I always hate it when some crusty old fart like Andy Rooney starts lecturing about the dangers of not learning from history. It’s like, “OK, dude, so nothing ever changes, right?”
Unfortunately, it’s more annoying than it is wrong.
So, what can we can learn from some of Homerism’s preseason predictions for 2010? Let’s look at some of the calls I made before the season started – good and bad – as well as what we should learn from each.
*Prediction: “Pick two out of Florida State, Cincinnati, Texas, Missouri, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State (for Oklahoma to lose)… 11-2, Big 12 champs.”
Might as well start off with one that I nailed. As expected, the Sooners had their problems on the road this season. And, as expected, they weren’t bad enough to do OU in in the conference race.
Takeaway: Oklahoma has become about as predictable as a “Basketball Wives” catfight at charity fundraiser. When in doubt, take the Sooners to win the Big 12. Texas is the only team to consistently challenge OU for the conference crown, and the Longhorns have had dramatically better teams than OU when they’ve won it.
TCU, not Boise State, turned out to be the fly in the BCS ointment at the end of the season. However, aside from the anticpated whinging by the bleeding hearts, the Horned Frogs didn’t cause the BCS much of a headache.
Of course, this goes back to the previous point about undefeated teams. Had Auburn and Oregon not gone undefeated in the regular season, Texas Christian may have very well been playing for all the marbles, rather than settling for the consolation prize of the Rose Bowl.
Takeaway: Plenty of talking heads will likely point to the TCU snub as yet another piece of evidence the non-AQ will never get a chance to play for the national championship under the current system. I actually think the little guys should take some heart, as the Frogs probably came closer than any mid-major in the past.
*Prediction: “Sorry, LSU fans, but you are stuck with Les Miles.”
The Mad Hatter took the college football world on his customary roller coaster ride this season. Somehow, someway, Miles pulled enough Houdini acts to end the season with a stellar 11-2 record, including wins over Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. The flip side to Miles’ antics: LSU could easily have gone 7-6.
Takeaway: Get used to it, Tig-ahs, because Miles turning down Michigan means you’re saddled to The Hat for the long haul. That, and that whole axiom about “arguing with fools” – I imagine any coach who has lost to Miles in a close game knows that feeling.
*Prediction: “ACC: Miami over Boston College”
Miami’s middling finish left coach the Hurricanes a full three games behind Virginia Tech in the ACC Atlantic race and Randy Shannon jobless. Boston College’s offense was even more pathetic than the haters figured.
Takeaway: Look, I’m sick of hearing about how important quarerback play is, too. Still, while both of these squads had strong defenses, neither could make up for their erratic play under center. (And “erratic” is probably too kind in BC’s case.)
*Prediction: “Big East: Connecticut”
You won’t find many else out there who foresaw UConn’s magical run to the Big East title.
OK, fine – there was less magic in Storrs this year than a Baptist Sunday school class. Somebody had to win the league, and the Huskies had the easiest path.
Takeaway: You don’t need much help from the supernatural when you’re gifted a cake schedule from Mike Tranghese.
*Prediction: “Heisman Trophy: Terrelle Pryor”
Ohio State’s quarterback wasn’t even invited to New York for the ceremony.
Takeaway: The Heisman may be a buzz-driven award, but that can’t hide the reality that winners actually have to be, ya know, game-changing players. Pryor is good. I can count on one hand the number of times he’s looked like one of the best players in college football, though.
*Prediction: “National Championship: Ohio State over TCU”
Not going to beat myself up for failing to predict that Oregon wouldn’t drop without Jeremiah Masoli or that Auburn had recruited college football’s best one-man band since Vince Young.
Takeaway: The mistake here seems pretty clear. Until proven otherwise, you have to not only put an SEC team in the championship game, you have to have an SEC team winning it.