HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Wednesdays on In the Loop, 10-2 weekdays on SportsRadio 610, John Lopez, Dante Hall, and myself do a little thing called optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic. We give the scenarios fitting into those categories ranging from football teams to first dates. As college football season is upon us, I figured I would take a look at various teams from around the nation in the confines of the exercise.


Optimistic – Greg Ward powers his way into the Heisman trophy race while the Cougars get some help from their opponents to make their undefeated season seem even more impressive. Getting really optimistic the committee can’t ignore an undefeated future Power 5 school with a Heisman trophy contender and puts them in the playoff.

Pessimistic – Oklahoma blows out the Cougars to start the season, Navy bites them mid-season, and Louisville gets them later in the year to hand the Cougars a 9-3 season far away from the top 15 and college football playoff.

Realistic – One loss. Not sure where or who but I can’t see the Cougars finishing off the whole schedule. If the one loss is just Oklahoma, and the Sooners remain good, the Cougars can still find themselves high in the polls in December.


Optimistic – Freshman QB Shane Buechele is the real deal and meshes well with a team Charlie Strong has finally assembled and coached his players. The Longhorns surprise some people, spoil the Sooners again, and win nine games.

Pessimistic – Freshman QB Shane Buechele suffers vast growing pains and the youth and inexperience of winning football doom the Longhorns to a 6-6 season.

Realistic – Freshman QB Shane Buechele has up and down games and Strong coaches his way into a win he shouldn’t have and a loss he shouldn’t have as well. 8-4.

Texas A&M

Optimistic – Myles Garrett challenges for Heisman votes and Trevor Knight recaptures his Sugar Bowl magic for more than a night leading the talented Aggies wide receiver group to a one-loss season.

Pessimistic – Myles Garrett has a Jadeveon Clowney-like final season for the Aggies while Trevor Knight fails to utilize the talented pass catchers. 7 wins gets Kevin Sumlin fired.

Realistic – Myles Garrett and the rest of his team make Aggies think Wrecking Crew but a few hiccups from the offense see them struggle to finish tougher foes.  8-4 is the MOST realistic but 9-3 is not out of the question.

Texas Tech

Optimistic – Pat Mahomes wows with the statistics and finds himself sitting in New York for the Heisman ceremony while his 9-3 Red Raiders prep for a bowl game.

Pessimistic – The defense is still a wreck and Pat Mahomes finds a lack of playmakers to make plays with him. The Red Raiders finish 6-6.

Realistic – A Mike Leach season: Meaning Kliff Kingsbury wins a game he shouldn’t on the road while he also loses a game at home he shouldn’t have lost. There’s an upset in here somewhere because the offense is so stacked.


Optimistic – The talent remains after the departure of the head coach and Jim Grobe doesn’t ruin what is a talented offense. With some luck, they get to 9 wins.

Pessimistic – Desire falls short and the offseason issues carry over to hurt the on-field product leading to at best a 6-6 season.

Realistic – They are super talented still and the offensive staff can still run the team. I don’t trust their defense or mental makup so 7-8 wins is where I slot them.


Optimistic – National title with Kenny “Trill” Hill leading them through the Big 12 with one loss or undefeated.

Pessimistic – Kenny Hill disappoints and the offense lacks the punch to give the defense enough to get to double digit wins.

Realistic – There may only be two losses on TCU’s schedule and Gary Patterson and his Frogs are tough when healthy.


Optimistic – Baker Mayfield keeps the Heisman hopes alive for another season and bad “Big Game” Bob Stoops doesn’t show up but once in the regular season and the college football playoff.

Pessimistic – It all falls apart for Stoops as they lose three of their first four games and drop another two along the way ending his time with the Sooners.

Realistic – They drop three overall and two in conference to miss the Big 12 championship and the playoff.


Optimistic – Undefeated national champions

Pessimistic – Three losses due to young players still growing and LSU being the team to beat in the SEC.

Realistic – Two losses. They should roll over most people but with the tough SEC West schedule the Tide should miss their typical playoff spot.


Optimistic – Undefeated national champions with Leonard Fournette as the Heisman Trophy winner

Pessimistic – The quarterback play falls apart leading to the offense falling apart leading to three losses and Les Miles’ firing.

Realistic – The Tigers are perhaps the most talented team in the nation and will challenge for the national title. First, the SEC title is their goal and their showdown with Alabama looms large.

Notre Dame

Optimistic – The team settles on one quarterback and with big-name foes on the schedule still makes the playoff with just one loss.

Pessimistic – The team fails to settle on one quarterback and can’t get it going against the tougher teams dropping 3-4 games.

Realistic – The Irish are always good, but this team isn’t built to be great. They finish 9-3 after playing two QBs.


Optimistic – Undefeated national champions with Deshaun Watson as the Heisman Trophy winner and first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Pessimistic – Florida State gets them in the ACC and Auburn gets them early derailing the Clemson hype train. Also, Clemsoning returns.

Realistic – The Florida State game deicides if they play for the national title or finish as the fifth team in the final polls.

Florida State

Optimistic – Undefeated national champions with Dalvin Cook as the Heisman Trophy winner

Pessimistic – Two losses. One from Clemson and one from Florida.

Realistic – National Champions after one loss in non-conference play allows them into the ACC title game and into the playoff.


Optimistic – Two-loss PAC-12 champs and in the college football playoff with Christian McCaffery winning the Heisman Trophy

Pessimistic – 5 losses as the PAC-12 beats up their best title hopeful and leaves Christian McCaffery well out of the Heisman race.

Realistic – The PAC-12 is so tough this year they could still be the champs with three losses in conference so that’s what we go with.

Ohio State

Optimistic – Urban Meyer continues to be one of the best coaches ever and get his young squad ready to play each week where they buzzsaw through the Big 10.

Pessimistic – The youth movement is too young and they drop two, maybe three games.

Realistic – One loss and depending on the loss playing for the Big 10 championship. Michigan and Michigan State aren’t easy outs, especially back-to-back, and don’t sleep on Oklahoma as a non-conference challenge.


Optimistic – Jim Harbaugh is the real deal and overachieves with quarterback issues while his defense takes care of business. They win the Big 10 after one regular season loss.

Pessimistic – A repeat year from last year. An early loss they have to recover from and losses to the two teams they hate the most.

Realistic – They take Michigan State’s place as the second best team in the Big 10 but their loss to Ohio State keeps them out of the Big 10 title game.

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