Every summer since 2007 I have created an intricate set of college football predictions for each upcoming season. This year is no exception, as I will be using my blog over the next few weeks to publish my 13th annual college football preview guide. Here are the release dates for each of my predictions and articles.
July 12- Preseason Facts and Tidbits
July 14- Sun Belt Predictions
July 15- Conference USA Predictions
July 16- MAC Predictions
July 17- Independent Predictions
July 18- Mountain West Predictions
July 19- AAC Predictions
July 20- ACC Predictions
July 21- Big 12 Predictions
July 22- Pac-12 Predictions
July 23- Big 10 Predictions
July 24- SEC Predictions
July 25- Full 1-130 Rankings/Comparison to experts’ average
July 26- Surprise Teams for 2019
July 27- Disappointment Teams for 2019
July 28- Bowl Predictions
July 29- Heisman Picks
July 30- Top 25 Predicted Upsets of 2019 regular season
July 31- CFRA Announcement/Invitation
Without further ado, let’s get things started My inaugural 2019 college football preview entry is one of two new columns I’m adding to my college football preview guide (the other is my top 25 upsets entry). I have a stumbled upon several interesting stats and tidbits in my hours offseason college football research so I decided to open up this year’s guide with a compilation of these facts. These are in order from least astonishing to most astonishing.
10. The Ohio Bobcats have not won a conference title since 1968– Some of you may have heard this before but it bears repeating given how good this program has been over the last decade or so. Every year the Bobcats are seemingly in contention and lose either the conference title game or a key late season regular season game that costs them a division crown. This season they are once again the preseason favorites to win the MAC East and reach the MAC Title Game, so we will see if they can finally break through.
9. The Kansas Jayhawks had the second best turnover margin in the country last year– There are two ways to look at this statistic. You could take the glass half full approach and say that its impressive that a team as dearth on talent as Kansas could end up with a +16 turnover margin playing in a power 5 league. Or you could take the glass half empty approach and say how could a team that was lucky enough to get that many turnovers still finish as one of the worst teams in the Power 5 and how bad would they had been if they had a normal turnover margin near zero. I tend to side the with the half empties here which makes me concerned about Les Miles ability to succeed in his first year in Lawrence.
8. Last year was the first time in school history that Minnesota won its regular season finale and bowl game in the season season– At first glance, you may think this should be near the top of the list considering that this is a football program that originated in 1882 and has won four national championships. However, upon further glance, it should be noted that the Gophers didn’t play in a bowl game until 1960, so the championships they won in the 1930s and 40s don’t factor into this statistic. Still, Minnesota has won eight bowl games including a 1961 Rose Bowl, so you would think they would have won their season finale in one of those past seasons. Lots of losses to Wisconsin are to blame for this streak.
7. Alabama has not “officially” beaten South Carolina on the road since 1946– This stat comes with a bit of a disclaimer, but it is still too juicy not to post since Bama travels to Columbia on September 14th. Not only is South Carolina the last SEC East team to beat Bama (in 2010) and the only SEC team with a current win streak against the Tide, but Alabama has lost its last four road games to the Gamecocks dating back to when the Gamecocks joined the SEC in the early 1990s. Two of those wins were outright, and I was in attendance for both (2001, 2010). The other two were via forfeit as a result of NCAA sanctions (1993, 2005).
6. Northern Illinois is 1-10 against SEC teams. So who is the one team they beat?…Alabama– this one speaks for itself. The Huskies upset over the Tide came in 2003. This season they will have a legitimate chance at getting their second win over an SEC team as they travel to Vanderbilt in week 5.
5. California has won its last 5 road openers including wins over Texas, UNC, Northwestern, and Brigham Young– Pretty impressive for a squad that has been fairly mediocre over the past half decade. The Huskies of Washington better beware when they host Cal in the Bears’ 2019 road opener.
4. Colorado had 10 bowl play-in games the past two seasons and lost all 10 games– Another crazy stat from the Pac-12. You will see that according to my predictions the Buffs won’t have to worry about bowl play-in games this season as I have them comfortably out of the bowl picture at just 3-9.
3. The Big Ten Conference has not scored a point in a College Football Playoff Game since Ohio State won the National Championship in 2014– Believe it or not, there have been four straight years of Big Ten shutouts. Two years in which a Big Ten Representative was shut out in a playoff game (2015- Michigan State, 2016- Ohio State) and two years where they were shut out of a bid altogether (2017, 2018). You will see in 2019 I am calling for the Big Ten to get a playoff bid and have a chance to end this horrible streak.
2. Kentucky is the only team in the nation not to have their record decline in any of the past five seasons- Pretty amazing for a traditional college football doormat. The Cats have gone: 5-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, and 10-3. If the pattern continues, then the Cats will be at least 10-3 again this season. However, I don’t see that happening with their massive personnel losses.
1. Among all Power 5 schools, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have the second best all-time bowl winning percentage in the country and the worst all-time overall winning percentage in the country – Had to save a stat from my alma mater for the top spot, but this is truly astonishing. Wake Forest has a .411 all-time college football win percentage with a 450-653-33 record, which ranks them 123rd out of 130 FBS teams (last in major college football). On the other hand, their bowl record of 9-4 gives them a .692 postseason win percentage which ranks them only behind Utah in major conference bowl success. I would challenge anyone to find another sport on the planet where literally the worst team in the history of the league has the second-best postseason record. Yet, the quirky nature of the college bowl season allows this. Wake will be going for its fourth consecutive bowl win in 2019.