1. HOUSTON WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
Last year’s team was weird, it underachieved, couldn’t stop anyone, lost star QB D’Eriq King late in the year, and allowed 45 points or more in four of the last five games – closing out by not getting off the plane in a 70-14 Armed Forces Bowl loss to Army – and yet it still won eight games.
This year’s team is a whole lot better.
At the very least, the coaching situation is stronger with Dana Holgorsen making the unique move of going from a good Power Five program to a Group of Fiver – who willingly goes from movies to TV? – and the offense should be unstoppable.
The Cougars have the best skill players among the Group of Five programs, with King back from his knee injury, all the top receivers returning, and with a three-deep running back corps that can all carry the mail. The line should be okay, but all it has to do is hold serve.
The defense isn’t going to be special, but it won’t have to be. Losing Ed Oliver is never going to be a positive, and the linebacking corps has to undergo a bit of an overhaul, but a slew of JUCO transfers are going to help.
So again, if last year’s team could have that many problems and still win eight games …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 9
Let’s just assume Houston isn’t going to take down Oklahoma in Norman to start the season, and figure the game against Washington State in NRG Stadium and road trip to UCF will at best be a split.
Going to Tulane will be dangerous, and Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati and Navy at home won’t be easy, but this is a nine-win team that’s good enough to win the AAC title – or at least play for it.