Thursday, December 6, 2012
Best and worst game predictions
By Ted Miller
This is going to surprise you: Sometimes, Kevin and I are wrong.
And this will comfort you and halt your panic: We also are right sometimes!
We wanted to revisit times we felt really dumb and sorta smart this year with our game predictions. There were plenty of choices, and the bad ones really hurt -- we both picked California over Stanford!
So here you go. Kevin goes first.
Kevin's worst pick: I bought in -- hook, line and sinker -- to all of the preseason Washington State hype. Here's what I wrote:
Washington State 42, BYU 27: Maybe I'm completely backwards on this, but I just don't see WSU as an almost-two-touchdown 'dog. Too many offensive weapons. No one at BYU can keep up with Marquess Wilson. I'm prepared to chug some crow if it blows up in my face.
Looking back at the spring game and the scrimmage stats, the offense was putting up beastly numbers. Sure, I figured there was a chance Washington State could lose. But I never, ever, ever, saw them failing to at least score a touchdown. By far, my worst pick of the year. But I guess if you have to have a really bad one, get it out of the way in Week 1.
Kevin's best pick: While I missed on the score of Oregon State at BYU -- which turned out to be a much higher-scoring affair than most anticipated -- the sentiment was correct in picking the Beavers. Here's what I wrote:
If Cody Vaz is even three-quarters as efficient as Sean Mannion was, then I don't think the drop-off will be too significant. I think the Beavers rally around Vaz, and the defense is playing very good ball. There is also enough offensive firepower that Mannion's absence doesn't have to be a deal breaker for OSU. Oregon State 17, BYU 7.
By this point in the season, I wasn't so much of a believer in Vaz as a backup (since we hadn't seen him yet) as I was Mike Riley, the Oregon State system and the outstanding wide receiver duo of Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. That defense was pretty darn good, too. Jordan Poyer rewarded my faith with a pick-six and Wheaton and Cooks combined for 13 catches, 239 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Wheaton also ran one in with a nice assisted block from Vaz on the back end.
Ted's worst pick: While my pick of Colorado over Fresno State proved to be really, really wrong -- 55 points wrong for the Bulldogs 69-14 win -- my tapping Arizona over UCLA proved even worse (56 points wrong).
Recall that Arizona was rolling at that point, having just beaten Washington and USC, while the Bruins were three weeks removed from an odd blowout loss to California. Didn't matter.
Here's what I wrote:
Ted Miller: The challenge for Arizona is getting over its euphoria after the USC win and taking its full focus on the road to UCLA. At this point, it's hard to bet against QB Matt Scott. A Bruins win, by the way, will raise an eyebrow over just who might end up winning the L.A. College Football Championship. Arizona 40, UCLA 35.
I'm glad I added that last line!
Ted's best pick: I liked my tapping Arizona State to beat Arizona in Tucson, but that was mostly a toss-up.
Here's what I wrote about Oregon State at UCLA on Sept. 22:
Ted Miller: Wisconsin's poor showing against Utah State diminished the Beavers' impressive victory over the Badgers. Still, Oregon State should be well rested and has had a lot of time to devise a game plan. Of course, if I pick Oregon State to win, many of their fans will give up all hope. Don't do that. Maybe the curse is over? Oregon State 35, UCLA 33.
I like that pick because Oregon State fans know about my reverse-karma when it comes to making Beavers predictions. Back in 2008 and 2009, they did the opposite of what I picked -- win or lose -- seemingly every week. It actually became sort of a joke. So I'm hoping this shows I am no longer slave to that notion.