Team win totals have been released which means we are inching closer to football season. Here are the win totals that grabbed my attention and show the most value.
1. Syracuse Orange – Over 6.5 Wins
I saw this number at 5.5 this morning so it’s already on the move. Dino Babers has done a great job building the program. Last season the Orange had their first 10 win season since 2001. Tommy DeVito takes over for Eric Dungey who was an undrafted free agent and recently signed with the Giants. DeVito is a talented player who is ready to lead the offense.
The defense is led by two NFL prospects at defensive end, Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman, who will cause problems for any team they face. Syracuse has a manageable schedule and will soar over their win total.
2. Army Black Knights – Over 9 Wins
I’m normally hesitant with teams with high win totals because there is very little room for error. But after looking at Army’s schedule, and how much talent they have returning, I think they get to 10 or 11 wins. Army is also guaranteed to play 13 regular season games which is a huge advantage when evaluating win totals.
They should be favored in every game except the Michigan game in early September. Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is back under center, and last season he became the first player in Army history to have 1,000 yards rushing and passing in the same season.
3. Purdue Boilermakers – Under 8 Wins
Jeff Brohm made a huge statement in the off-season by turning down Louisville and staying at Purdue. The Boilermakers will need to replace their quarterback and have multiple question marks along the offensive line.
They do have one of the most explosive players in the nation in Rondale Moore. He had over 2,000 all purpose yards and should be even better in his sophomore season. The schedule is challenging but they do catch a break by not playing Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State. It will be close, but I think Purdue falls just short of their win total.
4. Marshall Thundering Herd – Over 6.5 Wins
The Herd won nine games last season, and for that trend to continue the offense will need to be more consistent. Marshall should be strong on the offensive line and have a pair of solid running backs in Brenden Knox and Tyler King. Freshman quarterback Isaiah Green is ready to take another step forward after a strong freshman season. Green finished with 15 touchdowns and over 2,000 yards last year.
Marshall lost some key players on defense, and will need the newcomers to learn on the fly and gel quickly. Marshall is a legitimate contender for the Conference USA title, and they should secure at least eight wins.
5. Missouri Tigers – Over 7 Wins
Kelly Bryant transferred from Clemson and will be the leader of the offense. The Tigers will miss Drew Lock, but Bryant is athletic and has the ability to put up huge numbers filling the void at quarterback. Missouri has a solid offensive line and has one of the more underrated backs in the country in Larry Rountree III.
With Bryant and Rountree in the backfield, Missouri might have one of the better running attacks in the country. They will be favored in at least their first seven games and if they catch a few breaks they could be in the thick of the SEC East race.
6. BYU Cougars – Under 6 Wins
The Cougars schedule is as challenging as you will find in the country. The first four weeks are brutal with Utah, Tennessee, USC and Washington. The one advantage they have is three of the games will be played in Provo. BYU has a talented young quarterback Zach Wilson and a very good line in front of him. The Cougars finished last season ranked in the top 20 in total defense, and they should again have a quality defense.
I feel the schedule will be too much for BYU to handle, and predict they finish below their win total.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys – Over 6.5 Wins
The Cowboys underachieved last season and finished with a 7-6 record. The quarterback competition is still up in the air and will be decided in fall camp. Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders are neck and neck at this point. Whoever wins the battle will have an elite receiver to work with in Tylan Wallace who finished second in the country in receiving yards last season. As with every team in the Big 12, Oklahoma State needs to find a way to improve their defense.
They shouldn’t have an issue with their non-conference schedule and they get TCU, Kansas State and Baylor at home which should get them over their win total. I’m projecting at least eight wins for Oklahoma State.