Brad’s 2019 College Football Preview- Sun Belt Predictions

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 which will contain 19 entries in all (see July 12th article for full schedule).  The records below reflect each team’s predicted regular season overall record followed by their conference record.  These records include conference title games for the two division champions but exclude bowl games which will be previewed later on in a separate column on this blog.  The team marked in bold font in each conference preview is my predicted champion for that particular league.  Without further ado, here are my predictions for the Sun Belt Conference in 2019.

Sun Belt
East Divison
1 Appalachian State (12-1, 8-0)
2 Troy (8-4, 6-2)
3 Georgia Southern (7-5, 5-3)
4 Coastal Carolina (4-8, 1-7)
5 Georgia State (2-10, 1-7)
West Division
1 Arkansas State (8-5, 6-2)
2 UL-Lafayette (7-5, 5-3)
3 Texas State (5-7, 4-4)
4 UL-Monroe (6-6, 4-4)
5 South Alabama (1-11, 0-8)
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College Football Preview: Craziest Preseason Facts and Tidbits

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.

Brad’s 2019 Mock NBA Draft

First Round

Pick # Team Player
1 New Orleans Zion Williamson (PF- Duke)
2 Memphis Ja Morant (PG- Murray State)
3 New York RJ Barrett (SF- Duke)
4 New Orleans De’Andre Hunter (SF- Virginia)
5 Cleveland Jarrett Culver (SG- Texas Tech)
6 Phoenix Darius Garland (PG- Vandy)
7 Chicago Coby White (PG- North Carolina)
8 Atlanta Cam Reddish (SF- Duke)
9 Washington Sekoy Doumboya (PF- France)
10 Atlanta Jaxson Hayes (C- Texas)
11 Minnesota Tyler Herro (SG- Kentucky)
12 Charlotte Bol Bol (C- Oregon)
13 Miami Nassir Little (SF- Miami)
14 Boston Goga Bitadze (C- Georgia)
15 Detroit Romeo Langford (SF- Indiana)
16 Orlando Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG- VA Tech)
17 Atlanta Brandon Clarke (PF- Gonzaga)
18 Indiana Cameron Johnson (SF- North Carolina)
19 San Antonio Bruno Fernando (C- Maryland)
20 Boston Rui Hachimura (PF- Gonzaga)
21 Oklahoma City Kevin Porter (SG- Southern Cal)
22 Boston Ty Jerome (SG- Virginia)
23 Utah Mfiondu Kaengele (C- Florida State)
24 Philadelphia PJ Washington (PF- Kentucky)
25 Portland KZ Okpala (SF- Stanford)
26 Cleveland Keldon Johnson (SF- Kentucky)
27 Brooklyn Grant Williams (PF- Tennessee)
28 Golden State Nic Claxton (C- Georgia)
29 San Antonio Matisse Thybulle (SF- Washington)
30 Milwaukee Dylan Windler (SG- Belmont)

Second Round

Pick # Team Player
1 Brooklyn Carsen Edwards (PG- Purdue)
2 Phoenix Luka Samanic (PF- Croatia)
3 Philadelphia Admiral Scofield (SF- Tennessee)
4 Philadelphia Talen Horton-Tucker (SG- Iowa State)
5 Atlanta Luguentz Dort (SG- Arizona State)
6 Charlotte Terence Davis (SG- Ole Miss)
7 Dallas Chuma Okeke (PF- Auburn)
8 Chicago Eric Paschall (PF- Villanova)
9 New Orleans Daniel Gafford (C- Arkansas)
10 Sacramento Jontay Porter (C- Missouri)
11 Atlanta Tremont Waters (PG- LSU)
12 Philadelphia Shamorie Ponds (PG- St. John’s)
13 Minnesota Isaiah Roby (PF- Nebraska)
14 Atlanta Darius Bazley (SF- Princeton HS)
15 Detroit Justin Wright-Foreman (PG/SG- Hofstra)
16 Orlando Deividas Sirvydis (SF- Lithuania)
17 Sacramento Jaylen Hoard (PF- Wake Forest)
18 LA Clippers Nazreon Reid (C- LSU)
19 San Antonio Zylan Cheatham (PF- Arizona State)
20 Indiana Daquan Jeffries (SG- Tulsa)
21 Boston Jalen Lecque (PG- Brewster Academy)
22 Charlotte Louis King (SF- Oregon)
23 Utah Cody Martin (SF- Nevada)
24 Philadelphia Alen Smailagic (C- Serbia)
25 New York Jordan Poole (SG- Michigan)
26 LA Clippers Yovel Zoosman (SF- Israel)
27 New Orleans Zach Norvell (SG- Gonzaga)
28 Golden State Quinndary Weatherspoon (SG- Miss. St.)
29 Toronto Miye Oni (SG- Yale)
30 Sacramento Jaylen Nowell (SG- Washington)

Brad-ketology: Final 2019 NCAA Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. My regional final four pairings are East vs. West and South vs. Midwest.

East Regional- Washington D.C. (March 29, 31)

(1) Duke vs. (16) Gardner-Webb- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(8) Florida vs. (9) Baylor- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(5) Virginia Tech vs. (12) New Mexico State- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) Yale– Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(6) Maryland vs. (11) Alabama- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(3) Houston vs. (14) Northern Kentucky- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(7) Wofford vs. (10) Minnesota– Friday March 22 (Columbus, OH)

(2) Kentucky vs. (15) Bradley- Friday March 22 (Columbus, OH)

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West Regional- Anaheim, CA (March 28, 30)

(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Iona- Thursday March 21 (Salt Lake City, UT)

(8) Iowa vs. (9) Oklahoma- Thursday March 21 (Salt Lake City, UT)

(5) Villanova vs. (12) Oregon- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(4) Texas Tech vs. (13) UC Irvine- Friday March 22 (San Jose, CA)

(6) Mississippi State vs. (11) Ohio State- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(3) Florida State vs. (14) Sun Belt Champ- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(7) Nevada vs. (10) St. Mary’s- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(2) Michigan/Michigan State winner vs. (15) Abilene Christian- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

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South Regional- Louisville, KY (March 28, 30)

(1) Virginia vs. (16) North Dakota State/North Carolina Central– Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(8) UCF vs. (9) Ole Miss- Friday March 22 (Columbia, SC)

(5) Auburn vs. (12) Liberty- Thursday March 21 (Hartford, CT)

(4) Iowa State vs. (13) Vermont- Thursday March 21 (Hartford, CT)

(6) Louisville vs. (11)Arizona State/VCU- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(3) LSU vs. (14) Old Dominion- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(7) Buffalo vs. (10) Utah State- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(2) Michigan/Michigan State loser vs. (15) Montana- Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

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Midwest Regional- Kansas City, MO (March 29, 31)

(1) Tennessee vs. (16) Prairie View A &M/Fairleigh Dickinson– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(8) Syracuse vs. (9) Seton Hall- Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(5) Kansas State vs. (12) Murray State– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(4) Purdue vs. (13) Northeastern– Friday March 22 (Tulsa, OK)

(6) Marquette vs. (11) NC State/Indiana-Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(3) Kansas vs. (14) Saint Louis-Thursday March 21 (Des Moines, IA)

(7) Cincinnati vs. (10) TCU- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

(2) North Carolina vs. (15) Colgate- Thursday March 21 (Jacksonville, FL)

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Brad-ketology: Final 2019 NIT Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. The regional final four pairings are Region 1 vs. Region 2 and Region 3 vs. Region 4.

Region 1

(1) Washington vs. (8) Campbell

(4) Arkansas vs. (5) Butler

(3) Nebraska vs. (6) Hofstra

(2) Creighton vs. (7) South Dakota State

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Region 2

(1) St. John’s vs. (8) St. Francis (PA)

(4) Memphis vs. (5) Colorado

(3) UNC Greensboro vs. (6) Wichita State/Georgia State

(2) Clemson vs. (7) Harvard

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Region 3

(1) Texas vs. (8) Sam Houston State

(4) Georgetown vs. (5) Davidson

(3) Furman vs. (6) South Carolina

(2) Lipscomb vs. (7) Wright State

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Region 4

(1) Temple vs. (8) Norfolk State

(4) Providence vs. (5) Dayton

(3) Xavier vs. (6) Penn State

(2) Belmont vs. (7) Loyola (IL)

Brad-ketology: 2019 Final Seed List

I will send out final brackets in a few minutes, but here is the final seed list for both my NCAA and NIT Bracket Projections.  The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  Teams in bold have already earned automatic bids to this year’s NCAA or NIT tournament by virtue of either winning their respective conference tournaments (NCAA auto bids) or conference regular season (NIT auto bids).  Feel free to comment or debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga

2-seeds: Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan

3-seeds: Houston, Florida State, LSU, Kansas

4-seeds: Texas Tech, Purdue, Iowa State, Wisconsin

5-seeds: Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Villanova, Auburn

6-seeds: Louisville, Mississippi State, Marquette, Maryland

7-seeds: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Wofford, Nevada

8-seeds: Florida, Syracuse, UCF, Iowa

9-seeds: Ole Miss, Baylor, Seton Hall, Oklahoma

10-seeds: Utah State, Minnesota, TCU, St. Mary’s

11-seeds: Ohio State, Alabama, Arizona State, Indiana, NC State, VCU

12-seeds: Oregon, Murray State, New Mexico State, Liberty

13-seeds: UC Irvine, Northeastern, Vermont, Yale

14-seeds: Old Dominion, Atlantic 10 Champ, Sun Belt Champ, Northern Kentucky

15-seeds: Montana,ColgateBradley, Abilene Christian

16-seeds: Gardner-Webb, Iona, North Dakota State, Prairie View A & M, Fairleigh Dickinson, North Carolina Central

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Washington, Texas, Temple, St. John’s

2-seeds: Clemson, Belmont, Lipscomb, Creighton

3-seeds: Nebraska, Furman, Xavier, UNC Greensboro

4-seeds: Providence, Memphis, Arkansas, Georgetown

5-seeds: Butler, Dayton, Davidson, Colorado

6-seeds: Penn State, South Carolina, Wichita State/Georgia State, Hofstra

7-seeds: Harvard, South Dakota State, Loyola-Chicago, Wright State

8-seeds: Sam Houston State, Campbell, St. Francis (PA), Norfolk State

First Four Out of of NIT: Toledo, Oregon State, East Tennessee State, San Francisco

Brad-ketology: March 15th Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The bold teams are ones who have already clinched an automatic bid to the respective postseason tournament (NCAA or NIT).  You will notice that some of these squads are also listed in the NIT bracket.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First and foremost, it shows how close those teams are to getting at-large bids in the NCAA tournament field.  Secondly, it shows where those squads would be seeded if in fact they lost in their conference tournament and garnered an automatic bid to the NIT.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday March 14th.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky

2-seeds: Tennessee, Gonzaga, LSU, Michigan State

3-seeds: Michigan, Houston, Kansas, Purdue

4-seeds: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Florida State, Wisconsin

5-seeds: Virginia Tech, Auburn, Villanova, Mississippi State

6-seeds: Marquette, Buffalo, Iowa State, Louisville

7-seeds: Maryland, NevadaWofford, Cincinnati

8-seeds: UCF, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Florida

9-seeds: Seton Hall, Iowa, Baylor, Oklahoma

10-seeds: VCU, Utah State, NC State, TCU

11-seeds: Washington, St. Mary’s, St. John’s, Minnesota

12-seeds: Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona State, Indiana, Murray State, New Mexico State

13-seeds: Liberty, UC Irvine, Northeastern, Vermont

14-seeds: Old Dominion, Harvard, Georgia State, Northern Kentucky

15-seeds: Montana, ColgateBradley, Gardner-Webb

16-seeds: Sam Houston State, Iona, North Dakota State, Prairie View A & M, Farleigh Dickinson, Norfolk State

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, Nebraska, Texas, Clemson

2-seeds: Belmont, Lipscomb, Xavier, Creighton

3-seeds: Furman, UNC Greensboro, Oregon, Georgetown

4-seeds: New Mexico State, Memphis, Colorado, Arkansas

5-seeds: Dayton, Providence, Davidson, Butler

6-seeds: Toledo, UC Irvine, Vermont, South Carolina

7-seeds: Penn State, Oregon State, Hofstra, South Dakota State

8-seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Wright State, Campbell, St. Francis (PA)

First Four Out of of NIT: East Tennessee State, San Francisco, Wichita State, Fresno State