I am still in a bit of shock that my predictions, overall, did so well. A few of my selections were horrendous so I don’t know how that happened. So let’s break down how I did and even look at a few things that weren’t in the Stassen calculations.
I Shat the Bed
Let’s start with the bad. These picks I definitely shat the bed with.
Missouri – I finally relented and put Mizzou tied at the top of the SEC East with Georgia. After having them much lower in the previous two seasons and the Tigers exceeding my expectations both times, I figured I would put them at the top. Bad move. Missouri played uninspired football at times, Gary Pinkel is now gone, and they finished well down in the second-best division in the two-division SEC. They even stayed home for bowl season. Not good.
Georgia Tech – This whole section could have centred around this team. Good lord, other than one game (that amazing win over Florida State), they were awful. I really do not know how this team could fall so far. It’s not like they had a massive change in personnel. They returned the same coaching staff. It almost feels like last year was the actual illusion and this is the actual Ramblin’ Wreck. All of a sudden, Paul Johnson finds himself on a little bit of a hotter seat, something I didn’t think would happen so soon in Hotlanta.
UCF – It feels like every bad pick was a team that I predicted to be way better than they actually ended up being. UCF would have probably easily lost a relegation game to the FCS. They were that bad. George O’Leary resigned by moving to a higher position. Former CFL all-star Danny Barrett couldn’t right the ship. It was a whole batch of terrible down in Orlando. But I guess there is only one way to go but up and it seems like every year there is a team that surprises in the AAC so why not the Knights next season?
Georgia State – The one pick where I put them so low and they exceeded expectations. Damn you Trent Miles! The Panthers, somehow, picked themselves up off the floor and made their way to the first bowl game in school history. An impressive turnaround for a program that many wondered if they were even fit for FBS football after not performing too well in their short FCS stint. And now with a new field coming (the old Turner Field for this coming season I believe), everything is looking good for GSU.
And now…..the awesome
I am truly amazed at how some of my individual team and full conference picks went. Truly amazed.
The entire Big Ten – My predictions tied for the best of any preseason prediction out there. I was spot on with five teams, all in the Big Ten East, and was close with every other team. Not that the Big Ten was super difficult to predict (maybe a bit in the middle of the standings in the West division) but still, I did good!
Clemson – There weren’t many people predicting Clemson to run the table. I was one of them. I figured they would get to the College Football Playoff undefeated and that’s exactly what happened. Then again, I also figured they wouldn’t win their semi-final game so you can’t win em all.
Kansas and Eastern Michigan – I’ll put these two teams together since I think you would have to have no college football knowledge or REALLY wanted to go out on a limb to not put either of these two programs last in their conference or division. These were easy.
MAC and Conference USA – Two Group of Five conferences where, especially in one division in each conference, it wasn’t shaping up to be too easy to get everything right. But hey, if you don’t understand the tone of most of this article by now (you’re probably dumb) let me get you up to speed…a lot of my predictions were really good. In both conferences, I received six points. Like in golf, the lower the score the better. This means I was, overall, only six spots different for the ENTIRE CONFERENCE. Pretty impressive eh? The MAC was probably the most impressive since I was exactly correct on eight of the thirteen teams. If it wasn’t for my too-low pick for Buffalo I would have been almost perfect. Yay me!
Other predictions I made
Battle of the Techs – I do a Mega-Quatro-Post on the biggest games of the upcoming season. For Week 11 this year, I had down Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech as one of the biggest games of the week. Good lord was I wrong. The Hokies had to scratch and claw their way to get to a bowl in Frank Beamer’s final season. And I already discussed the shitpile that the Yellow Jackets were. Most of my picks for games of the year weren’t bad but this one wasn’t even close.
Picking games for networks – This is a very inexact science considering some of the times games are on don’t even come close to matching what is predicted. Saying that, I erred fairly big a few times:
- Auburn at Texas A&M – I had them as the SEC on CBS night game this year. It ended up as the primetime SEC Network game. Yikes.
- Kansas at Oklahoma State and Arizona State at California – Looking back, I should have figured FOX would not put these games on the main network (I even stated the KU-OSU game would probably be changed to a Pac-12 affair) but I went with my gut and I was wrong. Stupid Bossman.
- Rutgers at Wisconsin – I had this pegged as a mid-afternoon ABC national game. Boy was I wrong. It ended up on BTN at noon. Same thing happened a few weeks later with Nebraska at Rutgers as they got the mid-afternoon BTN slot. Really, other than Rutgers hosting Ohio State in primetime, I shouldn’t have put Rutgers anywhere near ABC.
The Coaching Hot Seat List – I had a loooooooong list of coaches on the Hot Seat List. Two of them, however, did pretty much the exact opposite. First, Kevin Wilson got Indiana to a bowl game for the first time in what feels like forever. And Willie Taggart got USF within a hair of going to the AAC Championship. Impressive stuff. Other than that it was a good list and a few of the coaches were actually shitcanned (including Tim Beckman, my #1 Hot Seat draft choice who got fired just before the season began).
My Heisman ballot – Good lord this again. There’s a reason I had Derrick Henry in the honourable mention portion of my ballot: I figured he would split carries almost evenly with the other running backs that he wouldn’t break out as the star. Boy was I wrong. Then again, many were wrong because I don’t remember seeing Henry any higher than fifth on anyone’s list.
I picked Trevone Boykin to win it. He was good but not great. My #3 choice, Deshaun Watson, actually ended up #3. And for those who somehow got Christian McCaffrey on their preseason Heisman list, good for you since I am sure most didn’t. And another season goes by where they are smart to never give me a Heisman ballot.
Postseason predictions – Ok so I had two of the four teams of the College Football Playoff selected correctly. I even got Bama right in the national championship (although I had them losing to TCU). I also had three more teams in my New Year’s Six picks that actually made it there. So five out of twelve is pretty good considering everything. My biggest gaffes were having Missouri finish #12 (and the top team not selected for the NY6), Boise State finish #8 (and in the Fiesta Bowl), and Oklahoma State unranked and relegated to the Liberty Bowl. But, all in all, I didn’t do too bad.
So there you have it. A decent year on my part. Hooray for me. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance this coming season (I’m sure not).
The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Everyone knows that. Then we get into the football dead period other than the NFL Draft (and no, spring games aren’t exciting, they are pointless and I will not cover them). This dead period lasts for almost six months (or a little less than five if you’re a CFL fan). It’s a loooooooong road ahead but we can make it. I know we can!