Monday, September 19, 2011
Things I was horribly wrong about
By ESPN.com staff
A confession: I am sometimes wrong.
Like my less-than-shining moment this morning when I muffed my point on that muffed punt at Nebraska. That got a "d'oh."
So like I said: I am sometimes wrong.
And as I know many of you seem to take great pleasure in instances of my wrongness, it seems like a good time to point out a few things I thought -- and wrote -- in the preseason that as of today appear destined to be wrong. In fact, hugely so.
No need to be defensive, right? After all, UCLA and Washington aren't being that way, even if we touted them for their certain improvement on D in 2011.
UCLA ranks 103rd in the nation in scoring defense and 100th in total defense. Washington ranks 107th in scoring defense and 108th in total defense.
I wrote this about UCLA's defense in the preseason: "Then there's a defense that looks sneaky good on all three levels (a healthy Datone Jones at end and Patrick Larimore at middle linebacker could prove transformative for a unit that couldn't stop the run last fall)."
The Bruins rank 108th in run defense.
And I wrote this about the Washington defense: "The defense should be a top-half of the conference unit."
Ah, no. At least not through three games and against offenses that aren't as good as what they will face during the Pac-12 schedule.
As for UCLA, I repeatedly wrote about how end Datone Jones looked like a budding star, including this: "Jones is like a super-secret guy who only folks who've watched UCLA practice the past two years know about. He was a nice player in 2009 who was expected to break out last year. Then he missed the entire season with a broken foot. If he stays healthy, he WILL be an all-conference player. Write it down."
Did you write that down? Good. Jones has six tackles and no sacks through three games.
Of course, both units could rediscover their mojo and show dramatic improvement as the season goes on. The Huskies defense was much better over the final third of the 2010 season than it was in the early-going.
Still, I am surprised by how terrible both units have been. Perhaps they didn't get the memo from me that said they were supposed to be good?
I've been wrong about other things: Questioning Utah's secondary and touting Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz as a breakthrough player. But I don't feel as bad about those positions. Four new starters in the secondary, as the Utes have, should be questioned. And I don't recall anyone insisting that Katz would lose his job before game three.
I'm sure I've been wrong about other things. Perhaps you can help remind me of some?