December 8, 2010

College Football Regular Season Recap

    Just as soon as it started, the college football season as we know it is done. Well, the regular season at least. A great season overall, with many stories.

    My Season Predictions

    Before the season, I predicted every single game, all 801. Now please note, the Army-Navy game is played on December 11th, so that game does not count. So we will use all 800 games for FBS teams.

    I did a fair job of predicting, and 65% of the games I predicted correctly. So 524/800 games I predicted the winner correctly. 34% (rounded) of the games I predicted poorly, with the wrong team chosen. That's 276/800 games.

    Only two teams had a schedule that I predicted 100% correctly. These teams were TCU (12-0) and UNLV (2-11). There were more teams that I predicted the record correctly, but not the whole schedule. Almost every team played 12 games, and the majority of the time I predicted nine of the games correctly. Seven times I only missed one game.

   Worst Schedule Predictions

    I made more incorrect picks then correct ones on only four team's schedules.

    The first team was Mississippi State, as I predicted a 6-6 record. But with a rushing attack led by Vick Ballard (16 touchdowns), the Bulldogs went 8-4. But in my predictions for Mississippi State, I only correctly picked 4 games. Correct games were wins vs Memphis, Alcorn State, UAB, and a loss to Alabama. Perhaps the three most weak teams on the schedule were the wins.

    Next is Texas, who had a very disappointing season and will miss a bowl game for the first time since 1997. In my predictions, I only got four games as well. Correct games were wins against the likes of Rice, Wyoming, Texas Tech, and Florida Atlantic. But with everything concerning Texas football this season, what wasn't a disappointment?

    Notre Dame was next. The Irish finished just as many predicted, 7-5. I had them going 8-4, so close. But my schedule predictions were not. Correct games were wins against Purdue, Boston College, Western Michigan, and Army, as well as a correct loss to Michigan State. But I only was correct in five games.

    Last, was North Texas. A disaster in all areas of football including my predictions. While we will get more into their awful year later in this post, for now lets look at my predictions of this Sun Belt basement dweller. Only two, that's right, two games I predicted correctly. A win against Western Kentucky, and a loss to Kansas State.

    If Navy looses to Army, which I don't see happening this year, I will have a five games correct on their predictions. But a win will give me an average 6-6.

   Perfect Predictions

    But lets move to the positive now, and look at the 20 teams whose record matched my prediction perfectly. The teams were:
  • Tennessee 6-6                                        
  • Kentucky 6-6
  • Vanderbilt 2-10
  • Purdue 4-8
  • Indiana 5-7
  • Baylor 7-5
  • Colorado 5-7
  • Kansas State 7-5
  • Iowa State 5-7
  • Virginia 4-8
  • Maryland 8-4
  • Arizona 7-5
  • Arizona State 6-6
  • Washington State 2-10
  • South Florida 7-5
  • Connecticut 8-4
  • TCU 12-0
  • UNLV 2-11
  • Troy 7-5
  • Western Kentucky 2-10
    That is 15% of all teams in college football. There were also a number of teams that's record was one win/loss from my predicted record. 27 to be exact, which is 22%.

  Best and Worst Team Season Predictions

    Three teams made my final list for my worst predictions. Tulsa was one; who I had going from 5-7 in 2009, to 10-2 in 2010. 9-3 was their final record. Many people had them having big turnarounds, but most not this big. The other team was San Diego State. The Aztecs had not made a bowl since 1998. A few experts had them going above .500, but not much. However I predicted a winning record, and a winning record was achieved. The Aztecs finished 8-4 and improved from a 4-8 record in 2009.

    But the winner of my best prediction goes to the Maryland Terrapins! An awful 2-10 record featuring an OT win over FCS foe James Madison, and an upset over Clemson were the teams only two wins. But Maryland turned it around and finished 8-4! The record I predicted them to achieve as well. The defense is the main reason for the upswing in wins, while the passing and rushing attack rank 63rd and 96th in the country, respectively. An easy schedule can be argued as well, but I still think Maryland had a great season and a great turn around.

    But while there are great turn arounds, there are big fall offs and big turn arounds that no one saw. Including me. Four teams fall into this category from my predictions.  North Texas technically had the biggest disappointment, but being a small school can't give them the number one ranking. So all of these four teams tie for biggest disappointment.

    First is the Texas Longhorns. Replacing a legend and the most winning player in college football history, a.k.a Colt McCoy, is no easy task. Sophomore Garrett Gilbert did not do a terrific job doing that. Texas fell to a 5-7 record, and no bowl game. I felt however, that Gilbert would do a good job, and Texas would have a 10-2 record and Cotton Bowl berth.

    Next is Houston who many had going undefeated. The same team from a year ago that led a high powered passing attack and a 10-4 record because of the play of Chase Keenum. After starting 2-0, it was looking good. But then a huge blow took place, and Keenum tore his ACL and Houston spiraled to 5-7 with losses to UCLA, Rice, and a 4 game loosing streak to end the season. If they could have avoided that loosing streak, Houston could get into a small bowl. I had Houston going 11-1 with the one loss to Tulsa

    Florida lost a legend in Tim Tebow. With it, they also had a six win difference from 2009. New quarterback John Brantly played poorly at most times. Florida fell to 7-5 and missed a BCS bowl for the first time since 2005. I had 11-1, but that was not the case. As it was not to most experts.

    And finally, the North Texas Mean Green. North Texas was once a Sun Belt power. Four straight New Orleans Bowl appearances, led by running back Patrick Cobbs who still is the school's all time leading rusher. But then it fell apart and a five year absence from bowls began. Many, including myself thought that Troy and Florida Atlantic's reign over the Sun Belt would end, and Middle Tennessee State and North Texas would take over. That did not happen at all. Middle Tennessee State went 6-6, and North Texas fell to an embarrassing 3-9. And to make matters worse for my predictions, Troy won the Sun Belt. North Texas was supposed to end the drought, but instead extended their bowl absence to six years.

    To Wrap it Up...

    In the end, I feel my season predictions were good, but not great. 65% of games correct is not bad. But next season I hope to do better.

    Later in the week I will have my bowl games predictions and projections posted. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

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