The ebbs and flows of college football keep millions of fans riveted each season. While some programs seem to be on a steep decline, there are others that could be ready for a resurgence in 2019.
Programs Primed for Resurgence
Nebraska. Year one of the Scott Frost era did not look much different from Mike Riley’s last. The Huskers managed to remain competitive down the stretch and gained ample respect nationally after beating Michigan State 9-6 and taking Ohio State to the end. The schedule sets up for Nebraska to have a wail of a season in 2019 and with Heisman candidate Adrian Martinez at quarterback, the sky could be the limit for Nebraska and you can expect their win total to (at the very least) double from a year ago.
Miami. The Mark Richt era is over at Miami following a 7-6 season and former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will now run the show. It’s hard not to predict a Hurricane resurgence when looking at the talent on the Hurricane roster. Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, surprisingly, did not win the starting quarterback job but Jarren Williams has the obvious respect of the coaching staff and his teammates. Starting the season against Florida will be difficult, but the schedule becomes very manageable after that.
Florida State. The ‘Noles suffered their first losing season in 40 years under first year head coach Willie Taggart. Florida State’s offensive line was a complete disaster last season which led to offensive failures and short fields for the defense to clean up. With QB James Blackman and a heap of receiving talent, new offensive coordinator Kendall Briles should find plenty to like about this new passing game. And there is no way the offensive line can be any worse than a year ago. The schedule is loaded with 50/50 games but look for the Seminoles to return to respectability with an 8/9 will season.
Arkansas. Second year head coach Chad Morris has nowhere to go but up following a 2-10 campaign that featured a winless conference season and a loss to North Texas. 2019 will be about shaking that losing culture and overhauling the roster and the Razorbacks were able to land a top-25 recruiting class despite the abysmal on-field showings. If one of their transfer quarterbacks works out, there is pass-catching talent at their disposal that should help pull the offense out of the SEC cellar. Arkansas must win swing games against the likes of Ole Miss, Kentucky and Miss. State if they want to go bowling but a 6 win season would go a long way to endearing Morris to Arkansas fans and administration.
USC. Head coach Clay Helton is certainly feeling the pressure following an unacceptable 5-7 season in 2018. The good news is that Gram Harrell’s offense could help turn the Trojans into one of the better offenses in the Pac 12. While USC finished with a 5-7 record last year, it was not a situation where the Trojans were non-competitive. They actually held a first quarter lead in 10 of their 12 games and a first half lead in the other two. Don’t forget, we are only a couple years removed from USC winning the Rose Bowl under Helton so a resurgence in 2019 is all but iminent.