With the preseason hype machine in the full force, the following are some predictions for the upcoming college football season.
#1: USC will not live up to the preseason hype and finish outside the Top 10 at season’s end
Midway through the 2017 season, this prediction looked golden. USC didn’t live up to the preseason expectations because most pundits had the Trojans in the playoff, but the Trojans hit their stride during the second half of the season and earned a PAC 12 title and a spot in the Cotton Bowl
#2: Texas Wins the Big XII
Nope, way off. After an embarrassing loss to Maryland to open up the season, the Longhorns steadied the ship and sured up the defense enough to give scares to USC and Oklahoma. Texas finished 6-6 and although they showed flashes of being s strong team, Tom Herman has a lot to prove in his second year in Austin
#3: Georgia’s Margin of Victory vs. Notre Dame Will Be Greater Than There Margin of Victory vs. Appalachian State in Week One
UGA defeated Appalachian State 31-10, while they escaped South Bend with a one-point win. The Mountaineers gave Georgia the biggest break of the season as they injured Jacob Eason and made way for Jake Fromm to take the reins.
#4: Florida Beats Michigan in Week One and Wins the SEC
Another impossibly bad prediction. Despite throwing to pick-six’s Michigan dominated Florida in week one and the Gators were a train wreck all season. I severely overestimated the importance of Malik Zaire’s arrival in Gainesville.
#5: South Florida Goes Undefeated and Quinton Flowers Finishes in the Top Three in Heisman Voting
USF was one of the best group of five teams in the country, but the Bulls lost a pair of heartbreakers to finish the season 10-2. Houston pulled of an improbable last minute drive to beat the Bulls in October and USF fell to UCF in the last week of the season in an epic game. Quinton Flowers had a great season, but never had the kind of jaw-dropping numbers or performance in a high-profile game to warrant serious Heisman discussion.
#6: Wisconsin is Iowa of 2015 2.0
Nailed this one. UW was overrated from the word go and didn’t fall back to reality until the Big Ten Championship Game. An annual tradition is the Big Ten fooling the entire country into thinking its a quality conference. It’s really a giant pyramid scheme were the value of teams is discerned from them beating other crappy conference teams that bolster their value from an empty resume.
Virginia Tech: 9 – UNDER
A push therefore a loss. The Hokies’s win over West Virginia in week one was the only quality win Va Tech had all season and they were barely competitive in their toughest games against Miami and Clemson. Virginia Tech capitalized on a weak ACC basement to get to nine wins.
Kansas State: 8 – OVER
Jesse Ertz was hurt for most of the season and the K-State offense could never get on track en route to a 6-6 season
North Carolina State: 7.5 – OVER
This one was easy from the beginning. While N.C. State reached the top-15, the Pack finished the season with just eight wins.
Wisconsin: 9.5 – OVER
Another easy call. The UW schedule made it impossible for anything less than 10 wins.
Purdue: 2.5 – OVER
Jeff Brohm was one of the best new coaches as we predicted in the preseason. The Boilermakers had a pulse on offense and nearly pulled of a pair of upsets vs. Michigan and Louisville. Purdue finished 6-6 and earned their first bowl game since 2013.
Texas: 7.5 – OVER
See above. UT showed signs of life at times, but ultimately finished in the middle of the pack in the Big XII with a 6-6 record.
Texas Tech: 5.5 – UNDER
Texas Tech beat UT on Thanksgiving weekend to clinch the over at the last possible minute. The Red Raiders won four of their first five games, before collapsing down the stretch. Texas Tech lost five of their final six games before beating Texas to solidify a bowl berth. I predicted Kliff Kingsbury would lose his job after a subpar season, but he’s still in Lubbock. I still believe if he wasn’t a good looking as he is, he would be fired by now.
Stanford: 8.5 – OVER
Never underestimate Stanford. Despite losing two of their first three games, including a shocking loss to San Diego State, the Cardinal managed to finish the season with nine wins and a berth in the PAC 12 title game.
USC: 9.5 – UNDER
Sam Darnold and USC looked lost in October as they were demolished by Notre Dame 49-14. The Trojans managed to salvage the season by winning their final five games and winning the PAC 12.
South Florida: 10 – OVER
A brutal loss in the fact that both of USF’s losses came in the final seconds and a surefire win vs. UMass was canceled due to a Hurricane.
Notre Dame: 7.5 – OVER
Until the final few weeks of the season, Notre Dame was one of the biggest surprises in college football. ND looked unbeatable and a National Championship contender entering November, but despite a collapse in November, ND still managed to hit the over.
Overall, C+ predictions.