Grading our 10 insane preseason college football predictions

By John Hamilton

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Before the 2019 college football season started, we made 10 insane college football projections that were highly unlikely to come true. Now, it’s time to grade our picks. 

Read the reasoning behind all of our insane predictions here. 

Prediction 1: Shane Buechele throws for 4,000 yards

We’re off to a great start! For all intents and purposes, Buechele reached that plateau – he finished with 3,929 yards and 34 touchdowns. We were confident that Buechele had a shot to come in and change everything at SMU, and he did that by leading the Ponies to their best season since the Reagan administration. In 2020, the sky's the limit. 

Prediction 2: UTEP wins four games

We go from a good prediction to a bad one. The Miners were every bit as bad as last season, if not worse. At least UTEP beat Rice in 2018; in 2019, the Owls won fairly easily. UTEP finished with just one win and things don’t look a whole lot more promising for next season unless something fundamental changes. 

Prediction 3: Incarnate Word upsets UTSA

The Cardinals had another strong season in the Southland Conference, but it became immediately clear that UIW isn’t anywhere close to UTSA as yet. The Roadrunners dominated this matchup in the best game of Frank Harris’ young career. Hopefully we get the “Battle for San Antonio” played again soon. 

Prediction 4: McLane Mannix leads the state in receiving

Mannix showed some big-time ability early in the season for Texas Tech, including four catches for 78 yards against Arizona. However, he struggled to keep up the production, finishing with 248 yards on the year. Maybe if Alan Bowman stays healthy, Mannix is a bigger target? Just kidding – we were wrong. Surprisingly, Devin Duvernay ended up being the top receiver in the state. 

Prediction 5: Texas State more than doubles its win total

Like with UTEP, our optimism was misplaced. The Bobcats showed some signs of improvement early in the year and ended up winning two conference games. However, the Bobcats dropped painful decisions to Coastal Carolina, ULM and and thriller against Wyoming that could have put them in a bowl game. After the year, Jake Spavital fired multiple members of his staff. 

Prediction 6: Texas A&M beats a Playoff team

Texas A&M did play against a pair of College Football Playoff teams. Clemson wasn’t a surprise. We expected the other to be either Georgia or Alabama – shockingly, it was LSU instead. Naturally, the Aggies got blasted in both games against the pair of undefeated Tigers. Neither was much of a surprise, but it does mean we’ve now missed four straight picks. 

Prediction 7: Houston fields the nation’s best offense

There’s a lot to say about Houston this year, but praise for the offense was not among it. The Cougars struggled in the first year post-Kendal Briles, especially after quarterback D’Eriq King opted to redshirt at the last minute. Maybe the Coogs can take a step in 2020, but our prediction was wholly off. 

Prediction 8: TCU’s best quarterback is a true freshman

Finally, another correct pick. Max Duggan ended up taking over the quarterback job from Alex Delton after just three games – just like we predicted. Duggan was inconsistent, but he threw for 2,077 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Delton and Mike Collins combined for just 367 yards and one interception. 

Prediction 9: Sam Houston State runs away with the Southland

The Bearkats were never in a position to run away with the Southland this season, but the team did take several steps after a down 2018. Unfortunately, a bad loss to Northwestern State in the penultimate game of the season screwed SHSU out of a tie for the conference lead. 

Prediction 10: Baylor makes the Big 12 title game

We take complete credit for this one. Baylor had a favorable schedule and much-improved team coming into the year. The writing was on the wall for Baylor to take that next step. The Bears blew through the Big 12 to the tune of an 11-1 regular season record and came just short of Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. 

Final Tally: 3/10

Considering that the predictions were supposed to be insane, we’ll count this as a win. We saw the rise of Baylor and SMU coming from afar and thought Max Duggan could be the future in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, projected growth for Houston, UTEP and Texas State never came. With another year, who knows – maybe we were just a year early.

What college football picks did you make before the year? Let us know. 

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