Crazy predictions are thrown out by every news outlet every year heading into each college football season. The truth is, out of all of the sports, college football is the hardest to predict. Baseball, do you have a couple good starters, a closer and a guy or two that can mash? In the NFL, have a good starting quarterback and solid defense? College football speculation is purely based on returning quarterbacks and recruiting rankings that in year’s past have shown don’t mean anything.
So here are five crazy predictions that just might come to fruition.
1. Tech finishes with 10 wins while TCU doesn’t
TCU has won more than 10 games the past two seasons, which accounts for half of their seasons in the Big XII (they won 10+ games their last four seasons before joining the Big XII). Tech hasn’t won 10 games in a season since 2008. This year, both streaks come to an end.
The Big XII is a quarterback league and TCU is the only team in the conference that doesn’t return their starter from last year. TCU had some close games last season, and Trevone Boykin is the reason they were able to pull them out at the end. Kenny Hill or Foster Sawyer will not be able to replicate the production that Boykin gave TCU, and no receiver will be able to do what Josh Doctson was able to. Yes, their defense is probably the best in the Big XII, but it’s an offensive league and you can’t win the conference if you don’t have the offense to keep pace.
Tech lost some close games last year, and their defense will be better with more talent and physicality. Add in better outside receivers, more talent on the defensive line, a second year of David Gibbs’ system and a full off-season for Patrick Mahomes, and I think Tech gets to 10 wins. I like Tech 6-0 heading into the Baker Bowl, making it two wins in a row against the Longhorns, and ending the Baylor losing streak.
2. Baker sulks while Pat flies to NYC
We’ve all gotten a front-row seat for Patrick Mahomes’ greatness. The only thing standing in his way of an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony is a good win-loss record. If Tech wins 10 games this year, he should be the front-runner. You don’t have to win your conference to get a Heisman – ie. RG3 and Johnny Football – but you do need to win 9-10 games. Tech gets that win-loss record this year and Pat flies to New York.
Baker finishes fourth for a second year in a row and adds the Heisman committee to his list of hate.
3. Texas finishes in the top half while Baylor doesn’t
There is a zero percent chance Baylor doesn’t start the season 3-0 given their non-conference schedule. But playing those teams won’t get them ready for conference play, and the same thing that has hurt Tech for the past few years – depth, specifically on the lines – will end up hurting Baylor in the end. Don’t be surprised if they win their first six games, and lose their last six.
Texas on the other hand has an embarrassment of depth, and I think they finally have their quarterback. Shane Buechele is the best passer they’ve had since Colt, and minus the national championship, I think he leaves UT with the same or better stats than Colt had. I know that’s bold, but he really is that good. Add in Chris Warren, Malik Jefferson and their other young studs, and this team will finish in the top five of the conference.
4. The Perine/Mixon due doesn’t lead the league in rushing
The Perine/Mixon duo is one of the top running back duos ever. They’re really that good. But I do think OU’s defense isn’t as good as others believe, which will ultimately put them in a lot more situations that they’ll have to turn to Baker’s arm to keep pace with other teams.
Give me Mike Warren at Iowa State in Matt Campbell’s system. He’s special.
5. Texas and OU are both 1-2 headed into conference play
Let me start out by saying that both of their non-conference schedules are awesome. I love good non-conference games and they both have two of them. What Baylor does with their non-conference schedule is embarrassing. Great for UT and OU for scheduling the high-profile non-conference games. And do I actually think they’ll both lose two non-conference games? Probably not, but there is a chance.
Now, let’s start with Texas. I think Buechele is the real deal, but Notre Dame is a tough first college game and I don’t think the Longhorns can win this game, even with the latest arrest news coming out of South Bend. They will also lose their third game against Cal. Davis Webb will get his win against UT and the Longhorns will enter conference play 1-2.
When it comes to OU, Baker, Samaje and Mixon returning is huge. But I don’t think enough is being made of the pieces they lost, including Sterling Shepard and Zack Sanchez. Those are key losses that will prove costly early in the season. Houston is a great team, and playing the game in their hometown will give the edge they need to upset the Sooners. Two weeks later the Buckeyes will come into Norman and do what Urban Meyer-led teams do. Win on the road against good teams.