2018 No Doubters

Spot the ball!

Spot the ball!

Spot THE BALL!

I am ready for football season (like unbelievably ready) and we are mere weeks from toe meeting leather to kick off the best season of the year.

Spot the ball…PLEASE!

Let’s kick this thing off and get this party started.

With that being said, here are my 18 No Doubters that are sure to happen by the time early January rolls around.

Take it to the bank. Bet the house. To borrow a line from the the uber-talented Clay Travis, “Shooters shoot!” So, here comes the Michael Jordan Game 6 in Utah ultimate shot of predictions.

Side note — If you have followed these prognostications over the last few years then you know the previous paragraph is nothing short of self-motivation on my behalf and a failure to infuse humor into my writing.

18. FAU wins 11 games with the Lane Train on the tracks.

Kiffin’s witty character has caught fire in Boca Raton and he has taken college football by storm – again. He has his team poised to be in the national spotlight in 2018 and could go undefeated if not for a kickoff weekend trip to Norman. Hold their own there and the hype will follow.

17. Tennessee will NOT win 8 games.

Jeremy Pruitt is one heck of a coach and it will show in East Tennessee in 2018. The Vols will surprise some people this year and be on the lookout in their opening game against West Virginia — they could spoil Will Grier’s Heisman hopes hours into the season — just a nugget to watch there. But there stretch of Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, and a trip to Columbia will do them in but they will look different in JP’s first campaign.

16. Wake Forest will win 8 games.

The Demon Deacons are one of the most interesting teams in the country. Not many stars on the roster. Less facilities and playing in ACC with Clemson, FSU, and Miami does them no favors. But they are disciplined and don’t beat themselves. Watch out for the Winston-Salem Warriors — they will be a force to reckon with this fall.

15. Nebraska will NOT win 7 games.

Scott Frost will find out quickly that the Big Ten is a lot different than what he experienced in Mickey’s backyard. Lincoln will be rocking with expectations but the games still have to be played and that spells doom for the Big Red.

14. Chip Kelly will struggle in Year 1 in the city of Angels.

This ain’t the NFL. And this ain’t Eugene either. Now, the Bruins have athletes but so does every other team in their schedule. His offense will be electric but not sure his defense can stop anyone. Winning 6 games is a stretch.

13. Jimbo Fisher inherits a lot but the SEC West is the ultimate gauntlet.

Welcome to even more pressure, Jimbo. This ought to be fun and I can’t wait to see him struggle in his first year. I know I should not say that out loud, but I don’t really care for him as an individual and think he is going to struggle in year 1 in College Station. That opening month is brutal. Great, ROI, Board of Regents.

12. Herm Edwards might not win many games but he will be entertaining.

His post game presses are going to be entertaining but not the product on the field. He will struggle in first year because the North is loaded and he still has to play the south.

11. Bryce Love will run rampant on PAC-12.

He returns after a stellar junior season and the first few weeks are key for him. Start strong and stay healthy equals a very exciting trip to NYC in early December is in store. And, maybe even throw in a date with the playoffs. Love run Love!

10. Notre Dame is overrated as usual but they still win 9 games.

It might not be the style that Brian Kelly approves but they will win 9 games again. Kelly is on Jimbo level for me as coaches are concerned (experienced it first hand at Clemson in 2015) so when the Irish lose it is a good day. That will not happen often in 2018 — as much as it pains me to say.

9. Hook ‘Em Horns get Herman-ed!

Big expectations go for naught in year 2. They are just not there yet in Austin and the patience will wear thin. TCU is better as is Okie State and Boomer Sooner as well. That puts them at 4th and I have not mentioned the couch burners of West Virginia. I say it is another year or 2 to build what Charlie Strong never had the chance to.

8. The Heisman goes to…

A lot of people are pushing their chips in on Will Grier of WVU and Bryce Love of Stanford. My dark horse to make it to NYC is the uber-talented QB from Stark-Vegas in Nick Fitzgerald. He has a few big games where he will be in primetime against quality defenses and it will boil down to how his defense withstands the SEC West gauntlet as far as the wins needed to get the prestigious invite. The #HailState QB will put up his numbers and don’t be surprised if they win 9 or 10 games in the new Moorhead offense that he makes it to NYC. I think all of these student-athletes are solid choices but the PAC-12 after dark does not give Love a chance. Grier’s defense lets him down and causes a loss or 2. Two three game stretches at different parts of the season will determine NF7’s Heisman hopes — and if I was picking with my heart he would definitely be the choice — hands down! I am going with the running back from Madison who is just a sophomore — Jonathan Taylor. He will cross 2,000 yards after missing it by 23 yards as a true frosh. He will score more touchdowns than I can count because of their schedule. It will come down to a game in Iowa City and the Big Ten championship game.

7. LSU wins 7 games — if they are lucky.

This is a huge year for CEO. He saved himself last year by beating Florida and Auburn but still lost to Alabama and not to mention again — Troy at home. He must win game 1 against Miami to keep the snowball from becoming large because Mississippi State and Auburn await in the coming weeks. Maybe I am I trying to use reverse psychology but I don’t see 8 wins on that schedule and that includes 3 coming from their other out of conference opponents — hopefully. Win 7 or less + another loss to the Tide finds CEO and possibly AD Joe Alleva on the way out. A 3rd coach in 4 years is good, right?

6. Missouri and Kentucky win more combined games than that of Georgia Tech and Louisville.

Lamar Jackson is not walking through that door at the unnamed stadium next door to Churchill Downs. QB Dew Locke and RB Benny Snell will carry their respective teams to honorable seasons and walk away with this Win for me as the best thing about the Yellow Jackets is their offensive line and fight song. The Cardinals are dealing with AL (After Lamar) and it will be a struggle.

5. South Carolina wins 9 games in regular season.

Once again, their seasons fate relies heavily on the health of QB Jake Bentley. If he stays upright, becomes more accurate on downfield throws, and his RBs can produce somewhat of a resemblance of a running game would lead to success in year 3 for Boom’s Gamecocks. Having Deebo Samuel healthy for at least 9 games would be awesome as well.

4. The only controversary in Clemson is under center.

The Tigers are favored in every game at this point and look to ‘rebound’ from a playoff loss in 2017. The biggest question mark outside the signal caller is the wide receiver play but those guys are pure athletes and are well coached by Jeff Scott. I have heard all summer how Trevor Lawrence is going to overtake Kelly Bryant like Deshaun Watson did to Cole Stoudt on that might afternoon in Athens. First of all, no offense Cole, but Kelly Bryant ain’t Cole Stoudt and KB2 has a ton more experience that Stoudt ever had. It will be talked about as soon as the Next Coming throws an unbelievable td pass but if I am Dabo (which I know I definitely am not) I go with KB2 and ride him to a 4th straight playoff appearance.

3. New jobs come open Baton Rouge, Lawrence, Chapel Hill and Boulder.

I know these are a far stretch but the pressure to win is at the utmost right now with all the financial impacts. Kansas is a given unless he does the unthinkable and wins 3 games but I just don’t see it. The others are not out of the realm of possibility and definitely could happen if the ball does not bounce their way in 2018. I am never in favor of someone losing a job but I am going out on a limb with CEO, Fedora, and MacIntyre. We will see.

2. The playoff will consist of (in no particular order)

The Big Ten will be chomping at the bit after being left out last year. Come on down, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin is in the final four — have you seen their schedule. The Crimson Tide enter the fray again and it once again ticks everyone off not in T-town or the SEC home office. The Tigers of Clemson will continue their 4-year run as the ACC representative. The Tigers’ roar continues! The fourth and final spot goes to the Washington Huskies. The Dawgs are repeat offenders of the 4 team chaos and will bring their tenacious defense and fundamentals to the battle for the top spot.

1. Dabo and Company hoist their 2nd trophy in 3 years.

I believe this defense will be better than last year and the offense has had 14 games in 2017 to gel and become more precise this season. If KB2 can complete the downfield pass more often this offense could outperform the 2016 version with DW4 — yes, I said it! Outside the WR play improving, the Tigers must rely on a stable of backs outside KB2 to electrify the ground attack. Enjoy it, Tiger fans!

There you have it, folks. I know i left out some regulars : Ohio State, Penn State, Auburn among many others but more to come on them as we get into the picks.

Remember, Eli and I are battling for $100 to go to our favorite charity. Eli is playing for Palmetto Children’s Hospital here in Columbia and I am battling for Senior Resources. You can participate as well by pledging (per each win throughout the year) any amount to my cause or Eli’s cause so that come early January 2019 each of these great organizations is provided a great start to their year.

Read more about it here:

https://sonknowsbest.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/we-pick-they-win/

Thank you for reading and let me know if you are interested in pledging for the season. Let me hear your comments on the 18 No Doubters as I know the South Carolina fans are not going to like my last few No Doubters!

Until next time..week 1 picks and videos.

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4 thoughts on “2018 No Doubters

  1. Matt- I like this post so much… especially the last part about the Tigers hoisting THE trophy… that if THAT happens, I will pledge $100 to each of these causes in your and Eli’s honor!

    Go Tigers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok … Let me see where to start:
    1)Clemson will be NOT play for the National Championship I don’t believe.
    2) I WANT to go with you on Carolina winning 9 games but I think it will be 8.
    3) Does Suzi know your pre-season Heisman pick … just sayin’?
    4) WISH I could disagree with the TX analysis.
    I’ll go with you on all the rest but #EliFortheWin on the Season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzi does not know about this I don’t believe. I did not want to open that can of worms but will edit the Heisman part to give Nick a shout out.

      I wish I could disagree with the TX portion too but I believe Herman needs more time.

      Like

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