Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Look Back - Big Game Predictions

Every summer, I do my pre-season picks, predictions, and polls in preparation for the upcoming season. And at the end of every regular season, I look back through it and laugh at how terrible I am at all of this. I always mean to officially revisit it in a blog post to wrap up the year, but either forget or lose the energy. Well, I think I've found the perfect solution. I'm going to break down my preseason prognostications into several blog posts, looking back on big non-conf. game predictions in this one, conf.-games. in one, conference standings in another, and my preseason poll in the last.

Back in June, I posted two sets of picks, one calling the big non-conference games for 2011 and another where I did conference games. Let's start with the nonconference games, first.

1. Oklahoma at Florida State - original pick: FSU 30, Oklahoma 24 - actual outcome: Oklahoma 23-13
- Wrong. Both teams ended up with disappointing years; I saw OU's coming, but apparently drank the kool-aid flowing out of Tallahassee.

2. Oregon-LSU (Arlington, TX) - original pick: Oregon 29, LSU 27 - actual outcome:Oregon 40-27
- Super wrong. I obviously didn't see the Tigers' season coming before this game kicked-off. The defense out-athleted an fast Oregon squad and created enough turnovers to keep the Ducks out of it. It only took this game for most of us to see how scary LSU was going to be.

3. Boise State-Georgia (Atlanta) - original pick: Georgia 34, Boise State 24 - actual outcome: Boise State, 35-21
- Wrong again. OK, I admit it, I rode the homer wagon to this pick. I would like another shot at the Broncos now, though...

4. Alabama at Penn State - original pick: Bama 27, Penn State 6 - actual outcome: Alabama, 27-11
- Pretty dead on, actually. And NO ONE saw the news that was about to break out of State College a few weeks later.

5. Arkansas - Texas A&M (Arlington, TX) - original pick: Arkansas 38, Texas A&M 30 - actual outcome: Arkansas, 42-38
- Not bad.

6. Auburn at Clemson - original pick: Clemson 29, Auburn 24 - actual outcome: Clemson, 38-24
- Here we go, picking up some steam now. Admittedly, I didn't foresee Clemson having the start to their season that they did, but I did call Auburn's loss.

7. LSU-WVU - original pick: LSU 20, West Virginia 13 - actual outcome: LSU 47-21
- Technically right. But, once again, I wasn't picking the Tigers to be the beasts they turned out to be this year.

8. Arizona at Oklahoma State - original pick: OK State 37, Arizona 24 - actual outcome: Oklahoma State, 37-14
- Not too bad, I just gave Arizona too much credit. I think a lot of people did, actually.

9. San Diego State at Michigan - original pick: Michigan 34, SDSU 27 - actual outcome: Michigan, 28-7
- Why I thought this was one of the ten biggest games is beyond me now. I knew Shoelace was going to be great again this year, but I didn't think some of the other parts would click so quickly.

10. Texas at UCLA - original pick: Texas 21, UCLA 13 - actual outcome: Texas, 49-21
- Once again, technically right. I just underestimated the firepower.

So, 7-3 overall. Not too bad at first glance, but I was obviously off when it came to the tone of some of these match-ups or how successful some of these teams would be. Tomorrow, we'll revisit the games I picked as the biggest conference clashes of the year.

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