Accuracy of post-spring power rankings?

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
5:00
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If you pay attention to this blog, you've surely seen our Big 12 post-spring power rankings for 2013. But seven months later at the end of the Big 12's regular season, how accurate do they end up being? During the season, power rankings are more of an exercise in taking the temperature of every team in the league, but before the season, they're more of a prediction.

So how have we done on the blog in the past two seasons? How accurate are the predictions? Let's take a look back. BAYLOR
  • 2011: Picked fifth in the Big 12, finished at 10-3 and tied for third in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked seventh in the Big 12, finished at 8-5 and a four-way tie for fifth in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked fifth in the Big 12.
Nice run for the Bears, who have slightly exceeded my expectations in each of the past two seasons.

IOWA STATE
  • 2011: Picked ninth in the Big 12, finished at 6-7 and eighth in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked ninth in the Big 12, finished at 6-7 and ninth in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked ninth in the Big 12.
I hear a lot from Iowa State fans about how much I underrate the program, and I do rarely pick them to reach bowl games, but the program is still struggling to really climb the Big 12 standings ladder.

KANSAS
  • 2011: Picked 10th in the Big 12, finished at 2-10 and 10th in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked 10th in the Big 12, finished at 1-11 and 10th in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked 10th in the Big 12.
None of those are difficult selections that required much thought. The talent gap between Kansas and the rest of the Big 12 has been large since the end of 2009.

KANSAS STATE
  • 2011: Picked eighth in the Big 12, finished at 10-3 and second in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked third in the Big 12, finished at 11-2 and tied for first in the Big 12, though it held the tiebreaker vs. Oklahoma.
  • 2013: Picked sixth in the Big 12.
K-State fans can feel confident that their team can exceed my expectations once again, but I still get tired of hearing about how "the media" picked K-State sixth before last season. In my season predictions, I actually had K-State tied for second in the league, and wrote at length about how the media's preseason poll was absurd.

MISSOURI
  • 2011: Picked fourth in the Big 12, finished at 8-5 and fifth in the Big 12.
OKLAHOMA
  • 2011: Picked first in the Big 12, finished at 10-3 and tied for third.
  • 2012: Picked first in the Big 12, finished at 10-3 and tied for first in the Big 12, though K-State held the tiebreaker for the league title.
  • 2013: Picked fourth in the Big 12.
The Sooners were the national preseason No. 1 back in 2011, and that 10-win season was hardly satisfying, especially since it ended in the Insight Bowl. We'll see how they handle the lower expectations this time around.

OKLAHOMA STATE
  • 2011: Picked second in the Big 12, finished at 12-1 and first in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked sixth in the Big 12, finished at 8-5 and tied for third in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked first in the Big 12.
I didn't remember picking OSU as low as I did last year, but the top half of the league was loaded. Really impressive run from the Pokes. Good luck outdoing my expectations in 2013, Cowboys.

TEXAS
  • 2011: Picked seventh in the Big 12, finished at 8-5 and tied for sixth in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked fifth in the Big 12, finished at 9-4 and tied for third in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked third in the Big 12.
Texas hasn't lived up to their standards for their own program lately, but if nothing else, I haven't been guilty of overrating the Horns.

TEXAS A&M
  • 2011: Picked third in the Big 12, finished at 7-6 and tied for sixth in the Big 12.
Brutal final season in the Big 12 for the Aggies, who led by double digits in 12 of their 13 games, but Mike Sherman's exit ushered in a pretty magical 2012 SEC debut. Kevin Sumlin inherited a program in really good shape.

TCU
  • 2012: Picked fourth in the Big 12, finished at 7-6 and tied for fifth in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked second in the Big 12.
Still crazy that TCU was able to hold it together last season without quarterback Casey Pachall and being forced to play so many young players. Seventy percent of the depth chart were sophomores or younger.

TEXAS TECH
  • 2011: Picked sixth in the Big 12, finished at 5-7 and ninth in the Big 12.
  • 2012: Picked eighth in the Big 12, finished at 8-5 and in a four-way tie for fifth in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked seventh in the Big 12.
Tech's been all over the map, but that 2011 season was a bit of an aberration for a program with a lot of talent and firepower. Tech's the most likely team to exceed my pick this season.

WEST VIRGINIA
  • 2012: Picked second in the Big 12, finished at 7-6 and in a four-way tie for fifth in the Big 12.
  • 2013: Picked eighth in the Big 12.

I thought West Virginia would handle the transition very well in Year 1 and hit some lean years as it adjusted to the Big 12 in the big picture. The latter is looking true for now, but that former prediction crashed and burned with a five-game losing streak last season.

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