Cohen’s Corner 2019-20 College Football ‘Expert’ Predictions + Week Zero Picks

The best time of the year is officially back starting this weekend! I don’t care if there are only two FBS college football games – both, fortunately for me, include my two favorite teams: UofA (my alma mater) and Miami (my parents’ alma mater / favorite team as a kid).

This looks like one of those seasons where predictability reigns supreme. If Alabama and Clemson aren’t in the Final Four / Championship Game, most observers including myself would be quite surprised.


The past two seasons my friends Jon Bell (JB) and Steve Malina (Bear Down Steve) have joined me to make weekly CFB picks. In 2019, I’m glad to add my co-worker and loyal-ASU supporter Wesley Franco as our fourth! On our panel we now have 2 UofA alums, 1 Wisconsin alum and 1 ASU graduate. A little diversity hurt no one!

It’s a two part column this week – season picks at the top with our limited Week Zero picks at the bottom. My comments to each are below:

Season Picks / Predictions

Eric Cohen Jon Bell Steve Malina Wesley Franco 
Twitter: @cohencurse1580 @koshercoach @stevenmalina @producerwes
UofA Record 6-6 8-5^^ 7-5 5-7
ASU Record 6-6 10-3^^ 7-5 7-5
Pac-12 Championship Game Utah over Oregon Washington over ASU Washington over Utah Oregon over USC
ACC Championship Game Clemson over Virginia Clemson over Virginia Clemson over Miami Clemson over Virginia
Big Ten Championship Game Michigan over Iowa Michigan over Nebraska Ohio State over Wisconsin Michigan over Wisconsin
Big 12 Championship Game Oklahoma over Texas Oklahoma over Texas Texas over Oklahoma Texas over Oklahoma
SEC Championship Game Alabama over Georgia Alabama over Florida Alabama over Georgia Alabama over Georgia
Fiesta Bowl Matchup
(CFB Playoff)
Alabama over Oklahoma Michigan over Oklahoma Alabama over Ohio State Michigan over Clemson
Peach Bowl Matchup
(CFB Playoff)
Clemson over Georgia Clemson over Texas Clemson over Washington Alabama over Georgia
National Championship Game Alabama over Clemson Clemson over Michigan Alabama over Clemson Alabama over Michigan
Heisman Trophy Winner Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Surprise Team* Army Mississippi State & Nebraska Oklahoma State Boise State
Most Disappointing Team** Penn State Auburn Washington State Iowa

*Surprise Team: a team not in the preseason top-25 who will threaten to be a top-10 contender.
**Most Disappointing Team: a preseason top-20 team who won’t finish above .500.
^^JB’s picks for UofA & ASU include bowl wins/losses.

Eric’s thoughts: Looks like JB is drinking the kool-aid regarding both AZ teams…I expect neither to be nearly that good…I’m surprised none of the other three ‘expert’ pickers liked Utah to win the conference as I do – seems to be a fairly easy pick…How the heck is JB picking two Big XII teams in the Final Four?…And how does he not have Alabama amongst the last four standing?…Does anyone reading this column honestly believe that neither Clemson nor Alabama will be in the Championship Game? Because if you do, I have some ice to sell you in Alaska.

Week Zero Picks

Eric Cohen Jon Bell Steve Malina Wesley Franco 
Arizona (-10.5) at Hawaii AZ 48-34 AZ 41-10 AZ 42-29 AZ 37-21
Miami vs. Florida (-7.5) in Orlando FLA 23-13 FLA 27-17 FLA 24-20 FLA 35-24

Eric’s thoughts: I’m a little nervous about Arizona’s trip to Hawaii this weekend. I don’t think the Wildcats lose but between their likely porous defense and the Warriors’ potent offense, there’s slight upset potential on Saturday night. Fortunately I don’t see how UH slows the UofA rushing attack which should go for over 300+. Bet the over on any total lower than 75. In the other game, however, I expect a lower-scoring affair dominated by defenses. The magic number to me is 20 and I’d be surprised if Miami got close to that mark.

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580.


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