Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Taking Stock of My Preseason Predictions

Wow, another regular season gone, just like that.  Is it seriously December already?  As a Dawg fan, this season was the most enjoyable we've had in a while, even if there were some ups and downs along the way.  I figured this would be a good time to take a look back at my preseason predictions, and see just how badly I did:

*WAC:  My pick came down to Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii, and I ultimately went with Nevada.  So naturally Louisiana Tech won the conference (Nevada finished 2nd). 

*Sun Belt: I picked Troy, as they had won or shared the conference title for 5 straight seasons, so they were a pretty safe bet until they went 2-6 in the conference.  Massive failure on this pick.  Arkansas State had a great season to win the conference, culminating in losing their coach to Ole Miss.

*Mountain West:  Lucky guess, I got this one right with TCU.  If I had made this pick after the first week of the season and seen what the two teams looked like, I never would have picked TCU over Boise State.  But, TCU got their act together and closed out another impressive year.  I'm a huge Gary Patterson fan (and an admirer of Chris Petersen at Boise St as well).

*MAC - I had no idea on this one, and picked Central Michigan just to pick somebody.  CMU rewarded my pick by going 2-6 (I really know how to pick 'em, huh?).  Congrats to Northern Illinois on a great season......you know, by MAC standards.

*Conference USA:  I picked Central Florida, who proceeded to go 3-5 in the conference.  Most of the picks above I really had no gut feeling on, but I really thought Central Florida would be a good team this year. But Houston, Tulsa, and Southern Miss were the class of the conference, with Southern Miss putting a surprising pounding on Houston in the title game. 

*Big East:  I picked USF just to go against the grain of EVERYONE who was expecting West Virginia to run away with the conference.  USF stepped up to the plate and went 1-6 in the conference, putting them in a tie with Syracuse for the worst team in the worst BCS conference.  Yep, I really know how to pick 'em.  West Virginia technically tied with Louisville and Cincinnati, but were the highest ranked team, so got the BCS nod.

*Pac 12:  Hey, I got one! Quack quack quack!

*Big 10:  Hey,  I got two!  Wisconsin partially failed me, as I had them penciled into the BCS Title Game as well, but they did win the conference.

*Big 12:  I picked Oklahoma, and also had them penciled in to play Wisconsin for the title game.  Wrong and wrong, as Oklahoma State was the class of the conference.  I do think 'Bama and LSU are the two best teams in the country, but I wouldn't have minded seeing an LSU-Oklahoma State matchup either.

*ACC:  I pegged FSU as being overrated, but picked Va Tech as the conference champ.  And with the way Clemson had played the past month, and the way Va Tech had played the past month, I'm still shocked that I was wrong.  Congrats to Clemson though, they stepped up when it counted and finished the season with a bang.

Here were my SEC predictions, which were pretty much wrong on all accounts:

* The SEC's Streak of BCS Championships Comes To An End
* The BCS Title Game Will Not Have An SEC School 
* The SEC Champion Will Have 2 Losses 
* UGA Will Beat the Gamecocks and the Gators - But Won't Win the East
* South Carolina Will Win The East With an 11-1 Record
* 'Bama Will Win The West With A 10-2 Record
* 'Bama Will Beat South Carolina For the SEC Title

Wow, that was a whole truckload of fail on those SEC predictions, huh?  Consider me humbled.

*UGA Predictions:  I didn't do TOO bad.  I predicted us to go 9-3, and that was pretty much my baseline expectation for the regular season.  I felt like 9-3 meant the coaches got exactly the expected level of performance out of the players, anything better meant they coached them up, and anything worse indicated a poor coaching job.  So needless to say, I'm very happy with the 10-2 regular season that we had, and I do feel that the coaches did a good job as the season wore on of coaching the team up.  

As for my weekly (not preseason) game picks for the Dawgs, including the SECCG, I was 12-1 this year, with my only miss being that I picked Florida to beat us.  Most of the picks were pretty straightforward this year, I actually think the hardest prediction is going to be for our bowl game against the Spartans.  I think that game is going to come down to the last play of the game, and I'm not sure which way I'm leaning yet.

Overall, a pretty shoddy performance on preseason picks, not that I really expected to do much better.

Outside of the scandals and so forth, what about this season surprised you the most, based on your preseason expectations?


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