Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bucky is back, and so am I

It has been a long break for this blog. The 2 deep depth chart came out today, so it seemed like a good time to get up some predictions about this season.

1) Will Bucky match it's preseason #4 ranking and end up in the playoff?
If I have to answer now, (which I do) then I say they miss out by a nose. I think this team ends up 11-2, and that will likely leave them just outside the final 4. Bucky should go 7-0 at home, as they don't play a team currently ranked or getting votes at home. Nebraska could put up a fight, and Minnesota may be better under Fleck, but I don't see anyone pulling the upset at Camp Randall. The problem will be the road/neutral field schedule, assuming they play in the B1G championship. Of those 6 games, only Purdue is not ranked/getting votes, and even Purdue was a decent team last year. 4-2 in those 6 games away from home seems most likely. 5-1 should get them in the playoff.

2) This offense will be fun. After the offense struggled a bit in Chryst's previous 2 seasons, they put it together by the end of last year. The team averaged almost 34 points per game last year, and I think this year they will be close to 40. The offensive line has talent at the top and depth throughout which is what drives great UW offenses. Throw in an experienced QB, Heisman trophy candidate at RB, and one of the deepest groups of WR/TEs Bucky has ever had, and this team will run up the scores.

3) If this team loses 4 games, it will be because the defense can't hold up. The defense has a lot of young players, and that scares me. The top line starters look solid, but if there are any injuries (as there almost always is) there does not appear to be much depth. The opening day 2 deep roster has 5 underclassmen starters and 13 in the 2 deep. The defensive line is especially concerning, with 4 freshman in the 2 deep including a starter who just moved over from the offensive line. That group could be trouble with Rand out for the year and Loudermilk out for at least a couple games.

4) Time for the week one predictions. Bucky is a 34.5 point favorite and the o/u is 51. I think there will be a blowout under the lights, and I think Western Kentucky puts up a couple scores against a young defense that will be playing a lot of new/young players, especially late with the new redshirt rules. I'm taking Bucky to cover the spread and the over.