[2017 College Football Predictions Review] The PAC-12

The college football season has come to an end.

All we have left is a bunch of bullshit bowl games that no one wants to watch and four teams in the playoffs that I’m sure will be exciting, but it feels like something is missing this year.

Anyway, with the end of the college football regular season, it’s time to take a look back at how I did on my predictions. I take my predictions extra serious every year. A lot of time goes into them, which is why I feel it’s important to go back and take a look at just how bad/good they were this year. I do it every year and it’s always fun to see how wrong/right I was back when I made these predictions in July.

So without any further distractions……

LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSSSSSS DOOOOOOOOOO DISSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

12. Oregon State Beavers

Record: 1-11

Predicted Record: 6-6

Bowl Game: No bowl game

Predicted Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl vs. FAU

Nailed It or Failed It?: FAILED IT! It was not a good season for the Oregon State Beavers. As a matter of fact, one could say it was arguably one of the worst seasons in the program’s history. Remember three years ago when Beaver Nation was overwhelmed when they “stole” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen after Mike Riley bolted to Nebraska? I was never a big fan of the hire myself in the beginning, but after last year….it looked like things were getting better in Corvallis and Andersen was starting to sell me. OSU went 4-8 last year, won the Civil War against Oregon and Andersen had Beav Nation excited with the possibility of a return to a bowl game this season. And that’s when things went off the cliff. Oregon State looked absolutely pathetic on-the-field this year. Andersen quit halfway through the season leaving MILLIONS of dollars on the table in order to do so. OSU finished with a 1-11 record with their only win a 3-point victory against Portland State. I would like to say that things are going to get better for the Beavers next season, but they won’t. I’m not a fan at all of the hiring of Jonathan Smith and I honestly feel like the school will be looking for a new head coach in 2-3 years.


 

11. California Golden Bears

Record: 5-7

Predicted Record: 3-9

Bowl Game: No bowl game

Predicted Bowl Game: No bowl game

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! Cal isn’t a very good football team. Sure they were better than anyone expected this season, but that doesn’t mean they were a good team. I just personally had no idea what to make of them all year-long. They ended up scoring a huge win over North Carolina in week one, but looking back at how UNC finished, that win doesn’t look as good now. The rest of the year was an inconsistent mess. One week they would take USC to the wire and then get blown out by Oregon and Washington the following weeks. They would follow that up with a win over Wazzu and two weeks later would get stomped by Colorado. Much like the PAC-12 as a whole this year, Cal was a hard team to figure out. Justin Wilcox did a good job in his first year here, but now the expectation is going to be a bowl game next season.


 

10. Colorado Buffaloes

Record: 5-7

Predicted Record: 6-6

Bowl Game: No bowl game

Predicted Bowl Game: Cactus Bowl vs. Baylor

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! Every now and then in the world of college football, a team will have an amazingly good season that shocks the hell out of everyone. It’s what happens when you have the perfect storm of good players and great coaches. That’s what happened with Colorado last season. The Buffaloes ended up having one of the most improved defenses in college football thanks to defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and they went 10-4 with an appearance in the PAC-12 title game. Unfortunately for Colorado, Leavitt got a huge contract from Oregon and left. With only 3 starters returning on defense, a setback was expected and that’s what happened. Colorado fell back to the bottom of the PAC-12, which is probably where they will remain for the foreseeable future.


 

9. Utah Utes

Record: 6-6

Predicted Record: 6-6

Bowl Game: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. West Virginia

Predicted Bowl Game: Holiday Bowl vs. Nebraska

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will know that I’m a huge fan of Utah’s head coach Kyle Whittingham. Whittingham is one of the game’s most underrated coaches and he’s done a hell of a job since taking over the reigns of the Utah job. A lot of experts were high on Utah coming into this season, but with only nine total starters returning on both sides of the ball, I expected a drop-off for the Utes and that’s exactly what happened. Utah started out the season hot with a 4-0 record, but things fell apart as the team finished 2-6 in their final 8 games. Watch out for them next season though.


 

8. UCLA Bruins

Record: 6-6

Predicted Record: 7-5

Bowl Game: Cactus Bowl vs. Kansas State

Predicted Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl vs. Texas

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! Jim Mora sucks. I’ve known that for years which is one of the main reasons I’ve never been really high on UCLA. Yes, the guy is a hell of a recruiter, but I don’t think he’s that good of an in-game coach and he definitely doesn’t have the personality to be a successful college football coach. You can’t be an asshole of a coach when you have 0 National Championships. It’s just the way it works. I expected UCLA to underwhelm once again this season and that’s exactly what happened. The good news is, Jim Mora is gone. He can no longer stink up the joint. You know who’s coming? CHIP FUCKING KELLY GUYS! I love me some Chip Kelly and I really hope this works out…..but I have my concerns. Either way, UCLA should be better next season. Watch out.


 

7. Arizona Wildcats

Record: 7-5

Predicted Record: 2-10

Bowl Game: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Purdue

Predicted Bowl Game: No bowl game

Nailed It or Failed It?: FAILED IT! Well, I didn’t see that one coming. I figured after last year’s 3-9 season, the Wildcats would continue to dip and that would signal the end of the Rich Rod era in Tucson. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Thanks to the play of QB Khalil Tate, the Wildcats were one of the biggest surprises of the college football season in the PAC-12. While they still weren’t exactly a great team, they were much better than anyone expected this season. If the Wildcats can build on that momentum, they might be able to do something they haven’t done in a couple of years and that’s contend for a PAC-12 title.


 

6. Oregon Ducks

Record: 7-5

Predicted Record: 9-3

Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Boise State

Predicted Bowl Game: Sun Bowl vs. Clemson

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! Oregon was a 7-win team this season that easily could have won 9-10 games had QB Justin Herbert not gone down with a collarbone injury. Once Herbert went down, the entire team changed. That’s just the kind of things that happen when you have arguably one of the best QB’s in the sport. But still, overall it was a good season for the Ducks. For the first time in ages, the program was going through a big change. New head coach Willie Taggart had assembled one of the best staffs in college football. That staff was putting together what was easily the program’s best recruiting class ever. After a few years in Mark Helfrich misery, the program was starting to spark again and people were whispering about the possibility of a return to the CFP next year for the Ducks. And then it happened. The Florida State job opened up. Taggart quickly bolted. The recruiting class dipped a little. Oregon made a hire that a lot of people felt was under-whelming in Mario Cristobal and now we have no idea what to expect from these guys next year. Either way, it should be fun just like this season was. It’s never a boring time in Eugene.


 

5. Arizona State Sun Devils 

Record: 7-5

Predicted Record: 4-8

Bowl Game: Sun Bowl vs. NC State

Predicted Bowl Game: No bowl game

Nailed It or Failed It?: FAILED IT! I didn’t know what to expect from Arizona State this year. This was a team coming off a 5-7 season with 13 total starters returning from last year’s team. They should have improved this year and that’s exactly what they did. Did I expect that though? Not at all and here’s why. I just didn’t think Todd Graham was the guy to get the job done. It was his sixth year in Tempe and the team’s stock was starting to point down the last few seasons. That’s never a good sign. Even though the team definitely overachieved this year, they still decided to cut ties with Graham and sent him packing down the road. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Graham, it might have been the dumbest move in college sports history to fire him and replace him with Herm Edwards. Yes, the same Herm Edwards who hasn’t coached since he last lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 2-14 record in 2009. The same Herm Edwards who is 54-74 all-time as a head coach in the NFL. The same Herm Edwards who has never been a head coach in college. This is going to get way uglier before it gets any better….but hey, I’m definitely going along for the ride.


 

4. Washington State Cougars

Record: 9-3

Predicted Record: 10-2

Bowl Game: Holiday Bowl vs. Michigan State

Predicted Bowl Game: Fiesta Bowl vs. Penn State

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! It wasn’t that long ago that Wazzu was the doormat of the PAC-12. Of course, that was before head coach Mike Leach arrived in Pullman and turned everything around. Wazzu is no longer the doormat of the PAC-12 guys. They have been one of the best teams in the conference the last three seasons and that’s a huge testament to the job that Leach has done. Washington State isn’t supposed to be a contender year-in and year-out. They are supposed to be one of those teams that sneaks up every now and then and surprises people. For Leach to build this thing into a program that’s not only churning out 9-wins a year, but it also being talked about as a potential contender for a PAC-12 title. Hell of a job by Leach man. Now….if he can only figure out how to beat Washington.


 

3. Stanford Cardinal

Record: 9-4

Predicted Record: 10-2

Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl vs. TCU

Predicted Bowl Game: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Michigan

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! David Shaw is one of the best coaches in college football. If you follow the sport, you know this. Since taking over for Jim Harbaugh, Shaw has done an incredible job keeping the Stanford machine churning along and if I was an NFL team, I would offer him ANYTHING he wants in order to get him to come over and coach my team. This was another good year for the Cardinal even though it didn’t start out the best. Stanford ended up losing a game to San Diego State in the beginning of the season that they really shouldn’t have lost. Other than that though, it was another solid year for the Cardinal who will continue to be one of the PAC-12’s top teams as long as Shaw is around.


 

2. Washington Huskies

Record: 10-2

Predicted Record: 12-0

Bowl Game: Fiesta Bowl vs. Penn State

Predicted Bowl Game: College Football Playoff vs. Alabama

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! I’ve never been so happy to get a prediction wrong. Let’s not beat around the bush here guys. Everyone knows I’m a fan of the Oregon Ducks and I despise the Washington Huskies. Do you guys have ANY idea how hard it was for me to predict the Huskies would go undefeated this year and earn another spot in the College Football Playoff? It still pains me to go back and look at that prediction. Either way, the Huskies didn’t quite do as well as we thought this season, but they still had an exceptionally good year. Chris Petersen is one of the best coaches in the sport and he has built Washington back into a powerhouse program. The Huskies were a sleeping giant in Seattle for years now and they have woken up. You’ve been warned.


 

1. USC Trojans

Record: 11-2

Predicted Record: 11-1

Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl vs. Ohio State

Predicted Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl vs. USF

Nailed It or Failed It?: NAILED IT! I was high on USC coming into the season because of one reason and one reason only. Sam Darnold. Heading into the year, the hype surrounding Darnold was ridiculous. Some people were calling him the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck and I was buying into it hook, line, and sinker. When you have a QB who’s that good, it just changes everything, especially in college football. I was drinking the USC Kool-Aid this year, even though I’m still not sold on head coach Clay Helton as being the guy who’s going to get the Trojans back to the promised land. Helton has done a much better job than I ever thought he would do, but USC is still missing something to help them get over the hump and whenever Helton goes head-to-head with a solid head coach, he loses a lot of those battles. USC should contend for a PAC-12 title again next season. If they don’t…..perhaps it’s time for some changes in Los Angeles once again. But hey, let’s talk about that next season. Right now though, let’s just enjoy the PAC-12 championship the team hasn’t won in sometime now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s