Blog Entry

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:36 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 7:52 pm
Time to revisit some of our best and worst predictions over the past year, which will serve as a double-barrel Tuesday Top 10 list.

The Worst

1. Oklahoma to win it all: The Sooners did sustain some big blows to injury, losing standout LB Travis Lewis before the season and then top receiver (Ryan Broyles) and top rusher (Dom Whaley) later. Still, the Sooners lost at home to a four-TD underdog (Texas Tech) that didn't even get to a bowl game and then finished the season losing by 34 to rival Oklahoma State. OU ended up the season tied with Baylor for third in the Big 12.

2. FSU is back and ready to play in a BCS bowl: The AP poll went all in on FSU putting the Noles sixth in the preseason poll. I was even more optimistic last April, placing them third in a poll I turned in. Instead, FSU, went 8-4 and just 5-3 in the ACC.

3. Maryland could go 8-4: I saw the ACC's top young QB (Danny O'Brien), a quality RB (Davin Meggett) and four returning starters on the O-line and said that 8-4 "seems viable." Um, not exactly. The Terps were a disaster, going 2-10 with one win over an FBS opponent, and that team Miami was a shell of itself due to NCAA player suspensions.

4. Texas A&M is a top 15 team: I bought into the hype around the Aggies with Ryan Tannehill, some gifted receivers and backs and a more mature O-line. Things fizzled in College Station so bad that Mike Sherman lost his job as A&M fell apart in the second half of games and finished 6-6.

5. Gus Malzahn - the hottest assistant in college football: It wasn't a surprise that the Auburn OC saw the Tigers struggle mightily without Cam Newton and most of the AU O-line from 2010, but you had to figure he could've gotten in on UNC or even the Kansas coaching vacancies, no? No? A video of an interview his wife gave certainly didn't help his cause. Regardless, from here it looks like Arkansas State was very fortunate to scoop him up.

6. Nebraska is going to win the Big Ten: The Huskers beat two top top 15 teams - No. 11 and No. 12 Penn State (those were the rankings when they met), but still only finished third in the Legends Division and were also blown out twice, once by Wisconsin, 48-17 and once at Michigan, 45-17.

7. Notre Dame will win 10 games and make the BCS: Once Brian Kelly signed off on embattled star WR Michael Floyd not missing any games, I figured the Irish had more than enough firepower to roll through their schedule. Trouble was, the team was far too mistake prone, committing 26 turnovers and had an underwhelming 8-4, going 2-3 against teams that finished with winning records this season.

8. At worst, Tennessee will go 7-5: Of course, it didn't help that the Vols lost QB Tyler Bray for half of the season and their best weapon, WR Justin Hunter for most of the season, but losing to that bad Kentucky team playing with a WR at QB to miss even becoming bowl eligible was indicative of a miserable season in Knoxville for the 5-7 Vols.

9. Clemson will struggle again and Dabo Swinney may be forced out: I figured new OC Chad Morris would help a lot but ultimately the Tigers would stumble too many times. Oh, they did have some problems in the second half of the season, losing three of their last five games but still thumped Va. Tech to win the ACC.

10. UCF would be a borderline Top 25 team: After watching the Knights win 11 games last season and beat Georgia in a bowl, I thought they'd have another strong season. So strong in fact that I had them as my No. 4 BCS bowl buster candidate behind Boise State, Houston and TCU. The Knights didn't even finish .500 in C-USA play, going 3-5 and 5-7 overall. They played six road games and lost all six.

The Best

1. Michigan will be a top 25 team this year: Brady Hoke inherited a team with 20 starters back and one of the top playmakers in the sport in Denard Robinson. Hoke was also smart enough to bring in Greg Mattison to shore up the defense.

2. Florida will not be ranked: I was surprised to see the Gators ranked in the top 25 given the fact that they had a dramatic transition in schemes and so much uncertainty on both sides of the ball. They also had to deal with back-to-back games against the best two defenses in college football, against Alabama and LSU. End result: 6-6, winning just one game in their final seven against FBS opponents.

3. Arkansas State will make a lot of noise in the Sun Belt: Well, I didn't buy that the Red Wolves were going to win the Sun Belt as ASU D-line coach Chris Kiffin told me they would before the season, but I bought in that first-year coach Hugh Freeze would lead the program to its first winning season since 1995. They ended up doing a lot more than that, winning the league and going 10-2.

4. Tony Levine -- fast-rising assistant coach: The former Minnesota wideout may never have been an offensive or defensive coordinator, but he's long been regarded as one of the top special teams coordinators in college football. He also had been a huge help for Kevin Sumlin in a variety of roles, so when A&M hired Sumlin, it shouldn't have been that big of a surprise that UH would turn to Levine, who has always been well-respected by those inside the Cougars athletic offices.

5. Mississippi State isn't a top 20 team: The Bulldogs lost a bunch of key pieces to their defense, in addition to DC Manny Diaz and that would be too much to overcome in the loaded SEC West. End result: 2-6 in SEC play.

6. Mike Locksley will be the first head coach fired this season: A brutal mix of on and off-field issues led to New Mexico canning Locksley before the end of September.

7. Georgia will win the SEC East: I wasn't sold that South Carolina, preseason No. 12, should've been the favorite in the lesser division of the SEC. I was sold that the Dawgs had the best QB, a good mix of young and old and the most manageable schedule (no LSU, Alabama or Arkansas) to emerge from the East. Of course, things got even harder for Carolina after standout RB Marcus Lattimore was lost for the season with a knee injury.

8. WVU to a BCS bowl: Despite all of the drama for this program in the off-season, I was pretty convinced Dana Holgorsen would spark a dramatic improvement for this team offensively. And, he did. They went from 78th in scoring last season to No. 19 this year en route to making it to the Orange Bowl.

9. Texas will be better, but not that much better: After going 5-7, Mack Brown made significant changes to the Texas coaching staff. I expected the moves to help but still was skeptical UT would be better than the fourth best team in the Big 12. They weren't. They went 7-5 and finished sixth in the conference but at least they were able to beat arch-rival Texas A&M. Then again, UT finished off the regular season with a loss to Baylor.

10. Urban Meyer to get the Ohio State job: Truth is, this one was pretty obvious. I floated that Meyer could be the next OSU head man at the end of 2010 before Jim Tressel was really in hot water. Then, once Tressel was forced out, Meyer became just about everyone's frontrunner for the Buckeye vacancy.

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 4:19 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

I get sick and tired of hearing all of you Left Coast nerds whining about football respect.  There is only one PAC 12 team in the top 25 ranking of defenses.  The problem is that Left Coast schools only play offense and defense wins championships.  The SEC doesn't have a single team ranked in the top 25 in total offense.  I would venture to say that this is because of the quality defenses in the converence.  I anticipate this continuing for years to come. 


Since: Dec 25, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:30 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

I see a HA within three years. Its not the pool of talent he has been choosing from, thats for sure Florida > ohio

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:19 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Props to BFeld for stepping up to the plate.  FSU was one who made it to my All Dolly Parton team:  a huge bust.  Maybe they were given too much praise coming off a 10 win, post Bobby season.  Perhaps Jimbo fed them the headlines and said 'this is who you are'.  I looked at FSU's schedule before the season started and went, W W L W W W W W W W W W.  I almost bought tickets to the OB.  Perhaps NEXT year their Oline will punch a hole threw a Wheaties box, an RB will relive the days of Gregg Jones and Sammie Smith, and as a team they'll realize that the game is played on the field, and not in the media. 

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 6:03 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Ten times right and ten times wrong, it's fair. So he's not always on the ball. Looking at Maryland for a moment based on all who was returning, and bringing in Randy Edsal after an Fiesta Bowl appearence with UConn, you would think there would be success. It's certainly crazy that they had one of the worst seasons in college football. It was fair to say FSU was ready, well a reminder, they looked ready at the beginning of the season. But then they butted heads with OU and they got beat. It was all downhill from there.
But I will admit, Texas A&M was overrated this entire year. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact they were jumping over to the SEC. Now that they were looking to go to a seemingly stronger conference that made them look better than what they really were. But I'll give him credit, saying Florida would be unranked was unheard of. When they finished 6-6 I was surprised. 

Since: Jan 30, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 4:45 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions sound like ah silly "Swamp People" reality show person!

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:34 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Ohio St got UF's sloppy seconds.....FYI, Meyers best days are way behind him so dont get too excited probation wont help your cause and everyone knows Meyer ditches and runs as soon as any trouble appears so enjoy your 2-3 years with 8 wins maybe a year

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:18 am

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Yea Matt Barkley didn't get any coverage last week. And nobody ever talks about Oregon. Or Stanford and Andrew Luck. Those teams are practically ignored! I wish they'd stop talking about the conference that won the last 6 titles in a row. Or the one with the most traditional powers and largest fan bases. Or the conference that plays exciting high scoring games and has the highest grossing program in football and this years trophy winner. Let's talk about Oregon state instead.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:14 am

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

Dont forget predictions of Kstate finishing eighth in the Big 12. Not in the nation, but in their own conference. Snyder continues to be a genius.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:02 am

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

The whole media crowd swallowed the Oklahoma wire-to-wire thing.  They really seemed to be in the spell after the games against FSU and Texas.  But how many teams can actually start with that number one ranking and stay there?  Ever since OU won the national championship, they've had trouble finishing off the season.  As for Texas, the controversy has focused all pre-season on the LHN and whther the Big Twelve could hold it together.  Did anyone ever really think to ask whether or not the Texas team was good enough to justify all the controversy?  What was so obvious to you about Meyer getting the Ohio State job?  If the email trail had never emerged to prove that Tressel was less than truthful, do you really think that Ohio State would have gotten rid of him?  Just how long was Meyer going to hold out for that job?  He isn't the youngest man alive himself.  Certainly "floating" an idea is something with which is familiar.  "If situation A happens, it could result in Situation B."  That's not a prediction, it's called specualtion. something at which this site, especially Dennis Dodd excels.  Don't take credit for something that you really didn't do. 

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:37 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Year's best/worst predictions

I always thought it was Mike Ghoulic! Sorry Eddie; but you kind of missed the joke bro, Bro; take the Air Force, Cal, and Washington against the spread this week and drink your way into 2012. 1 bonus pick my man is Utah in the Sun Bowl.

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