• Joel Coffman

2019 College Football Season Win Totals

We’re here. We’re finally here. Phil Steele’s bible is hitting the shelves and the long days of summer are finally coming to an end (unless you live in Georgia like me and it’s 90 through September). Researching college win totals is such a great distraction from the mindless dog days of the baseball season and I’m sorry, as much as I love golf, I'm currently watching the Wyndham Championship and that ain’t cutting it.

Here are the 5 win total plays that I’m playing for 2019 (we used the Westgate’s totals). As you’ll see, some of my reasoning will be quantitative and others more qualitative/gut feels. Enough are the picks sure to be wrong.

Ohio State (Under 11): The non-conference schedule is a joke (v FL Atlanta, v. Cincinnati, and v. Miami Oh) but this is a bet purely based on my belief that this is the year they lose to Michigan. If that happens, they have to be perfect for the rest of the year for a push. And there’s some difficulty in the conference schedule as they go to Nebraska and host Michigan State and Penn State. Not to mention there’s other question marks: Is Justin Fields the solution at QB? How much improvement will we see from a defense that finished 72nd in total defense in 2018? Can Ryan Day handle the job on a full-time basis? This just feels like a 10-2 or 9-3 type season to me.

Auburn (Under 8): I’m betting against Gus Malzahn. That’s about it, quite honestly. He’s slated to start either a true freshman QB (highly-rated Bo Nix) or a redshirt freshman (Joey Gatewood). And their schedule is brutal (v Oregon in Dallas, @ Texas A&M, @ Florida, @ LSU, v. UGa, v. Alabama). I just don’t see them beating LSU, Georgia, or Alabama. If that happens, they must win out to hit the over. Incredibly unlikely.

Northwestern (Over 6): As much as the bet above is a bet against Malzahn, this is a bet on Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern loses 10 starters off last year’s team that lost in the Big Ten Championship game. Included in the losses is 4-year starting QB, Clayton Thorson. This is also a bet again Thorson who, in my opinion, was one of the most overrated players in the Big Ten the last few seasons (Career 58.4% completion percentage and never threw more than 21 TDs in a season). Former 5-star QB Hunter Johnson (Clemson transfer) is the presumed starter with TJ Green in the mix, as well. The schedule certainly isn’t easy with trips to Stanford, Wisconsin, and Nebraska and home games against Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, and Purdue. Games against UNLV, Minnesota, Indiana, UMass, and Illinois are certainly winnable. And Fitz typically steals a few games he has no business winning. Count me in for 7-5 this year with a top end of 8-4.

South Carolina (Under 5.5): If my prediction rings true, this will be Muschamp’s last year in Columbia. They return 12 starters, including 4-year starting QB Jake Bentley. I see 5 guaranteed losses off the bat: v. Alabama, @ Georgia, v. Florida, at Texas A&M, and v. Clemson. I only see 3 guaranteed wins: v. Charleston Southern, v. Vanderbilt, v. App State. If my math is correct, that means they have to go 3-1 in their 50/50 games: v. North Carolina (in Charlotte), @ Missouri, v Kentucky, and @ Tennessee. Just feels like a tough ask to me.

Georgia (Over 11): Yep, I’m predicting Georgia to go undefeated. I’m also predicting them to win the National Championship. I think Jake Fromm has a massive year and ends up being the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft. The schedule, by SEC standards, is really reasonable. They’re home against Notre Dame, obviously, play Florida in the Cocktail Party, they go to Auburn, and host Texas A&M. That’s it. Those are the only “tough” games they have. I don’t see a loss there. Too much experience and too much talent. Dawgs are going 12-0.

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