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!!!!!!

 

 

 

12. Kent State Golden Flashes

Last Year’s Record: 2-10

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2012 GoDaddy.com vs. Arkansas State (Lost 13-27)

Head Coach: Sean Lewis (0-0 all-time)

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

Top Returning Players: Jim Jones (LB), Elvin Hines (DB), Trey Harrell (WR), Derek Adams (P), Justin Rankin (RB), Mike Carrigan (WR), Conor Brumfield (TE), Nate Warnock (OL), Bryce Gibbs (OL), Adam Gregoire (OL), Theo Eboigbe (DL), Nick Faulkner (DL), Jamal Parker (CB), K.J. Sherald (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Jo-El Shaw (RB), Matthew Trickett (K)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Derek Adams (P), Jim Jones (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 88th

Predicted Record: 1-11 (0-8)


 

11. Central Michigan Chippewas

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Famous Idaho Potato vs. Wyoming (Lost 14-37)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Famous Idaho Potato vs. Wyoming (Lost 14-37)

Head Coach: John Bonamego (21-18 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +4

Top Returning Players: Jonathan Ward (RB), Malik Fountain (LB), Mike Danna (DL), Sean Bunting (DB), Shakir Carr (OL), D’Andre Dill (DL), Michael Oliver (LB), Jack Sheldon (P), Brandon Childress (WR), Derek Smith (OL), Nate Brisson-Fast (DL), Mitch Stanitzek (DL), Alex Briones (LB), Michael Armstrong (K)

Top Incoming Players: Braeden Childress (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jonathan Ward (RB), Nathan Brisson-Fast (DL), Malik Fountain (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 101st

Predicted Record: 3-9 (2-6)


 

10. Ball State Cardinals

Last Year’s Record: 2-10

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2013 GoDaddy.com vs. Arkansas State (Lost 20-23)

Head Coach: Mike Neu (6-18 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -3

Top Returning Players: James Gilbert (RB), Josh Miller (DB), Justin Hall (WR), Riley Neal (QB), Danny Pinter (OL), Alex Joss (OL), Christian Albright (LB), Bryce Cosby (DB), Corey Lacanaria (WR), Nolan Given (TE), Andrew Poenitsch (OL), Kaleb Slaven (OL), Brandon Martin (LB), Jacob White (LB), Antonio Phillips (DB), Brett Anderson (DB), Nathan Snyder (P), Morgan Hagee (K)

Top Incoming Players: Thomas Lopez (OL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: James Gilbert (RB), Malik Dunner (RB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 90th

Predicted Record: 4-8 (2-6)


 

9. Bowling Green Falcons

Last Year’s Record: 2-10

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2015 GoDaddy.com vs. Georgia Southern (Lost 27-58)

Head Coach: Mike Jinks (6-18 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -6

Top Returning Players: Scott Miller (WR), Kyle Junior (DL), Andrew Clair (RB), Austin Labus (OL), Montre Gregory (DB), Brandon Harris (LB), Jarret Doege (QB), Janarvis Pough (WR), Jack Kramer (OL), Lorenzo Taborn (OL), David Konowalski (DL), Jonah Harper (DL), Fred Garth (DB), Marcus Milton (DB), Jamari Bozeman (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Antwaun Johnson (LB), Ra’veion Hargrove (RB), Jake Papez (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Brandon Harris (LB), Jamari Bozeman (S), Marcus Milton (S)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 86th

Predicted Record: 4-8 (3-5)


 

8. Akron Zips

Last Year’s Record: 7-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Boca Raton vs. Florida Atlantic (Lost 3-50)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Boca Raton vs. Florida Atlantic (Lost 3-50)

Head Coach: Terry Bowden (31-44 @ Akron, 78-61-1 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +6

Top Returning Players: Jamal Davis (DL), Ulysees Gilbert (LB), Kyron Brown (DB), Brian Bell (LB), Alvin Davis (DB), Brandon Council (OL), Andre Williams (WR), Brian Reinke (DL), Jordan George (DB), Kwadarrius Smith (WR), Maverick Wolfley (TE), Kyle Ritz (OL), Trevor Brown (OL), Brock Boxen (DL), Darian Dailey (DB), Tom O’Leary (K), Nick Gasser (P)

Top Incoming Players: Abraham Aice (RB), Keyondre White (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jamal Davis (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 87th

Predicted Record: 4-8 (3-5)


 

7. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Bahamas vs. Old Dominion (Lost 20-24)

Head Coach: Chris Creighton (15-34 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +5

Top Returning Players: Jimmy Leatiota (OL), Maxx Crosby (DL), Jeremiah Harris (DL), Vince Calhoun (DB), Brody Hoying (LB), Shaq Vann (RB), Steve Nielsen (OL), Paulie Fricano (K), Mathew Sexton (WR), Dakota Tallman (OL), Jeremy Hickey (OL), Ross Williams (DB), Kevin McGill (DB), Justin Moody (DB), Jake Julien (P)

Top Incoming Players: Max Chaffe (K)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Dakota Tallman (OL), Jimmy Leatitota (OL), Jeremiah Harris (DL), Brody Hoying (S)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 113th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (4-4)


 

6. Miami Redhawks

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 St. Petersburg vs. Mississippi State (Lost 16-17)

Head Coach: Chuck Martin (16-33 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -3

Top Returning Players: James Gardner (WR), Tommy Doyle (OL), Gus Ragland (QB), Nate Becker (TE), Jordan Rigg (OL), Doug Costin (DL), Junior McMullen (LB), Brad Koenig (LB), De’Andre Montgomery (DB), Kyle Kramer (P), Alonzo Smith (RB), Danny Godlevske (OL), Jarrett LaRubbio (OL), Sam McCollum (OL), Quinn Calcagno (DL), Nate Trawick (DL), Deondre Daniels (DB), Joshua Allen (DB), Samuel Sloman (K)

Top Incoming Players: Maleak Bryant (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Gus Ragland (QB), James Gardner (WR)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 93rd

Predicted Record: 6-6 (5-3)


 

5. Buffalo Bulls

Last Year’s Record: 6-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2013 Idaho Potato vs. San Diego State (Lost 24-49)

Head Coach: Lance Leipold (13-23 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Anthony Johnson (WR), Tyler Mabry (TE), James O’Hagan (OL), Khalil Hodge (LB), Tyree Jackson (QB), Chuck Harris (DL), Justin Brandon (DL), Johnathan Hawkins (RB), K.J. Osborn (WR), Thomas Jack-Kurdyla (OL), Evin Ksiezarczyk (OL), Jordan Collier (LB), Tatum Slack (DB), Brandon Williams (DB), Adam Mitcheson (K)

Top Incoming Players: None worth my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tyree Jackson (QB), Tyler Mabry (TE), Chuck Harris (DL), Khalil Hodge (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 116th

Predicted Record: 7-5 (5-3)


 

4. Ohio Bobcats

Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Bahamas vs. UAB (Won 41-6)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Bahamas vs. UAB (Won 41-6)

Head Coach: Frank Solich (97-71 @ Ohio, 155-90 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Nathan Rourke (QB), A.J. Ouellette (RB), Joe Lowery (OL), Javon Hagan (DB), Papi White (WR), Joe Anderson (OL), Evan Croutch (LB), Kylan Nelson (DB), Andrew Meyer (TE), Austen Pleasants (OL), Kent Berger (DL), Dylan Conner (LB), Louie Zervos (K), Michael Farkas (P), Cameron Odom (WR), Durrell Wood (OL), Jalen Fox (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Zach Burks (DL), Alec Burton (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Nathan Rourke (QB), A.J. Oullette (RB), Joe Anderson (OL), Louie Zervos (K)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 128th

Predicted Record: 7-6 (5-4)


 

3. Toledo Rockets

Last Year’s Record: 11-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Dollar General vs. Appalachian State (Lost 0-34)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Dollar General vs. Appalachian State (Lost 0-34)

Head Coach: Jason Candle (21-7 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Diontae Johnson (WR), Shakif Seymour (RB), Cody Thompson (WR), Bryce Harris (OL), Tyler Taafe (LB), Ka’dar Hollman (DB), Reggie Howard (DL), Dedarallo Blue (LB), Brock Ruble (OL), Jameson Vest (K), Jon’Vea Johnson (WR), Drew Rosi (TE), Chandler Cotterman (OL), Nate Childress (DL), Kahlil Robinson (DB), Josh Teachey (DB), Bailey Flint (P)

Top Incoming Players: Evander Craft (LB), Daniel Bolden (LB), Jalynn Williams (WR), Sam Baker (OL), Carter Bradley (QB), Jackson Barrow (LB), D’Andre Ragin (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Shakif Seymour (RB), Diontae Johnson (WR), Cody Thompson (WR), Jameson Vest (K)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 121st

Predicted Record: 8-4 (6-2)


 

2. Western Michigan Broncos

Last Year’s Record: 6-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Cotton vs. Wisconsin (Lost 16-24)

Head Coach: Tim Lester (6-6 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -3

Top Returning Players: John Keenoy (OL), Sam Beal (DB), Giovanni Ricci (TE), Luke Juriga (OL), Levante Bellamy (RB), Drake Harris (WR), Josh Grant (K), Jon Wassink (QB), Keishawn Watson (WR), D’Wayne Eskridge (WR), Mike Caliendo (OL), Zack Novoselsky (OL), Antonio Balabani (DL), Ali Fayad (DL), Justin Tranquill (DB), Stefan Claiborne (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Nick Mihalic (K), Antwan Reed (OL), Kaleb Eleby (QB), Lee Payton (TE), DaShon Bussell (WR), Anthony Torres (TE), Wyatt Rector (QB), Chase Brown (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jamauri Bogan (RB), John Keenoy (OL), Luke Juriga (OL), Antonio Balabani (OL), Sam Beal (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 107th

Predicted Record: 8-4 (6-2)


 

1. Northern Illinois Huskies

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Quick Lane vs. Duke (Lost 14-36)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Quick Lane vs. Duke (Lost 14-36)

Head Coach: Rod Carey (44-24 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Max Scharping (OL), Sutton Smith (DL), Luke Shively (OL), Josh Corcoran (DL), Kyle Pugh (LB), Spencer Tears (WR), Jordan Steckler (OL), Ben LeRoy (DL), Albert Smalls (DB), Jordan Nettles (RB), Mitchell Brinkman (TE), Mykelti Williams (DB), Marcus Childers (QB), D.J. Brown (WR), Nathan Veloz (OL), Dale Brown (OL), Weston Kramer (DL), Matt Ference (P)

Top Incoming Players: John Richardson (K), Mike DeHaan (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Marcus Childers (QB), Jordan Steckler (OL), Josh Corcoran (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 67th

Predicted Record: 8-5 (8-1)