It’s in the air people. You smell it. I smell it. Everyone smells it. The grass is getting cut. The lines in the field are getting drawn. Football players everywhere are starting to get nervous because football season is ALMOST UPON US!

Every year I predict how every single FBS college football team is going to perform. I breakdown every team by conference and put some serious thought into these predictions. I like to pride myself on being correct (who doesn’t these days though?) so I go over every single team with a fine tooth comb.

College football is a unique sport. The roster transition from year-to-year can make it so a team can go from a 12-0 season to a 3-9 season with no time to stop and think about what the hell went wrong. No other sport deals with the kind of roster changes that college football head coaches have to deal with every year. That in itself makes college football one of the most interesting sports out there in my opinion.

And guess what folks? Kick-off is right around the corner so it’s time to nut up and find out what the wonderful world of college football has in store for us this year. It’s time for the 2018 College Football preview so sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

 

The Guide:

Last Year’s Record: Pretty self-explanatory

Last Year”s Bowl Game: Did the team compete in a bowl last year

Last Bowl Game Appearance: If the team wasn’t in a bowl last year, when’s the last time they made a bowl game?

Head Coach: The team’s leader

Head Coach Effect: A nice little formula featuring +/- that lets you know how good your coach performed last season. A + grade is how many wins I credit the coach for last season while a – grade means the coach did a pretty bad job with what he was working with

Top Returning Players: These are the best players from last year that are returning this year

Top Incoming Players: The top recruits in the Nation who will be joining your favorite team

Potential NFL Hopefuls: These are the guys on your favorite team’s roster that are already on the NFL’s radar. Obviously the more NFL talent you have on your team, the more I like your team

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: How difficult is your schedule compared to the other 129 FBS teams? Credit to Phil Steele for the schedule rankings

Predicted Record: How good will your team be next season?

 

And that’s it. ENJOY THE PREVIEW FOLKS!!!!!!

 

 

14. UTEP Miners

Last Year’s Record: 0-12

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2014 New Mexico Bowl vs. Utah State (Lost 6-21)

Head Coach: Dana Dimel (0-0 @ UTEP, 30-39 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: Didn’t coach last season

Top Returning Players: David Lucero (TE), Nick Needham (DB), Kalon Beverly (DB), Quardraiz Wadley (RB), Kavika Johnson (WR), Alan Busey (WR), Derron Gatewood (OL), Ruben Guerra (OL), Denzel Chukwukelu (DL), Trace Mascorro (DL), Jayson Vanhook (LB), Kahani Smith (S)

Top Incoming Players: Kai Locksley (QB), Gavin Baechle (K)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: David Lucero (TE), Winston Dimel (FB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 115th

Predicted Record: 2-10 (0-8)


 

13. Rice Owls

Last Year’s Record: 1-11

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2014 Hawaii Bowl vs. Fresno State (Won 30-6)

Head Coach: Mike Bloomgren (0-0 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: Didn’t coach last season

Top Returning Players: Aaron Cephus (WR), Zach Abercrumbia (DL), Sam Pierce (OL), Jack Fox (P), Jackson Tyner (QB), Emmanuel Esukpa (RB), Jaeger Bull (TE), Joseph Dill (OL), Roe Wilkins (DL), Martin Nwakamma (LB), D’Angelo Ellis (DB), Justin Bickham (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Jacob Doddridge (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Roe Wilkins (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 105th

Predicted Record: 2-11 (1-7)


 

12. Charlotte 49ers

Last Year’s Record: 1-11

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: Have never appeared in a bowl game

Head Coach: Brad Lambert (7-29 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -1

Top Returning Players: Nate Davis (OL), Jeff Gemmell (LB), Ben DeLuca (DB), Cameron Clark (OL), Evan Shirreffs (QB), Benny Lemay (RB), Mark Quattlebaum (WR), R.J. Tyler (RB), Darren Drake (OL), Chris Brown (OL), Alex Highsmith (DL), Tyler Fain (DL), Timmy Horne (DL), Tyriq Harris (DL), Juwan Foggie (LB), Denzel Irvin (CB), Quinton Jordan (DB), Ed Rolle (S)

Top Incoming Players: Dantrell Barkley (DL), Terrick Smalls (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Ben DeLuca (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 84th

Predicted Record: 3-9 (2-6)


 

11. Old Dominion Monarchs

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Bahamas Bowl vs. Eastern Michigan (Won 24-20)

Head Coach: Bobby Wilder (34-27 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +3

Top Returning Players: Miles Fox (DL), Oshane Ximines (DL), Jeremy Cox (RB), Jonathan Duhart (WR), Nick Clarke (OL), Isaac Weaver (OL), Jordon Young (LB), Justice Davila (DB), Steven Williams (QB), Isaiah Harper (WR), Travis Fulgham (WR), A.J. Davison (OL), Tony Barnett (OL), Chad Hendricks (OL), Pat Toal (DL), Marvin Branch (LB), Sean Carter (DB), Joe Joe Headen (DB), Nick Rice (K), Bailey Cate (P)

Top Incoming Players: None worthy of my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Nick Clarke (OL), A.J. Davison (OL), Oshane Ximines (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 120th

Predicted Record: 4-8 (3-5)


 

10. UTSA Roadrunners

Last Year’s Record: 6-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 New Mexico vs. New Mexico (Lost 20-23)

Head Coach: Frank Wilson (12-12 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -1

Top Returning Players: Kevin Strong (DL), Josiah Tauaefa (LB), Jalen Rhodes (WR), Yannis Routsas (P), Jared Sackett (K), Greg Campbell (WR), Jordan Wright (OL), Josh Dunlop (OL), King Newton (DL), Eric Banks (DL), Carl Austin (LB), C.J. Levine (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Lorenzo Dantzler (DL), Tykee Ogle-Kellog (WR)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Kevin Strong (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 91st

Predicted Record: 5-7 (4-4)


9. WKU Hilltoppers

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Cure Bowl vs. Georgia State (Lost 17-27)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Cure Bowl vs. Georgia State (Lost 17-27)

Head Coach: Mike Sanford Jr. (6-7 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -3

Top Returning Players: Devon Key (DB), Lucky Jackson (WR), Mik’Quan Deane (TE), DeAngelo Malone (DL), Drell Greene (DB), Jake Collins (P), Josh Samuel (RB), Tyler Witt (OL), Julien Lewis (DL), Masai Whyte (LB), Ta’Corian Darden (DB), DeAndre Farris (DB), Ryan Nuss (K)

Top Incoming Players: Garland LaFrance (RB), Jay Gibson (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tyler Witt (OL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 79th

Predicted Record: 5-7 (4-4)


 

8. North Texas Mean Green

 

Last Year’s Record: 9-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: New Orleans Bowl vs. Troy (Lost 30-50)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 New Orleans Bowl vs. Troy (Lost 30-50)

Head Coach: Seth Littrell (14-13 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +5

Top Returning Players: Mason Fine (QB), Jalen Guyton (WR), Kelvin Smith (TE), Elex Woodworth (OL), Roderick Young (DL), E.J. Eijya (LB), Rico Bussey (WR), Michael Lawrence (WR), Brandon Garner (LB), Sosaia Mose (OL), Manase Mose (OL), Riley Mayfield (OL), LaDarius Hamilton (DL), Tyreke Davis (CB), Kemon Hall (CB), Nate Brooks (CB), Khairi Muhammad (S), Blake Patterson (P)

Top Incoming Players: None worthy of my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Mason Fine (QB), Jalen Guyton (WR)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 124th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (4-4)


 

7. FIU Panthers

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Gasparilla vs. Temple (Lost 3-28)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Gasparilla vs. Temple (Lost 3-28)

Head Coach: Butch Davis (8-5 @ FIU, 87-48 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Jordan Budwig (OL), Fermin Silva (LB), Isaiah Brown (DB), Kiy Hester (DB), Anthony Johnson (DL), Napoleon Maxwell (RB), Jose Borregales (K), Maurice Alexander (WR), C.J. Worton (WR), Neal Mars (OL), Dallas Connell (OL), Kai Absheer (OL), Sage Lewis (LB), Stone Wilson (P)

Top Incoming Players: Tayland Humphrey (DL), Teair Tart (DL), Donovan Georges (LB), DeMarcus Townsend (RB), Ivan Thomas (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Kiy Hester (S)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 99th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (4-4)


 

6. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Camellia vs. Arkansas State (Won 35-30)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Camellia vs. Arkansas State (Won 35-30)

Head Coach: Rick Stockstill (79-72 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Chandler Brewer (OL), Khalil Brooks (LB), Brent Stockstill (QB), Darius Harris (LB), Jovante Moffatt (DB), Tavares Thomas (RB), Carlos Johnson (OL), Jordan Ferguson (DL), Reed Blankenship (DB), Ty Lee (WR), C.J. Windham (WR), Patrick Smith (WR), Robert Behanan (OL), Tyshun Render (DL), Walter Brady (DL), Malik Manciel (DL), Jahmal Jones (DL), Darryl Randolph (DB), Matt Bonadies (P)

Top Incoming Players: Chris Stamps (DB), Jarek Campbell (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Brent Stockstill (QB), Chandler Brewer (OL), Walter Brady (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 94th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (5-3)


 

5. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Frisco vs. SMU (Won 51-10)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Frisco vs. SMU (Won 51-10)

Head Coach: Skip Holtz (38-28 @ LA Tech, 92-76 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Teddy Veal (WR), O’Shea Dugas (OL), Jaylon Ferguson (DL), Amik Robertson (DB), Kody Russey (OL), Ethan Reed (OL), Ka’Derrion Mason (DL), Trey Baldwin (DL), J’mar Smith (QB), Rhashid Bonnette (WR), Adrian Hardy (WR), Michael Rodriguez (OL), Jordan Bradford (DL), Dae’von Washington (LB), Michael Sam (CB), Darryl Lewis (S), Davan Dyer (P)

Top Incoming Players: Willie Allen (OL), Isaiah Windmon (LB), Maureese Wren (WR), Aaron Allen (QB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Kam McKnight (FB), O’Shea Dugas (OL), Jaylon Ferguson (OL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 100th

Predicted Record: 7-5 (5-3)


 

4. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Independence Bowl vs. Florida State (Lost 13-42)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Independence Bowl vs. Florida State (Lost 13-42)

Head Coach: Jay Hopson (15-11 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -1

Top Returning Players: Paxton Schrimsher (DL), Quez Watkins (WR), Ty Pollard (OL), Parker Shaunfield (K), Kwadra Griggs (QB), Jay’Shawn Washington (WR), Arvin Fletcher (OL), Drake Dorbeck (OL), LaDarius Harris (DL), Racheem Boothe (LB), Jeremy Sangster (LB), Zac Everette (P)

Top Incoming Players: Jemaurian Jones (DB), Deuntra Hyman (DL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Kwadra Griggs (QB), Paxton Schrimsher (OL), Parker Shaunfield (K)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 111th

Predicted Record: 7-5 (5-3)


 

3. UAB Blazers

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Bahamas vs. Ohio (Lost 6-41)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Bahamas vs. Ohio (Lost 6-41)

Head Coach: Bill Clark (14-11 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -3

Top Returning Players: Spencer Brown (RB), Malique Johnson (OL), Garrett Marino (DL), Rishard Cooke (OL), Fitzgerald Mofor (LB), Broderick Thomas (DB), Andre Wilson (WR), Anthony Rush (DL), Nick Vogel (K), A.J. Erdely (QB), Collin Lisa (WR), Logan Scott (TE), Lee Dufour (OL), Justice Powers (OL), James Davis (OL), Stacy Keely (LB), Duke Culver (DB), Da Williams (DB), Will Dawkins (S), Joel Dixon (P)

Top Incoming Players: None worthy of my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: A.J. Erdely (QB), Anthony Rush (DT)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 125th

Predicted Record: 8-5 (6-3)


 

2. FAU Owls

Last Year’s Record: 11-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Boca Raton vs. Akron (Won 50-3)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Boca Raton vs. Akron (Won 50-3)

Head Coach: Lane Kiffin (11-3 @ FAU, 46-24 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Devin Singletary (RB), Harrison Bryant (TE), Reggie Bain (OL), Rashad Smith (LB), Azeez Al-Shaair (LB), Shelton Lewis (DB), Jalen Young (DB), Jovon Durante (WR), Hunter Snyder (DL), Raul Diaz (OL), Willie Wright (WR), Brandon Walton (OL), Steven Leggett (DL), Leighton McCarthy (DL), Andrew Soroh (DB), Chris Tooley (DB), Zyon Gilbert (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Tre’veon Nelson (WR), Desean Holmes (WR), Charles Cameron (DL), Meiko Dotson (DB), Malcolm Davidson (RB), Cordel Littlejohn (QB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Devin Singletary (RB), Harrison Bryant (TE), Reggie Bain (OL), Leighton McCarthy (DL), Hunter Snyder (DL), Azeez Al-Shaair (LB), Shelton Lewis (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 71st

Predicted Record: 8-4 (6-2)


 

1. Marshall Thundering Herd

 

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: New Mexico vs. Colorado State (Won 31-28)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 New Mexico vs. Colorado State (Won 31-28)

Head Coach: Doc Holliday (61-42 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Tyre Brady (WR), Levi Brown (OL), Ryan Bee (DL), Chase Hancock (LB), Malik Gant (DB), Tyler King (RB), Chris Jackson (DB), Tarik Adams (OL), Juwon Young (DL), Alex Thomson (QB), Frankie Hernandez (LB), Marcel Williams (WR), Willie Johnson (WR), Nathaniel Devers (OL), Jordan Dowrey (OL), Will Ulmer (OL), Channing Hames (DT), Artis Johnson (LB), Brandon Drayton (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Corey Gammage (WR), Steven Gilmore (DB), Jalynn Sykes (RB), Jaquan Webb (WR)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tyre Brady (WR), Levi Brown (OL), Ryan Bee (DL), Chase Hancock (LB), Malik Gant (S)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 92nd

Predicted Record: 9-4 (8-1)