Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Grading preseason fearless predictions for Big 12
By David Ubben
Every season, we take 10 big swings before the games begin. Sometimes we connect. Sometimes we miss. Either way, we're out on a limb. Sometimes is snaps. Sometimes it doesn't. Let's take a look at how this year's fearless predictions looked.
Want to check how I've done in the past? Here are my grades for the past two seasons:
1. Landry Jones' interception total will be in the single digits. Jones had 41 career interceptions in three seasons and had never thrown fewer than 12 in a season. He got off to a good start, but threw six interceptions in his final five games to reach 10 before the bowl game. Result: Miss, but just barely.
2. Wes Lunt will throw for 4,000 yards. Curse the luck. Lunt suffered injuries to his head and knee and was in and out of the lineup all season. He threw for 1,096 yards, which was third-most on his team. Crazy. The most concerning stat: He had seven interceptions to just six scores. Result: Thanks a lot, injuries.
3. David Ash will start 13 games for Texas. He rotated with Case McCoy last season, and got benched twice this season, but the second benching was due to a rib injury that's left his status for the bowl game up in the air a bit, too. Either way, this prediction crashed and burned in the final game of the season when McCoy made his first start against K-State with Ash's ribs banged up. Do I deserve partial credit for Ash not getting the hook for a complete game? Result: Close, but not close enough.
4. Trey Metoyer will lead Oklahoma in receiving. Probably the biggest whiff of the bunch here. Landry Jones locked in on transfers Justin Brown and Jalen Saunders, but returning star Kenny Stills led the team with 897 yards. I bought into the Metoyer hype, but he finished seventh on the team, behind even running back Damien Williams. Result: Not even close, bro.
5. Texas Tech will play Baylor for a chance to play in a bowl game. My intention with this prediction is that Texas Tech and Baylor would meet and both would have five wins. Baylor held up their end of the deal, but Texas Tech already had seven wins before the Baylor loss. Result: Half right, I suppose. I picked Baylor to win it, too. They did.
6. West Virginia will lose to an unranked team. I bought into the WVU hype to some extent, but I figured the Mountaineers would lose a game no one expected. That's been an unfortunate hallmark of the program for some time, now. WVU proved me right again and again, losing three games to ranked teams, including their first loss of the season as the nation's No. 5 team. Result: On the money ... and then some.
7. TCU will reach the top five and then fall out of the top 20. I saw a big start for TCU, picking the Frogs to start 7-0 before losing four of their last five games. TCU fell out of the top 20 pretty quick, but never rose higher than No. 13 in the polls. Result: Almost doesn't count.
8. Kansas will win a conference game, and Baylor will qualify for a third consecutive bowl game. Oh, KU. My faith was misplaced. This is a pretty historic losing streak that now reaches 21 games in Big 12 play. I didn't really have much doubt that Baylor would reach a bowl early in the season, but that 0-4 start in Big 12 play made me sweat it out. Result: Half right, but KU nearly made me completely right against Texas and Texas Tech.
9. Iowa State's Jake Knott and A.J. Klein will rank first and second in the Big 12 in total tackles. Knott suffered a shoulder injury late in the season, firing a pretty serious torpedo at this prediction. Klein was fifth in the league with 98 tackles. His production slowed considerably after moving positions following Knott's injury. Result: You're no fun, injuries.
10. Kansas State will finish in the Big 12's top two in rushing offense. This looked like a slam dunk until Collin Klein's head injury and some awful games against TCU and Baylor. The Wildcats slipped all the way to fourth in the Big 12, behind even 1-11 KU. Result: Makin' me look bad, y'all.
Not exactly a banner year for my bold predictions. The only possible takeaway from this? I don't know anything about anything. Vote in our poll and grade my predictions.