Thursday, December 17, 2009

Looking Back on My College Football Predictions

Making predictions has never been my best asset, but still it remains something I hope to get better at. With that said, I would like to look back at the predictions I made at the beginning of this 2009 college football season.

Then: Florida WILL go undefeated and they WILL win the National Championship.
(I keep looking and when I really evaluate this team I do not see them tripping up once.)

Now: It really is strange when you think about how the Tebow Show is over. I was confident the Gators would prevail over the Crimson Tide. All summer and year there was so much certainty that the Gators were going to win the title. I bought into it. Sure the offense was stagnant in some games, but the team kept winning. Tebow would not fall. And then it happened. Alabama hit Florida in the mouth like no one has ever done against Tebow. In 60 minutes of football it was all over.

Then: By the end of October the California Bears WILL no longer be in the dark horse National Championship talk.
(I have been hearing all summer how this Cal team is going to make some noise. I do not see this year being any different from the other years we, the fans, were lead to believe this.)

Now: I could not have been more right about this prediction. I saw this coming from 10 miles away. At 3-0 the Golden Bears traveled to Oregon only to lose 42-3. The next week the team lost their homecoming to USC 30-3. Poof! Two games, two losses, National Title talk dead. After all the hype California finished the season with 4 losses and an invite to the Poinsetta Bowl to play Utah. Ouch.

Then: Ohio State WILL beat USC on September 12th.
(Matt Barkley is 18 years old. He turns 19 on September 8th. He has never started a college game. I do not think in his second game of the year he will be able to pull out a victory in front of 100,000+ screaming fans. I do not care how good he was in high school and I'm sure he will have a fine college career. But at the end of the day I do not think with such little experience he will be able to beat the Buckeyes.)

Now: They had them! Ohio State had USC! The crowd was there, the team was there, but the Buckeyes could not stop freshman Matt Barkley from driving down the field and pulling out an 18-15 victory. Even worse, Terrelle Pryor, the proclaimed savior, turned the ball over on downs with a minute left. Wasn't Pryor brought in to win games like these?

Then: Baylor behind the nation's best kept secret, quarterback Robert Griffin, will pull off a big upset this year, but Baylor will not going bowling this year.

Now: Poor Baylor. Had Griffin not torn his ACL in week three against Northwestern State this team would of gone bowling. Griffin was already putting up some ridiculous numbers. Baylor was 2-1 when Griffin was playing, when he was not they were 1-7. Let's hope Griffin comes back strong in 2010.

Then: Miami Florida's head coach Randy Shannon will be fired at the end of the year as his team will again under perform. The Hurricanes will finish with 5 losses.

Now: What do I really know? Geez I never thought Miami would start the season the way they did. So what if the Hurricanes got screwed out of a quality bowl game, Shannon's crew still finished 9-3. More importantly The U is on the rise behind Jacory Harris.

Then: Michigan will not lose more than 4 games.

Now: Another "great" call by me. I thought I was on track when Michigan started 4-0, including a win over a "good" Notre Dame team. In the team's final 8 games the Wolverines went 1-7. RichRod has one more season to right the ship or he will be unemployed. It's still appalling to think that UM is 8-16 in the past two years! Despite that awful record, freshman QB Tate Forcier does look like the real deal.

Then: Once again Texas will just sneak by Oklahoma State. Much like the Fiesta Bowl, Colt McCoy will lead Texas for a late score at the end of the game to beat the Cowboys.

Now: How am I so bad at predicting? This game was never close. Texas destroyed the Cowboys 41-14. My only salvation is knowing it was only 3-0 Texas after the first quarter. That's not bad, right?

Then: Oklahoma beats Texas. Oklahoma loses two games. Texas goes to the Big 12 Championship and then the National Championship.

Now: This was about a half and half. I was right about Texas winning the Big 12 and heading to the National Championship, but on the other side I was completely wrong. Oklahoma lost five games (not two) and the Sooners did not beat Texas (it was close, but they lost 16-13). Keep in mind there's no telling how this Oklahoma team does if Sam Bradford doesn't get injured the first week.

Then: Notre Dame will be getting a BCS bowl after they finish the season with only 2 losses. And yes they will lose to USC again.

Now: You know when a bad car crash happens you tell yourself not to look, but you still do? That's EXACTLY what these predictions are like. They are so off, but at the same time I can not stop reading them. Short and sweet - I was right about ND falling to USC yet again, but the whole BCS talk is disturbing to think about it. After the USC loss the wheels really started coming off the wagon. The four game losing streak to end the season (Navy, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Stanford) was pathetic. But because of the team's lousy play they were "rewarded" with the hidden gem of the college football world - Brian Kelly.

Then: Alabama will lose at the most 2 games during the regular season. Ole Miss will lose only one when the Bengals come into town. Ole Miss will go to the SEC Championship Game.

Now: FAIL! Alabama never lost a game and the LSU did not beat Ole Miss. Even better Ole Miss never went to the SEC Championship Game. Wow these predictions only get worse. Also I am guilty, I did start to believe Ole Miss was legit.

Then: LSU will have their swagger back this year, but a very hard schedule will keep them out of the SEC Championship Game.

Now: Meh. A tough schedule was a big reason LSU did not qualify for the SEC Championship along with a number of other things such as erratic playcalling, an erroneous missed interception against Alabama, and the ultimate brain fart against Ole Miss. But with all that said LSU could of found itself in a BCS bowl had Les Miles not gone brain dead in the waning seconds against Ole Miss. Okay new subject that still gets me mad.

Then: Rutgers will not win the Big East. Pittsburgh will take the conference and the coveted BCS bowl bid.

Now: I was so close! Rutgers never lived up to expectations so that whole "BCS berth" talk was flushed down the toilet early on. As far as Pittsburgh goes they had a 21 point lead at home on an undefeated Cincinnati team. Even worse they had a six point lead with a minute half left. The one time the defense needed to step up they failed.

Then: West Virginia will have 5 losses this year. Speculation will begin about whether Bill Stewart is the right guy for the job.

Now: This one surprised me. Really thought WV would take a step back with Pat White gone. The team only has three losses going into a Gator Bowl match up with Florida State. If the Mountineers can pull out a victory a 10 win season will silence some critics...for now.

Then: Alabama will beat Virginia Tech 31-14. Tech has a defense, but the offense will not be able to do anything against Alabama's defense.

Now: This game was a lot closer than I expected. It was not until the 4th quarter that the Tide pulled away. Once again Alabama used the first game of the season to send a message.

Then: Texas A&M has another losing season and surprisingly gives Mike Sherman one more year.

Now: A&M finished with a 6-6 record meaning they barely missed out on having another losing season. The Aggies showed great potential against the Longhorns when they nearly pulled off the upset of the year. Having QB Jerrod Johnson back along with freshman running back Christine Michael will give some fans a reason to give A&M a sleeper label for 2010.

Then: Dan LeFevour. He's what some would call the "poor man's Tim Tebow." He will lead Central Michigan to the MAC Title and to go along with that Houston will win the Conference-USA.

Now: Just when I thought I had no hope I pull this one out! LeFevour continued to set records his entire senior year. To cement a great career LeFevour led CMU to a MAC Title over Ohio. On the other hand I was awfully close with Houston, but East Carolina beat them in the CUSA Title game 38-32. So close!

Then: Sorry Archie Griffin, but you no longer have the record by yourself. Tim Tebow will win the Heisman trophy.

Now: At the beginning of the year it seemed destined for the trophy to go to either Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow, instead Alabama's Mark Ingram stole the show. Ingram won the closest race ever by beating Stanford's Toby Gerhart by only 28 points.

Then: Oregon looked pretty impressive in their bowl victory against Oklahoma State so I will have to take the Ducks. Look for Oregon to end Boise State's 49-game regular-season home winning streak. It will be decided by one score.

Now: You know what would of been funny? Had I predicted a fight at the end of the game. Sadly I didn't. Even worse I was dead wrong about this prediction. Boise State dominated Oregon 19-8.

Enjoy the bowl season, and yes, I too am very excited for the San Diego County Credit Union Bowl. And by the way how far away are we from having a very awkward bowl name? For instance, the Viagara Bowl, the Good Housekeeping Magazine Bowl, the Playtex Bowl, or (drum roll)the Beggin' Strips Bowl.

Trust me we are not that far away!

No comments: