First of all, just to follow up on Joel's announcement and my ensuing (and shamelessly self-promoting) mention, Orson has unveiled how the 2007 C.F.B.A.s will work. You, the reader, are welcome and encouraged to make your nominations here.
Secondly, there was a recent request in the diaries for assistance in locating a video or D.V.D. of the 2007 Georgia-Florida game. If any of you are able to direct a fellow Dawg Sports reader to a copy of that outstanding Red and Black victory, please let us know.
All right, now that the public service portion of our program is finished, it's time for me to face the music. I've done my best to prolong the postseason and put off the offseason, but the desert is upon us (or, I guess, we are upon the desert), so I have no choice but to tote up the final tally and let you know just how well or poorly I fared in forecasting this season's outcomes.
The smart money's on poorly.
Last August, I offered conference championship predictions and other assorted prognostications. I'll be getting to my oddball forecasts after a while, but, for now, here are the teams I said would finish first in their respective leagues prior to Labor Day weekend:
Cool! I'm off to a good start; I picked the right winner for the right reason. I am absolutely certain this means that, for my predictions, as for Ohio State after scoring the initial touchdown of a national championship game against an S.E.C. team, it's all downhill from here.
All right! Two for two! The Cardinals' plummet was farther and faster than we could have imagined, as U. of L. finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the league, and the Mountaineers indeed claimed a share of the conference crown, beating fellow co-champion Connecticut and capturing the Big East's B.C.S. bowl berth. I simply cannot conceive of matters continuing to go this well hereafter.
This strong start followed by an inevitable collapse has been brought to you by Michigan State University.
Uh, yeah. In my defense, the Maize and Blue did finish tied for second place in the league, so the team I picked didn't exactly fall apart, but, although Michigan was in the running for the Big Ten title until the Wolverines' final regular-season outing, their "wealth of offensive talent" spent a great deal of the time sidelined by injuries and the season effectively was derailed by, well, you know.
I was wrong . . . about the game and the Big 12 title. I could elaborate, but, really, that's about the size of it. My only consolation is the knowledge that none of us knew what the heck we were talking about when it came to the Big 12.
Although I wasn't alone in making this call, there is little solace to be drawn from the fact that I was a part of a large pack of idiots instead of a small one. U.S.M. quietly finished in fourth place in its division while Central Florida tussled with Tulsa twice to take home the conference championship.
Ha! So much for the idea that having even the slightest command of the pertinent details is a prerequisite to predicting the Mid-American Conference championship correctly!
I join with Stephen Colbert in saying, "In your face, 'facts'!"
T.C.U. was relegated to fifth place, behind Brigham Young, Air Force, Utah, and New Mexico. Horned Frogs, you let me down.
I nailed it. Southern California stumbled along the way, lost a couple of league games, and finished in a two-way tie for first place with a team the Trojans beat, claiming the Pac-10's bid to Pasadena.
Yes, it was wishful thinking, but not by much.
Back in black.
As it turns out, not so much. Louisiana-Lafayette went 3-9 overall and ended up tied for fifth place in the Sun Belt with a 3-4 conference ledger. (The Sun Belt, incidentally, closed out the campaign with perfect parity: two teams each went 6-1 in conference play; another two, 4-3; another two, 3-4; the last two, 1-6. I love symmetry, inasmuch as my thinking is Georgian in the architectural, as well as the geographic, sense.)
O.K., I saw it and I believe it. The Warriors won the W.A.C. with a victory over the Broncos. Does anyone know how Hawaii fared after that?
In those forecasts, I achieved the desired result four times in ten tries; the acceptability of that rate of success depends upon how you look at it: on a final exam in a college course, that's a failing grade, but, in the batter's box over an entire season, that puts you on the path to Cooperstown. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that. . . .
Coming Soon: My offbeat oddball assorted prognostications and whether my wrongness about them was total or merely partial.