2018 Central Florida Knights Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 13-0
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 9.5*
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
No one saw Central Florida's 2017-18 National Championship season coming. But when the dust settled last year, the Knights were the only unbeaten team in college football and (self-proclaimed) champions.
Of course, I'm only half-joking when I refer to the Knights as "National Champions". The school and ex-coach Scott Frost made that declaration on their own after beating Auburn - the lone team to beat Alabama - in the Peach Bowl to complete an unblemished season. But why not? College football's championship has always been arbitrary and nonsensical. Even in the age of the four-team playoff. After all, Alabama didn't win its division, didn't win its conference championship, and didn't win a single regular-season game against a team that finished the year in the Top 15. But hey, apparently they were good enough for the playoff. So why not call UCG the champions?
One thing is for sure: Central Florida won't repeat.
Frost took his insane offense back home to Nebraska. UCF replaced Frost with another offensive mind in Josh Heupel. And it will be on Heupel to direct the No. 1 scoring offense in the country (48.2 points per game).
Outstanding quarterback Mackenzie Milton returns for his third year as a starter. Milton threw for 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns and added 1,600 yards and eight more touchdowns on the ground. Milton will pair with leading rusher Adrian Killins to give the Knights the most explosive backfield in the conference.
Central Florida also has three starters back on their offensive line and added transfers from Notre Dame and Vanderbilt to fill out the other two slots.
Central Florida's defense was good enough last year. They were No. 115 against the pass. But that was mostly a matter of opponents forced to throw the ball 80 times because they were so far behind. The Knights will have to replace their heart and soul on defense, one-armed linebacker Shaquem Griffin. Stud corner Mike Hughes was also an NFL Draft pick that needs to be replaced.
Two years prior to going 13-0, the Knights went 0-12. That two-year turnaround is one of the most remarkable in sports history. As a result, UCF won't be sneaking up on anyone this year. They open with a league game at Connecticut. And with a new coach and a little hangover from last year still lingering, that game could be tougher than it would be in October.
The Knights have a tough nonconference slate. They play at North Carolina, host a feisty Florida Atlantic team and then play another ACC foe in Pittsburgh. I don't think that any of those can be considered definite wins.
The league schedule is pretty pedestrian because the AAC kind of sucks. But Central Florida does have to play Memphis and South Florida on the road.
I think that expecting 10 wins from this group is a little optimistic. They are still a powerhouse by AAC standards. But if they pick up two losses in the nonconference then they would have to run the table in AAC play. Memphis is solid. Temple is tough. A rivalry game at South Florida is also rough. I think UCF will still have an excellent season, and they have a great chance to win a second straight AAC title. But there are too many potential losses on the schedule for me to go anywhere but 'under'.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past seven years, earning nearly $28,000 in total football profit. He has also posted seven of nine winning seasons (including back-to-back winning years) and produced 26 of 41 winning football months and an amazing 45 of 70 winning football months over the past decade. Robert has eight of 10 winning NFL preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 900 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted three of five winning seasons. Robert is looking for a third straight winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!
We are offering new clients $60 in free college football picks for Robert's picks or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choosing. Get your free college football picks now!
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks