I suppose if this blog ever get revived to the point where it's updated on a regular, maybe even daily basis, it will happen on the shoulders of gambling.
You know, much like an economic revival in Ohio and Kentucky could happen on the shoulders of gambling.
Just not in 2021.
As we prep for a typically underwhelming Week 0 slate, here are some 2021 college football futures I'm going in on, as mentioned on ESPN1530's Locks of The Night...
Cincinnati over 10 wins. I'll start the list with what I'm sure will be construed as a bit of a homer pick, and surely, what my head says reflects what my heart wants. But UC has the big three that's needed if a team is going to cover a big o/u number: talent, experience, and a favorable schedule.
Given that the Bearcats have road tilts against Indiana and Notre Dame, that last part might seem curious. But their toughest conference opponents come to Nippert Stadium, their road games in the AAC are against absolute dreck, and the most likely outcome with their two games in the Hoosier State are a split. I have the Cats going 11-1, mainly because it's impossible for me to ever pick a team to go unbeaten, but as much as the preseason talk is of an unblemished season, they won't need to win them all in order for us to cash winning tickets.
SMU over 6 wins. Might be my favorite win total in all of college football. Lots of quality transfers, decent options at QB to replace Shane Buechele, the best player in college football you've never heard of in Ulysses Bentley, and an experienced offensive line, and beyond TCU, no one on the non-league schedule that's too imposing.
UMass over 1.5 wins. My absolute favorite college football team to bet on over the last three years. The Minutemen will be awful, they'll rarely score, and you will never watch them. But they have three garbage home games against Rhode Island, Maine, and UConn who, yes, still has a football program. They play a dreadful New Mexico State team on the road. They may win only two, but if they do, we win.
Wisconsin to win the Big Ten West -115. The Badgers don't play a road game until mid-October an they only leave Madison four times to play Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, and Minnesota. Their toughest foes are at home. They will get smoked by Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, but by then, you'll have spent your winnings on this wager.
Washington to win the Pac-12 North +135. If the Washington/Oregon game was in Eugene, I'd likely side with the Ducks. Alas, it's on the Huskies' home field, as are the rest of their league opponents. Oregon meanwhile has visits to Utah and UCLA.
Indiana under 7.5 wins. Is Michael Penix Jr. durable enough to get through the season? Can the Hoosiers run the ball more effectively than they did in 2020? How do they replace Jermone Johnson's production from last season? Where do I go out in Bloomington on the Friday night before the UC game? Tom Allen has done a fine job, but he's 21-21 and while the Hoosiers won't be a pushover, they're maybe college football's biggest candidate for regression.
Iowa State to make the Big 12 title game -110. Iowa State to win the National Championship +3000. This might be the most complete team in the country, stacked on both sides with experience at QB. Alabama and Ohio State are dealing with inexperience at QB. Clemson's backup might be a walk-on. The field might be a little more open this year than usual. There's tremendous value on the Cyclones.
Alabama under 11.5 wins. There's too many losses from last year on offense to not wager on them losing at least once.
Miami under 5.5 wins. From an experience level, there's not a lot to dislike about the Redhawks. But they have road games against UC, Minneota, and Army and in the MAC, their tougher opponents will be played away from Oxford.
Cincinnati to make the College Football Playoff +1100. Homer pick, I know. But the value is too good to pass up.
Georgia to make the College Football Playoff +160. If it's not Nick Saban's team, it's Kirby Smart's
Iowa State to make the College Football Playoff +450. See above.
Western Kentucky to win Conference USA +700. No way you're still reading this.
Desmond Ridder to win the Heisman Trophy +6000. Immense value here. The schedule brings opportunity for huge wins and exposure, and if they do run the table, tell me there won't be voters (including me), who will want to see a Group of 5 player win college football's biggest award.
Week Zero Guesses...
Nebraska/Illinois under 55. It's come down to 52.5 on Saturday morning, but I still expect a slog.
UCLA first half -9.5 over Hawaii. I don't trust the Bruins' backups to cover the entire 17.5, but I expect them to start strong, which means our season will start strong as well.
Follow me on Twitter:@MoEgger