So far after three games, I was dead-on
right about … Notre Dame
Set the dial to pretentious. Every once in a while there's a game that I
consider a test. It's a game that all the research, analysis, and info
being fed in is screaming one way, but just about everyone else is going
the other. If we're doing our jobs correctly, we have this game nailed
cold (and no, my ill-fated Nebraska over USC call wasn't in this
category). For me, the Georgia Tech - Notre Dame game was that test. The
Irish were two-point favorites, and I stuck my neck out and barked on
all the radio and TV shows that Georgia Tech should be a double-digit
favorite, and got the predicable batch of hate mail from the Irish
faithful. Picking Nebraska over USC was an educated guess, while to me,
Notre Dame being bad was an absolute. I believed the secondary wasn't
better, the lines were worse, and the loss of the skill players was
going to hurt more than anyone thought. And no, I didn't buy into the
theory that Charlie Weis could take anyone and make them an immediate
star. The Irish might turn it around, but over the first few weeks of
the year, this was the one thing I got right.
Also right about: 2) Auburn being mediocre with no offensive
playmakers, 3) Oklahoma's offensive line and secondary being the best in
the nation, or in the top five, 4) BC being terrific, and 5) Purdue and
Missouri being unstoppable
And dead-on wrong about … Michigan's offense making up for the
Set the dial to narcissistic. Missing picks and being wrong doesn't
bother me, but being dumb, does. This was just flat-out, next level
dumb. I never really believed in the Michigan defensive hype last year,
and then ignored the obvious coming into this year. I assumed Chad Henne,
Mike Hart, Mario Manningham and the boys would simply outbomb their way
out of problems and would be right back in the BCS title hunt. And then,
even after Appalachian State spread its way to a stunning win, I ignored
the obvious again, even though I figured Oregon and its spread offense
would provide problems.
Also wrong about: 2) Central Michigan picking up where 2006 left off, 3)
the Texas linebacking corps being a sleeper unit and growing into
something special, 4) Miami and Florida State taking a major leap
forward (but I fall for this every year, and will do it again in 2008),
and TCU being a juggernaut.
So far after three games, I was dead-on right about … Boston
College. Just a few weeks ago, I remember saying something about there
being really good karma around the Beantown sports world, and that Matt
Ryan and Boston College were poised to flourish in Jeff Jagodzinski’s
first season at the school. Through three weeks, the 3-0 Eagles, all
wins in league games, are performing like the class of the ACC, and Ryan
has parlayed a strong start into talk of a possible Heisman run. As
good as the Boston College offense has been, the defense has been even
better, creating turnovers and shutting down opposing running games as
well as anyone in the country. With upcoming games against Army,
Massachusetts, Bowling Green, and Notre Dame, the Eagles should be 7-0
and solidly into the top 10 by the time they visit Virginia Tech on Oct.
And dead-on wrong about … Oregon. Okay, so it’s still too early
to anoint the Ducks as one of this year’s mega-surprises, but I had them
around 7-5 and in the middle of the Pac-10 which shows little sign of
happening. I also remember repeatedly dogging as a lost cause Dennis
Dixon, who’s made that prediction look silly through the first three
games of the season. Dixon has played about as well as any quarterback
in the country in blowouts of Houston, Michigan, and Fresno State,
accounting for 841 yards and 10 touchdowns without turning the ball
over. If Dixon and that Oregon running game keep churning out 40 points
a game, the Ducks have every opportunity to win 10 games and contend
along for the spot behind USC in the conference pecking order.
So far after three games, I was dead-on right about … Tim Tebow
I was dead-on right about Tim
Tebow throwing the ball much better than people anticipated. The kid
did break all the Florida High School passing records while he was in
high school (since broken by Robert Marve). But, his motion this, his
motion that, that’s all BS – Tebow finds open guys partly because he ran
so well last year. This Florida offense is scarier than heck because of
his ability to throw the ball downfield, especially off of play action.
wrong about … UCLA
I was dead-on wrong about UCLA
being the number two team in the Pac-10. This one is two-fold. One,
Cal and Oregon are far and away the next tier in this conference. Two,
UCLA is still a joke – giving up 30 points in the second half?!? To a
Utah team that had lost its starting QB and RB?!? Why do I fall for
this team nearly every year? Second place is Oklahoma State – TROY?!?
No more chances for these two.
So far after three games, I was dead-on right about …
3) Florida State. A shockingly large amount of
people felt the Noles actually might contend in the ACC Atlantic. One
coordinator does not an offense make.
2) UCLA. Can anyone explain why preseason hype was
truly justified? Anyone who pumped up Karl Dorrell's club was engaging
in wishful thinking. One rivalry game win (against USC) does not a
1) Any of the several programs whom I criticized
for unfairly and unwisely firing their coaches two to four seasons ago:
Ole Miss, Syracuse, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh.
And dead-on wrong about …
3) South Carolina. I called them out, said they
weren't ready to win. Then they beat Georgia in Athens.
2) Auburn. I didn't think they'd stink. With a
1) Michigan. See Auburn, only exponentially more
So far after three games, I was dead-on right about … Alabama
As soon as Nick
Saban showed up in Tuscaloosa, I knew the Crimson Tide was going to
get it rolling. Even though its first three wins haven’t exactly
been over the best competition, last Saturday’s comeback victory
over Arkansas was huge and establishes ‘Bama as the main competition
for LSU. Granted, that challenge may not be too stiff, but how do
9-10 regular-season wins and a Cotton Bowl berth sound to you?
wrong about … Notre Dame
Notre Dame wasn’t
winning any national titles in my mind, but 0-3 and no offensive
touchdowns? Come on. This team looks destitute. Worse, it appears
unable to bring the effort necessary to compete. Charlie Weis may be
a “genius,” but he sure doesn’t look like he knows how to run a
program. ND won’t lose 10 games, but it’s going to need a Herculean
effort to reach .500.