Friday, December 20, 2013

How Did My Bold College Football Predictions for 2013 Turn Out?

Over the summer, we all make predictions about the upcoming college football season. Here were mine. And then by December, we never take time to look back.

How bad were those predictions? Why were they so bad? What if I was actually right about something?

So for fun before the holidays and the upcoming bowl season, let’s review my predictions. And we should start with the one that garnered the most preseason attention.

Yep, mea culpa time.

I was wrong. They didn’t lose that many games. In fact, they only lost once. It wasn’t the season Louisville fans wanted. And I suspect most are already thinking about the Kentucky game on Dec. 28 instead of the Russell Athletic Bowl. But that doesn’t change the fact I was wrong.

Why I was wrong? Two reasons.

First, Teddy Bridgewater was better than I thought. I knew Teddy was good. I didn’t realize he was that good.

teddy bridgewater nflThere is a huge difference in college football when one team has a future starting NFL QB and the other team, well it doesn’t. The best recent example is TCU and Andy Dalton. While he was in college, everyone knew Dalton was good. It wasn’t until he left that we realized just how good he was. He’s now a playoff quarterback in the NFL, he won a Rose Bowl at TCU – read that last part again, a Rose Bowl, at TCU – and since he left, TCU has basically fallen apart.

In fact, the only game Louisville did lose was to a UCF team that has its own potential starting NFL QB on the roster.

It took me a while to realize how good Bridgewater was until the finale against Cincinnati, in the team’s only difficult road game. Without Bridgewater and his tremendous performance, they lose that game. That’s not even a question. He was the difference. If they lose that game and finish 10-2, I feel a bit better about my prediction and can blame it on reason #2. Instead, I have to give Teddy his props and hope like hell he ends up as my Jets quarterback next year.

As a bonus 2014 bold prediction, if Teddy Bridgewater does decide to come back, Louisville will make the four-team college football playoff. Write it down.

The second reason, which I did not take into account, was how putrid the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference would be and how easy Louisville’s schedule would be.

The conference had four good teams. Cincinnati and Houston are fringe Top 25 teams. UCF and Louisville are Top 10-15 teams. That’s it. The other 6 teams, even including bowl-bound Rutgers, are hot, steaming garbage. I thought teams like USF and UConn would be 5-7, 6-6 bad…they were historically awful.

The road schedule Louisville played up until the Cincinnati game may be the most comical in major college football history. At Kentucky, Temple, USF and UConn – those four had a combined record of 9 wins, 39 losses. Good Lord. UConn at 3-9 was the toughest road game Louisville played before Cincinnati and UConn was winless at the time.

So to all the Louisville fans that wrote horrible things about me…you were right, I was wrong. Happy now?

Alabama will not win the National Championship
Alright, I got one right! Though to be fair, I did say that I thought they would make the BCS title game and lose it in the National Title game, and even compared them to the 2002 Miami and 2005 USC teams that lost in all-time classics in the title games.

So their season sort of played out like I predicted, I just had no idea – like everyone else in the world – that the all-time classic would take place in the Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Georgia will annihilate Clemson in Week 1
Oops. To be fair, when Todd Gurley busted out for his huge touchdown run early against Clemson, I thought I was right. But that run doubled as the very last moment Georgia would be healthy in 2013. Gurley battled injuries. Wide receivers went down like MASH unit each week. And eventually, it even nabbed Aaron Murray.

We’ll revisit Georgia later, but I really believe if Gurley plays all 60 minutes, they do annihilate Clemson because Clemson couldn’t stop him. And kudos to Clemson, they showed up and weren’t afraid of Georgia. I was envisioning they would put on the performance they eventually did against Florida State, which is to say essentially wetting themselves on broadcast television.

Boise State will lose to Washington in Week 1
This was too easy. Boise State was down. Washington was up and the opening of a new Husky Stadium was going to be too much. I mean, I didn’t see a total destruction coming like it was – this game basically ended the Chris Petersen era in Boise – but I was right.

An American Athletic Conference team will be in the National Title hunt in November
So, not exactly. Though in my initial post, I mentioned that UCF had the best chance because of the schedule through October – road games at Penn State and Louisville and South Carolina at home. And the three-point loss to South Carolina ruined it. I want to take another opportunity to point out how absurd UCF’s current ranking is. If South Carolina is #9, how is UCF, with a better record, not #10?  Let’s move on.

Ohio State will play Michigan twice
Ohio State will lose to Michigan once
It will cost them a spot in the title game
Technically, I got the last of these three predictions right since the scenario I laid out – an undefeated Ohio State team losing in the Big Ten championship game to lose a BCS title spot – did happen. I just had the wrong state school from Michigan. Nothing I would change about that, even through the first two weeks of the season. Michigan looked awesome in beating Notre Dame – Michigan State looked putrid on offense in losing to Notre Dame. You live, you learn, you keep giving Michigan too much credit.

Baylor will win the Big 12
I’m going to quote myself because I absolutely nailed this one:

“The Big 12 is not going to have a banner year. No other conference was hurt more by players graduating or leaving early. Texas seems to be perpetually down. Kansas State won’t play back to last year’s level. Oklahoma, well, they just seem off. It opens up a bit of a power vacuum for this year and no team is more poised to claim it than Baylor.”

There will be no BCS Buster
It took through the last Friday of the regular season, but this turned out to be correct. There were no non-BCS schools that appeared to be at the level of, say, a 2008 Utah or 2010 TCU. However, Fresno State did appear it could pull off a 2007 Hawaii-type run until San Jose State ended that. I did not see how good Northern Illinois would be, and that’s partly why I would’ve voted Jordan Lynch for Heisman with Jameis Winston as #2. NIU is a one-man team and Lynch almost pulled off the unthinkable all by himself.

Texas A&M will lose at least 3 games
This was too easy. They lost a lot of talent from 2012 and everyone knew the defense was going to be awful. Johnny Football single-handedly kept this team in games against Auburn and Alabama they had no business, in retrospect, of even being close in. Once Johnny Football hit a bit of a down patch late, against LSU and Missouri, the team fell apart.

Another bold prediction for 2014: Texas A&M is going to be bad next year if Manziel goes pro.

This will be Mack Brown’s last year at Texas
“Another offseason of hype will lead to another early season disappointment. “

“The Texas job search will be the main off-the-field storyline through the bowl season.”

Some things are so obvious, you know? I lose a point for predicting Texas to end up in the Holiday Bowl, which would have happened if Oklahoma hadn’t made the BCS. I also said the resignation would not turn into an ugly Bobby Bowden-type fiasco, but it was somehow even uglier with the Nick Saban leaks and the chaos going on at the university.

Jadeveon Clowney will win the Heisman Trophy
I should’ve realized he never had a chance. I thought the offseason hype would help him. Instead, it just focused a microscope on everything he did. And defensive ends are a lot like baseball hitters – they fail more than they succeed. A hitter can strike out 7 out of 10 times and still go to the Hall of Fame. Well, Clowney can get 2 sacks on 70 plays and be the best player in football.

The real problem is that defensive line might be the easiest position to neutralize. Yeah, it may take three guys, but you can eliminate Clowney and focus on the other 10 guys. South Carolina is #9 in large part because of Clowney’s presence. He will be much better in the NFL when triple-teams can’t happen.

florida state clemsonNotre Dame will lose 1 game, and not to who you think
I severely underestimated the loss of Everett Golson and how bad Tommy Rees is at preventing turnovers. Let’s move on.

The ACC will not have a national contender by October 1
Great job buddy. They actually had three at the time. I even predicted Pitt to beat Florida State. I’m really stupid sometimes.

Pitt and Syracuse will both win at least 8 games
Clearly, I was high when I wrote this.

Army will beat Navy
I thought Army’s heart-breaking loss to Navy would be a launching pad to a big 2013 for Army, thinking they would use that game as motivation and evidence they were closing the gap with Navy. Except for an inspired first half at home against Stanford, Army was really bad this year while Navy more or less returned to form. The next Army head coach will be an interesting hire to watch – there’s no reason why Navy can win 7 or 8 games every year but Army can’t.

Penn State will not have a winning record
Close but not quite, as the surprising season-ending victory on the road against Wisconsin got Penn State to 7-5. They also scored big wins against Syracuse and Michigan that I didn’t think they’d get – especially the Syracuse game, since it was the opener with a true freshman QB. All the credit in the world to Bill O’Brien on this one.

USC will win the Pac-12 and play in the Rose Bowl
Not only was this insanely stupid, I doubled down by writing an entire post explaining why USC would be back in 2013. I was sort of right, as Coach O’s run proved, because there was enough talent there for USC to win the Pac-12. But the lack of depth caught up with them. Also, I had zero idea how bad things had gotten under Kiffin.

2 SEC teams will play in the National Title game
Georgia will win the National Championship
Well I was almost right on the first part, and would have been if Duke had done the unimaginable on Championship Saturday. But they didn’t, and I was wrong. I may save that prediction for next year when a four-team playoff makes that scenario far more likely.

As for Georgia, what can I say? Despite the loss to Clemson, I felt good about this prediction through September after wins against LSU and South Carolina. But the injuries piled, they didn’t take Missouri seriously and it all fell apart.

So, I made 21 bold predictions and I got 7 right. A .333 batting average? I’d be the best hitter on the Mets!

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4 comments:

  1. Good to see you admit youre an idito. Dumbass.

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  2. The Syracuse/Pitt prediction made me laugh.

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  3. You are the dumbest motherfucker on the planet.

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  4. Your hate for the ACC because we didn't accept UCONN is glaringly obvious in your predictions.

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