Written by: John Stocco
We’re all building up to the college football season. In a few weeks, the atmosphere is going to change, the air is going to smell different, and our Saturdays are going to consist of nothing but two things, the couch, and college football from 11 am to 11 pm. Media day is complete, the depth charts are being finalized, and the game plan is being set. FanDuel has come out and set theirs over/under predictions for the 2019 season. Today at Blitzalytics we’re going to dive into 10 teams and I’m going to decide and explain why I’m predicting the over or under for each team. Let’s get it started.
1, Michigan - 9.5
The college football world is down on Michigan after the way they fell flat on their faces against Ohio State and Florida. Sorry to break it to the Michigan haters, they’re going to manage a way to win 10 games this season. Jim Harbaugh is still one of the best coaches in college football, and he has the most talent he’s ever had on the offensive side of the ball. Two of the most talented receivers in the conference are lining up in Peoples-Jones, and Tarik Black and new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis is expected to bring a more up-tempo offensive attack that fits quarterback Shea Patterson who has a lethal arm and can do damage with his legs. In 2019 you’re going to see a more explosive offense in Michigan, with a younger defense with the same identity.
2, Oregon - 9
I predicted the Ducks to win the Pac 12 Championship. Herbert is not only one of the best quarterbacks in college football, but he’s one of the most talented overall players in college football. He has a deep attack in Juwan Johnson, a great offensive line, and even with a defense that regressed last season they still have captain linebacker, Troy Dye, and new defensive coordinator Andy Avalos is coming from Boise State which had a defense that finished 22nd in the national rankings. This year the Ducks get back to the national spotlight.
3, Notre Dame - 8.5
Like Michigan, a lot of people are down on the Irish because the last time we saw them they were getting smacked by Clemson. Games against Georgia, USC, Stanford, and Michigan are going to be battles, but I believe Brian Kelly and the Irish walk away winning two of those games. Another year of Ian Book, an elite offensive line, and defense with NFL prospects, the Fighting Irish find a way to win 9 games.
4, Houston - 8
Houston is a team that I’m excited to watch this season because they could be the most exciting team in college football this season. Leaving West Virginia, Dana Holgorsen is known for being a high powered offensive mind, but the offense wasn't the problem for Houston. The Cougars were ninth in passing efficiency, finished seventh in yards, and they averaged 44 points per game. With Dana Holgorsen working with D’Eriq King, Marquez Stevenson, and Keith Corbin, we’re about to watch a fantasy football college team and it’s going to be electric. More than 8 wins, and they have a legit shot at winning the AAC.
5, Northwestern - 6.5
This is a joke. Absolutely no respect for the B1G West champs and I’m sick. Northwestern has more talent now than they did last year and it’s not even close. Five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson is eligible and is one of my Heisman dark horses, and also they have a solid receiving core in Flynn Nagel and Bennett Skowronek. Going to the defensive side they have Paddy Fisher, Joe Gaziano, and JR Pace who are going to make a difference in the Big Ten, and one day, on Sunday’s playing in the NFL. Northwestern has to get the running game right so they don’t put too much pressure on the sophomore quarterback, but 6.5? Over and I’m not even thinking twice about it.
1, Washington - 9.5
They have talent, and overall Washington is still a very good team, but with Oregon being better, USC is improved, and Utah is going to be a tough matchup. Better quarterback with Jacob Eason, but a rebuilding defense can hurt them as in previous years they would lean heavily on the defense to carry them through games.
2, UCF - 9.5
Dear UCF fans, don’t destroy my mentions after you read this. Memphis and Houston is improved in the AAC, and UCF is not only missing their star quarterback, Mckenzie Milton after a horrific injury, and they lost backup quarterback Darriel Mack Jr to a broken ankle. Now they look to Brandon Wimbush, and if you know me, I've never been a believer in Wimbush even back to his Notre Dame days. Excellent running game in Greg McCrae and Adrian Killins, and a great secondary with Richie Grant, and Brandon Moore will keep the Knights relevant, but questions at quarterback can’t put me over 9.5.
3, Penn State - 8.5
James Franklin is my favorite coach in college football, but this year is going to be a tough one for the Nittany Lions. Losing Juwan Johnson to Oregon, losing Tommy Stevens to Mississippi State, and losing the number of players they’ve lost to the NFL, this will be a rebuilding year for Penn State. Good enough to be bowl eligible, but not good enough to be over 8 wins.
4, Miami - 8.5
I do think Manny Diaz was a good hire, and I think quarterback transfer Tate Martell is going to put together a nice career with the Hurricanes, but with the line set at 8.5, I don’t feel confident in putting Miami at 9 wins. I believe this team could have an 8-4 year and challenge in a weak ACC conference.
5, Auburn - 8
Auburn has to reset their expectations. They were 8-5 last season, and now Gus Malzan is rumored to be on the hot seat if they don’t have a better season. They have a brutal schedule, they have a young quarterback, and they might fire their head coach mid-season. Stop thinking you’re Alabama, and let the process play out because this Auburn team is really young.