Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Checking up on my fearless predictions
By David Ubben
Before the season began, I made 10 fearless predictions for the Big 12, based on what we thought we knew at the time and what would happen as the season went on. I've hit a few pretty well. I've whiffed on plenty. Let's have a look at this mess.
1. Oklahoma and Texas will play in another BCS bowl. Nebraska will be relegated to the Cotton Bowl. Uh, whoops. My bad. At least I got half of it right. And in my defense, when I wrote this, we had no idea who Nebraska's quarterback would be, which has become kind of a big deal. In related, "I'm an idiot" news, remember when I wrote this? Grade: C-
2. Texas will throw the ball 35 times against Oklahoma. I figured Texas wouldn't be able to run the ball successfully against Oklahoma, and outside of D.J. Monroe's 60-yard touchdown in the first half, the Longhorns couldn't. Colt McCoy threw 18 passes in his first Red River Rivalry. Garrett Gilbert threw 41, and completed 27. Grade: A
3. Baylor will make -- and win -- a bowl game. Baylor is right on track with where I thought they'd be, and almost a game ahead of schedule after narrowly losing to Texas Tech. Games against Kansas State and Colorado will probably decide this one. I could pass out an "I" on this one, but that's no fun. Grade: B
4. Missouri's Aldon Smith will lead the league in sacks. This one's a little unfair. Smith has been sidelined with a broken fibula, and won't play on Saturday against Texas A&M, but he did manage three sacks in the three games he did play, ranking eighth in the Big 12. Anybody have a problem with giving the grade on this one an "N/A" for now?
5. Daniel Thomas will win his second Big 12 rushing title in two years. He's looking good so far, despite a couple slow games in his past two outings, but Kendall Hunter and Taylor Martinez are going to offer some strong competition, as the only players in front of him so far. Grade: B-
6. Kansas will finish as the Big 12's most improved team in November. It's tough to start any worse than the Jayhawks did, but we'll see how they finish. Grade: B
7. Texas will lead the league in scoring defense, outdoing Oklahoma and Nebraska. The Longhorns have a black eye after giving up 34 points to UCLA, and Missouri and Nebraska are waaaay out in front, giving up almost eight fewer points per game than the Longhorns and third-place Baylor. Grade: C
8. Brandon Weeden will lead the league in completion percentage. There he is, a full two percentage points higher than any other quarterback in the league. And he's a first-year starter? Psh. I'll hang my proverbial hat on this one. Grade: A+
9. Iowa State will be better than Kansas and Colorado. They will have a worse record overall and in conference. Still in progress, and Iowa State's win over Texas Tech doesn't help this one, and Kansas has looked poor, but Colorado and Iowa State look pretty close right now. Grade: B-
10. Texas Tech will be in the top third of the league in turnover differential. They will be in the bottom third in scoring defense. Still in progress as well, and there's time for both. The Red Raiders rank seventh in turnover differential (+1), but dead last in scoring defense, giving up 31.6 points a game. Grade: B+