On Monday, I owned up to how badly I fared when predicting the conference champions, so now it is time to assess the quality, vel non, of my generic preseason prognostications. As we shall see, I was half-right a great deal of the time, but, as our good friend Miracle Max might have put it, "Half-right is still 50 per cent completely not right," so bear that in mind when taking stock of the following:
The five major bowl games of the early 21st century---sorry, Cotton Bowl; I don't like it any better than you do, but those are the breaks---featured one A.C.C. team (Virginia Tech), one Big East team (West Virginia), two Big Ten teams (Illinois and Ohio State), two Big 12 teams (Kansas and Oklahoma), one W.A.C. team (Hawaii), and two S.E.C. teams (Georgia and Louisiana State), but only one Pac-10 team (Southern California).
It was a long shot, but it was worth taking, even though I was completely wrong. This was one of those Phil Steele-style predictions, in which the payoff for being right is way bigger than the embarrassment of being wrong.
Picking Kentucky to beat L.S.U., for instance, would be one that earned a fellow major points for being correct!
Honestly, you're not actually going to make me go back and read this guy's gibberish just to prove I was right about this one, are you? This nimrod vacillates between positions like Faye Dunaway being slapped around by Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown": "She's my sister! She's my daughter! Georgia isn't a national power! Georgia's the No. 1 team in the country!" Pipe down, Stew-pid; some of us are trying to write about sports here.
I should have quit while I was ahead. The Fighting Tigers lost two games, but, although the Crimson Tide played them close, 'Bama was not one of the teams that got the better of L.S.U.
Ha! Boise State was ranked No. 22 at the time of the Broncos' loss to U-Dub! So there!
Who knew lowly Washington would be the team to bail me out on this one?
I told you so.
I really have to hand it to Charlie Weis . . . he sure found a way to avoid extending Notre Dame's bowl losing streak, didn't he? I tell you, that guy's a genius.
I'll keep making this prediction 'til I get it right. Sooner or later, that's bound to happen, only not this year.
The only reason he isn't an N.F.L. head coach right now is his inability to put on a headset properly.
I say, if you're going to be wrong, be spectacularly wrong! The Utes claimed victory over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl and the Eagles defeated Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl by the very same three-point margin.
Missed it by that much. If the Red and Black had scored one single solitary touchdown against South Carolina in a night game at home, this would have come to pass.
Yep, I pretty much nailed that one.
Granted, I didn't so much foresee the way that happened, but still. . . .
Sly held up his end of the bargain, pulling off some upsets to get to (and win) a bowl game, not only keeping his job but also earning conference coach of the year honors. The Orgeron, on the other hand, found every way he could to louse it up, so Coach O, alas, will not be back.
That, my friends, is the safest forecast in all of sports.
To be fair, Dawgter Feelgood and Hobnail Boot offered a few prognostications of their own, including a couple of bold predictions---"Navy will beat Notre Dame" and "Southern Cal will lose twice this season," respectively---for which they deserve considerable credit. Nice job, gentlemen.
That Tyrone Willingham guy pictured above? He went 21-15 in three seasons in South Bend, which got him fired. Charlie Weis has gone 22-15 in three seasons with the Fighting Irish, including a loss last year to the Midshipmen for the first time since Roger Staubach was suiting up for the U.S.N.A., but Coach Weis is a genius, I tell you!
This brings me to the final ledger for my 2007 game forecasts. At the outset of the bowl season, I had gone 62-23 in S.E.C. predictions, 57-45 in non-conference prognostications, and 119-68 overall. (That does not include my regular-season picks of the Bulldogs' games, in which I went 10-2 because I always choose the Red and Black as the winners.)
I predicted the outcomes of all 32 bowls, in which I went 20-12, rebounding from an abysmal 2-4 start to go 11-2 between December 28 and December 31 before fading down the stretch, posting a 6-5 record in January games. I correctly predicted that the S.E.C. would go 7-2 in bowl games, but I erroneously picked Florida to win and Tennessee to lose. Consequently, I finished the season with a record of 69-25 (.734) in contests involving conference teams, 70-55 (.560) in outings in which no S.E.C. combatant participated, and 139-80 (.635) in all forecasts.
There they are . . . my ill-fated 2007 predictions, offered in all the blaze of glory in which they went down. Now you know why I tell you Don't Bet On It. . . .