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. Syracuse Orange

Last Year’s Record: 4-8

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2013 Texas vs. Minnesota (Won 21-17)

Head Coach: Dino Babers (8-16 @ Syracuse, 26-25 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -1

Top Returning Players: Ravien Pierce (TE), Chris Slayton (DL), Cody Conway (OL), Eric Dungey (QB), Dontae Strickland (RB), Devin Butler (WR), Airon Servais (OL), Sam Heckel (OL), Koda Martin (OL), Alton Robinson (DL), Kendall Coleman (DL), Scoop Bradshaw (DB), Christopher Fredrick (DB), Evan Foster (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Qadir White (OL), Lakiem Williams (LB), Carlos Vettorello (OL), Ed Hendrix (WR), Jarveon Howard (RB), Chance Amie (QB), Taj Harris (WR), Tre Allison (LB), Juan Wallace (LB), Akeem Dixon (RB), Gabe Horan (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Eric Dungey (QB), Ravian Pierce (TE), Airon Servais (OL), Koda Martin (OL), Alton Robinson (DL), Kendall Coleman (DL), McKinley Williams (LB), Chris Slayton (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 34th

Predicted Record: 3-9 (0-8)


 

13. Virginia Cavaliers

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Military vs. Navy (Lost 7-49)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Military vs. Navy (Lost 7-49)

Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall (8-17 @ Virginia, 107-60 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Jordan Mack (LB), Juan Thornhill (DB), Olamide Zaccheaus (WR), Dillon Reinkensmeyer (OL), Tim Harris (DB), P.K. Kier (RB), Joe Reed (WR), Jake Fieler (OL), Eli Hanback (DL), Chris Peace (LB), Malcolm Cook (LB), Bryce Hall (DB), Brenton Nelson (DB), Lester Coleman (P)

Top Incoming Players: Bryce Perkins (QB), Hunter Pearson (K), Javar Garrett (LB), Brennan Armstrong (QB), Noah Taylor (LB), Samson Reed (DL), Martin Weisz (OL), Ugo Obasi (WR)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jake Fieler (OL), Chris Peace (LB), Jordan Mack (LB), Bryce Hall (DB), Juan Thornhill (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 45th

Predicted Record: 4-8 (1-7)


 

12. Pittsburgh Panthers

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Pinstripe vs. Northwestern (Lost 24-31)

Head Coach: Pat Narduzzi (21-17 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Alex Bookser (OL), Oluwaseun Idowu (LB), Stefano Millin (OL), Alex Kessman (K), Darrin Hall (RB), Charles Reeves (TE), Jimmy Morrisey (OL), Dewayne Hendrix (DL), Shane Roy (DL), Keyshon Camp (DL), Rashad Weaver (DL), Elijah Zeise (LB), Quintin Wirginis (LB), Dane Jackson (DB), Damar Hamlin (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Ricky Town (QB), Chase Brown (OL), Mychale Salahuddin (RB), Blake Zubovic (OL), Jake Kradel (OL), John Morgan (DL), Judson Tallandier (DB), Devin Danielson (DL), Tyler Bentley (DL), Nick Patti (QB), David Green (DL), Marquis Williams (DB), Wendell Davis (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Qadree Ollison (RB), Darrin Hall (RB), Alex Bookser (OL), Rashad Weaver (DL), Dewayne Hendrix (DL), Oluwaseun Idowu (LB), Saleem Brightwell (LB), Dane Jackson (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 20th

Predicted Record: 5-7 (4-4)


 

11. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Belk vs. Texas A&M (Won 55-52)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Belk vs. Texas A&M (Won 55-52)

Head Coach: Dave Clawson (21-29 @ Wake Forest, 53-60 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +4

Top Returning Players: Greg Dortch (WR), Phil Haynes (OL), Justin Herron (OL), Essang Bassey (DB), Matt Colburn (WR), Zeek Rodney (DL), Justin Strnad (LB), Scotty Washington (WR), Ryan Anderson (OL), Patrick Osterhage (OL), Jake Benzinger (OL), Willie Yarbary (DL), Elontae Bateman (DL), Demetrius Kemp (LB), Amari Henderson (DB), Cameron Glenn (DB), Dom Maggio (P)

Top Incoming Players: Nick Sciba (K), DeVonte Gordon (OL), Mike Edwards (OL), Kelijiha Brown (DL), Sam Hartman (QB), Courtney McKinney (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Greg Dortch (WR), Ryan Anderson (OL), Phil Haynes (OL), Zeek Rodney (DL), Willie Yarbary (DL), Elontae Bateman (DL), Essang Bassey (DB), Dom Maggio (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 37th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (3-5)


 

10. Duke Blue Devils

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Quick Lane vs. Northern Illinois (Won 36-14)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Quick Lane vs. Northern Illinois (Won 36-14)

Head Coach: David Cutcliffe (59-67 @ Duke, 103-96 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Joseph Giles-Harris (LB), Mark Gilbert (DB), Daniel Helm (TE), Daniel Jones (QB), Ben Humphreys (LB), Jeremy McDuffie (DB), Brittain Brown (RB), T.J. Rahming (WR), Johnathan Lloyd (WR), Chris Taylor (WR), Zach Harmon (OL), Julian Santos (OL), Tre Hornbuckle (DL), Edgar Cerenord (DL), Victor Dimukeje (DL), Marquis Waters (DB), Austin Parker (K), Jackson Hubbard (P)

Top Incoming Players: Tahj Rice (DL), Rocky Shelton (LB), Nate Thompson (DB), Gunnar Holmberg (QB), Jeremiah Lewis (DB), Mataeo Durant (RB), Zamari Ellis (TE), Elijah Brown (DL), Dennis Smith (WR), Casey Holman (OL), Ken Torain (DB), Shaka Heyward (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Daniel Jones (QB), Daniel Helm (TE), Tre Hornbuckle (DL), Ben Humphreys (LB), Joseph Giles-Harris (LB), Mark Gilbert (DB), Jeremy McDuffie (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 23rd

Predicted Record: 6-6 (3-5)


 

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last Year’s Record: 5-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 TaxSlayer vs. Kentucky (Won 33-18)

Head Coach: Paul Johnson (76-54 @ Georgia Tech, 121-83 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +1

Top Returning Players: Parker Braun (OL), KirVonte Benson (RB), TaQuon Marshall (QB), Clinton Lynch (RB), Qua Searcy (RB), Brad Stewart (WR), Kenny Cooper (OL), Jahaziel Lee (OL), Desmond Branch (DL), Brentavious Glanton (DL), Kyle Cerge-Henderson (DL), Anree Saint-Amour (DL), Victor Alexander (DL), Brant Mitchell (LB), Brenton King (K), Pressley Harvin (P)

Top Incoming Players: T.K. Chimedza (DL), James Graham (QB), Justice Dingle (LB), Jaylon King (DB), Quon Griffin (DL), Dontae Smith (RB), Quez Jackson (LB), Tijal Whatley (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: KirVonte Benson (RB), TaQuon Marshall (ATH), Qua Searcy (RB), Brentavious Glanton (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 14th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (3-5)


 

8. Boston College Eagles

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Pinstripe vs. Iowa (Lost 20-27)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Pinstripe vs. Iowa (Lost 20-27)

Head Coach: Steve Addazio (31-33 @ Boston College, 44-44 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +4

Top Returning Players: A.J. Dillon (RB), Tommy Sweeney (TE), Chris Lindstrom (OL), John Phillips (OL), Zach Allen (DL), Will Harris (DB), Jon Baker (OL), John Lamont (LB), Lukas Denis (DB), Connor Strachan (LB), Kobay White (WR), Wyatt Ray (DL), Anthony Brown (QB), Chris Garrison (TE), Sam Schmal (OL), Benjamin Petrula (OL), Aaron Monteiro (OL), Ray Smith (DL), Max Richardson (LB), Kevin Bletzer (LB), Colton Lichtenberg (K)

Top Incoming Players: Finn Dirstine (OL), Vinny DePalma (LB), Hugh Davis (LB), Elijah Jones (DB), Evan Stewart (LB), John Tessitore (K), Nick DeNucci (LB), David Bailey (RB), Johnny Langan (QB), Matt Valecce (QB), Joey Luchetti (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tommy Sweeney (TE), Chris Lindstrom (OL), John Phillips (OL), Zach Allen (DL), Wyatt Ray (DL), Connor Strachan (LB), John Lamont (LB), Lukas Denis (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 35th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (3-5)


 

7. NC State Wolfpack

Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Sun vs. Arizona State (Won 52-31)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Sun vs. Arizona State (Won 52-31)

Head Coach: Dave Doeren (34-30 @ NC State, 57-34 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +4

Top Returning Players: Ryan Finley (QB), Kelvin Harmon (WR), Jakobi Myers (WR), Garrett Bradbury (OL), Tyler Jones (OL), Darian Roseboro (DL), Germaine Pratt (LB), Stephen Griffin (DB), Stephen Louis (WR), Terronne Prescod (OL), Nick McCloud (DB), Jarius Morehead (DB), Dexter Wright (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Payton Wilson (LB), Ricky Person (RB), Devin Leary (QB), Alim McNeil (DL), De’Von Graves (DB), Christopher Dunn (K), Kishawn Miller (DB), Joe Babros (DL), Taiyon Palmer (DB), Joseph Boletepeli (DL), Jasiah Provillon (WR), Jalynn Strickland (OL), Tanner Ingle (DB), Trent Pennix (RB), Calvin Hart (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Ryan Finley (QB), Kelvin Harmon (WR), Terronne Prescod (OL), Tyler Jones (OL), Darian Roseboro (DL), Germaine Pratt (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 40th

Predicted Record: 7-5 (3-5)


 

6. Florida State Seminoles

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Independence vs. Southern Mississippi (Won 42-13)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Independence vs. Southern Mississippi (Won 42-13)

Head Coach: Willie Taggart (0-0 @ FSU, 47-50 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -4

Top Returning Players: Cam Akers (RB), Deondre Francois (QB), Landon Dickerson (OL), DeMarcus Christmas (DL), Hamsah Nasirildeen (DB), D.J. Matthews (WR), Derrick Kelly (OL), Levonta Taylor (DB), Jacques Patrick (RB), Tamorrion Terry (WR), Brian Burns (DL), Dontavious Jackson (LB), Ricky Aguayo (K), Keith Gavin (WR), Alec Eberle (OL), Cole Minshew (OL), Josh Ball (OL), Cyrus Fagan (DB), Logan Tyler (P)

Top Incoming Players: A.J. Lytton (DB), Jaiden Woodbey (DB), Robert Cooper (DL), Warren Thompson (WR), Asante Samuel (DB), Isaiah Bolden (DB), Malcolm Lamar (DL), Camren McDonald (TE), Xavier Peters (DL), Christian Meadows (OL), Christian Armstrong (OL), Tre’Shaun Harrison (WR), Anthony Grant (RB), Amari Gainer (LB), Jamarcus Chatman (DL), Dennis Briggs (DL), D’Marcus Adams (WR), Jalen Goss (OL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jacques Patrick (RB), Nyqwan Murray (WR), Alec Eberle (OL), Josh Ball (OL), Derrick Kelly (OL), Cole Minshew (OL), Brian Burns (DL), Demarcus Christmas (DL), Levonta Taylor (DB), Ricky Aguayo (K), Logan Tyler (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 5th

Predicted Record: 8-4 (5-3)


 

5. North Carolina Tarheels

Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Sun vs. Stanford (Lost 23-25)

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (43-34 @ North Carolina, 77-53 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -7

Top Returning Players: Cole Holcomb (LB), Charlie Heck (OL), Aaron Crawford (DL), Malik Carney (DL), Myles Dorn (DB), Chazz Surratt (QB), Michael Carter (RB), Anthony Ratliff-Williams (WR), Brandon Fritts (TE), Jalen Dalton (DL), Dominique Ross (LB), K.J. Sails (DB), J.K. Britt (DB), Freeman Jones (K)

Top Incoming Players: William Barnes (OL), Jordyn Adams (WR), Dyami Brown (WR), Avery Jones (OL), Devon Lawrence (RB), Cade Fortin (QB), Jace Ruder (QB), Chris Collins (DL), Ed Montilus (OL), Matthew Flint (LB), Bryson Richardson (DB), Javon Terry (DB), Antoine Green (WR), Javonte Williams (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Anthony Ratliff-Williams (WR), Brandon Fritts (TE), Carl Tucker (TE), Tommy Hatton (OL), Malik Carney (DL), Tomon Fox (DL), Aaron Crawford (DL), Jalen Dalton (DL), Cole Holcomb (LB), Myles Dorn (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 60th

Predicted Record: 8-4 (5-3)


 

4. Virginia Tech Hokies

Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Camping World vs. Oklahoma State (Lost 21-30)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Camping World vs. Oklahoma State (Lost 21-30)

Head Coach: Justin Fuente (19-8 @ Virginia Tech, 45-31 @ all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Ricky Walker (DL), Mook Reynolds (LB), Trevon Hill (DL), Reggie Floyd (DB), Joshua Jackson (QB), Oscar Bradburn (P), Hezekiah Grimsley (WR), Eric Kumah (WR), Dalton Keene (TE), Kyle Chung (OL), Braxton Pfaff (OL), Yosuah Nijman (OL), Vinny Mihota (DL)

Top Incoming Players: Jeremy Webb (DB), Dax Hollifield (LB), Tre Turner (WR), James Mitchell (TE), Alan Tisdale (LB), Chamarri Conner (DB), Keshon Artis (LB), Darryle Simmons (WR), D.J. Crossen (DB), Quincy Patterson (QB), Armani Chatman (WR), DeJuan Ellis (QB), Nadir Thompson (DB), Cam Goode (DL), John Harris (OL), Walker Culver (OL), Jermaine Waller (DB), Jaevon Becton (DL), Nasir Peoples (DB), Eli Adams (DL), Caleb Steward (RB), Cole Beck (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Joshua Jackson (QB), Yosuah Nijman (OL), Braxton Pfaff (OL), Trevon Hill (DL), Vinny Mihota (DL), Ricky Walker (DL), Adonis Alexander (DB), Reggie Floyd (DB), Mook Reynolds (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 56th

Predicted Record: 9-3 (5-3)


 

3. Louisville Cardinals

Last Year’s Record: 8-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: TaxSlayer vs. Mississippi State (Lost 27-31)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 TaxSlayer vs. Mississippi State (Lost 27-31)

Head Coach: Bobby Petrino (75-27 @ Louisville, 117-48 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Jaylen Smith (WR), Dez Fitzpatrick (WR), Dorian Etheridge (LB), Mekhi Becton (OL), Kemari Averett (TE), P.J. Mbanasor (DB), Mason King (P), Seth Dawkins (WR), Robbie Bell (OL), Kenny Thomas (OL), Lukayus McNeil (OL), Jonathan Greenard (DL), Russ Yeast (DB), Dee Smith (DB), Blanton Creque (K)

Top Incoming Players: Marlon Character (DB), Nigel Kilby (TE), Mike Boykin (DL), Jairus Brents (DB), Jared Goldwire (DL), Quen Head (LB), Trenell Troutman (DB), Robert Hicks (LB), Marcus Riley (WR), Chandler Jones (DB), Jarrett Jackson (DL), Jatavious Harris (WR), Dejmi Dumervil-Jean (DL), Yasir Abdullah (LB), Allen Love (DL), Telly Plummer (DB), Jordan Travis (QB), Tutu Atwell (WR), Javian Hawkins (RB), Hassan Hall (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Dez Fitzpatrick (WR), Jaylen Smith (WR), Seth Dawkins (WR), Jordan Davis (TE), Mickey Crum (TE), Robbie Bell (OL), Lukayus McNeil (OL), Kenny Thomas (OL), G.G. Robinson (DL), Blanton Creque (K)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 50th

Predicted Record: 9-3 (6-2)


 

2. Miami Hurricanes

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Orange vs. Wisconsin (Lost 24-34)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Orange vs. Wisconsin (Lost 24-34)

Head Coach: Mark Richt (19-7 @ Miami, 164-58 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Shaq Quarterman (LB), Michael Pinckney (LB), Michael Jackson (DB), Jaquan Johnson (DB), Travis Homer (RB), Ahmmon Richards (WR), Navaughn Donaldson (OL), Joe Jackson (DL), Gerald Willis (DL), Tyree St. Louis (OL), Malik Rosier (QB), Jeff Thomas (WR), Tyler Gauthier (OL), Zach McCloud (LB), Sheldrick Redwine (DB), Zach Feagles (P)

Top Incoming Players: Lorenzo Lingard (RB), Brevin Jordan (TE), Brian Hightower (WR), Mark Pope (WR), A.J. Blades (DB), Camron Davis (RB), Nesta Silvera (DL), Will Mallory (TE), Gilbert Frierson (DB), Gurvan Hall (DB), Cleveland Reed (OL), Marquez Ezzard (WR), Jarren Williams (QB), Daquris Wiggins (WR), John Campbell (OL), Delone Scaife (OL), Gregory Rousseau (DL), D.J. Ivey (DB), Bubba Baxa (K), Patrick Joyner (LB), Realus George (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Malik Rosier (QB), Travis Horner (RB), Ahmmon Richards (WR), Michael Irvin (TE), Tyler Gauthier (OL), Tyree St. Louis (OL), Joe Jackson (DL), Michael Pinckney (LB), Zach McCloud (LB), Shaq Quarterman (LB), Michael Jackson (DB), Malek Young (DB), Sheldrick Redwine (DB), Jaquan Johnson (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 57th

Predicted Record: 11-2 (8-1)


 

1. Clemson Tigers

Last Year’s Record: 12-2

Last Year’s Bowl Game: (College Football Playoff) Sugar vs. Alabama (Lost 6-24)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: (College Football Playoff) Sugar vs. Alabama (Lost 6-24)

Head Coach: Dabo Swinney (101-30 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +1

Top Returning Players: Mitch Hyatt (OL), Clelin Ferrell (DL), Dexter Lawrence (DL), Christian Wilkins (DL), Kendall Joseph (LB), Travis Etienne (RB), Justin Falcinelli (OL), Austin Bryant (DL), Tee Higgins (WR), Trayvon Mullen (DB), Tre Lamar (LB), Greg Huegel (K), Hunter Renfrow (WR), Milan Richard (TE), Sean Pollard (OL), Tanner Muse (DB), Will Spiers (P)

Top Incoming Players: Trevor Lawrence (QB), Xavier Thomas (DL), Jackson Carman (OL), Justyn Ross (WR), K.J. Henry (DL), B.T. Potter (K), Derion Kendrick (WR), Kyler McMichael (DB), Justin Mascoll (DL), Mike Jones (LB), Lyn-J Dixon (RB), Mario Goodrich (DB), Darnell Jefferies (DL), Jake Venables (LB), Jordan McFadden (OL), Braden Galloway (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tavien Feaster (RB), Hunter Renfrow (WR), Justin Falcinelli (OL), Gage Cervenka (OL), Mitch Hyatt (OL), Sean Pollard (OL), Clelin Ferrell (DL), Austin Bryant (DL), Dexter Lawrence (DL), Christian Wilkins (DL), Albert Huggins (DL), Isaiah Simmons (LB), Kendall Joseph (LB), Tre Lamar (LB), Trayvon Mullen (DB), Tanner Muse (DB), Will Spiers (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 43rd

Predicted Record: 13-0 (9-0)