there for Harrison, and it has not been easy. He has both.

Most intriguing position battles for fall

There are more quarterbacks. From South Carolina to College Station and Baton Rouge to Austin, the quarterback battles to come will be the talk of college football.

Hudson Card has shown he is more than up to the challenge of returning to Texas. Ewers was a five-star recruit, but he has his work cut out for him to overtake Card in the fall.

Texas A&M has a lot of exciting prospects arriving this year, but questions remain at quarterback. The advantage of Haynes King over Max Johnson is his familiarity with Jimbo Fisher's system. Rounding out the battle is a five-star prospect from the class of 2022, who could start to make his way up the depth chart if opportunities break his way.

The old team of Johnson is dealing with a quarterback battle of its own after Daniels moved to LSU. Brennan was expected to be the leader in the locker room, but Daniels' arrival as a dynamic option for Brian Kelly's new challenge puts pressure on Brennan to stave off Daniels.

It could be a tough decision for the team. D.J. Uiagalelei has had an up-and-down year, but he has a quarterback battle on his hands with the top quarterback in the class of 2022. There will be a lot of pressure on the Tigers to make the right call with Brandon Streeter handling not just the quarterbacks but the whole offense. This one could go down to the wire and end up with more twists and turns as the season progresses.

Paolo Uggetti.

The strangest sights and sounds of the offseason

Bryan Harsin came to the SEC meetings through the back door after some auburn boosters tried to oust him.

Bryan Harsin has arrived at SEC HQ for coaches meetings today. (Trust me that's the back of his head)

— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) February 10, 2022

Sam Pittman has a statue at his house.

A huge thank you to my friend Brandon White for such a wonderful job! #thehogisstrong #turnthatdamnjukeboxon

— Coach Sam Pittman (@CoachSamPittman) March 21, 2022

He made his way to his first USC practice.

It's only my first day here lol

— Caleb Williams (@CALEBcsw) March 23, 2022

Texas running back Bijan Robinson has a new NIL perk.

When Dreams turn into Reality. God, I'm Grateful. 🙌🏾 Thank you #LamborghiniAtx for the partnership. #lambopartner

— Bijan Robinson (@Bijan5Robinson) May 5, 2022

Lane Kiffin called himself thePortal King.

#PortalKing 😂😂🧩🧩🧩

— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) January 31, 2022

He tried to transfer the title to Lincoln Riley.

Think they meant to send this to you ⁦@LincolnRiley⁩

— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) March 22, 2022

Even with a recruit who eventually signed with Alabama, Brian Kelly got a lot of attention for his dance moves.

"the intro"@LSUfootball 🐯 @MikeDenbrock @iRecruitDaBoot @CoachJoeSloan

— Danny Lewis Jr. (@DannyLewis2022) January 28, 2022

It will take some getting used to.

What's he writing down?

— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) April 24, 2022

The feud between Nick Saban and Fisher will make us look forward to the Texas A&M-Alabama game.

"Some people think they're God ... We build him up to be the czar of football. Go dig into his past, or anyone who's ever coached with him, you can find out anything you wanna find out."

Jimbo Fisher didn't hold back after Nick Saban's comments about A&M's recruiting practices.

— ESPN (@espn) May 19, 2022

September games we can't wait to see

1. There aren't many games that are better to start the season than Notre Dame and Ohio State. Two of the most storied programs in college football are coming off appearances in New Year's Six bowls and are looking to compete again in 2022. Notre Dame's head coach will have his hands full with Ohio State, led by a candidate for the Heisman, in his first full season.

2. 3, 3:30 p.m. The defending national champion will open their season in Atlanta against a team from the Pacific Northwest, probably the closest you can get to a neutral-site home game. Dan Lanning, who just left Georgia after leading an all-time great defense that produced five first-round NFL draft picks, is the new head coach at the University of Oregon.

3. The Alabama football team is going to be one of the best teams in the country. They will once again have two of the best players in the country in Will Anderson Jr. and Bryce Young, along with a cast of other future NFL players. Expectations are rising for Texas' second campaign. Bijan Robinson will be a spectacle of physical skills, no matter what your expectations are. Regardless of the result, this game will provide us with entertainment.

4. Florida State is playing LSU. Over the past two seasons, the Seminoles are 8-13 and 0-6 in September. A win against a name brand like LSU would mean a lot to FSU. LSU is coming off of a 6-7 season and has high expectations under Brian Kelly.

5. One of the most exciting Rose Bowl games we have ever seen is coming off by Utah. They will have some rebuilding to do defensively, but they are expected to be one of the top teams in the conference. They will be a great test for Billy Napier, who went 33-5 in his last three seasons at Louisiana.

The son of Harry Lyles Jr.