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LGHL’s 2019 College Football season predictions

Our staff predicted every thing for the Buckeyes, the Big Ten Conference, and college football as a whole.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As the Ohio State football team prepares to embark on another glorious season of college football, so does the staff of your favorite Ohio State SB Nation blog, Land-Grant Holy Land. To get ready for the season, our panel of experts refuse to be silenced by the inevitable shaming at the hands of Freezing Cold Takes, and are putting their knowledge where their typing fingers are.

Fourteen LGHL writers and editors have made predictions about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Big Ten Conference, and college football as a whole. Let us know who you are — and aren’t — agreeing with in the comments below. And don’t worry, we will be revisiting these come season’s end.


Who will lead Ohio State in rushing yardage this season?


Who will lead Ohio State in receiving yardage this season?


How many passing yards will Justin Fields have?

We got quite the range of responses on this one. Our resident curmudgeon Brett Ludwiczak set his prediction at 2,600 yards, the lowest total submitted, while our resident optimist Meredith Hein went with 4,200, the most of any prediction.

However, in between, the mean prediction for the LGHL staff was 3,248.57 yards, which would put Dan Hessler closest at 3,300. The median was 3,100, which was selected by both Chad Peltier and Colton Denning.


How many passing TDs will Justin Fields have?

The range wasn’t necessarily as wide on this one, but our recruiting expert Charles Doss was the low man on this one with just 18, but Gene Ross was on top with 39 touchdown passes.

The mean on TD passes was 31.29, so Geoff Hammersley was the closest at 31. The median number was 32.5, so Mick Walker claims the under at 32, while Tia Williams and Colton Denning are on the over at 33.


How many interceptions will Justin Fields have?

Another relatively wide range on this one. Dan Hessler was incredibly optimistic with a prediction of just four interceptions for Fields this year, while George Eisner, Chad Peltier, and Max Littman were at one per regular season game with 12.

Both the mean and median predictions were for nine INTs, the exact number that Brett Ludwiczak and Tia Williams predicted. For reference, eight LGHLers picked nine or under, while six went double digits.


Which true freshman will end up having the biggest impact this season and why?

Ten of the 14 responses to this one were for wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Brett Ludwiczak said, “There’s a lot of talent in this year’s freshman class, but I don’t think there is going to be a lot of players seeing consistent playing time. Even though Ohio State is stocked at wide receiver, Garrett Wilson is just too good to keep of off the field. He will see his snaps increase as the season moves along and finishes top-four on the Buckeyes this year in receiving yards.”

Three LGHLers went with defensive end Zach Harrison, the next most popular choice. Colton Denning explained, “Jonathon Cooper’s ankle sprain and the apparent injuries to Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday leaves room for some of the other defensive ends to see meaningful playing time right away, and I’m betting Zach Harrison takes full advantage. I think his talent, plus Larry Johnson’s coaching, is going to make for something special right out of the gate.”

Tia Williams also got a vote in for linebacker Cade Stover.


Which Buckeye that nobody is talking about will step up to make the biggest impact (non-freshman edition)?

The non-freshman version of this question was much more wide open, for obvious reasons. Jashon Cornell had three votes to lead the way. Caleb Houser said that he is “over-looked with tons of talent and experience.”

Sophomores wide receiver Chris Olave and defensive tackle Taron Vincent were the only other players to receive multiple votes.

Geoff Hammersley went with another sophomore, offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere. He said, “Depth on the offensive line is important. With a new QB, having a line that can protect Fields is huge. If NPF gets snaps, I expect him to make the most out of the opportunity.”

Others receiving votes include Teradja Mitchell, Jaelen Gill, Jonathon Cooper, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, and Blake Haubeil.


Which game this season scares you the most and why?

The choice that most might expect from a bunch of OSU homers would be Michigan, but just two LGHLers went that route. Chad Peltier summed up the rational, saying, “Michigan — most talented team OSU will face during regular season. High floor with multi-year starter at quarterback.”

However, that was not the leader in this category, instead, that honor went to Nebraska. Geoff Hammersley said, “Road game against a Big Ten West opponent. The Cornhuskers have their act together, and Adrian Martinez has become more developed as a passer.”

Cincinnati also got a pair of votes, Tia Williams summed up her thinking by saying, “Early season game against a Cincinnati team coming off of an 11-2 season. Chip on their shoulder. Luke Fickell and other former OSU staff in charge.”

Northwestern was the only other contest to get multiple votes.


What will Ohio State’s regular season record be?

What can we say, we are homers.

2019 Regular Season Wins Predictions

Contributor Record
Contributor Record
Brett Ludwiczak 11-1
Caleb Houser 11-1
Chad Peltier 11-1
Charles Doss 10-2
Colton Denning 11-1
Dan Hessler 11-1
Gene Ross 11-1
Geoff Hammersley 10-2
George Eisner 11-1
Matt Tamanini 11-1
Max Littman 11-1
Meredith Hein 11-1
Mick Walker 11-1
Tia Williams 11-1

How will Ohio State’s season end?

Season Ending Predictions

Contributor Response
Contributor Response
Brett Ludwiczak Ohio State loses in the College Football Playoff semifinals to Clemson
Caleb Houser National Championship over Georgia
Chad Peltier Rose Bowl win over Washington or Oregon
Charles Doss Not sure OSU will take home the National Championship, but they have a shot to make the playoff.
Colton Denning Loss to Clemson in the playoff
Dan Hessler I think if Justin Fields is able to to play at the level we all expect him to, Ohio State gets the Big Ten back to the College Football Playoff.
Gene Ross Playoff loss to Clemson (better game this time though).
Geoff Hammersley Orange Bowl
George Eisner College football playoff semi-final loss to Clemson
Matt Tamanini In the College Football National Championship Game to Clemson.
Max Littman Playoffs, Loss to Alabama first round
Meredith Hein Win in the Rose Bowl over Oregon
Mick Walker The national championship against Clemson
Tia Williams Big Ten Championship win over Nebraska, finishing 4th in the playoffs, lose to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl

Predicted order of finish in the Big Ten East

Geoff, how dare you.

Big Ten East Predictions

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers
Caleb Houser Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers
Chad Peltier Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Charles Doss Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Colton Denning Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Dan Hessler Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Gene Ross Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers
Geoff Hammersley Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
George Eisner Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Matt Tamanini Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Max Littman Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers
Meredith Hein Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers
Mick Walker Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers
Tia Williams Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

Predicted order of finish in the Big Ten West

Big Ten West Predictions

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois
Caleb Houser Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois
Chad Peltier Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois
Charles Doss Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois
Colton Denning Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois
Dan Hessler Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois
Gene Ross Nebraska, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois
Geoff Hammersley Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois
George Eisner Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois
Matt Tamanini Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois
Max Littman Nebraska, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota
Meredith Hein Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois
Mick Walker Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois
Tia Williams Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois

Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Predictions

Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Predictions

Contributor Prediction School
Contributor Prediction School
Brett Ludwiczak J.K. Dobbins Ohio State
Caleb Houser Adrian Martinez Nebraska
Chad Peltier Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin
Charles Doss J.K. Dobbins Ohio State
Colton Denning Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin
Dan Hessler Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin
Gene Ross Justin Fields Ohio State
Geoff Hammersley Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin
George Eisner J.K. Dobbins Ohio State
Matt Tamanini Justin Fields Ohio State
Max Littman Rondale Moore Purdue
Meredith Hein Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin
Mick Walker Justin Fields Ohio State
Tia Williams Shea Patterson Michigan

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Predictions

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Predictions

Contributor Prediction School
Contributor Prediction School
Brett Ludwiczak A.J. Epenesa Iowa
Caleb Houser Chase Young Ohio State
Chad Peltier Chase Young Ohio State
Charles Doss Joe Bachie Michigan State
Colton Denning A.J. Epenesa Iowa
Dan Hessler Chase Young Ohio State
Gene Ross Chase Young Ohio State
Geoff Hammersley Chase Young Ohio State
George Eisner Chase Young Ohio State
Matt Tamanini A.J. Epenesa Iowa
Max Littman Chase Young Ohio State
Meredith Hein Chase Young Ohio State
Mick Walker Malik Harrison Ohio State
Tia Williams Chase Young Ohio State

Big Ten Coach of the Year Predictions

Come on, fam. Didn’t you know that it is illegal for an Ohio State coach to win this award?


What is your boldest, most out-of-left-field prediction for Ohio State this season?

Boldest Ohio State-related Predictions

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak J.K. Dobbins is invited to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist
Caleb Houser Chase Young records 15 sacks over the course of the season.
Chad Peltier The run game still struggles for the first part of the year.
Charles Doss Gunnar Hoak throws more than 10 touchdown passes this season.
Colton Denning Zach Harrison wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year and makes the 1st-team All-Big Ten team.
Dan Hessler Ohio State's linebacking corp takes a giant step forward and anchors the Buckeyes' defense into the top 10 in the country.
Gene Ross Teradja Mitchell is Ohio State's best defensive player not named Chase Young.
Geoff Hammersley Ohio State ruins Michigan's perfect season.
George Eisner J.K. Dobbins will finish the season as a top three Heisman trophy finalist.
Matt Tamanini Pete Werner will be good at linebacker.
Max Littman The main cause of OSU's underachieving in games it turns out has left and the team somehow takes the next step. The talent is there, and the new defensive coaches can do that.
Meredith Hein Losing to Northwestern on a Friday night in Evanston
Mick Walker Ohio State will have a top 10 defense nationally.
Tia Williams Chase Young is a Heisman finalist.

What is your boldest, most out-of-left-field prediction for college football this season (non-Ohio State version)?

Boldest Non-OSU Predictions

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Iowa State finishes the season in the Top 10.
Caleb Houser Alabama loses to Georgia in CFP. Georgia gets pay back.
Chad Peltier The Playoff selection is a nightmare, with five teams with roughly equal resumes fighting for spots.
Charles Doss Nick Saban retires after the season.
Colton Denning P.J. Fleck takes the USC job.
Dan Hessler Alabama misses out on the college football playoff as Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma give four different conferences a shot to win it all.
Gene Ross Georgia - not Alabama - wins the SEC. Unfortunately, both probably make the playoff.
Geoff Hammersley USC fails to get bowl eligible, going 5-7 once again.
George Eisner Clemson is still juicing. For the second year in a row, two Power 5 conferences will be left out of the playoff in favor of another SEC team.
Matt Tamanini The 2019 season will be the final one for Desmond Howard and Lee Corso as part of ESPN's "College Gameday."
Max Littman The PAC-12 continues their trend and just completely collapses, worse than last year.
Meredith Hein Alabama will not win the SEC.
Mick Walker Utah challenges for the CFP.
Tia Williams Harbaugh loses to Ohio State and is looking for a new job in 2020.

What will be Ryan Day’s biggest growing pain as head coach?

Ryan Day’s Potential Growing Pains

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak It's hard to find a fault with Ryan Day. I think maybe everyone will be too quick to compare him to Urban Meyer and maybe that gets a little frustrating for him.
Caleb Houser Experience in true road games.
Chad Peltier I'm not sure I have too many questions about Ryan Day growing into the head coaching job. I don't know how he is as a game day motivator, at delegating responsibilities vs. micromanaging, or at hiring staff, though.
Charles Doss Finding the right pieces to the puzzle.
Colton Denning Managing the fallout after the first loss.
Dan Hessler I don't think it will be anything that shows on the field. I think Ryan Day's biggest hurdle is building the brand behind his name. Ohio State is coming off of seven years with Urban Meyer and his name demanded respect and had an intimidation factor behind it. Day will need to prove on and off the field that he is one of the best coaches in the country. His impressive 2020 recruiting class was the first step in making that happen.
Gene Ross Figuring out who starts at linebacker.
Geoff Hammersley Keeping the trust of the team if something goes wrong. Everything is fine now, but what happens if the Buckeyes take their first loss of the season? How Day steers the ship back on track will be key.
George Eisner Helping Justin Fields and other young players keep short memories when they inevitably make mistakes.
Matt Tamanini Ensuring that the best players are on the field, whether they are the most experienced or not.
Max Littman Linebackers, if they can' be fixed this team is doomed.
Meredith Hein Needing to oversee both sides of the ball.
Mick Walker Waiting for Justin Fields to come along as a passer and fully run the offense.
Tia Williams Developing QBs who are new to the program into leaders.

Who wins the Heisman Trophy?

Hesiman Trophy Predictions

Contributor Prediction School
Contributor Prediction School
Brett Ludwiczak Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Caleb Houser Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Chad Peltier Tua Tagovailoa Alabama
Charles Doss Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Colton Denning Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Dan Hessler Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Gene Ross Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Geoff Hammersley Tua Tagovailoa Alabama
George Eisner Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Matt Tamanini Jalen Hurts Oklahoma
Max Littman Tua Tagovailoa Alabama
Meredith Hein Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Mick Walker Trevor Lawrence Clemson
Tia Williams Trevor Lawrence Clemson

Who are your four College Football Playoff teams?

College Football Playoff Predictions

Contributor Prediction
Contributor Prediction
Brett Ludwiczak Clemson, Georgia, Oregon, Ohio State
Caleb Houser Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama
Chad Peltier Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama
Charles Doss Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma
Colton Denning Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia
Dan Hessler Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma
Gene Ross Clemson. Georgia. Alabama. Ohio State.
Geoff Hammersley Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma
George Eisner Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State
Matt Tamanini Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Utah
Max Littman Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Texas
Meredith Hein Clemson, Texas, Georgia, Ohio State
Mick Walker Clemson,Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma
Tia Williams Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State

Who is your National Champion?

National Champion Prediction

Contributor Predictions
Contributor Predictions
Brett Ludwiczak Clemson
Caleb Houser Ohio State
Chad Peltier Georgia
Charles Doss N/A
Colton Denning Clemson
Dan Hessler Georgia
Gene Ross Clemson
Geoff Hammersley Alabama
George Eisner Clemson
Matt Tamanini Clemson
Max Littman N/A
Meredith Hein Clemson
Mick Walker Clemson
Tia Williams Clemson

Check out how we did in our 2018 predictions to see which LGHL contributor you should believe in this season:

LGHL’s 2018 College Football season predictions