Late this past summer I took my annual swing at looking into the crystal pigskin to see what this year’s college football season may have in store. The only thing left of the season is the painfully corporate yet mostly fun to watch bowl season followed by the crowning of a not-as-mythic-as-it-used-to-be national champion. I will go through the bowls in yet another prognostication effort, but first let’s take a look at how I did with The Top 25.
All the other polls did it, but not me. I even had a much appreciated reader of The Manofesto call me out on it, but I stood my ground. Specifically I am referring to the annual fawning over of that glory hound of yesteryear, that has been of has beens…Notre Dame. They were ranked by most as pre-season Top 10, but I knew something was amiss in South Bend so they appeared nowhere near my Top 25. The Irish rewarded my lack of faith with a 6-6 season and canning their head coach. Yay me.
My poll had Alabama at #2, Texas at #3. They finished #1 & #2. I specifically said “my vibes are telling me this is the year for The Tide to roll”. And roll they did.
TCU was ranked 11th by me, but I told you they’d be in the BCS hunt. They finished an impressive 3rd and have a date in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise St., who I said would finish 15th but instead finished 6th. The non-traditional powers are getting more respect and that’s good for the game.
I told you I sensed an off year for Southern California, and I was right. I was way too generous in still predicting them to finish 9th when in fact they finished at 8-4 and unranked…but I’m still calling this vibe a good vibe.
15 of my Top 25 teams did indeed finish in the Top 25. That’s 60%, a batting average any of those idiots on ESPN Gameday would give their left…pinky…for.
I predicted Georgia Tech 10th, they finished 9th…I had Nebraska at 17, they finished #20…Ohio St. 5th, they finished 8th…BYU at 19, they finished 15th .
It wasn’t a prediction (afterall I did predict the “Top” 25), but let me take this opportunity to say how much the Michigan Wolverines a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y SUCK and how full of TOTAL JOY that fills my heart. I hate you Rich Fraudriguez…I hate your ^%*@!#^ guts.
I said I didn’t buy into the Florida hype…but maybe I should have. They lived up to it nearly the entire season until running into the buzzsaw that was Alabama. I did correctly pick them to lose, but I thought it’d be before the SEC Championship to LSU or Georgia, a prediction that was off to say the least.
Last year I predicted that either Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden would be coaching their last game. This year I somehow foresaw Penn St. at #1 and “a renaissance in Tallahassee, or atleast a one year return to respectability” that would have had Florida St. finish at #8. Oops. Looks like my vibes were exactly one year off. While Penn St. still finished a very respectable #11, Bobby Bowden did indeed coach his last game in Tallahassee after leading the Seminoles to a 6-6 record. The powers-that-be are throwing him a bone by allowing him a nice sendoff in the Gator Bowl against his former team, my WV Mountaineers.
I predicted Oregon to finish 25th…they finished 7th. Kudos to the Ducks. Charlie Simms would be proud.
I had Cincinnati in my Top 25…at #24. Instead the Bearcats finished undefeated and within a whisker of the title game.
I gave Oklahoma a final ranking of 12. They went 7-5 and finished unranked. In my defense (and theirs) unforeseen injuries to key players (most notably QB Sam Bradford) had a deleterious effect on the Sooners’ season.
I had Georgia finishing at #4 and beating Florida. Instead the Bulldogs finished 7-5 and far from the rankings. They had to replace their starting QB and RB. I should have known better than to pick them that high.
My preseason #1 team was Penn State. Unfortunately the Nittany Lions came up short against Iowa and Ohio State. Ohio State wasn’t shocking, but Iowa’s success was a surprise. I would love to see Paterno bow out gracefully, unlike the not-so-gentle shove out the door Bowden is being given after a subpar finish to a legendary career.
10 of my Top 25 teams finished unranked. Wherefore art thou Georgia, Florida St., USC, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ole Miss, Rutgers, UCLA, Boston College, and Maryland?? Rutgers and Maryland?? Wow, what was I smoking?? The Terrapins finished 2-10. Rutgers did go 8-4, but still…Rutgers?? I had Rutgers as a Top 25 team??