By Tony George
The 2015 College Football Season is set to start late August and I have spent the vast majority of the summer, taking MLB off this year to concentrate on this upcoming football season, and especially the season win totals, and while many concentrate on the big boys and or sexy picks with big named teams, I tend to look at “also rans” and then study local sportswriters takes, spring game film, and tap my sources to see who may surprise this season and gain an edge on the books.
I will post 5 of my Best Bets this Season and bear in mind I went 4-1 with my Futures plays BOTH in the NFL and NCAA FB last season with my Season Win Totals. Here are my Top 5 College Football Season Win Totals including my 2 unit Best Bet:
MY BEST BET
Oklahoma State OVER 7.5 wins @ -140
Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are under the radar this season in the mighty Big 12, with TCU and Baylor filling the spotlight. Both Oklahoma and Texas are down this season as well as Kansas State, and Iowa St and Kansas are total bottom feeders. An easy non-conference schedule awaits Okie St, and then a game at Texas who is very beatable this season and then K State at home has me seeing the Cowboys at 5-0 to start. They start this season behind another stud QB in Mason Rudolf who impressed late last season and has a gun for an arm. The Cowboys have 7 returning starters on both sides of the ball, and better than average kicker returns as well and veteran coaching staff. The Cowboys get Baylor, OU, and TCU all in Stillwater. This team will vie for 3rd place in the Big 12 this season.
The Other Top 4
UNLV OVER 2.5 Wins @ -125
I always like a live ugly dog. A new Era in store for the Rebels this season as a high school football coach, Tony Sanchez, who was at highly respected Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, takes over this program. Only 3 starters on offense and 4 on defense return from a 1-11 team and no wins in the Mountain West in 2014. QB is solid with the 4th ranked QB in the MWC in Decker, and he has Devonte Boyd, the Mountain West Conference’s best WR to throw to. The defense has 2 studs to build around and DC Kent Baer is a veteran coach. Brutal schedule, but a team I feel gets 3 to 4 wins under this new regime.
Florida UNDER 7 Wins @-110
Jim McElwain comes in here from Colorado St to take over a once proud Gator program who has managed just 11 wins the last 2 seasons, and he has QB issues and serious OL line issues facing him. The Gators will not be able to run the ball, and it looks like a QB battle between Grier and Harris will ensue in fall camp. The Gators ranked 104th in the NCAA in passing yards and while that may change somewhat,, they will not have a potent attack and the schedule is brutal once their first 3 non-conference games are played, Florida has Mizzou, LSU and Georgia all in a row and on the road, and that has 0-3 written all over it. No Gator rebound this year, but McElwain will turn this program around and knows the SEC from his days at Bama, but this is a total rebuild in 2015.
Georgia OVER 9 Wins @ -125
Staying in the SEC here, I love the Dogs this year, despite a small concern at QB. Their schedule sets up well, home games against Mizzou, South Carolina, Alabama and the always neutral site Florida game bode well for them and they end the season with Georgia Southern and a less than average Georgia Tech team this season in Atlanta whom they are avenging a loss to. Auburn on the road looms large but I see no more than 2 losses here. They are loaded at RB and the defense is rock solid and they return 12 players, 6 on both sides of the ball, and are loaded on special teams, especially in the return game with McKenzie on the loose. I predict they win the SEC East and contend for a conference title.
Northwestern OVER 6 Wins @ -140
The Wildcats behind Michigan State may have the best defense in the Big 10 this season, returning 10 starters, and I can also see a resurgence in their offense in 2015 behind stud RB Justin Jackson who impressed in his freshman year. They have talent at WR and are deep there but getting consistent QB play out of Matt Alviti will be crucial. A schedule that includes Stanford and Duke early and tough games at Nebraska and Wisconsin loom large for the Wildcats, but I see this team under Fitzgerald making a comeback in 2015 and getting 7 wins and returning to a bowl game.