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2018 Bold Predictions

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Get ready for our #HOT #TAKES

Sunset at Burbo Bank Windfarm
Our takes burn with the intensity of 500 suns
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

As we do every year, we wanted to bring you some of our hottest takes the week before the season starts, so let’s dive right on in.

Jake Grant

  • TAQUON FOR HEISMAN! Our esteemed second year starting quarterback figures out his passing game and we see more than flashes of what he showed against the Tennessee Volunteers, setting up a dark horse campaign for football’s ultimate individual award. Though he ultimately falls short, he does manage to lead my inaugural college fantasy football team to greatness.
  • And in the meantime, Brad Stewart has the season we’ve all been waiting for him to have for quite some time now. With the A-Back pitch clicking once again, along with the always-trusty B-Back situation, the Jackets are truly a multi-faceted offensive juggernaut. Though the numbers they put up aren’t gaudy, between the beating the run game gives both the opponents, as well as the clock, they are a tougher out than the advanced stats indicated before the season.
  • Boldest prediction of all? The nine-win season leads to a sharp uptick in athletic donations, and AD Todd Stansbury announces dramatic progress on the Athletics Initiative 2020, as well as a reimagining of the distant and sometimes barren Upper North Stands.

Josh Brundage

  • Georgia Tech goes 10-2 in the regular season and wins the coastal, and they end up in the Orange Bowl where they beat a Michigan team totally perplexed by the option.
  • Elsewhere, Lane Kiffin leaves FAU and is hired for the LSU job mid-season after Orgeron is fired mid season after a 2-6 start.
  • Much to the shock of the college football world, Herm Edwards goes 6-6 in his debut at ASU and takes the Sun Devils bowling.
  • After another 2-3 win season under the current regime, Oregon State hires Ken Niumatalolo becoming the second P5 flexbone team.
  • Mississippi State upsets Alabama.

Benjamin Tankersley

  • JUANYEH THOMAS HYPE TRAIN!! ALL ABOARD!! The true freshman earns his starting spot at free safety by the Clemson game and goes on to lead the Yellow Jackets in interceptions, while also getting at least two or three touchdowns on the season, between safety and return man. This earns him a spot on the All-ACC team as well as Freshmen All-America.
  • KirVonte Benson has less rushing yards than one of Jerry Howard orJordan Ponchez-Mason. These three guys will split the carries at B-back, but I think by the end of the season, Howard and Ponchez-Mason are both talented backs, and I think one of them will end up with more yards than Benson.
  • MY PRESIDENT CLINTON LYNCH IS BACK AND HEALTHY!! Now healthy, Lynch averages at least 15 yards a touch and leads the Jackets in receiving yards.
  • Over on defense, the Yellow Jackets end with at least three All-ACC players.
  • Tech has at least one player finally hit double-digit sacks, and it’s probably Anree Saint-Amour.

MagnaCarterGT

(editor’s note — the SB Nation editor still refuses to publish my fire emoji bullet points. curse you, Chorus!)

  • The combined suckage of Rutgers and Kansas tears a rip in the space-time continuum when the two teams meet in Lawrence. The extradimensional invaders emerging from that rift threaten the existence of all life on Earth. Rutgers and Kansas receive a two year bowl ban.
  • Khalil Tate’s gonna be good — like, the only reason people remember the Pac-12 exists good
  • When Clemson meets Washington in the playoff, the Huskies will mysteriously fail to show. Suddenly, the lights will go out, and then — BAH GAWD, THAT’S GOTTA BE UCF
  • Alabama fails to make the playoff, but in its bowl game faces a team that hates the Tide more than anyone else — far, far more than even Auburn does: the UAB Blazers.
  • You know who doesn’t fail to make the playoff? FAU. THAT’S RIGHT, THE LANE TRAIN HAS A STOP IN MIAMI, BABY! BLOW THAT HORN!
  • Georgia, shockingly, fails to make the playoff after losing the most productive RB duo in history and most of its defense.

Chris Paschal

  • Pressley Harvin, Third of His Name, Commander of 4th downs, Boomer of the Punts, Protector of the Field Position will drop B O M B S every Saturday, leading him to be awarded the Ray Guy Award. He’ll develop a neat little celebration for when he drops a pin inside the 5 that goes viral. Your mom will email you a YouTube video of it and ask if you have any classes with him. You don’t.
  • TaQuon Marshall will have a 6 touchdown game. People will compare that to Lamar Jackson for the entirety of the following week. It will be super annoying. It’ll be the focal point of a monster season in which he finishes with 15 passing and 25 rushing TDs.
  • 18 different players will score a touchdown. NUMBER 12 WILL SHOCK YOU [CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDESHOW].
  • Someone who shouldn’t have a receiving touchdown will.
  • Arizona will have themselves a nice little season.
  • Your Playoff Top 4: Clemson, Auburn, Washington, Ohio State.

Stephen Murphey

  • Defensive S&P+ Top 39 finish (70th percentile), but still gives us one Roofian finish to remind us that beneath the defense, we find the man. Beneath the man, we find his nucleus.
  • Wisconsin becomes the first non-Nike school in the playoff. Bama wins anyway with both Tua and Jalen on the field for 15% of their snaps.

Cade Lawson

  • Tobias Oliver will have better Heisman odds than Taquon Marshall at some point this season
  • Defense gives up more big plays but has an overall better and more effective season
  • Paul Johnson never punts once
  • (but actually, I predict we’ll see no more than 5 field goal attempts of greater than 35-40 yards)
  • Vanderbilt wins the SEC after every player at everyone other school is declared academically ineligible

What are your hot takes?