Monday, May 20, 2013
Recalling stupid things from last preseason
By Ted Miller
I'm sure many of you have seen my story (and video!) "Wrongs of Spring," which touches on a subject that is close to all of your hearts: The Pac-12 blog being wrong, wrong, wrong!
Now, most of the wrong things that I write in the blog can be traced to some sort of subversive mind control that Kevin Gemmell practices in his underground lab that he thinks I don't know about. The wrong things Kevin writes can be traced to his anti-USC bias. Or is that anti-UCLA bias? Did you know he breaks out in hives every time he writes nice things about Stanford? Really.
Anyway, our guess is you guys would enjoy reliving some of our 2012 preseason wrongness. And occasional rightness.
You can start with our preseason All-Pac-12 team. And here's our postseason take.
Just three players are the same on offense: Oregon RB Kenjon Barner, USC C Khaled Holmes and Stanford OT David Yankey. Defense is much better, with five players the same and there being nothing embarrassing about the misses.
Then, of course, there is the preseason top-25 players. And the postseason version. We know Washington fans would like another opportunity to voice their objections.
Here our our 2012 preseason power rankings. Yes, there's good old USC, gleaming at the top:
1.USC: The Trojans begin the season ranked No. 1 here and in the AP poll. If the national title game were held Saturday, or you could guarantee the Trojans' starting 24 today would be the same at season's end, just about everyone would hand USC the title. But a season is long. Things happen. The Trojans' defense is already down two players, DE Devon Kennard and CB Isiah Wiley. A couple more of those, and the perception of this team could change.
At least that's not completely over the top.
And the worst projection was Arizona State at No. 11:
11. Arizona State: Taylor Kelly was the surprise winner of the QB competition, and new coach Todd Graham has pressed many of the right buttons this offseason. But the Pac-12 blog always sees it as a bad sign when an angry fan base attempts to counter our skepticism by touting players who have played [none] or very little college football.
Turns out those rookies did OK, most notably Kelly and LB Carl Bradford, and we really didn't see the dominating 2012 version of DT Will Sutton coming.
Then there are the "Fearless Predictions."
Four were wrong: USC and Oregon will play twice; A Pac-12 player will be a Heisman Trophy finalist; No Pac-12 coach will get fired after the season; Four Pac-12 teams will be ranked in the final AP poll.
Four were correct (or mostly so): California, UCLA or Washington will win eight -- or nine -- games: But only one of the three. The other two will win fewer than eight games; The Pac-12 will produce two BCS bowl teams and still fill its contracted bowls; At least three Pac-12 defenses will rank in the nation's top 25 in total defense (this actually proved true for scoring defense, but we're giving ourselves a break); and, The Pac-12 blog will, at some point, be wrong about something.
One was pretty darn close: The Pac-12 will go 28-8 in nonconference games (it went 28-15; we didn't include bowl games in the original calculation).
One is pending -- The NCAA will not hammer Oregon -- and the Pac-12 blog continues to believe that to be true.
What about the bowl projections?
BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7: USC vs. BCS 1 or 2
Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1: Oregon vs. Big Ten
Valero Alamo, Dec. 29: Stanford vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday, Dec. 27: Utah vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun, Dec. 31: Washington vs. ACC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Dec. 22: California vs. MWC
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 29: UCLA vs. Navy
Gildan New Mexico, Dec. 15: Washington State vs. MWC
We batted .000 there, with three of those teams -- Utah, California and Washington State -- not ending up bowl eligible.
Finally, there were our "Best case-worst case" flights of fancy. There is a strong possibility this series will be retired. It feels as if it might have jumped the proverbial shark.