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Why 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football Is Better Than You Probably Think

2022 bowman university chrome

Bowman University is introducing a new chrome release in the second year of Bowman University Football.

As the company explained, “Bowman University is back in session for the 2022 season with a fully chrome finish, and for the first time ever, college marks for some of the top programs in the country.” So, unlike last year, Bowman University products are now fully licensed.

In addition, the relatively new line combines potential draft picks with top collegiate talents. But does this release deliver the goods? We find out in our full 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football review.

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

History of Bowman Football

Bowman has a long and storied history of producing football cards. They entered the football card game in 1948 before Topps even existed. The earliest cards were printed on three large sheets of 36 cards each for a total of 108 total cards. Most notably, the 1953 Bowman Football set is considered one of the classics in the genre. But of course, the original Bowman Gum company went under in 1955, and rival Topps purchased the rights to the name in 1956.

Topps resurrected Bowman in 1989, turning it into a line specializing in prospects. Though focused on baseball, they produced some excellent football cards in the 1990s and early 2000s. That ended when Panini received exclusive rights to the NFL back in 2016.

However, Topps revived Bowman for non-baseball sports last year. In 2021-22 they launched a new product, Bowman University, for basketball and football. It took advantage of new licensing rules for the NCAA to expand the reach of the Bowman brand.

The concept is simple. Bowman uses its beloved “Bowman 1st” signifiers for the top talents in college football. It also utilizes the substantial selection of refractors that have made Bowman the go-to baseball release in recent years. But perhaps more than anything else, it is part of a broader effort to reintroduce football and basketball collectors to Bowman and other Topps releases.

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football release date

The 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football hobby box dropped on February 22, 2023. The release also has a retail release, which as of now, is limited to blasters only. The blaster box comes out the same day.

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football formats

Past Bowman University releases have been hobby boxes only. But Bowman has always been a retail release, and it is no surprise that Bowman Football and Basketball are also moving in that direction.

Hobby Box

  • 4 cards per pack
  • 24 packs per box
  • 12 per case
  • 2 Chrome Prospect Autographs per box on average

Blasters

  • 7 cards per pack
  • 7 packs per box
  • 40 per case
  • 4 Exclusive Pink Refractors per value box on average
  • Resells for $25
  • Resells for $1,000

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football pros

The main drawbacks of the initial releases of Bowman University were its unlicensed status and that, of course, the players appear in college uniforms. The latter issue comes with the territory and is part of the reason this product is priced reasonably.

But Topps fixed the unlicensed issue with some help from NCAA regulations. So now you have college logos proudly displayed over the athletes’ names. It definitely makes the cards more attractive and could help them retain value on the open market. So, that one goes from the minus column to the plus one.

The other great advantage here is the cache and built-in advantages of the Bowman brand. It’s no secret that Bowman has blossomed over the last ten years into one of the most successful and desirable brands in the hobby.

It did so by leveraging the value and cache of its “1st” cards and pairing it with top-notch refractors. Topps has not shied away from bringing these fantastic elements to its football card selection.

I was also happy to see that each box has an average of 2 Chrome Prospect Autographs. I looked at some, and indeed there were two in every box. We will also look at how valuable these cards are. But putting two autos in a hobby box is always a welcome sign of investment in the brand.

And considering that we are talking about a $125 box, you can’t ask for more than two autos.

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football Review Of The Cons

The main issue is just one inherent to all college cards. People vastly prefer the pro uniform rookies, and even the best college cards vastly underperform the pro uniform varieties. But college cards have their audience, and 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football has more to recommend than most.

As for this specific release, the design seems particularly poor and uninspired. I feel like I have seen some version of this metallic concept countless times. This version lacks any kind of warmth or personal touch. Instead, it embodies everything unattractive about the Chrome/Prizm approach to cards.

The checklist could be better. Some of the autos and inclusions almost seem random. For example, Zach Calzada and Tyler Van Dyke are not at the top of anyone’s list for autos or inserts.

Meanwhile, some top prospects aren’t there. Is this because Topps hasn’t assigned people who know college football well or because of rights issues? Hard to say. But the results are underwhelming. Part of the problem is the small checklist size.

However, that provides all the more reason to be more selective. Nonetheless, the release does include top-rated QB prospect Bryce Young with whom Topps has an exclusive contract.

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football cards and inserts

As we have already noted, the player selection for the 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football checklist could be better. But how is it structured? The checklist is very minimal. There are only 100 base cards, perhaps reflecting this release’s tentative and experimental nature.

But because this is a Bowman release, it has a beautiful selection of parallels and refractors. They are good enough to make up for the small checklist.

Parallels

Topps has used the full powers of the Bowman parallels to spice up the 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football release. Here is the complete list:

  • Refractors
  • Shimmer Refractors – (hobby only)
  • Purple Refractors – /399
  • Purple Mini-Diamond Refractors – /399
  • Aqua Refractors – /299
  • Aqua Wave Refractors – /299
  • Blue Refractors – /199
  • Blue RayWave Refractors – /199
  • Fuchsia Mini-Diamond Refractors – /150
  • Lava Refractors – /100
  • Green Refractors – /99
  • Green Shimmer Refractors – /99 (hobby only)
  • Yellow Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Gold Shimmer Refractors – /50 (hobby only)
  • Orange Refractors – /25
  • Orange Shimmer Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red Shimmer Refractors – /10 (hobby only)
  • Red Refractors – /5
  • Black Shimmer Refractors – 1/1 (hobby only)
  • Superfractors – 1/1

Autographs

The Chrome Prospect Autographs are the main attraction in the 2022 Bowman Chrome University Football hobby boxes. They come at an average of two per hobby box, and they make up the vast majority of the autographs in the release.

As usual in Bowman releases, there is an awesome selection of auto refractors. Here is the complete list:

  • Refractors – /499
  • Lava Refractors – /199
  • Green Refractors – /99
  • Yellow Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Gold Lava Refractors – /50 (hobby only)
  • Orange Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Orange Shimmer Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red Refractors – /5
  • Red Shimmer Refractors – /5
  • Superfractors – 1/1

But there are other awesome autographs in the release. The main alternative to Chrome Prospect Autographs is the Prime Signatures, numbered no more than /50. And if you are really lucky, you can hit Orange Refractors /25 and Superfractors 1/1.

Inserts

With a heavy emphasis on autos, 1sts, and refractors, inserts get pushed aside in 2022 Bowman Chrome University Football. That isn’t necessarily bad since it increases your chances of getting that Bryce Young refractor you ripped for. But there are some nice inserts in here, nonetheless.

The 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football value

We don’t have much data to go on in determining the value of this product. It is the first year we have a Chrome release and the first where cards are licensed. And it’s only the second year this line has been released. Still, we will do our best and see what we can learn about value from last year and early sales from this product.

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football wax

The 2021-22 Bowman University Football box sells for $123. Meanwhile, you can get a 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football box for $125. So, there isn’t much we can learn from the comparison. Having said that, there is reason to believe the old box will be worth more eventually. Sure, the new one is a chrome release, and that usually adds a bit of value. But last year’s box had a Bryce Young 1st card. That attraction is absent from the new release.

Therefore, until (and if) Young turns out to be overrated or doesn’t pan out for some reason, 2021-22 Bowman University Football will be worth more in the long run. So, picking up and stashing up some of these seems like a no-brainer. If young doesn’t pan out, it should maintain value. If he explodes, it could double.

2022 Bowman Chrome University Football Singles

Bowman University Football boasts a lot of autos and refractors. And we all love that. But how much value can we expect out of them? Let’s take a look at how singles from last year and the current box perform on eBay:

2021 Bowman University Kenny Pickett Superfractor 1/1 Auto (PSA 9)$1,825
2021 Bowman University Will Levis Superfractor 1/1 Auto (PSA 10)$1,499
2022 Bowman Chrome University Bryce Young 1/1 Jersey Auto (Raw)$1,500
2022 Bowman University CJ Stroud Prime Signatures Auto Superfractor 1/1 (PSA 10)$1,365
2022 Bowman Chrome University Caleb Williams Green Refractor /99 (Raw)$519

Bowman University Football has some solid values for a relatively new release that wasn’t even licensed until this year. So you have an excellent chance of winning back your investment by hitting a good refractor. And since you should get two autos per box, your profit odds are better than most products, especially considering the smaller checklist.

Final word on 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football

This is a good release. The price is low, and the potential for solid hits is there. The limited checklist can also work in your favor. Most people will buy this release to hit a Bryce Young parallel or refractor. With only 100 names on the checklist, your chances of hitting one maybe two or three times higher than in standard releases.

In addition, Young is one of only ten players to appear in the variations checklist. Therefore, this is a pretty good rip to get at his cards. However, a box of last year’s Bowman University Football is even better.

Topps is definitely happy with how Bowman Football is panning out so far. Even before the NFL cards come down the pipeline, this product has a good buzz. It is doing precisely what Fanatics wants, getting a new generation of fans used to Bowman and its particular aesthetic.

And considering what some of these cards are going for, we can only imagine what auto superfractors of the biggest NFL rookies will go for.

Shop for 2022 Bowman University Chrome Football boxes on eBay

2022 Bowman University Chrome Football checklist

1 Bryce Young, Alabama
2 Rakim Jarrett, Maryland
3 Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland
4 Marvin Mims, The University of Oklahoma
5 Will Levis, Kentucky
6 Dallas Turner, Alabama – 1st Bowman
7 Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
8 Re’Mahn Davis, Vanderbilt – 1st Bowman
9 Maason Smith, LSU – 1st Bowman
10 Zach Evans, Ole Miss
11 Tanner Morgan, Minnesota – 1st Bowman
12 Dillon Gabriel, The University of Oklahoma
13 Akeem Dent, Florida State – 1st Bowman
14 Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama – 1st Bowman
15 Jaden Walley, Mississippi State – 1st Bowman
16 Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA – 1st Bowman
17 Graham Mertz, Wisconsin
18 Traeshon Holden, Alabama – 1st Bowman
19 Jabari Small, Tennessee – 1st Bowman
20 Kayshon Boutte, LSU
21 Hendon Hooker, Tennessee – 1st Bowman
22 Ronnie Bell, Michigan – 1st Bowman
23 Ben Yurosek, Stanford – 1st Bowman
24 Tyler Buchner, Notre Dame – 1st Bowman
25 Denzel Burke, Ohio State – 1st Bowman
26 Jahleel Billingsley, Texas – 1st Bowman
27 Jordan Battle, Alabama
28 Eli Ricks, Alabama
29 Xavier Worthy, Texas
30 Josh Downs, UNC
31 Jordan Travis, Florida State – 1st Bowman
32 Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State – 1st Bowman
33 Nolan Smith, Georgia – 1st Bowman
34 Cameron Ward, Washington State University – 1st Bowman
35 Phil Jurkovec, Boston College – 1st Bowman
36 Jordan Addison, USC – 1st Bowman
37 Jalen Carter, Georgia – 1st Bowman
38 Logan Diggs, Notre Dame – 1st Bowman
39 Stetson Bennett, Georgia – 1st Bowman
40 Pat Garwo, Boston College – 1st Bowman
41 Michael Mayer, Notre Dame – 1st Bowman
42 Cade Klubnik, Clemson – 1st Bowman
43 Luke Altmyer, Ole Miss – 1st Bowman
44 Kenny McIntosh, Georgia – 1st Bowman
45 Trenton Simpson, Clemson – 1st Bowman
46 Will Rogers, Mississippi State – 1st Bowman
47 Junior Colson, Michigan – 1st Bowman
48 JJ McCarthy, Michigan
49 Nathaniel Dell, Houston – 1st Bowman
50 Caleb Williams, USC – 1st Bowman
51 Sam Hartman, Wake Forest – 1st Bowman
52 Will Anderson, Alabama – 1st Bowman
53 Brennan Armstrong, Virginia – 1st Bowman
54 Arik Gilbert, Georgia – 1st Bowman
55 Keyshawn Smith, Miami – 1st Bowman
56 Isaiah Neyor, Texas – 1st Bowman
57 Noah Sewell, Oregon – 1st Bowman
58 BJ Ojulari, LSU – 1st Bowman
59 Drew Allar, Penn State – 1st Bowman
60 Aidan O’Connell, Purdue – 1st Bowman
61 Bo Nix, Oregon
62 Jermaine Burton, Alabama – 1st Bowman
63 Andrel Anthony, Michigan – 1st Bowman
64 Xazavian Valladay, Arizona State – 1st Bowman
65 Anthony Richardson, Florida – 1st Bowman
66 Ryan Hilinski, Northwestern – 1st Bowman
67 John Emery, LSU – 1st Bowman
68 Kelee Ringo, Georgia – 1st Bowman
69 Trevor Etienne, Florida – 1st Bowman
70 Bijan Robinson, Texas
71 Isaac Rex, BYU – 1st Bowman
72 Mitchell Tinsley, Penn State – 1st Bowman
73 Will Shipley, Clemson – 1st Bowman
74 Malachi Moore, Alabama – 1st Bowman
75 Tony Grimes, UNC – 1st Bowman
76 Cam Rising, Utah – 1st Bowman
77 Nicco Marchiol, West Virginia – 1st Bowman
78 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State – 1st Bowman
79 Joey Porter Jr., Penn State – 1st Bowman
80 Ty Simpson, Alabama – 1st Bowman
81 Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State – 1st Bowman
82 Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama – 1st Bowman
83 Raleek Brown, USC – 1st Bowman
84 Austin Stogner, University of South Carolina – 1st Bowman
85 Jaren Hall, BYU – 1st Bowman
86 Chez Mellusi, Wisconsin – 1st Bowman
87 Nick Singleton, Penn State – 1st Bowman
88 Henry To’o To’o, Alabama – 1st Bowman
89 Josh Whyle, Cincinnati – 1st Bowman
90 Agiye Hall, Texas – 1st Bowman
91 Domani Jackson, USC – 1st Bowman
92 Walker Howard, LSU – 1st Bowman
93 Zach Calzada, Auburn – 1st Bowman
94 Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss – 1st Bowman
95 Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh – 1st Bowman
96 Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia – 1st Bowman
97 Treyson Potts, Minnesota – 1st Bowman
98 Clayton Tune, Houston – 1st Bowman
99 Cade McNamara, Michigan – 1st Bowman
100 CJ Stroud, Ohio State

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.
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