Time for some College Football Predictions as the season kicks off this weekend.
The first thing to remember about all preseason college football predictions is to know the ‘Three Key Words’: “No One Knows”.
Last season I bought into the preseason hype over Wisconsin – and they were awful. Washington was supposed to be good. Wasn’t. No team could stop Bama. Well, actually… Clemson did and in style at that.
The second thing to remember: whatever happens in week one doesn’t tell you much. Texas lost to Maryland (Maryland!) in week one last year – and finished by beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Third thing to remember: Injuries. They’ll happen and it’ll change the season of some teams, especially those without the depth of the Alabama, OSU, Clemson, Georgia elites. If Ehlinger went down early at Texas, the Horns would go from playoff contender to hoping for 8-4 or 7-5.
So here we go.
Big stuff first.
When the dust settles, it’ll be Georgia winning the National Title.
The Final Four? Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, and…Texas. Georgia and Ohio State are 1-2 and the only undefeated teams in top 10, showing up for the playoffs as gaudy 13-0 Conference Champs.
1. Georgia vs. 4.Texas
2. Ohio State vs. 3. Clemson
Georgia over Clemson in the Title Game
Final Four Sleepers: Notre Dame, LSU, and Utah. And Bama of course.
Ok, to the conferences:
SEC: Georgia will go undefeated and win the East, with Florida hot on their heels. Bama will win the West, chased by LSU, but lose to Texas A&M on the road and (finally) to Georgia in the SEC title game. Would it shock anyone if LSU beats Bama? No. LSU is a possible National Champion. If they beat Texas in the road and win the SEC west, look out.
* UK will step back but not down: 8-4
* Tennessee will step up but not stand out: 6-6 (but they’re closer to 7-5 than 5-7)
* Vandy is better than most teams but not most teams in the SEC (only Arkansas and Ole Miss are weaker), so it’s probably 5-7 for the Dores
* A&M, with the craziest, most difficult schedule in history, will prep for a 2020 National Title run by being the best 8-4 team in the land.
* Auburn: See the rule of three words above. I’ve got them at 8-4 but 7-5 or 9-3 wouldn’t shock.
* Sleeper: Missouri… not Bowl eligible but very talented.
* Team that will mess up other team’s season? Miss State
Big Ten: I’m not on the Michigan hype train. Ohio State is still better and in case its been forgotten the new head coach at OSU was undefeated last season filling in for Urban Meyer when he was suspended. Michigan will lose to Notre Dame and OSU, and a loss to either Penn State or Iowa wouldn’t shock. Michigan is this year’s Wisconsin – hype but likely to disappoint. Penn State is always tough but they’re just not at the highest level in one of the toughest divisions in College Football
Iowa wins the West while chased by Nebraska but loses to OSU in the title game.
* Indiana will start strong but will have to beat Purdue to get to a Bowl
* Sleeper: Minnesota (see Northwestern last season)
Team that will mess up other team’s season? Michigan State
ACC: Clemson. Again. The dominance is real. They’ll be much younger and I’m guessing they slip up on the road – losing at Syracuse, but winning their division and topping Miami in the Conference Championship game.
* Virginia is going to be really good this year
* FSU had BETTER be better this year.
Sleeper: NC State
Team that will mess up other team’s season? Syracuse
Big 12: Ok, I’m a Texas fan, but it’s perfectly reasonable to go with them this year to end OU’s streak of titles. Lincoln Riley is amazing but that D is still a sieve and I think a couple losses will find them – against Texas and at Baylor. Texas can easily lose at TCU or Iowa State and I think they’ll drop one of those.
* Iowa State and TCU will be tough outs this year.
* I have Texas vs Iowa State in the Conference Title game with the Horns prevailing.
Sleeper: TCU – and they’re really not much of a sleeper; that’s a good team
Team that will mess up other team’s season? Baylor
PAC Whatever: Sure Oregon will be good, but not as good as Utah. The Utes could go undefeated and will represent the South in the title game against North winner Washington State (as they finally find a way to beat the Huskies).
* USC will be better but not good enough for a roster that talented. Helton will be out at the season’s end and Urban Meyer will be the next HC of the Trojans
* Love what Herm Edwards is doing for Arizona State.
Sleeper: USC (I mean, what if the talent starts to gel?)
Team that will mess up other team’s season? Stanford
Notre Dame – could go undefeated again, but I have them losing to Georgia and maybe Stanford
UCF – Tough team and will be solid but they don’t finish in the Top 20
Army beats Navy
Sleepers – Houston, Memphis, and Cincinnati are sneaky good
Team that will mess up other team’s season? Army
Big Boy Bowl Games
Iowa vs Washington State
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
OU vs Miami
Utah vs Iowa State
Michigan vs LSU
Florida vs Penn State
Heisman Winner: Trevor Lawrence over Tua, Jalen, and Sam Ehlinger
This Week: Florida beats Miami 28-24
Let’s get this party started!!
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