23 October 2011

As predictions go...

My NCAA football predictions yesterday were less than stellar. Let's see what I predicted:

1. PSU v. Northwestern. I weaseled around this game and didn't make a prediction. PSU won.

2. Wisconsin v. Michigan State. I picked Wisconsin. I picked a solid Wisconsin win. I was wrong. Michigan State was in control most of the game, with Wisconsin mounting a late comeback and nearly getting to overtime. Michigan State's win raises the question, how in the hell did this team lose to Notre Dame?

3. Speaking of which, I thought Notre Dame would win by two touchdowns over USC. Again, I was wrong. USC won by two touchdowns. I probably should have noted that Syracuse beat #15 West Virginia on Friday, but I didn't actually pay attention to that and seriously undervalued USC's victory over Syracuse. Still, I would have picked ND to beat USC even with that information.

4. Auburn v. USC. I predicted a major kill by the LSU Tigers, and I at least got that one right.

5. Texas Tech v. Oklahoma. I thought the Oklahoma offense would keep pace with Texas Tech and the Oklahoma defense would clamp down on the Texas Tech offense. Wrong on both counts, at least until midway through the third quarter, where the Oklahoma defense finally showed a little resistance.

6. I thought Stanford would stomp Washington, and they did.

7. I picked FSU to beat Maryland, even though I wish they wouldn't. FSU beat Maryland.

So I went 3-3, but I'm really puzzling over the games I missed, not so much because I missed them as because it's very difficult to figure these teams out. Notre Dame had looked to be putting together a decent season from the shambles of their first two games, and Oklahoma looked like a machine. As for Michigan State, they're utterly unpredictable, but Wisconsin had been steadily steamrolling opponents.

In a really bizarre turn, Illinois looks to be in freefall, following up last week's loss to Ohio State with a loss yesterday to Purdue. I can only hope that freefall continues next weekend in Happy Valley, where the Nittany Lions play host to the Illini.

Penn State and Michigan State are the only two Big 10 teams unbeaten in league play, but I like MSU's victories (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State) more than Penn State's (Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern).

Penn State has a tough final four games: Illinois, Nebraska, @Ohio State, and @Wisconsin.

I'm predicting a 9-3 regular season.

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