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!!!!!!

 

 

6. Liberty Flames

Last Year’s Record: 6-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: First year as FBS member, won’t be eligible for a bowl game until 2019

Last Bowl Game Appearance: First year as FBS member, ,won’t be eligible for a bowl game until 2019

Head Coach: Turner Gill (25-49 in FBS, 41-29 as FCS member)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: Don’t calculate FCS teams

Top Returning Players: Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR), Stephan Calvert (QB), Dontae Duff (OL), Juwan Wells (DL), Alex Probert (K), B.J. Farrow (WR), Damian King (WR), Zac Foutz (OL), Thomas Sargeant (OL), Ethan Crawford (OL), Julio Lozano (OL), Tolen Avery (DL), Brandon Tillmon (LB), Ceneca Espinoza (LB), Jeremy Peters (CB), Malik Matthews (DB), Elijah Benton (DB)

Top Incoming Players: None worth my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Juwan Wells (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 108th

Predicted Record: 3-9


 

5. BYU Cougars

Last Year’s Record: 4-9

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Poinsettia vs. Wyoming (Won 24-21)

Head Coach: Kalani Sitake (13-13 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -5

Top Returning Players: Matt Bushman (TE), Austin Hoyt (OL), Corbin Kaufusi (DL), Dayan Ghanwoloku (DB), Squally Canada (RB), Dylan Collie (WR), Thomas Shoaf (OL), Sione Takitaki (LB), Zayne Anderson (LB), Tanner Mangum (QB), Zachary Katoa (RB), Avela Hifo (WR), Butch Pau-u (LB), Chris WIlcox (DB), Troy Warner (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Amone Finau (RB), Gunner Romney (WR), Connor Pay (OL), Dallin Hooker (TE), Jacob Smith (OL), Campbell Barrington (OL), Zach Wilson (QB), Villami Tausinga (LB), Stacy Conner (QB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tanner Mangum (QB), Khyiris Tonga (DL), Francis Bernard (LB), Sione Takitaki (LB), Zayne Anderson (LB), Dayan Ghanwoloku (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 62nd

Predicted Record: 4-8


 

4. UMass Minutemen

Last Year’s Record: 4-8

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 1972 Boardwalk vs. U.C. Davis (Won 35-14)

Head Coach: Mark Whipple (12-36 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -1

Top Returning Players: Andrew Ford (QB), Marquis Young (RB), Andy Isabella (WR), Jake Largay (OL), Bryon Barr (LB), Isaiah Rodgers (DB), Sadiq Palmer (WR), Ray Thomas-Ishmanm (OL), Joe Previte (DL), Lee Moses (DB), Jessie Britt (WR), Derek Dumais (OL), Lukas Kolter (OL), Jarell Addo (LB), Tyler Hayes (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Joshua Jefferson (OL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Andrew Ford (QB), Marquis Young (RB), Andy Isabella (WR)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 102nd

Predicted Record: 6-6


 

3. New Mexico State Aggies

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Arizona vs. Utah State (Won 26-20)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Arizona vs. Utah State (Won 26-20)

Head Coach: Doug Martin (17-44 @ New Mexico State, 46-97 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +5

Top Returning Players: Sage Doxtater-Gronert (OL), Cedric Wilcots (DL), Terrill Hanks (LB), Jason Huntley (RB), Johnathan Boone (WR), Roy Lopez (DL), Ron LaForce (DB), Shamad Lomax (DB), Payton Theisler (P), O.J. Clark (WR), Jamin Smith (OL), Isaac McClain (OL), Brian Trujillo (OL), Deshawnte Lloyd (DL), Malik Demby (DL), Javahn Ferguson (LB), DeMarcus Owens (DB), Dylan Brown (K)

Top Incoming Players: None worth my time

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Cedric Wilcots (DL), Roy Lopez (DL), Terrill Hanks (LB), Ron LaForce (S)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 130th

Predicted Record: 7-5


 

2. Army West Point Black Knights

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Armed Forces vs. San Diego State (Won 42-35)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Armed Forces vs. San Diego State (Won 42-35)

Head Coach: Jeff Monken (24-26 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +7

Top Returning Players: Darnell Woolfolk (RB), Kell Walker (RB), Bryce Holland (OL), Raymond Wright (DL), James Nachtigal (LB), Kenneth Brinson (DL), Cole Christiansen (LB), Gibby Gibson (DB), Nick Schrage (P), Wunmi Oyetuga (DL), Elijah Riley (DB), Jaylon McClinton (DB)

Top Incoming Players: U.S. Military laws prohibit the release of recruited cadet-athletes names until right before the season starts

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Andy Davidson (FB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 117th

Predicted Record: 8-4


 

1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Citrus vs. LSU (Won 21-17)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Citrus vs. LSU (Won 21-17)

Head Coach: Brian Kelly (69-34 @ Notre Dame, 122-56 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Chase Claypool (WR), Alex Bars (OL), Jerry Tillery (DL), Te’Von Coney (LB), Julian Love (DB), Alohi Gilman (DB), Nick Coleman (DB), Dexter Williams (RB), Sam Mustipher (OL), Tommy Kraemer (OL), Alize Mack (OL), Drue Tranquill (LB), Justin Yoon (K), Brandon Wimbush (QB), Jonathan Bonner (DL), Daelin Hayes (DL), Troy Pride (DB), Jalen Elliott (DB), Tyler Newsome (P)

Top Incoming Players: Phil Jurkovec (QB), Derrik Allen (DB), Houston Griffith (DB), Shayne Simon (LB), Bo Bauer (LB), Jayson Ademilola (DL), Braden Lenzy (WR), Kevin Austin (WR), Jack Lamb (LB), George Takacs (TE), Lawrence Keys (WR), John Dirksen (OL), Ovie Oghoufo (LB), Ja-Mion Franklin (DL), Justin Ademilola (DL), Jahmir Smith (RB), Micah Jones (WR), Noah Boykin (DB), Cole Mabry (OL), Tariq Bracy (DB), Tommy Tremble (TE), Luke Jones (OL), Jarrett Patterson (OL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Brandon Wimbush (QB), Sam Mustipher (OL), Tommy Kraemer (OL), Alex Bars (OL), Jerry Tillery (DL), Drue Tranquill (LB), Te’von Coney (LB), Julian Love (DB), Nick Coleman (DB), Alohi Gilman (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 16th

Predicted Record: 8-4