All win totals are courtesy of South Point.
Louisiana Tech - O/U 9 wins
Jared Kalmus - Given that I have LA Tech pegged to win the division, I’m taking them to hit the over with 10 regular season wins. It will take either a road win at WKU or a home upset of Mississippi State to make it happen though, assuming the Bulldogs take care of business elsewhere. Bold bet but I’ll take it.
Tanner Spearman - Of course the O/U is nine, considering the Dawgs have won nine the past three straight seasons. However, that included bowl games, as they finished with eight in the regular season each time. Honestly though, nine seems like just the right number. If I have to choose over or under, I’ll hesitantly take the over. Like Jared said, it will take beating either WKU or Mississippi State, neither of which would be easy, but it’s certainly possible.
Cyrus Smith - I like Tech to win the division as well, but an 8-4 season seems more likely to happen than 10-2 so I’ll take the under. Given that Tech has suffered head-scratching loses to Southern Miss for two straight years, I don’t trust them enough to clear nine wins in the regular season, as that’s where I think they’ll ultimately finish.
Adam Woodyard - I’m sure we’ll hear about it in the Twitter comments, but I’m taking the under as well. Tech consistently hasn’t been able to get over that nine-win hump, and this year will do them no favors as they play two SEC teams, and the terrifyingly inconsistent South Alabama, which last year beat a ranked team. The Bulldogs are the Middle Tennessee of the West, just no WKU to overtake them in that division. Yet.
North Texas - O/U 4 wins
Jared Kalmus - If UNT can defend their home turf against either Army, Old Dominion, or UTSA then I like them to surpass the four win total. It’s hard to imagine the Mean Green finishing with less wins in Seth Littrell’s second season in Denton.
Tanner Spearman - Four? That’s it? Gimme that over in a heartbeat. There’s a lot of games I think are toss-ups, but surely they can win a couple of those. I could see North Texas getting to six and making a bowl.
Cyrus Smith - Easy over here. Mason Fine should be more equipped to lead North Texas’ air raid offense which will take a lot of pressure off their defense and the schedule isn’t crazy challenging. Army, UTSA, UTEP, Old Dominion, UAB and Lamar is the home slate.
Adam Woodyard - There’s no love for this team, and to find out why, just look at their last, oh, twelve seasons. Fine. Still, last year they managed five wins under a first-year coach, and while we’re not exactly predicting a conference title, the top half of their division is a guarantee. Take the over.
Rice - O/U 3.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - Rice starts off their season with a brutal stretch that won’t be helped by a cross-Pacific trip to Australia to face Stanford. It’s hard for me to find four wins here and I could even see the Owls finishing with as few as two wins.
Tanner Spearman - Under. It will take significant improvement to get to four wins and their schedule does them zero favors. They will more than likely go 0-4 out of conference. I see a couple of conference games that they might be able to get something done, but even those aren’t assured. Could very well be the end of Bailiff’s time in Houston.
Cyrus Smith - Under. Hate to say it because I really like David Bailiff, but his time may be up in Houston as this schedule is nasty. Drawing what could be an improved FIU and tough Old Dominion team from the East sealed this one for me.
Adam Woodyard - Bailiff indeed is in a tailspin, and in any P5 program he’d be out at the end of last year. The G5 has a bit more leeway, but then again remember the part where this is Rice. I can see them taking out a few less consistent teams (UTEP), but still taking the under here.
Southern Miss - O/U 7.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - I’m really, really feeling the under action here. USM has some gimmes on their schedule but road games at UTSA and LA Tech should prove to be tough wins. If USM is to win eight games they’ll likely need one, if not both of those wins.
Tanner Spearman - I can find eight potential wins, but some of those feel like I’m crediting USM with how good they were with Mullens. He’s gone and they haven’t shown they can win without him. I’ll take the under.
Cyrus Smith - You guys have been underselling Southern Miss for a while now and I really can’t relate. I could see Southern Miss starting the season 5-1 before going to Ruston to take on La Tech. If Keon Howard or Kwadra Griggs can limit their turnovers, this offense should be really tough to stop.
Adam Woodyard - Those are some great points, but the problems last year weren’t so much the transition as it was Jay Hopson himself, who started strong then lacked the imagination to adjust down the stretch. Taking the under but would love to be proven wrong.
UTEP - O/U 2.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - Assuming the Miners can knock off Rice and NMSU in the first month of the season then they could reach three wins by knocking off UAB in their last game of the season. That’s a really easy path to hitting an over total.
Tanner Spearman - UTEP has a brutal conference schedule, drawing the toughest possible pair of East teams. That said, UTEP should be able to win three games. NMSU should be a win, and I think they can win at least one (if not both) of Rice and UAB. They pulled an upsets on North Texas and UTSA last year; can they find someone to upset this year? I’ll take the over.
Cyrus Smith - Easy call on the over. NMSU should be a win, as well as Rice and UAB. Should they split those two games, Army is still on the schedule, not to mention the Miners could upset UTSA or North Texas on any given Saturday.
Adam Woodyard - I’m taking the under, and I’ll buy you all beers when the Blazers trounce the Miners by three touchdowns.
UTSA - O/U 6.5 wins
Jared Kalmus - Seven wins sounds like a realistic number for UTSA and I would consider six to be a hard floor. Main challenges for the Roadrunners will include the season opener at home against Houston and a road battle against FIU but I’m leaning on UTSA’s returning experience and a salty front seven on defense to hit the over here.
Tanner Spearman - I can find as many as nine wins for UTSA, so I’ll take the over with ease here. Worst case they should go 2-2 out of conference, if not better. They get a manageable draw from the east with FIU and Marshall. I strongly feel UTSA will finish the season with a winning record.
Cyrus Smith - Roadrunners should hit the over with ease. Seniors are all over the place and Frank Wilson has recruited well enough where the talent is already on par with a majority of the teams in this conference. If UTSA starts conference play at 2-2, they should finish no worse than 7-5.
Adam Woodyard - Over. I’m a UNT guy so I hate to give the Roadrunners anything, but looking at UTSA objectively, they have their crap together and could make a run at the West title if La Tech stumbles even a little bit. Easy call to take the over.
UAB - O/U wins?
UAB’s win total is being held by Vegas so we decided to guess what it could be.
Jared Kalmus - I’ll set my over/under total for UAB at 2.5 wins. Alabama A&M is the only guaranteed win on the roster for the Blazers who will be playing behind the eight ball with a roster lacking in scholarship players. While UAB certainly has some promising athletes dressing out for them this season there’s no real depth to speak of and a large number of freshmen will be called into action. Take it from the UTSA fan — the start up life is challenging and precarious and UAB will be diving directly into a full FBS schedule, a first for any start up program ever.
Tanner Spearman - I’m going to go with about three wins. They should be able to beat Alabama A&M in game one. From there, I’m guessing that they might be able to win one of their next two games (Ball State and Coastal Carolina) and one conference game (both Rice and UTEP play in Birmingham). Some variation thereof seems about right.
Cyrus Smith - I feel like Vegas is going to go with 3.5 wins and if it’s 3.5 I’d take the over. Alabama A&M and Coastal Carolina should be wins. Finding two wins during conference play and even one more in non-conference play (Ball State) should be feasible.
Adam Woodyard - I’m saying six wins minimum, and the Tide is gonna be so mad about it. From looking at the schedule and the unknown surrounding UAB, this is truly an unprecedented situation— if pressed, I’d guess the over/under would be four wins.