Last Updated: 2018-07-20
Here at BangTheBook.com, we make it a point to bring you high-quality content on a consistent basis and we’ve done that with season win total previews for all 130 FBS college football teams. Our cast of writers did a phenomenal job not only getting these written, but also getting them written in a timely manner so that you can attack the lines before a lot of people even start to think about college football season.
Before we go any farther and list the teams and some little blurbs about each one, it is important to note those outstanding authors that put their time and efforts into bringing these analyses to you. Locky Lockerson covered the ACC. Richard Lammons handled the Big 12. Joe Everett did the Independents. Corey Pabst was on the MAC. Jonathan Willis covered the Mountain West and also the SEC East. David Laferriere drew the assignment of the Pac-12. Kyle Hunter did the Sun Belt, or as we like to call it, the Fun Belt. Finally, yours truly, Adam Burke did the AAC, the Big Ten, Conference USA, and the SEC West.
Each season win total preview has an intro, a schedule with the projected lines based on our summer BangTheBook Power Ratings from Adam Burke, a breakdown of the offense, a breakdown of the defense, a section on intangibles (schedule, coaching, etc), and then a pick. All previews have a pick, with our writers directed to include the level of confidence in that pick. Also, if you’re so inclined, we’ve left the 2017 write-ups for teams that were done last season so that you can see how perception may have changed or the trajectory that these programs are on.
This won’t be the only preseason college football content we’ll have at BangTheBook.com, but it will give you a great head start on all 130 teams, as we look to uncover some betting angles and some good season win total and futures betting opportunities.
We recommend that you bookmark this page, as all 130 teams are linked, and we will use this evergreen URL for future years as well.
Here are all 130 teams:
The Cincinnati Bearcats enter Year Two of the Luke Fickell era looking for more wins and improvement across the board.
Another new offensive coordinator in Storrs means it could be a long year for Randy Edsall’s bunch.
The seat is very hot for Scottie Montgomery as the Pirates open a new year with no experience at quarterback.
Charlie Strong begins his second season with a lot of new personnel, including a replacement for star QB Quinton Flowers.
Former Florida and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins is hoping for improvement from the defense.
The 2018 National Champions* bring back a lot of talent, but have a new coach in Josh Heupel with Scott Frost’s hiring at Nebraska.
New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles could help the Cougars offense get back to its high-flying ways.
Mike Norvell has a tough task replacing a lot of lost offensive production from Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller.
Are the Middies showing signs of a drop-off by being part of a much-improved AAC conference better equipped to see the triple-option every season?
Chad Morris brought the Mustangs back to respectability and then got hired at Arkansas. Will Sonny Dykes be able to match the new expectations?
Willie Fritz’s option offense is finally taking hold in New Orleans. Can the defense hold up its end of the bargain?
From 10 wins to two wins, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane had one of the biggest falls in recent history last season. Will Philip Montgomery find a reliable quarterback this season?
Expectations are higher than they’ve been in quite some time for Steve Addazio’s team, as the offense may finally hold a candle to the defense.
An elite program that now reloads instead of rebuilds, the Clemson Tigers are once again among the favorites to be the champion in January.
Willie Taggart replaces Jimbo Fisher as Florida State tries to wash off the stink of a 7-6 season that required a rescheduled game against Louisiana-Monroe to continue the program’s bowl appearance streak.
Lamar Jackson took his talents to the NFL, so Bobby Petrino will have to find his next star quarterback out of a collection of underclassmen.
The Wolfpack only return nine starters for head coach Dave Doeren, which has a lot of people concerned about how NC State will fare in the rugged ACC Atlantic Division.
A new year for Dino Babers means another chance for his offense to take hold, as the Orange welcome back eight starters, including quarterback Eric Dungey.
Dave Clawson’s offense actually picked up his defense last season, as the Demon Deacons won eight games for the first time since 2008. Will that be the case again?
Few coaches get more out of their teams than David Cutcliffe. Will the Duke Blue Devils be able to pull some more surprises in the mostly wide-open Coastal Division?
A down year for Georgia Tech ended with a blowout loss to Georgia and only five wins in 11 games. Paul Johnson will attempt to get his team back on track with eight returning starters on his triple-option offense.
Mark Richt watched as his former team, the Georgia Bulldogs, took Alabama to overtime in the National Championship Game. That had to further fuel his passion to get the Coastal Division’s best team into that Final Four this season.
Larry Fedora has stolen some of the spotlight away from what should be an improved roster with his comments at ACC Media Days, but this is a Tar Heels team that is a lot more experienced than last year’s version.
Pat Narduzzi enters his fourth year with a little bit more urgency after a 5-7 season and the first year without a bowl game for the Panthers since 2007.
Bronco Mendenhall got Virginia to its first bowl game since 2011 last season, but the Cavaliers have heavy losses on both sides of the ball, so now we’ll see what his recruiting classes will look like in Charlottesville.
The Hokies are 19-8 in two seasons under Justin Fuente, but he may face his biggest test yet with just 12 returning starters and some heavy losses on Bud Foster’s defense.
The Baylor Bears enter Year Two of Matt Rhule’s tenure looking for more than one win and looking to avoid embarrassing losses to the likes of Liberty and UTSA.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Iowa State won eight games last season under second-year head coach Matt Campbell. Can the Cyclones achieve bowl eligibility for the second straight season for just the second time since 2005?
At least basketball season isn’t that far away, right? The Kansas “Rock Never Chalk” Jayhawks will be an underdog a ton again this season and have not won more than three games since 2009.
Bill Snyder is just 20-18 ATS over the last three years in Manhattan, but his teams have made a bowl game in each of the last eight seasons. Is that streak at risk this year?
Lincoln Riley begins life without Baker Mayfield by slotting in another former top recruit in Kyler Murray, as the Sooners are heavy favorites to win this conference and could very well be back in the Final Four again after last year’s devastating loss to Georgia.
Over-40, mulleted man Mike Gundy still has Justice Hill, but the losses of Mason Rudolph and James Washington have left relatively low expectations for the Cowboys and their offense this season.
Gary Patterson only returns 11 starters from last season’s 11-win team that edged out Stanford in the Alamo Bowl, but he is one of the country’s top coaches and should get his team on track quickly.
Texas ended what was a long bowl drought of two seasons with last year’s appearance in the Texas Bowl, but that isn’t what the standard should be in Austin. Second-year head coach Tom Herman will be pressured to show significant improvement in 2018.
Kliff Kingsbury seemed to save his job by beating Texas to become bowl-eligible in last year’s regular season finale. With no returning starters at the skill positions, but 10 on defense, the Red Raiders are a tough team to gauge.
West Virginia has gotten a lot of national media love with Will Grier back at quarterback and some excellent wide receivers. Will perception and reality align for the Mountaineers?
Tom Allen’s Hoosiers fell one win short of three consecutive bowl appearances for the first time since 1986-88. Only three returning starters on defense means that getting the magic number of six wins could be a challenge.
No team has had worse luck with quarterback injuries this decade than the Maryland Terrapins. At some point that has to change, right? Right?!
Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson could be the missing piece for a program that has lost 14 of 15 to Ohio State in The Game and hasn’t sniffed a Big Ten title under Jim Harbaugh.
Mark Dantonio’s Spartans went from three wins in 2016 to 10 wins in 2017, which marked their fourth double-digit winning season in the last five years and sixth in the last eight. What is Sparty’s ceiling in 2018?
NFL-caliber talent leaves, NFL-caliber talent gets elevated up the depth chart, and then gets replaced by NFL-caliber talent with the freshman class. The Buckeyes reload annually and are the clear favorites to win the Big Ten and are among the favorites to win it all.
Penn State’s offense took off with the hiring of Joe Moorhead prior to the 2016 season. Moorhead is now at Misssissippi State. Saquon Barkley is in the NFL. James Franklin still has talent and a good defense, but how happy will Happy Valley be with this season?
Rutgers doubled its win total from 2016 to 2017 with four wins last season. That won’t happen again in 2018, but can the Scarlet Knights be more competitive against Big Ten foes?
The seat is probably piping hot for Lovie Smith at Illinois, but the former Chicago Bears head coach hasn’t had a whole lot to work with in his first two seasons in Champaign. Year Three looks like more of the same.
No win last season was more surprising than Iowa’s 55-24 beatdown of the Buckeyes that ultimately kept Ohio State out of the College Football Playoff. The Hawkeyes haven’t missed a bowl game since 2012 and should keep that streak alive.
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the SS Offense didn’t row very far for PJ Fleck, but the defense was strong. Is a return to bowl action in the cards with a cast of quarterbacks that have never thrown an FBS pass?
The college football preseason hype train has made more than a few stops in Lincoln, where Scott Frost is now in charge. The Cornhuskers simply may not have the personnel to make it all work in 2018.
The always-solid Pat Fitzgerald picked up his third 10-win season in six years with the Wildcats in 2017. With 14 returning starters and potential NFL Draft Pick Clayton Thorson back, Northwestern has its sights set on challenging Wisconsin.
Jeff Brohm can flat out coach. We knew that, but saw it play out with the Purdue Boilermakers as they went bowling for the first time since 2012. With the offense seemingly in good hands, defensive coordinator Nick Holt will have to work his magic on a defense with only four returning starters.
The clear-cut favorite in the Big Ten West returns nine starters from an offense that racked up over six yards per play for the first time since 2014. Add that to an elite defense that hasn’t allowed more than 4.9 yards per play since 2011 and you have another strong version of the Badgers.
New coordinators may help the 49ers get more victories than last season, but the bar is also pretty low after a 1-11 campaign.
The Lane Train transformed Boca Raton from a sleepy city of retirees to a booming football town, as Florida Atlantic went bowling for the first time since 2008 and rolled through a perfect 9-0 regular season. They’ll open 2018 with a 24-year-old offensive coordinator, so more fun times are ahead.
Butch Davis proved that old dogs can learn new tricks, as the Panthers won eight games in his first season with the headset since 2010. Only 11 starters are back for Year Two.
The Thundering Herd made some noise again last season after a horrendous 2016 campaign. Doc Holliday’s teams are always solid and 2018 looks like more of the same.
If Brent Stockstill can stay healthy, the expectations for Middle Tennessee State go up a few notches. If he can’t, the Blue Raiders are in for a tough season.
Not many coaches get the most out of their players like Bobby Wilder. The Monarchs started an 18-year-old quarterback for most of last season, so they are hoping a more mature signal caller and better health are the keys for 2018.
The single biggest loss in Conference USA coming into 2018 is Mike White for Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers could really be up against it this season.
Skip Holtz will have a returning starter at quarterback for the first time in his Louisiana Tech tenure, which dates back to 2013. Will that yield positive results in Ruston?
Hey, Mason, you’re so Fne. You’re so Fine, you blow my mind, hey Mason. North Texas brings back tenacious quarterback Mason Fine after he helped lead the Mean Green to the Conference USA title game. He’s one of 17 returning starters.
David Baliff is gone, so the Owls will have a new head coach for the first time since 2006. Former Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren appears to have his work cut out for him with a Rice team that is scheduled to play 13 games.
Heavy losses on both sides of the ball will test the mettle of Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson, as the Golden Eagles head into the year with only nine returning starters.
The best story in college football is back to attempt an encore presentation in 2018. Star sophomore running back Spencer Brown is back, but the Blazers have to replace some significant pieces on defense.
A new head coach is the big story in El Paso, as Dana Dimel takes over for Sean Kugler. It could be a long first season for the former Kansas State offensive coordinator.
Frank Wilson racked up accolades for his recruiting prowess at LSU. He’ll need to rely heavily on that skill set at UTSA, as the program is in the midst of a rebuild.
The Black Knights are 18-8 over the last two seasons, including wins in the rivalry game against Navy. Army had 14 wins over the previous five seasons combined. Will Jeff Monken keep the momentum going?
BYU great Ty Detmer didn’t work out as offensive coordinator, so BYU made a change and brought in Jeff Grimes, who was a position coach in Provo from 2004-06. BYU missed a bowl game for the first time since 2004.
The Liberty Flames, led by former Buffalo head coach Turner Gill, will play FBS football for the first time this season.
New Mexico State will join the Independent ranks after leaving the Sun Belt Conference. The Aggies have a huge hole to fill at quarterback, but one of the country’s softest schedules.
Nobody doubts the talent at Notre Dame, but expectations for this program are all over the map, as big losses at the skill positions and the loss of defensive coordinator Mike Elko loom large. However, Notre Dame returns 15 starters, including nine on defense.
UMass begins its third season without a conference affiliation with probably the best team that Mark Whipple has had. Sixteen returning starters and a friendly home schedule make a bowl game a possibility.
From the, “Hey, remember that?” file, the Akron Zips played in the MAC Championship Game last season. Suffice it to say that it seems unlikely to happen again.
Mike Jinks begins Year Three at Bowling Green with no quarterback controversy, as Jarret Doege has sole possession of the job and that could be a sign of things to come for the Falcons.
Buffalo went 6-6 last season, but was snubbed from a bowl game. The Bulls won their last three games, including a home win over Ohio, but didn’t get picked. Motivation is clearly not a factor this season.
Kent State will hang its hopes on the youngest coaching staff in college football. The new head coach is 31-year-old Sean Lewis and the offensive coordinator is 29-year-old Andrew Sowder. Kent State has won 14 games over the last five seasons.
After a valiant effort in the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl against Mississippi State, the Redhawks fell short of a bowl appearance in 2017. Senior quarterback Gus Ragland is the focal point of Chuck Martin’s team, as one of 16 returning starters.
As good as the Ohio Bobcats have been, they haven’t won the MAC since 1968. This could be Frank Solich’s best shot in recent memory with a dynamic playmaker in Nathan Rourke at quarterback and a weakened MAC West Division.
Injuries crippled Ball State in 2017, as the team went through four starting quarterbacks and never really had a healthy James Gilbert. Everybody starts the third season for head coach Mike Neu healthy, which had led to a little bit of optimism.
Central Michigan extended its bowl streak to four with last year’s appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. John Bonamego scored wins over both Directional Michigan rivals. Only 10 starters are back this season and there is uncertainty at QB.
Eastern Michigan’s resurgent 2016 season that resulted in the program’s second bowl appearance and first since 1987 didn’t fully carry over to 2017, as the Eagles went 5-7.
Northern Illinois had five straight double-digit winning seasons from 2010-14, but has gone just 21-18 over the last three years under Rod Carey. A brutal non-conference schedule awaits the Huskies this season.
The Toledo Rockets have won at least nine games in six of the last seven seasons. Head coach Jason Candle has to replace a star in Logan Woodside, but the new quarterback is set up for success with a ton of skill position talent.
Western Michigan was in pretty good hands until Jon Wassink suffered a season-ending injury. Wassink is back, but Jarvion Franklin departs from the run-heavy Broncos offense. Fortunately for head coach Tim Lester, PJ Fleck was the best recruiter in the MAC for the four years that he was in Kalamazoo.
The Air Force triple-option includes more passing plays than the other service academies and it has served the program well with Arion Worthman at quarterback. In spite of that, the Falcons missed a bowl game for the first time since 2013 last season.
Boise State once again opens the season as the heavy favorite to win the Mountain West. Chris Petersen may be gone, but Bryan Harsin has continued his legacy with a 42-12 record in his four seasons at the helm.
Heavy offensive losses have lowered the ceiling in Fort Collins, as Colorado State has to replace quarterback Nick Stevens, running back Dalyn Dawkins, and wide receiver Michael Gallup. Only nine starters return overall for Mike Bobo and there are two new coordinators.
New Mexico fell to 3-9 last season amid scandals that rocked the program and resulted in a suspension for Bob Davie. What will 2018 have in store in Albuquerque?
After a one-year gap, the Utah State Aggies went bowling again last season. They’ve only missed a bowl game once since 2010 and it seems like Matt Wells and the boys from Logan are set up fairly well for 2018.
When a program like Wyoming loses a first-round pick like Josh Allen, it is a big deal. Still, sustained improvement under Craig Bohl may keep the Cowboys from bottoming out.
The Fresno State Bulldogs were one of college football’s darlings last season with 10 wins and an appearance in the Mountain West title game. Was it a one-year flash in the pan or are the Bulldogs back under Jeff Tedford?
Hawaii posted a losing record at home for the third time in four seasons last year and came nowhere close to a bowl game after making one in 2016. Regression was expected for 2017 and it hit. What are the expectations for 2018?
Nevada’s transition to a modified Air Raid style offense took hold late in 2017 and the Wolf Pack started putting up points. Unfortunately, they allowed a lot of them and went 3-9. Will Year Two of the system bring better results?
Replacing Donnel Pumphrey wound up being easier than expected because Rashaad Penny ran for 2,248 yards last season. With Penny now gone, can San Diego State find another star back or will more pressure be put on the shoulders of Christian Chapman?
San Jose State had an inexperienced head coach in Brent Brennan and a 28-year-old offensive coordinator in Andrew Sowder last season. The Spartans went 2-11. With a new OC and a second season for Brennan, will San Jose State take a step forward?
UNLV has improved by one win each of the last three seasons. A similar pattern for 2018 means that the Rebels will be bowl-eligible for the first time since 2013. Will Tony Sanchez get UNLV to that point in Year Four?
The Cal Golden Bears posted the same record in 2017 that they had in 2016, but Year One of Justin Wilcox’s tenure just felt different. Will Cal get that one extra win needed for a bowl game?
A healthy Justin Herbert changes the dynamics for Oregon and new head coach Mario Cristobal got a huge boost when defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt decided to stay. Are the Ducks back in 2018?
It looks like another long season for the Beavers with a new coaching staff and just seven wins over the last three seasons. Rookie head coach Jonathan Smith has a lot on his plate.
Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love will stick it out for his senior season, much to the delight of David Shaw. Stanford has won at least eight games every season since 2008. Is that all but a formality again this year?
The Washington Huskies are believed to be a College Football Playoff contender this season, as Chris Petersen’s team is loaded with experience and talent.
Mike Leach was all set to go from Pullman to Knoxville, but the circus that was the Tennessee coaching search left him back at Wazzu for another year. How will that year go?
The Pac-12 South has three new coaches and one of them is Kevin Sumlin. With Heisman candidate Khalil Tate at the helm, Sumlin is set up for instant success in Tucson. Will he find it?
The head-scratching hire of Herm Edwards has left a lot of people wondering what the expectations should be for the Arizona State Sun Devils this season.
The Buffaloes have 15 combined wins in four of Mike MacIntyre’s five seasons, with the lone outlier that 2016 campaign that also included a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Which way will 2018 swing?
The biggest question in Los Angeles this college football season is how long it takes new head coach Chip Kelly to get everything put in place.
The USC Trojans have to replace Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones, Deontay Burnett, and top linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. We know USC always recruits well, but Clay Helton’s teams are 21-6 over the last two seasons. How far will they fall?
Kyle Whittingham always has a strong bunch in Salt Lake City and he’ll actually have the luxury of a second-year offensive coordinator this season. After a disappointing 7-6 season last year that included some injury problems, will Utah get its mojo back?
Dan Mullen heads from the SEC West to the SEC East as he takes on the Florida head coaching job. The Gators are still loaded with talent, but ever-present offensive questions remain.
The Bulldogs were the runner-up in the all-SEC National Championship game as Nick Saban the master bested Kirby Smart the former apprentice. The Bulldogs do have to replace some stars if they want to make a return appearance.
The Wildcats made consecutive bowl games for the first time since 2009-10, but a lot of questions remain with the roster and also with head coach Mark Stoops heading into 2018.
The Tigers were a tale of two teams last season, with an awful first half of the season and a much different look in the second half. New offensive coordinator Derek Dooley is not being talked about a whole lot, as this offense looks great, but this defense looks anything but.
South Carolina returns 14 starters and a lot of upperclassmen after having one of the youngest rosters in college football just two years ago. Bryan McClendon had the interim tag stripped from his OC title, so it will be the offense under the microscope, as we know Will Muschamp will have a solid defense.
The Tennessee coaching search eventually led to Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, so the Volunteers will head into 2018 with a new man in charge and additional oversight provided by new AD Philip Fulmer.
Things are still a challenge in Nashville for Derek Mason, as Vanderbilt looks to replace all-time leading rusher Ralph Webb. The Commodores defense took a huge step back last season, which could leave Mason on the hot seat this year.
The Tide rolled to a National Championship last season with the win over Georgia. They’re once again the favorite and will be favored in every game in their quest to go back-to-back.
Arkansas will start the season with new head coach Chad Morris in place of Bret Bielema. The Razorbacks look to be in a transitional phase for 2018.
Gus Malzahn once again has a ton of talent on the Tigers roster, but the ceiling for this team after last season’s disappointing performances to end the year against Georgia and UCF is hard to determine.
The LSU Tigers may be on the verge of a big drop-off, as the seat is scalding for Ed Orgeron. With a better balance of talent in the SEC overall, is this the year LSU takes a tumble?
Ole Miss cannot go to a bowl game this season because of a ban, but that didn’t stop Matt Luke’s team from going 6-6 last season under the same circumstances. Will the team rally around him again this year?
New head coach Joe Moorhead comes in with pretty high expectations thanks to an experienced roster that includes star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and top running back Aeris Williams. Hanging with the big boys in the SEC West is not easy, however.
Jimbo Fisher had a welcoming committee when he set foot in College Station. He makes the move from the ACC to the SEC and he’ll do so with an imperfect roster that needs to find itself.
The Mountaineers enter the season as one of the favorites in the new division format for the Sun Belt Conference with one of the most consistent sets of results over the last several seasons.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves are the other favorite in the Sun Belt to make it to the conference’s first title game. Star quarterback Justice Hansen is a big reason why. Is he worth the hype?
Coastal Carolina will welcome back head coach Joe Moglia, who missed last season due to health issues. Will that provide a boost for the Chanticleers?
Georgia Southern went just 2-10 last season, but the Eagles are two years removed from back-to-back nine-win seasons. Do things get back on track this year with a new offensive coordinator?
Georgia State was the lowest power-rated team to make a bowl game last season, but then Shawn Elliott’s team went and won that Cure Bowl over Western Kentucky. Could the Panthers actually make it three bowls in four years?
The winds of change have blown into Lafayette, where the Ragin’ Cajuns will take the field with a new head coach for the first time since 2010. Billy Napier takes over for Mark Hudspeth, which leaves an uncertain forecast for ULL.
The Warhawks have had back-to-back 4-8 seasons under Matt Viator, but the offense improved dramatically last season. Can the defense follow suit in 2018?
The only head coach the South Alabama football program has ever known is Joey Jones, but he stepped away and now Steve Campbell has taken over. How will the Jaguars take to a new voice?
Perennially one of the lowest power-rated teams in the country, the Bobcats once again find themselves as a national doormat, as it looks to be another long year for Everett Withers.
The Troy Trojans have a lot to replace on both sides of the ball, but head coach Neal Brown hasn’t been plucked by another school yet, so this could be less of a rebuilding season than anticipated.
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