October 14, 2019

The 2019 Tailgate Society College Football Preview

The college football season is upon us once again, and this season looks like it is going to be a ton of fun. While the usual suspects appear set to be making a run at the college football playoff, there’s always plenty of room for surprises in the world of college football. Let’s see if our contributors agree!

Emily Cornell

Best Group of Five team
University of Houston

Overachieving team
UAB

Underachieving team
Boise State

Power 5 Conference Winners
SEC: Georgia
Big 12: Texas
Big 10: Penn State
PAC 12: Colorado
ACC: Clemson

Playoff picks
Alabama
Clemson
Georgia
Ohio State

National Championship game
Clemson vs Georgia

Heisman winner
Sam Ehlinger, QB, University of Texas

Breakthrough player
Tommy DeVito, Syracuse QB

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

Stanford at UCF, September 14
Stanford performs reasonably well considering how poorly the PAC-12 holistically performed in the last few years (in comparison to other P5s). UCF is probably still on the hype train, so this game will be huge for them if they snatch the W from Stanford. Also, this game should just be really fun. Two fan groups that would normally have nothing to do with each other will get to interact for a decently matched pairing. As a casual bystander, this game is one that I have no skin in but would actively seek out.

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?
Washington State because Mike Leach is a hoot.

THREE BOLD TAKES
Duke beats Miami.
Florida State drops their opener against Boise State, and Boise State has a perfect season.
UAB beats Tennessee and people start to think UAB is in the same category as UCF.

Austin Narber

Best Group of Five team
I like Boise State by virtue of beating Florida State on Aug. 31. A trip to BYU could wind up being the Broncos’ one and only hurdle standing in the way of the College Football Playoff.

Overachieving team
Appalachian State. Even though Scott Satterfield left for Louisville, the Mountaineers return two-thirds of their starters including a ton of offense, and they’ll be favored in 9–10 games. ESPN currently has them ranked 64th in FPI — barely the top half of FBS.

Underachieving team
South Carolina. They may flirt with the top-25 early on (and the talent will justify it) but:
SEC opener: vs. Alabama
October slate: at Georgia, vs. Florida, at Tennessee
SEC finale: at Texas A&M
Season finale (for good measure): vs. Clemson

Power 5 Conference Winners
Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Oklahoma

Playoff picks
1. Clemson vs. 4. Oregon; 2. Georgia vs. 3. Michigan
I think this is finally the year the CFP committee does right by taking the four best conference champions. Georgia beats Alabama and Oregon takes the Pac-12 crown, which takes an 11-2 Alabama out of the playoff.

National Championship game
This feels like Georgia’s year. Dawgs over Dabo.

Heisman winner
I’ll double down on Oregon’s success and say coming back for another season pays off for QB Justin Herbert.

Breakthrough player
Something tells me Dana Holgorsen is going to be a very good thing for Houston QB D’Eriq King.

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?
For the love of God, watch the Iron Bowl this year. One of two things will be happening:
Gus Malzahn will be long gone and Auburn will have a chance to control Alabama’s postseason fate, under an interim coach, in front of their home crowd, with not a single fuck to give
Gus Malzahn will still be there, which means Auburn’s season played out really well, and they’ll still control Alabama’s postseason fate, in front of their home crowd, except they’ll be good and give a lot of fucks

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?
As an Iowa State alum, having endured decades of complete butt as a fan, I would want to jump onboard with a team that’s already established in the national conversation but not so much that I become jaded by their success. I’ll pass on the blue bloods. I’ll pass on the SEC stigma. I’ll pass on the Pac-12 for a whole number of reasons.
Let’s go with Wisconsin.

THREE BOLD TAKES
Miami and Iowa State win conference championships. Clemson is so good that they remain completely unaffected.

USC fires Clay Helton and narrows its coaching search to James Franklin and Urban Meyer. One of them gets the job.

Baylor is bowl eligible before Texas is.

Travis Halm

Best Group of Five team

South Florida

Overachieving team

TCU

Underachieving team

Ohio State

Power 5 Conference Winners

Clemson, Michigan, Washington, Oklahoma, Alabama

Playoff picks

Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia

National Championship Game

Alabama v Clemson

Heisman winner

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Breakthrough player

Max Duggan, QB, TCU

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

Texas vs Oklahoma

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why? Nebraska… because I live here and their team will be good this year.

Three Bold Takes
1. Big Ten Champ will have two total losses
2. TCU and Oklahoma State are predicted too low. Never count out Patterson and Gundy.
3. Harbaugh will finally beat Ohio State

Aaron Wall

Best Group of 5

Houston- Somehow Dana goes down in competition level and up in roster talent and pay. Someday I hope to underachieve into a better higher paying job as well.

Overachieving team

Army- Yeah, I know, it’s not saying much since they went 11-2 last year. If you can do that at Army where there are literally ZERO advantages then you’re an over-achiever.

Underachieving team

Texas. Everyone is saying they can be a playoff team and Texas is BACK. Look, if Ehlinger can stay healthy, then they have a chance at all that.  However, with the way he plays, that seems unlikely. And if he doesn’t play, they lose.

Power 5 Conference Winners

Big X- Michigan???: I have no faith in Harbaugh, but if he’s going to get it done it has to be this year.
Big XII- Oklahoma: Deepest roster of the contenders gets them another Championship.
ACC- Clemson: It’s not even close
Pac 12- Washington: The south division is hot garbage, so either Washington, Washington State, or Oregon will win.
SEC- Georgia: Its time

Playoff teams
1.    Clemson
2.    Georgia
3.    Oklahoma
4.    Michigan

National Championship Game

Clemson vs Georgia

Heisman Winner

Trevor Lawrence: Best team’s QB.  Seems like a no brainer

Breakthrough Player

Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue:  People know him after last year sure, but a year later I think he’s unstoppable in the BIG West division

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

Give me Army/Navy every time.  Sure, it might not be the greatest teams but ‘Merica

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?

Would have to go back to my roots and take Missouri. Born there and was a fan early but left them when I went to ISU.

Three Bold Takes
1.    Alabama does not make the playoffs.  Two losses won’t get them in this year.
2.    Iowa fails to make a bowl game.  I don’t think they are a bad football team, but the West division is much tougher than it was even two years ago.
3.    Kansas wins a conference game.  One of the many battles of new coaches will result in a weird game with Kansas winning.

Jake Ohlde

Best Group of Five team

Boise State. Broncos are poised for a big year and should start off with a bang with a win at FSU.

Overachieving team

Washington. Is it possible for a team that’s won two of its last three conference championships? I think so, as they’ll be breaking in QB Jake Browning’s replacement while Oregon is the favorite.

Underachieving team

LSU. All kinds of talent, but the Tigers have a tough schedule and Ed Orgeron is still their coach.

Wanted to put Nebraska here, but it’s hard to underachieve after a 4-8 season.

Power 5 Conference Winners

ACC – Clemson

SEC – Alabama

Big 12 – OU

Big 10 – Ohio St

Pac 12 – Washington

Playoff picks

Clemson vs Ohio St

Alabama vs OU

National Championship game

Clemson vs Alabama

Clemson takes it.

Heisman winner

Trevor Lawrence. He’s good, folks.

Breakthrough player

D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

Texas A&M at Clemson

Texas A&M’s best team in awhile visits the incredible atmosphere of Death Valley.

These two played one of the best regular season games last year.

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?

UCF. Fun G5 program that’s capitalized on their “National Title” and look set to keep dominating the AAC for awhile.

THREE BOLD TAKES

Texas doesn’t play in the Big 12 title game.

A two loss team makes the playoff.

Michigan finally beats Ohio State but doesn’t win the division.

Ted Flint

Best Group of Five team

My Boise State Broncos

Overachieving team

My Florida State Seminoles

Underachieving team 

Not my Iowa Hawkeyes

Power 5 Conference Winners

ACC: Clemson

Big 12: Northwestern

Pac 12: Washington

Big 12: Iowa State

SEC: Georgia

Playoff picks

Clemson, Washington, Alabama, Boise State

National Championship game

Clemson vs Washington

Heisman winner

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Breakthrough player

Eno Benjamin, RB Arizona 

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

Iowa State vs LSU in the Sugar Bowl because holy shit would that be the drunkest loudest stadium ever.

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?

Boise State or UCF because I am a huge fan of good Power five schools that big schools are too chickenshit to play.

THREE BOLD TAKES

1.    Iowa finishes finishes 6-6 and Ferentz decides to step down and gives the head coaching job to his baby boy Brian.
2.    Iowa State makes the Big 12 championship game and loses based on a controversial flag or some shit. Iowa State fans burn Dallas to the ground.
3.    Boise makes the College Football Playoff.

Alex Gookin

Best Group of Five team
UCF: For the first time in a long time, the Group of Five seems… boring? The MAC is actually bad, the Mountain West will be won by a Boise State team that seems average for Boise teams, and the AAC is the only mildly interesting battle. Cincinnati could surprise some people and Memphis has the schedule to make a run. However, I can’t help but think UCF has built a program that is a notch above the rest of the AAC.

Overachieving team
Miami: Sure, the ACC Coastal Division is pretty bad overall, but that’s all the more reason to believe Miami over-achieves this year. They have apparently found their QB of the future, and they are going to bully a few teams with their talent up front on both sides of the ball. After a probable loss at Florida to start the season, they have 6 winnable games with 5-straight(!!!) home games. If they can catch some momentum, they might find themselves in the ACC championship game.

Underachieving team
Ohio State: Here’s an absolutely bonkers stat: Ohio State hasn’t lost more than 1 conference game in a season since Luke Fickell went 6-7 as interim coach in 2011. Ohio State is expected to be great again in 2019, being a popular top-5 pick in many preseason polls. I think that 7-year streak is broken this year—the Buckeyes drop at least 2 conference games and finish outside the top-6 nationally for the first time since 2013.

Power 5 Conference Winners
ACC: Clemson
Big Ten: Michigan
Big 12: Oklahoma
Pac 12: Utah
SEC: Alabama

Playoff picks
Alabama
Clemson
Michigan
Utah

National Championship game
Alabama vs Clemson

Heisman Winner
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Breakthrough Player
T.J. Vasher, WR, Texas Tech

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?
Iowa State vs Iowa: This is a complete homer pick, but only because the average college football fan has probably never watched a CyHawk game (why would you?) and this year’s matchup is likely to be the first ever top-25 matchup. The atmosphere will be crazy, and it will likely be a defensive battle. With two good quarterbacks and a lot of bad blood, though, I truly think this will be a game all college football fans will love.

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?
This year, I’d pick Utah. The Utes are always good but haven’t quite made a statement as a Power 5 school yet. I think this is the year they can do that.

Three Bold takes
The Big Ten West is won in the final week of the regular season.
Texas is not back.
Scott Frost wins National Coach of the Year

Levi Larson

Best Group of Five team

Boise State

Over-achieving team

Baylor (Gross)

Under-achieving team

Michigan

Power 5 Conference Winners

Pac-12 Washington
Big 12: Oklahoma
Big 10: OSU
SEC: Alabama
ACC: Clemson

Playoff Teams

Clemson v Oklahoma, Alabama v Ohio State

National Championship game

Alabama vs Clemson

Heisman Winner

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Breakthrough Player

I don’t know enough about other teams, so I’ll make this one ISU-specific:  WR La’Michael Pettway.

If someone could only watch one game this year, which one would it be and why?

LSU-Texas in week 3 is intriguing, but that’s too early in the year. Going with the Red River Rivalry instead. Winner will most likely make the Big 12 championship game and (potentially) have best B12 odds at playoff berth.

If you had to pick a new favorite team, who would it be and why?

Boise State. The field, the history of super-fun upsets, and some sweet new black-out lids? Sign me up.

Three Bold Takes

Michigan does not make the Big 10 Championship game, and I believe finishes with a record closer to 7-5 than 12-0.

Even an undefeated Pac-12 champion is not good enough to deserve a playoff berth. The bottom of that conference is REALLY bad, and even though five teams are ranked to start the year, they end the year with only two.

La’Michael Pettway goes for over 1,000 yards receiving at ISU. Only 499 yards last year at Arkansas, but that’s Arkansas. Having a QB like Brock Purdy is going to mean big things this year (I hope).

Matthias Schwartzkopf
Matthias Schwartzkopf 18 Articles
Staff Writer

He is Matthias Schwartzkopf, the Highlander. Born in 1592 in the Highlands of Scotland and he is still alive. He is immortal. For four hundred years he's been a warrior, a lover, a wanderer, constantly facing other Immortals in combat to the death. The winner takes his enemy's head and with it, his power. I'm a Watcher, part of the secret society of men and women who observe and record, but never interfere. We know the truth about Immortals. In the end there can be only one. May it be Matthias Schwartzkopf, The Highlander.

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