With just a few days until college football’s official 2019 kickoff, I now present to you my final, set-in-stone, for-real-this-time predictions. Feel free to use these picks at your local gambling establishment. You can thank me later.
1. Alabama: Even if the Tide didn’t have a notoriously easy schedule, Alabama would still be the favorite in the division based on the embarrassment of rich talent.
2. Auburn: You are reading correctly: I am now picking Auburn to be a division contender. My bet is Bo Nix takes a few early bumps and bruises, but ultimately leads Auburn to a nine-win season.
3. LSU: It is very difficult for me to differentiate AU, A&M and LSU in the Nos. 2 through 4 slots. In the end, I think LSU beats A&M, AU beats LSU and A&M beats AU so it is a wash for that triumvirate. Meanwhile I think ’Bama defeats all three and LSU and A&M slip up one more time than Auburn.
4. Texas A&M: Quarterback Kellen Mond shows vast improvement this season and will be a Heisman contender in 2020 when the Aggies just may be the SEC favorites.
5. Miss State: Are you…
6. Ole Miss: Really expecting me to….
7. Arkansas: Talk about these three?
1. Georgia: ’Bama and UGA in Atlanta again? Yes, please. 2012, 2017 and 2018 were all classic contests and I bet we see another one in 2019.
2. Missouri: “But Luke?! Aren’t you super high on Florida?!”
Yes, I was. Then 87 percent of the team transferred, quit or got hurt. At this point, Dan Mullen may be forced to return punts. Meanwhile, Mizzou has a schedule that rivals Alabama’s to a degree. I see no reason UM won’t roll into Athens, Georgia, undefeated for a huge tilt late in the season.
3. Florida: (see above)
4. Kentucky: I am not saying the Wildcats can match what they did last year, but there is more talent in Lexington now than I can remember.
5. Vanderbilt: Until Tennessee beats these guys again, I am not counting until Tennessee beating these guys again.
6. Tennessee: There will be improvement, but it won’t be necessarily seen by the naked eye. I suspect the Vols won’t go bowling again until at least 2020.
7. South Carolina: It would be easier to bikini wax a rabid yeti than navigate USC’s schedule this year. The Gamecocks face ’Bama, Texas A&M, Clemson and Georgia to go along with the regular foes like Florida and Missouri.
SEC Champion: Alabama. It is not crazy to select Georgia here. After all, the Bulldogs are due to beat ’Bama sometime, right? But, by that logic, you should take the Washington Generals on the money line against the Globetrotters, too.
College Football Playoff teams: Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan, Clemson. How cool would this foursome be.
National championship game: Alabama versus Oklahoma.
Something tells me Jalen Hurts could really pull this game out if these two powerhouses were to meet, but I can’t go against Nick Saban’s Revenge Tour ’19. Alabama wins the crown again this year.