The 2017 college football season closed with the Alabama Crimson Tide winning its fifth national championship in the last 10 years. The 2018 college campaign opens Week 0 with an obvious foursome of less interesting matchups. 2018 College Football Team Win Totals: Down season for Big 12?
The first games of the 2018 campaign will kick off on Saturday, August 25 followed by a filled rotation on Thursday, August 30. The action continues through Labor Day weekend.
Saturday, August 25
Duquesne at UMass 5:30 p.m. ET
Prairie View at Rice 7:00 p.m. ET 6:00 PM
Hawaii at Colorado State 7:30 p.m. ET
Wyoming at New Mexico State 10:00 p.m. ET
A trio of Thursday night football games on August 30th offer some national intrigue
Northwestern at Purdue 8:00 p.m. ET
Northwestern State at Texas A&M 9:30 p.m. ET
UCF at UConn 8:00 p.m. ET
The first Big 12 team to take the 2018 gridiron will be the Texas Longhorns. A rematch of last season’s Terrapins victory of the Longhorns in Austin, Texas. The Big 12 Texas squad travels east with the aim of returning the road victory a season ago by Big 10 Maryland. The game takes place on Saturday, September 1st, at FedExField in Landover.
Big 12 Conference Power Rating
All things being equal the Big 12 will struggle to have an entry into the College Football Playoff Championship bracket. Oklahoma is most college football experts favorite to win the league title. While a number of campus pundits like Texas and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Texas is in its second season under offensive minded head coach Tom Herman. However Herman and his staff enter year-two with significant question marks on offense. Not only is this year’s version of the Longhorns inexperienced they have to replace a large percentage of blue-chip talent that was pedestrian in the 2017 campaign.
The Horns have question marks on the offense line. If you believe offensive line coach Herb Hand this Texas team has a chance to win the Big 12. I, however, don’t buy into Hand’s enthusiasm. Texas struggled to keep opposing defenses out of the offensive backfield last season. Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger were on their backs as many times per game as the pair completing passes.
The Sooners are likely to be better than they were defensively a year ago but that doesn’t speak to just how porous they were in 2017. And expecting the Sooners to perform at offensively as they did a season ago would be unrealistic. Quarterback Baker Mayfield and a number of the school’s skilled players exited to the National Football League.
Texas lost 2016 All-American Connor Williams, who left Austin early to enter the NFL draft. The talented Herman roster a season ago finished a mere one-game over.500. In April’s NFL draft, four former Longhorns were selected by NFL teams, with many more signing as undrafted free agents.
The Longhorns have to replace linebacker Malik Jefferson, defensive backs Holton Hill and DeShon Elliott, and defensive lineman Poona Ford. In addition sophomore linebacker Demarco Boyd has been suspended from the team after it was reported he was charged with misdemeanor assault.
It is safe to state that if Texas is to overachieve in 2018 it will be because their defensive talent stands tall.
Special teams are a question mark for this season’s Longhorns. it was in 2017. Ray Guy Award winner Michael Dickson is in the NFL and the combo of Mitchell Becker and Joshua Rowland missed 8 of 19 field goals last year.
There are now also questions at punter, following Dickson’s departure to the NFL this spring. He’ll be replaced by his cousin and fellow Australian Ryan Bujcevski, but inconsistency could hamper the Longhorns’ punting next season. With spring practice now in the rear-view mirror, Texas’ specialists are far from a sure thing.
Texas hasn’t won more than six regular season games since 2013. In addition the last time Texas won nine games was in 2012. The Longhorns last nine wins in the regular season came in 2009.
The Longhorns check in at 9 wins in the South Point Race and Sportsbook 2018 Total Regular Season Wins future. And while the Big 12 isn’t exactly loaded with top-end 2018 squads the Hook’em Horns have early non-conference tests that could well take them out of the national title picture before September’s schedule is complete.
Replacing that depth of NFL talent is impossible at this stage of Herman’s tenure in Austin. And while the creative offensive mind of Herman deserves the benefit of the doubt it is the loss of talent on the defensive side of the ball that is nearly impossible to replace
A good Texas defense was the primary reason that the Longhorns finished the 2017 season above .500. Texas’ defense created 26 turnovers on the season. The Longhorns benefited from a large number of key interceptions in their 2017 wins. After finishing last season ranked No #16 in turnovers forced expecting this year’s defense to regress is reasonable.
The Longhorns have the talent to overachieve but exceeding the 9-win line proposed by most Vegas and Offshore Race and Sportsbooks, is wishful thinking. It is square sports investment business at best. The Longhorns first six games, which include trips to Maryland and Kansas State, hosting USC and TCU and the annual Red River showdown in Dallas against Oklahoma, prevent this year’s version of the Texas Longhorns from winning 10 games.
2018 College Football Team Win Totals Free Pick is a play on the Texas Longhorns to finish the season UNDER the TOTAL of 9 wins.
South Point of Las Vegas has updated 2018 College Football Regular Season Team Win Totals.
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2018 College Football Team Win Totals: Down season for Big 12?