Final grades on my fearless predictions
And as we've seen in the past, we're all about accountability here on the Big 12 Blog. Time to pay the piper. Was I too fearless? Feel free to grade me.
1. Texas will finish in the Big 12's top three in rushing offense. Texas finished seventh in the Big 12 in rushing in 2010 and fifth in 2009 and 2008. I thought Bryan Harsin's commitment to the run, Stacy Searels' new offensive line and the lack of a reliable quarterback would produce results. I was right. The Longhorns ran for 210 yards a game and finished behind only Missouri and Baylor. Grade: A
2. Missouri will win 10 games for the fourth time in five years. Total whiff on this one. I thought the supportive talent around him would allow James Franklin a solid transition into the role of starter. It did. He played well, but the Tigers lost too many close games and endured too many injuries, winning four of the final five games just to finish 7-5. Grade: C+
3. Entering the season's final two weeks, Baylor will still be alive in the Big 12 title race. Baylor didn't stay in the race after losing three of four games in the middle of the season, but the Bears won their final five games to finish third in the Big 12 at 9-3 and 6-3 in conference play, the most Big 12 wins in school history. That counts for something, right? Grade: B
4. The Big 12 will have three players invited to the Heisman ceremony. Missed on this one, and didn't even get one of my projected finalists right, though RG3 took home the trophy for the Big 12. Grade: D-
5. Iowa State will beat Iowa in Ames and start the season 3-0. Nailed it. The Cyclones knocked off Iowa in overtime and went on the road to beat UConn the next week, reaching 3-0. They lost their next four games, but ripped off another three-game win streak to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game. Grade: A
6. Texas A&M will beat Texas by at least 14. And lose to Oklahoma by at least 21. The Aggies got walloped in Norman like I thought they would, but didn't take care of business in the rivalry finale against Texas, losing on a last-second field goal. This, despite leading by 10 points early and nine points at half. You're making me look bad, A&M. The Aggies trailed OU, 41-10, before making it respectable and losing by 16. Grade: B-
7. Texas Tech will beat a team in the top 10. Called it. That's especially solid considering the Red Raiders finished 5-7. Texas Tech marched into Owen Field at Oklahoma and beat the No. 3 Sooners (still at full strength, mind you. Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley were still healthy) to reach 5-2. Then, it didn't win another game. Grade: A+
8. Bryce Brown will not lead Kansas State in rushing. Arthur Brown will lead Kansas State in tackles. Even I didn't expect this one to end up this lopsided. Huge win for me on this one on projecting the impact of the Wildcats' two high-profile preseason transfers. Brown carried the ball a grand total of three times this year, fumbling on one of those carries and setting up a touchdown for Eastern Kentucky. He finished seventh on the team with 16 yards rushing and left the team at midseason. With 95 tackles, Arthur Brown had 17 more than any other Wildcat. Grade: A+
9. Kansas will have a winning record ... for awhile. I suppose this one is what it is. Not an extremely high degree of difficulty, but a solid base hit for yours truly. The Jayhawks started the season 2-0 with a dramatic win against Northern Illinois, who went on to win the MAC. Kansas then proceeded to lose its final 10 games. Grade: A
10. Oklahoma will not lead the Big 12 in total offense. The Sooners had all the big names, but at season's end, finished behind in-state rival Oklahoma State and Baylor, who both beat Oklahoma in their respective home stadiums. Grade: A
So, how would you grade me overall?
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