rssBlog EntriesComments


Cigars & Football – A Simple Blend

2019 Predictions

All the football magazines are out and everyone has read the predictions. Whether we agree with them or not is another question. With most of them, we don’t disagree, but there are some questions and a few concerns. No need to rehash all the prognostications, because, honestly, no one really knows what is going to happen. So, instead of going through all the major conferences and breaking down all the schools again, that’s been done ad nauseum, here we’re only going to cover the top teams and point out who we think will surprise.

SEC West
No question, this is the top division of the top conference in college football. If you disagree with this assessment, you’re in the wrong place.

Alabama– The Tide has more talent than anyone else, with the best college football coach around. The biggest question here is, will the players arrive this year with chips on their shoulders, determined to right the wrong they experienced in the 2019 National Championship Game? If they do, then not even the Patriots are safe. If they don’t, they’ll still more than likely win the division, and the conference, and then fail again somewhere in the playoffs. CSF predicts that chip will be on their shoulder, only it’ll be more than likely a boulder. Roll, Tide!

LSU– The Bayou Bengals have a lot of returning talent, and they have a QB that has proven to be good, but can the players understand their Cajun coach, because nobody else can. More than likely they’ll do well, but come up short of winning the division.

Texas A&M – Lots and lots of talent, big question mark at quarterback. Oh, sure, he does well against weaker teams, and pads his stats, but can he come through in the big games? Except for that one fabulous game against LSU, seven (7) overtimes, he hasn’t so far, but the talking heads think this will be his year. On the plus side, he’ll get plenty of opportunities as the Aggies face the toughest schedule in the football world. No way they’re going to come out on top. The Daughter will be yelling at the TV… a lot.

SEC East

Georgia– Arguably has the best returning QB in the nation, but he has lost a lot of his supporting staff. Running backs will need to step up, but that shouldn’t be a problem with all the offensive line returning. Defense has a lot of ground to make up. If they do, great! SEC East Champions again. If not, they’ll come up short. The Florida Gators lurk out there, and the distant Missouri Tigers crouch in the shadows. Does anyone wish to add Tennessee to the list? Muschamp’s Chickens?

Florida – The people that get paid to write articles on sports sites love the prospect of this team. They believe the Gators have the right coach to get them over the hump. CSF is not so sure. Dan Mullen improved Mississippi State greatly in his first couple of years, but they always fell short of making that statement win. QB Felipe Franks improved last year under Mullen’s tutelage, but, again, couldn’t quite make it to the championship level. A lot of pressure will be on rebuilding the offensive line. Defense needs to be better as well.

Will there be a surprise team in the SEC? Doubtful. Auburn has to replace too many experienced players, and Head Coach Gus Malzahn may or may not be the coach next year. Tennessee is still rebuilding, again. The rest may do well, but no one stands out.


Clemson– Is there anyone within the conference representing a challenge to the Tigers? No. Clemson owns the league and it’s not even close. Look for the Tigers to walk through league play even with a rebuilt defense, but it’s doubtful they’ll be tested before the playoffs. Their schedule is so light that one loss, even early in the year, and Clemson could be out.

Virginia – will more than likely win the coastal division only to get slammed in the championship game by the Orange Tigers. But, hey, they are improving!

If there is going to be a surprise team within the league it’ll be Syracuse and that’s because they’re not scared of Clemson and honestly think they can beat them, again, and they just might. I have a feeling about NC State. A good feeling.
Florida State will be mediocre, along with Miami, VA Tech and Pitt.

Great White North (or, as some call them, the Big Ten, even though they have 14 teams)

Michigan – IF the Wolverines are ever going to get a return on their Jim Harbaugh investment, this is the year. The offense is poised to make the leap from good to great, the problem will lie with the defense. All their Big Uglies need to be replaced, which, in most games within a watered-down conference, shouldn’t be a problem. But, remember, offense wins games, defense wins championships. There are enough question marks within the league that the Wolverines could rise above the primordial ooze. It’s now or never, Harbaugh.

Ohio State– They have a new head coach, and their projected best QB is a transfer from Georgia where he couldn’t win the job, got mad and left, which means he has no starts, and has never played a full college game. All this negativity does not deter the so-called pros from picking the Buckeyes to win, even without Look the Other Way Urban Meyer. This could be wishful thinking from Midwest writers.

Michigan State – Has the best returning defense in the league. There is no reason to believe that they will not be a huge force in bullying the Spartans to victories, some, a few, not all. The offense, however, is another story. Let’s just say they didn’t always capitalize on the opportunities presented to them last year, and the main cast is returning. They should show improvement. They could win the league. So could Purdue. So could Northwestern. But the Spartans might.

The rest of the league is more of an “Eh”. A lot people are looking for Nebraska to make the jump from losing to winning, because of Head Coach Scott Frost’s track record, but this is not Central Florida and the Huskers face some serious competition. They might need another year to be seasoned properly. No one else seems ready to mount any serious risks to the top dogs, however, Minnesota might scare a few.

The Big 12 that only has ten teams

Oklahoma – The past two seasons OU has owned the league, and the Heisman Trophy. Now they will have Alabama’s Jalen Hurts at the controls. He is good and talented, but even when he was with The Tide, he was never known as a passer. This is probably why he transferred. The biggest question will be whether or not Hurts can run the pass-happy offense like the last two transfers did? The defense will more than likely be fine, but not great, cause this league doesn’t believe in this aspect of the game.

Texas– The Longhorns ended the season by beating up a dispirited Georgia team. Good for them. Now the real test begins. They play in a weak conference, so they’ve got that going for them, but they have to run the table for anyone to take them seriously and that might be a little too much to ask for. Oh, sure, they’ll be good, pack some stats, and get plenty of press, but a trip to the Alamo Bowl might be in their future. I like San Antonio. I hope the Horns do, too.

Iowa State– It is possible that the Cyclones become the Surprise Team of the Year. Matt Campbell has shown he knows how to use the magic of the Dark Arts to his advantage. I’m not saying he’s on the same plain as former K-State’s Bill Synder, but he could come in second. ISU has been slowly building up to this year, if not next year. They just need a bump to get over that hump. A win over Texas, and/or Oklahoma, will provide them with the confidence they need to make a run at the top spot of the conference. Expect fans to start chanting “We want Bama.” The Tide versus the Cyclones would be the meteorological event of the decade.

Is there anyone else within the league that could raise an eyebrow? No. Moving along….


Oregon – the Ducks are considered the favorite, they have the QB, the speed within the supporting cast, and the potential to run the score up in just about all their games. This will be their SOP, because the defense is expected to make a drop. They lost key players to graduation and they lost their defensive coordinator, Jim Leavitt, who was responsible for that unit’s vast improvement. So expect a lot of shootouts.

Utah- The Utes will have the best defensive line in the league and should wreak havoc in most of their games. Will the offense be able to take advantage of the gifts they are presented? They have talent at the skill positions, but the question lies with the offensive line. Here they need to replace five starters, which, honestly is never a good thing.

Washington – The Huskies are another team experimenting with a Georgia transfer. Jacob Eason was setting the world on fire before he got injured and lost his starting job. More than likely, he’ll do well as he as already spent a season learning the system. The offensive line loses only one starter, so there should be plenty of protection. The defense has a lot of holes to fill. They have recruited well, but, let’s face it, they are not Alabama. Head Coach Chris Petersen came to the program with a lot of hype and a crowd favorite Heisman candidate at QB, and yet they failed to deliver. This year, not a lot of hype, and expectations are not high. Probably wind up in the Rose Bowl, with or without CFB Championship possibilities.

Washington State will throw the ball a lot with yet another unknown gunslinger, and they’ll win games, but they’ll fall at least twice. Stanford will be Stanford, but not much else. USC has fallen from grace and this is not the year they return to favor. Arizona State, it would be best to keep an eye on the Sun Devils, the Herm Edwards train is picking up steam. UCLA might, MIGHT, show the greatest improvement, but they still need at least another year. The Bruins should be fun to watch – if you’re a night owl and not worn out by REAL football.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.