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. Oregon State Beavers

Last Year’s Record: 1-11

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2013 Hawaii vs. Boise State (Won 38-23)

Head Coach: Jonathan Smith (0-0 all-time)

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

Top Returning Players: Blake Brandel (OL), Kee Whetzel (LB), David Morris (DB), Jordan Choukair (K), Isaiah Hodgins (WR), Timmy Hernandez (WR), Noah Togiai (TE), Sumner Houston (OL), Trent Moore (OL), Gus Lavaka (OL), Kalani Vakameilalo (DL), Bright Ugwoegbu (LB), Jonathan Willis (LB), Kevontre Whetzel (LB), Jay Irvine (DB), Isaiah Dunn (DB), Jalen Moore (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Teegan Quitoriano (TE), Isaac Hodgins (DL), Isaiah Smalls (TE), Jermar Jefferson (RB), Jake Dukart (QB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Noah Togiai (TE), Gus Lavaka (OL), Kalani Vakameilalo (DL)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 4th

Predicted Record: 2-10 (0-9)


 

11. UCLA Bruins

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Cactus vs. Kansas State (Lost 17-35)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Cactus vs. Kansas State (Lost 17-35)

Head Coach: Chip Kelly (0-0 @ UCLA, 46-7 all-time)

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

Top Returning Players: Theo Howard (WR), Andre James (OL), Chigozie Nnoruka (DL), Caleb Wilson (TE), Jaelen Phillips (LB), Bolu Olorunfunmi (RB), Michael Alves (OL), Krys Barnes (LB), Josh Woods (LB), Nate Meadors (DB), Darnay Holmes (DB), Adarius Pickett (DB), J.J. Molson (K), Stefan Flintoft (P)

Top Incoming Players: Dorian Thompson-Robinson (QB), Bo Calvert (LB), Elijah Wade (LB), Chase Cota (WR), Stephan Blaylock (DB), Kyle Philips (WR), Chris Murray (OL), Michael Ezekie (WR), Matt Alaimo (TE), Je’Vari Anderson (DB), Tyler Manoa (DL), Kenny Churchwell (DB), Rayshad Williams (DB), David Priebe (TE), Elisha Guidry (DB), Delon Hurt (WR), Kazmeir Allen (RB), Martell Irby (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Devon Modster (QB), Soso Jamabo (RB), Bo Olorunfunmi (RB), Caleb Wilson (TE), Jordan Wilson (TE), Michael Alves (OL), Chigozie Nnoruka (DL), Keisean Lucier-South (LB), Stefan Flintoft (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 1st

Predicted Record: 3-9 (1-8)


 

10. Arizona State Sun Devils

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Sun vs. N.C. State (Lost 31-52)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Sun vs. N.C. State (Lost 31-52)

Head Coach: Herm Edwards (0-0 all-time)

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

Top Returning Players: N’Keal Harry (WR), Cohi Cabral (OL), Koron Crump (LB), Chase Lucas (DB), Manny Wilkins (QB), Kyle Williams (WR), Ryan Jenkins (WR), Ceejhay French-Love (TE), Steven Miller (OL), Quinn Bailey (OL), Kobe Williams (DB), Dasmond Tautalatasi (DB), Brandon Ruiz (K), Michael Sleep-Dalton (P)

Top Incoming Players: Aashari Crosswell (DB), Merlin Robertson (LB), Dom Harrison (DB), Brandon Aiyuk (WR), Reggie Hughes (LB), Demetrious Flowers (RB), Terin Adams (DB), Brock Struges (RB), Isaiah Floyd (RB), Ely Doyle (DB), Stanley Lambert (LB), A.J. Carter (RB), Geordon Porter (WR), Ralph Frias (OL), Darien Butler (LB), Christian LaValle (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Manny Wilkins (QB), N’Keal Harry (WR), Casey Tucker (OL), Renell Wren (DL), Koron Crump (LB), Chase Lucas (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 7th

Predicted Record: 3-9 (2-7)


9. Colorado Buffaloes

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2016 Alamo vs. Oklahoma State (Lost 8-38)

Head Coach: Mike MacIntyre (25-38 @ Colorado, 41-59 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +1

Top Returning Players: Lavisa Shenault (WR), Javier Edwards (DL), Rick Gamboa (LB), Chris Mulumba (DL), Evan Worthington (DB), Steven Montez (QB), Jay MacIntyre (WR), Tim Lynott (OL), Drew Lewis (DL), James Stefanou (K), Alex Kinney (P), Aaron Haigler (OL)

Top Incoming Players: Davion Taylor (LB), Aaron Maddox (DB), Delrick Abrams (DB), Darrion Jones (TE), Kanan Ray (OL), Dylan Thomas (WR), Blake Stenstrom (QB), Israel Antwine (DL), Ray Robinson (DB), Daniel Arias (WR), Dimitri Stanley (WR), Deion Smith (RB), Clyde Moore (LB), Jarek Broussard (RB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Steven Montez (QB), Travon McMillan (RB), Tim Lynott (OL), Rick Gamboa (LB), Drew Lewis (LB), Nick Fisher (DB), Evan Worthington (DB), Alex Kinney (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 59th

Predicted Record: 6-6 (4-5)


 

8. Washington State Cougars

Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Holiday vs. Michigan State (Lost 17-42)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Holiday vs. Michigan State (17-42)

Head Coach: Mike Leach (38-38 @ Washington State, 122-81 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +3

Top Returning Players: Jalen Thompson (DB), Andre Dillard (OL), Nnamdi Oguayo (DL), Peyton Pelluer (LB), James Williams (WR), Jahad Woods (LB), Kyle Sweet (WR), Renard Bell (WR), Frederick Mauigoa (OL), Hunter Dale (DB), Sean Harper (DB), Darrien Molton (DB), Oliver Graybar (P)

Top Incoming Players: Jonathan Lolohea (DL), Kendrick Catis (LB), Calvin Jackson (WR), Drue Jackson (WR), Cammon Cooper (QB), Blake McDonald (OL), Max Borghi (RB), D’Angelo McKenzie (DB), Brandon Gray (WR), Brennan Jackson (DL)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: James Williams (RB), Andre Dillard (OL), Justus Rogers (LB), Peyton Pelluer (LB), Jalen Thompson (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 53rd

Predicted Record: 7-5 (4-5)


 

7. California Golden Bears

Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2015 Armed Forces vs. Air Force (Won 55-36)

Head Coach: Justin Wilcox (5-7 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +4

Top Returning Players: Demetris Robertson (WR), Camryn Bynum (DB), Patrick Laird (RB), Steven Coutts (P), Ross Bowers (QB), Malik McMorris (FB), Vic Wharton (WR), Kanawai Noa (WR), Addison Ooms (OL), Valentino Daltoso (OL), Kamryn Bennett (OL), Jake Curhan (OL), Patrick Mekari (OL), Luc Bequette (DL), Alex Funches (DL), Jordan Kunaszyk (DL), Cameron Goode (LB), Elijah Hicks (DB), Jaylinn Hawkins (DB), Ashtyn Davis (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Lone Toailoa (DL), Colt Doughty (LB), Will Craig (OL), Christopher Brown (RB), Nikko Remigio (WR), McCallan Castles (TE), Johnny Adams (RB), Aaron Maldonado (DL), Miles Owens (OL), Brandon Mello (OL), Matthew Cindric (OL), J.H. Tevis (LB), Jasper Friis (OL), Joseph Ogunbanjo (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Ross Bowers (QB), Patrick Laird (RB), Demetris Robertson (WR), Addison Ooms (OL), Patrick Mekari (OL), Jordan Kunaszyk (LB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 49th

Predicted Record: 8-4 (5-4)


 

6. Utah Utes

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Heart of Dallas vs. West Virginia (Won 30-14)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Heart of Dallas vs. West Virginia (Won 30-14)

Head Coach: Kyle Whittingham (111-56 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +2

Top Returning Players: Bradlee Anae (DL), Zack Moss (RB), Lo Falemaka (OL), Julian Blackmon (DB), Jackson Barton (OL), Leki Fotu (DL), Chase Hansen (LB), Britian Covey (WR), Jaylon Johnson (DB), Matt Gay (K), Tyler Huntley (QB), Siaosi Mariner (WR), Demari Simpkins (WR), Jordan Agasiva (OL), Darrin Paulo (OL), Jackson Barton (OL), Cody Barton (LB), Marquise Blair (DB), Corrion Ballard (DB), Mitch Wishnowsky (P)

Top Incoming Players: Bryant Pirtle (LB), Tareke Lewis (DB), Jack Tuttle (QB), Solomon Enis (WR), Hunter Lotuleilei (OL), Malone Mataele (DB), Terrell Perriman (WR), Paul Maile (DL), Jackson Cravens (DL), Devin Brumfield (RB), Brant Kuithe (TE), David Fotu (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tyler Huntley (QB), Zack Moss (RB), Viane Moala (DL), Leki Fotu (DL), Chase Hansen (LB), Julian Blackmon (DB), Matt Gay (K), Mitch Wishnowsky (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 26th

Predicted Record: 8-4 (5-4)


 

5. Stanford Cardinal

Last Year’s Record: 9-5

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Alamo vs. TCU (Lost 37-39)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Alamo vs. TCU (Lost 37-39)

Head Coach: David Shaw (73-22 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: 0

Top Returning Players: Bryce Love (RB), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR), Kaden Smith (TE), Nate Herbig (OL), Walker Little (OL), Bobby Okereke (LB), Alijah Holder (DB), A.T. Hall (OL), Trenton Irwin (WR), Dalyn Wade-Perry (DL), Sean Barton (LB), Jesse Burkett (OL), Joey Alfieri (LB), Jet Toner (K), Jake Bailey (P), K.J. Costello (QB), Dylan Jackson (DL), Ben Edwards (S), Frank Buncom (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Tanner McKee (QB), Jack West (QB), Thomas Booker (DL), Michael Wilson (WR), Andres Fox (DL), Trey Stratford (OL), Tobe Umerah (LB), Justus Woods (RB), Jay Symonds (RB), Jacob Mangum-Farrar (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: K.J. Costello (QB), Bryce Love (RB), Cameron Scarlett (RB), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR), Kaden Smith (TE), Jesse Burkett (OL), Devery Hamilton (OL), Nate Herbig (OL), Brandon Fanaika (OL), Jovan Swann (DL), Dylan Jackson (DL), Joey Alfieri (LB), Bobby Okereke (LB), Alijah Holder (DB), Brandon Simmons (DB), Jet Toner (K), Jake Bailey (P)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 29th

Predicted Record: 9-3 (6-3)


 

4. Oregon Ducks

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Las Vegas vs. Boise State (Lost 28-38)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Las Vegas vs. Boise State (Lost 28-38)

Head Coach: Mario Cristobal (0-1 @ Oregon, 27-47 all-time)

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

Top Returning Players: Jalen Jenks (DL), Jordon Scott (DL), Troy Dye (LB), Justin Herbert (QB), Dillon Mitchell (WR), Calvin Throckmorton (OL), Ugo Amadi (DB), Tony Brooks-James (RB), Jacob Breeland (TE), Jake Hanson (OL), Thomas Graham (DB), Justin Hollins (LB), Johnny Johnson (WR), Shane Lemiuex (OL), La’Mar Winston (LB), Adam Stack (K)

Top Incoming Players: Jalen Hall (WR), Penei Sewell (OL), Bryan Addison (WR), Steve Stephens (DB), Adrian Jackson (LB), Jamal Elliott (RB), Jevon Holland (DB), Steven Jones (OL), Haki Woods (DB), Isaah Crocker (WR), Dawson Jaramillo (OL), Sione Vea Kava (DL), Verone McKinley (DB), Tyler Shough (QB), Spencer Webb (TE), Justin Johnson (OL), M.J. Cunningham (LB), Andrew Johnson (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Justin Herbert (QB), Tony Brooks-James (RB), Brenden Schooler (WR), Dillon Mitchell (WR), Jacob Breeland (TE), Elkanah Dillon (TE), Jake Hanson (OL), Calvin Throckmorton (OL), Jalen Jenks (DL), Justin Hollins (LB), La’Mar WInston (LB), Troy Dye (LB), Ugo Amadi (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 70th

Predicted Record: 9-3 (6-3)


 

3. USC Trojans

Last Year’s Record: 11-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Cotton vs. Ohio State (Lost 7-24)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Cotton vs. Ohio State (Lost 7-24)

Head Coach: Clay Helton (27-10 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Tyler Vaughns (WR), Toa Lobendahn (OL), Cameron Smith (LB), Iman Marshall (DB), Stephen Carr (RB), Chris Brown (OL), Brandon Pili (DL), Christian Rector (DL), Porter Gustin (LB), Marvell Tell (DB), Chuma Edoga (OL), Michael Pittman (WR), Tyler Petite (TE), Andrew Vorhees (OL), John Houston (LB), Ajene Harris (CB), Isaiah Langley (DB), Chase McGrath (K), Reid Budrovich (P)

Top Incoming Players: Caleb Tremblay (DL), Palaie Gaoteote (LB), Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR), Isaac Taylor-Stuart (DB), Solomon Tuliaupupu (LB), Olaijah Griffin (DB), J.T Daniels (QB), Talanoa Hufanga (DB), Justin Dedich (OL), Raymond Scott (LB), Devon Williams (WR), Trevor Trout (DL), Markese Stepp (RB), Chase Williams (DB), Eli’jah Winston (LB), Abdul-Malik McClain (LB), Kana’i Mauga (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Tyler Vaughns (WR), Michael Pittman (WR), Tyler Petite (TE), Toa Lobendahn (OL), Chris Brown (OL), Christian Rector (DL), Porter Gustin (LB), Cameron Smith (LB), John Houston (LB), Jack Jones (DB), Iman Marshall (DB), Marvell Tell (DB), Ajene Harris (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 31st

Predicted Record: 8-4 (6-3)


 

2. Arizona Wildcats

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Foster Farms vs. Purdue (Lost 35-38)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Foster Farms vs. Purdue (Lost 35-38)

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (0-0 @ Arizona, 86-44 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: -2

Top Returning Players: Colin Schooler (LB), Khalil Tate (QB), J.J. Taylor (RB), Shun Brown (WR), Tony Fields (LB), Nathan Eldridge (OL), Dereck Boles (DL), Jace Whittaker (DB), Shawn Poindexter (WR), Tony Ellison (WR), Bryce Wolma (TE), Layth Friekh (OL), Justin Belknap (DL), Kylan Wilborn (DL), Lorenzo Burns (DB), Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (DB), Scott Young (DB), Lucas Havrisik (K), Dylan Klumph (P)

Top Incoming Players: Steven Bailey (OL), Kevin Doyle (QB), Mykee Irving (DL), Jamarye Joiner (QB), Jhevon Hill (DB), Dayven Coleman (DB), Christian Young (DB), Adam Plant (DL), Issaiah Johnson (LB), David Watson (OL), Jake Peters (TE), Darrius Smith (RB), Zach Williams (TE)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Khalil Tate (QB), J.J. Taylor (RB), Nathan Eldridge (OL), Finton Connolly (DL), Jace Whittaker (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 63rd

Predicted Record: 9-4 (6-4)


 

1. Washington Huskies

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Fiesta vs. Penn State (Lost 28-35)

Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2017 Fiesta vs. Penn State (Lost 28-35)

Head Coach: Chris Petersen (37-17 @ Washington, 129-29 all-time)

Head Coach Effect For 2017-18 Season: +1

Top Returning Players: Jake Browning (QB), Myles Gaskin (RB), Trey Adams (OL), Kaleb McGary (OL), Greg Gaines (DL), Ben Burr-Kiven (LB), Taylor Rapp (DB), Hunter Bryant (TE), JoJo McIntosh (DB), Nick Harris (OL), Tevis Bartlett (LB), Byron Murphy (DB), Chico McClatcher (WR), Drew Sample (TE), Luke Wattenberg (OL), Ryan Bowman (DL), Myles Bryant (LB), Jordan Miller (DB), Joel Whitford (P)

Top Incoming Players: Jacob Sirmon (QB), Marquis Spiker (WR), Tuli Letuligasenoa (DL), Colson Yankoff (QB), Kyler Gordon (DB), Austin Osborne (WR), Ale Kaho (LB), Trey Lowe (WR), Julius Irvin (DB), Matteo Mele (OL), Devin Culp (TE), Draco Bynum (DL), Jackson Sirmon (DB), M.J. Tafisi (LB), M.J. Ale (OL), Sam Taimani (DL), Richard Newton (RB), Victor Curne (OL), Zion Tupuola-Fetui (LB)

Potential NFL Hopefuls: Jake Browning (QB), Myles Gaskin (RB), Drew Sample (TE), Nick Harris (OL), Trey Adams (OL), Kaleb McGary (OL), Luke Wattenberg (OL), Benning Potoa’e (DL), Greg Gaines (DL), Ryan Bowman (LB), Ben Burr-Kiven (LB), Tevis Bartlett (LB), Byron Murphy (DB), Taylor Rapp (DB), JoJo McIntosh (DB)

Schedule Ranked By Difficulty: 58th

Predicted Record: 12-1 (10-0)