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2019 CFB Surprise Teams and Disappointing Teams 2019 College Football Teams

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2019 College Football Teams: Biggest Successes and Disappointments

The teams that lived up to the hype, and the ones that didn’t.

At the start of the season, we took all of the 2019 college football teams at the FBS level and predicted their records. A number of things went into those predictions, such as the caliber of the roster, the quality of their schedule, fingers in the wind, and random selection.

Now, with the regular season long over, it’s time to judge how well these teams did compared to our expectations. Hence, successes and disappointments. Not to discourage you from reading further, but a plurality of teams finished about where we expected. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on what team is in question.

We break the 130 FBS teams into these categories:

Gigantic overachiever: More than 5 wins more than predicted
Big overachiever: 4-5 wins more than predicted
Overachiever: 2-3 wins more than predicted
About as expected: Within one win of prediction
Disappointment: 2-3 fewer wins than predicted
Big disappointment: 4-5 fewer wins than predicted
Gigantic disappointment: More than 5 fewer wins than predicted

For example, if we picked a team to go 5-7 and they went 2-10, they were a disappointment. However, if that 5-7 predicted team went 10-2, they were a big overachiever. Isn’t this easy?

Graphs below are based off of our weekly CFB 130 rankings to illustrate how a team rose, fell, or maintained position throughout the season.

2019 College Football Teams: Gigantic Overachievers

Navy Midshipmen
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 10-2

Navy came off of a terrible 2018 season, but got back up off the mat in 2019 to have a stellar year. They were one of the most impressive turnaround stories of the season.

2019 Navy Midshipmen Football

2019 College Football Teams: Big Overachievers

Air Force Falcons
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 10-2

Another service academy having a great season. They turned out to be one of the best Mountain West entries in 2019.

Baylor Bears
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 11-1

Who could have seen this coming, with the Bears a win away from the College Football Playoff? The bad news is that they may lose Matt Rhule to the NFL in the near future, but he’s left Baylor in a better place.

2019 Baylor Bears Football

Central Michigan Chippewas
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 8-4

The MAC title game and the bowl did not go his way, but Jim McElwain rehabilitated the Chips in just one season. Central Michigan went from one win to eight in the span of a year, making McElwain’s one of the best coaching jobs of 2019.

Georgia State Panthers
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Panthers took a serious nosedive in 2018, going 2-10, but they started their rebound season with a win over Tennessee with another quality Sun Belt win over Arkansas State.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
PREDICTED: 5-8
ACTUAL: 9-4

Being so far from the mainland, the Warriors are often overlooked, but with their bowl win, they made it to 10 victories in 2019. Nick Rolovich did a hell of a good job.

Louisville Cardinals
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 7-5

Scott Satterfield came in with no expectations in 2019, and almost no talent left. That he was able to get the Cardinals to a bowl after the disaster that was 2018 shows that Louisville got a good one when they hired him.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 10-2

Minnesota rowed the boat to their best season in decades under PJ Fleck. This was one of the teams that caught everyone off-guard in 2019, in a positive way.

2019 Minnesota Golden Gophers Football

SMU Mustangs
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 10-2

The Mustangs missed their chances to do something special with the 2019 campaign, but they’ll take 10 wins all day long after where this program has been. Even though they lost their bowl, for the first time since the Death Penalty, we saw an SMU team that put it all together.

2019 SMU Mustangs Football

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 8-4

Tyson Helton turned around this program’s fortunates in one season, more than doubling their win total from three to eight. Their most notable win was on November 9 in Fayetteville when they upset Arkansas in a rout.

2019 College Football Teams: Overachievers

Appalachian State Mountaineers
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 11-1

We thought maybe the Mountaineers would lose a step without Scott Satterfield but would still be good. Except they were just as good and had an awesome season.

Auburn Tigers
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 9-3

With behemoths like Alabama and LSU in the same division, it was hard to figure Auburn’s place. They found it by beating Alabama and putting together a nine-win regular season.

Ball State Cardinals
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 5-7

Ball State was terrible for the past four seasons, but despite not making a bowl, they had their best season since 2014.

BYU Cougars
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 7-5

In the preseason, the schedule looked like a little too much for the Fightin’ Mormons. Surprise wins against Tennessee, Boise State, and USC swung their season in a favorable direction.

Charlotte 49ers
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 7-5

The 49ers picked up a few transfers from Power Five programs, helping reset expectations and leading them to their first-ever appearance in a bowl.

Florida Atlantic Owls
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 9-3

FAU fans went on one last ride on the Lane Train in 2019, with the Owls bouncing back to a conference title and an 11th win in a bowl.

Illinois Fighting Illini
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 6-6

The Wisconsin win was a signature moment for a program that has had little to celebrate over recent years.

2019 Illinois Fighting Illini Football

Indiana Hoosiers
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 8-4

Indiana turned out to be one of the most sneaky-good teams of 2019. Had their quarterback not gotten injured, they may have worked even higher up this list.

Kansas State Wildcats
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 8-4

Chris Klieman got the Wildcats back on the map after their upset of Oklahoma. The Sooners were one of two ranked teams K-State beat in 2019.

Kent State Golden Flashes
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 6-6

If you had told me in August that Kent State would win a bowl for the first time since, er, ever, I would not have believed you. This is an overlooked but nice story of the 2019 college football teams.

Liberty Flames
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 7-5

Independents like Liberty have to cobble a schedule together somehow, but they did what they had to do and then won a bowl game. Strong debut for Hugh Freeze.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 10-2

We expected them to be good, but they were quite up there. Though the Ragin’ Cajuns did not win the Sun Belt, they were no pushover for App State in either meeting.

LSU Tigers
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 12-0

The question was never if the Tigers would have a great year, but HOW great of a year. Now we know, don’t we? Joe Burrow had a statistical marvel of a season. We would argue that of the 2019 college football teams, LSU was the best all year.

2019 LSU Tigers Football

Miami-Ohio RedHawks
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 7-5

Barely a .500 team last year, the RedHawks won an unexpected MAC title in 2019.

Oregon Ducks
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 10-2

Mario Cristobal has the Ducks back in business with a Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl victory. One more win earlier and their season may have had even more meaning.

2019 Oregon Ducks Football

Oregon State Beavers
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 5-7

This team was a few plays away from being bowl-eligible, which in itself is a feat considering that they have been way down for the last five years or so.

Pittsburgh Panthers
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 7-5

UCF was their only signature win in an up and down year, but their finished with eight in the “W” column.

Rice Owls
PREDICTED: 1-11
ACTUAL: 3-9

Rice went 3-22 between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. They started 2019 with an 0-9 mark, but then rattled off three wins in a row for the first time since 2014. There are signs of life in Houston.

San Jose State Spartans
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 5-7

Arkansas was handing out wins to everyone, but it was still SJSU’s first win against the SEC in their rebound season.

Tennessee Volunteers
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Vols came on very strongly at the end of the season, winning five in a row and six out of seven prior to their bowl game.

2019 Tennessee Volunteers Football

Tulane Green Wave
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 6-6

We did not think Tulane would keep up in an improving American Athletic Conference, but they did. Unfortunately for them, they finished the season heading the wrong way, winning five of six to start but losing five of six to end it.

About As Expected

Arizona State Sun Devils
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Fightin’ Herms pulled off a few nice wins in what was otherwise an average season down in the desert.

Arkansas State Red Wolves
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Red Wolves ended up being consistent for a Sun Belt team, getting their eighth win in the Camellia Bowl.

Boise State Broncos
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 11-1

We expected a great, MWC-contending season, and that’s exactly what we got.

Boston College Eagles
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 6-6

Steve Addazio was known year after year for his extreme predictability, which is why he is no longer employed in Chestnut Hill.

2019 Boston College Eagles Football

Bowling Green Falcons
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 3-9

Not a fine year out in Bowling Green, and we wish we could say we didn’t see it coming.

Buffalo Bulls
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Bahamas Bowl win got them up to eight wins; perhaps they underachieved a little not winning the MAC East again, but very little.

California Golden Bears
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

Cal took a long and winding road to end up about where we thought, but were in reality a bit better in getting themselves ranked for two weeks.

Cincinnati Bearcats
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 10-2

As the improving American changed its guard from UCF to Memphis, Cincinnati remained consistent near the top of the league.

Clemson Tigers
PREDICTED: 12-0
ACTUAL: 12-0

11-1 would not have put them in the “disappointment” category on this list, but that doesn’t mean it would not have been one to its fans.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 5-7

The Sun Belt schedule hit them hard, but they did pick up a win over a Big 12 school. The bad news is that it was just Kansas.

Colorado Buffaloes
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 5-7

The Buffs had a few nice wins but otherwise got no momentum in Pac-12 play.

Colorado State Rams
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 4-8

Their best win was Fresno State, which tells you everything you need to know about them.

Connecticut Huskies
PREDICTED: 2-10
ACTUAL: 2-10

We expected terrible, and we got terrible.

Duke Blue Devils
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 5-7

Duke was either way up or way down, running the gamut of blowing out Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to getting blown out by Syracuse at home.

East Carolina Pirates
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 4-8

Their best performance, other than smacking around an FCS team, was a close loss to Cincinnati.

Eastern Michigan Eagles
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 6-6

Yes, they lost their bowl game, but they’ve been to three in the last four years after one bowl invite in the previous 40 years.

Florida Gators
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 10-2

For a team that lost its starting quarterback early in the season, this turned out pretty well.

Florida State Seminoles
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 6-6

The Seminoles were overrated by the media, as is tradition, but we had a good beat on them. The coaching was not there and the commitment to get better was not there.

2019 Florida State Seminoles Football

Georgia Bulldogs
PREDICTED: 12-0
ACTUAL: 11-1

UGA had one horrible loss in the regular season, but still would have made the playoff had they won the SEC title game.

Georgia Southern Eagles
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 7-5

This is a program building some consistency, with winning seasons four times since joining FBS in 2014.

Iowa Hawkeyes
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 9-3

Year in and year out, Kirk Ferentz has his team in about the same place.

Iowa State Cyclones
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 7-5

Six losses including the bowl means that some will believe the Cyclones could have done more this season, and they are not wrong.

Kansas Jayhawks
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 3-9

The Jayhawks broke some nasty losing streaks this season, but they have a long way to go before bowl eligibility.

Kentucky Wildcats
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 7-5

UK had some lost seasons under Joker Phillips and in the early Mark Stoops era, but for a basketball school, they have to be pleased with where the football program is.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 5-7

One nice win over Georgia State was not enough to save the Warhawks’ season.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 9-3

The Bulldogs had a very good season, but in the future, the only thing people will remember of it is how they pantsed Miami in the Independence Bowl.

Marshall Thundering Herd
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 8-4

We saw Marshall as a potential division champion in the C-USA East. They fell a game short while holding the tiebreaker over FAU. Still a solid season.

Maryland Terrapins
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 3-9

Big Ten play chewed the Terps up and spit them out as we suspected it would.

Memphis Tigers
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 11-1

They did not win the Cotton Bowl, but make no mistake: this is an excellent football team and should be regarded as such.

Miami Hurricanes
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 6-6

Meanwhile, this is NOT an excellent football team and we are glad we saw through them from the beginning, unlike the media who perpetually overrate them.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 4-8

Losing to Michigan and Iowa is fine, but Rice at home was a bad loss that summed up their season.

Mississippi Rebels
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 4-8

Things are going to get spicy in Oxford with Lane Kiffin in town, but 2019 will be a forgettable season.

Nevada Wolf Pack
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 7-5

Jay Norvell has the Wolf Pack competitive, but not a major contender in the Mountain West yet.

New Mexico Lobos
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 2-10

Here’s one New Mexico FBS team that needs to blow it up and rebuild.

New Mexico State Aggies
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 2-10

The irony is, because of the Aggies further down I-25, the Lobos might not be the worst team in New Mexico as of 2019.

North Carolina Tar Heels
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 6-6

Mack Brown will get things figured out at UNC, and if there’s a division that needs its control seized by a powerhouse, it’s the ACC Coastal. Not that we are predicting Mack Brown will turn the Heels into a powerhouse.

Northern Illinois Huskies
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 5-7

NIU was 5-7, but not even an okay 5-7. Aside from blowing out terrible Akron, they had a lot of difficult games.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 10-2

This Irish team was more than fine, but not on the elite level with others who contended for a championship. The night they got smoked by Michigan turned them around for the rest of the year, but ended their title hopes.

Ohio State Buckeyes
PREDICTED: 11-1
ACTUAL: 12-0

Nothing wrong with what Ryan Day and Ohio State accomplished in 2019. They did not go as far as they wanted, but there was no drop-off post-Urban Meyer.

Oklahoma Sooners
PREDICTED: 11-1
ACTUAL: 11-1

Playoff disaster aside, this is the sort of season we’ve come to expect from Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 8-4

A solid and respectable season for the Pokes, who were just a step down from the top teams in the Big 12 this year.

Penn State Nittany Lions
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 10-2

Another strong showing for the Nittany Lions in a very competitive Big Ten East.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 2-10

It should be no surprise that the coach got fired mid-season.

San Diego State Aztecs
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 9-3

With the bowl, the Aztecs won ten for the fourth time under Rocky Long. This is a stable, consistent football program.

South Alabama Jaguars
PREDICTED: 2-10
ACTUAL: 2-10

Our bottom ten is not the place to be, and yet, that’s where South Alabama was most of the season.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

Southern Miss largely lived up to the expectations placed on them by the media, though they lost to most of the tougher teams they faced.

Temple Owls
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 8-4

Remember when the Big East told Temple to get lost? Nice of its successor conference to let them back in to put up winning seasons five years in a row.

Texas A&M Aggies
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 7-5

The Aggies had some nice things going for them in 2019, but they were not on par with the elite teams in the SEC West and that was reflected in their record.

Texas State Bobcats
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 3-9

The Bobcats have not had a winning season since 2014 and no bowl invites yet as a relatively new FBS team.

Texas Tech Red Raiders
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 4-8

Rough season for Matt Wells and the Red Raiders as they begin their rebuild, especially the loss to Kansas, but they did upset Oklahoma State.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 4-8

Tulsa battled in a number of games but have little to show for it. They beat good teams like UCF and Wyoming but lost close ones to SMU and Memphis.

UAB Blazers
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 9-3

The C-USA media did not believe in the Blazers heading into 2019, but we did.

UCF Knights
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 9-3

The days of this program claiming national championships may be in the past, but the occasional 9-3 season is something certain teams would kill to have.

2019 UCF Knights Football

UCLA Bruins
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 4-8

There were flashes of brilliance from Chip Kelly’s team, but the rebuild into a team in his image is certainly not complete yet.

2019 UCLA Bruins Football

UNLV Rebels
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 4-8

Tony Sanchez never had a winning season out of five with the Rebels, and it cost him his job.

USC Trojans
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 8-4

USC fans may never love Clay Helton but…er, that’s it. They may never love Clay Helton and they probably didn’t like 8-4.

Utah Utes
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 11-1

Two ugly blowout losses at the end, one of which was the Alamo Bowl, soured what was otherwise a great year.

UTEP Miners
PREDICTED: 2-10
ACTUAL: 1-11

At least they play in an iconic stadium?

UTSA Roadrunners
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 4-8

Their only wins were against either FCS schools or fellow terrible teams.

Virginia Cavaliers
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 9-3

They finally beat Virginia Tech, but Clemson was a bridge too far for the Hoos.

Virginia Tech Hokies
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 8-4

As we figured, it came down to the Commonwealth Cup for the division, but this Hokies team was not the best this year.

2019 Virginia Tech Hokies Football

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 8-4

For a while, it looked like the Deacs might exceed expectations, but they fell back down to sea level in ACC play.

West Virginia Mountaineers
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 5-7

West Virginia appeared to be turning the corner towards the end of the year, so the 2020 forecast may look brighter.

Western Michigan Broncos
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

As George Costanza would say, the Broncos were in that meaty part of the curve – not showing off, not falling behind.

Wisconsin Badgers
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 10-2

Jonathan Taylor was elite, though the Badgers proved to be a very good, but not great team.

Wyoming Cowboys
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 7-5

Craig Bohl has done something no other Wyoming coach has: win two bowl games in Laramie.

Disappointments

Alabama Crimson Tide
PREDICTED: 12-0
ACTUAL: 10-2

To live in a world where a 10-2 season can be considered a “disappointment.” Seems like a good problem to have.

Arizona Wildcats
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 4-8

Seven losses in a row rounded out the Arizona season, and most of them were blowouts.

Arkansas Razorbacks
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 2-10

The Hogs had no prayer against the Alabamas and LSUs of the world, but you’re telling me they couldn’t beat San Jose State and Western Kentucky at home?

Florida International Panthers
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 6-6

Coming off of a nine-win season, expectations were that FIU would contend in their division, but they never got off the tarmac.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 3-9

Nobody thought it would be great to start the reshaping of the football program, but there were long stretches where the Ramblin’ Wreck looked like one.

Houston Cougars
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 4-8

Houston fired a coach last season for winning eight games, and won half as many in 2019.

Massachusetts Minutemen
PREDICTED: 3-9
ACTUAL: 1-11

Disappointment is a relative term in that we still thought UMass would be terrible, but not THIS terrible. They got blown out at home by an FCS squad and barely beat an Akron team that couldn’t score if you gave them ten tries from the one-yard line.

Michigan Wolverines
PREDICTED: 11-1
ACTUAL: 9-3

Michigan can’t win the big game (as in, Ohio State) under Jim Harbaugh and that honeymoon is long over with Michigan fans.

Michigan State Spartans
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 6-6

Good thing they won the Pinstripe Bowl to make the year worthwhile, because there were times the Spartans were so futile as to be unwatchable.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 6-6

Joe Moorhead had no ties to SEC country and was therefore an odd choice to head them, but you also wonder what had to happen to get him back out after just two years. Their disappointing 6-7 season did not help.

Missouri Tigers
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 6-6

That five-game losing streak doomed Barry Odom and Mizzou, not that they were going to a bowl, anyway.

Nebraska Cornhuskers
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 5-7

At least we weren’t one of those websites inflating Nebraska’s win total further, but 5-7 is still is letdown for a team that, at a minimum, should have made a bowl.

Purdue Boilermakers
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 4-8

Jeff Brohm had his worst year as a college head coach in 2019. Losing the opener to Nevada set a bad tone for the season.

South Carolina Gamecocks
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 4-8

Imagine how bad this would have looked if they didn’t pull that ever-more inexplicable upset over Georgia.

South Florida Bulls
PREDICTED: 6-6
ACTUAL: 4-8

UCF and Temple were surpassing the Bulls, but Temple did as well in 2019. USF lost every game that would have been a defining win for them.

Stanford Cardinal
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 4-8

When is the last time you saw a David Shaw Stanford team this bad? That’s right: never. They even lost the Axe to Cal in 2019.

TCU Horned Frogs
PREDICTED: 7-5
ACTUAL: 5-7

This was the first time since 2013 that TCU did not make a bowl. Considering they are only two seasons removed from a top-ten finish, this was a letdown year.

Texas Longhorns
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 7-5

Had they lost the Alamo Bowl, this season would have been a total waste of time for Longhorns fans. Not a lousy year, but Texas did not live up to the hype.

2019 Texas Longhorns Football

Toledo Rockets
PREDICTED: 9-3
ACTUAL: 6-6

Toledo did not finish on a lower list, but to us, they are a massive disappointment. This team was expected to contend for a MAC championship.

Washington Huskies
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 7-5

After the run they have been on at UW, 7-5 was not at all the sort of 2019 they were expecting.

Utah State Aggies
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 7-5

With Gary Andersen coming back, we expected more out of the Aggies.

Vanderbilt Commodores
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 3-9

Our preseason prediction for Vanderbilt was for the Commodores to be mildly crappy. There was nothing mild about it; they lost at home to UNLV.

Washington State Cougars
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 6-6

From power-player in the Pac-12 to making a bowl by the skin of their teeth had Mike Leach in a bad place in 2019.

Big Disappointments

Akron Zips
PREDICTED: 4-8
ACTUAL: 0-12

They don’t make seasons much worse than the one Akron had in 2019. This was bar-none the worst of all the 2019 college football teams, averaging only 10.5 points per game over the full season. Akron’s average margin of defeat was just under 26 points.

2019 Akron Zips Football

NC State Wolfpack
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 4-8

The bottom fell out for the Pack in 2019, who closed the year on a six-game losing streak. They lost four of those games by at least three touchdowns.

North Texas Mean Green
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 4-8

UNT had the reigning two-time C-USA offensive player of the year under center while coming off of a nine-win season, and they lost eight games. They could, and should, have done much more with Mason Fine’s senior year.

Northwestern Wildcats
PREDICTED: 8-4
ACTUAL: 3-9

Another surprising collapse, but unlike NC State, this Northwestern team played for a conference title in 2018. Their offense was a disaster in 2019 as they went from eight Big Ten wins to one.

Ohio Bobcats
PREDICTED: 11-1
ACTUAL: 6-6

Think about our comments on Toledo and then double them for the Bobcats. It was understood that Ohio was the MAC favorite entering the 2019 season. They never put it together.

Old Dominion Monarchs
PREDICTED: 5-7
ACTUAL: 1-11

2019 was a miserable, wretched season that ODU will hope they can foget.

Syracuse Orange
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 5-7

What Syracuse did from 2018 to 2019 is the football equivalent of turning back into a pumpkin at midnight. Massive regression on the part of the Orange.

Troy Trojans
PREDICTED: 10-2
ACTUAL: 5-7

From averaging a 10-2 season over the past three years to not making a bowl was a major setback for the Trojans.

Gigantic Disappointments

Army Black Knights
PREDICTED: 12-1
ACTUAL: 5-8

Navy went one way, and Army went this one. To go from a year like they had in 2018 to this was a real gut punch for the cadets at West Point.

2019 Army Black Knights Football

Fresno State Bulldogs
PREDICTED: 11-1
ACTUAL: 4-8

2018 was the best season in program history. Why wouldn’t the Bulldogs compete again in the Mountain West after winning it last year? Whatever the case, they did not, and this 2019 team never got it together at any point.

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