Skip to main content

SI Makes Bold Preseason Predictions For Nebraska, Notre Dame, Others

Adrian Martinez lifts his helmet in the air for Nebraska after a win during the 2018 college football season.

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Adrian Martinez #2 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and wide receiver JD Spielman #10 acknowledge the fans after the win against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Last weekend, we got two "Week Zero" games, a nice appetizer to this weekend's full slate of college football action. Ahead of it, Sports Illustratedhas gone out on a ledge with season predictions for major programs like Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Texas.

Some are in the realm of what others have outlined. Others are pretty far out there.

The least controversial may be a very positive take on Nebraska's season. The Huskers are a very trendy pick in the Big Ten West, just a year after a 4-8 campaign in Scott Frost's first season.

In his first two years at UCF, Frost took an 0-12 team to 6-6, and then to 12-0. Few think Nebraska sniffs the College Football Playoff, but the Big Ten West title has been floated as a goal.

SI has the Huskers making it through to the Big Ten title game:

There are still questions surrounding the Big Ten’s worst defense from a year ago, but it helps to have an overall winnable schedule—and a weak Big Ten West—with your toughest and trickiest opponents (Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin) playing at Memorial Stadium this fall.

Some of the other predictions aren't so kind.

Last season, Notre Dame made a somewhat surprising run to the College Football Playoff. The Fighting Irish are a talented, top 10 team, but few have them returning this winter.

SI thinks they'll be out of the running by October.

Notre Dame won't be in the playoff conversation after Week 4. That's when the Fighting Irish play at Georgia, a team that's both superior on the field and bitter about Notre Dame's inclusion in the playoff last winter—which many saw as coming at the Bulldogs' expense.

Writer Joan Niesen thinks that a Georgia loss will portend one against Michigan, USC, Stanford, or another one of the tough P5 opponents on the schedule.

Texas may get the toughest prediction of all. Not only does SI have the Longhorns missing out on the Big 12 title (the pick for that conference is a real surprise), but it has the team finishing outside the Top 25.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the offseason hype created from that Sugar Bowl victory. But don’t be fooled by the preseason top-10 ranking, this is a team that isn’t as good as it’s being propped up to be. Texas has to undergo a complete rebuild job on the defensive side of the ball, as it has to replace its entire front seven and both of its starting cornerbacks.

Texas may be a year or two away from playoff contention, but with Sam Ehlinger back under center, this would be a massive step back for the Longhorns.

For the full set of bold predictions, head to Sports Illustrated.