I hit a bit of a snag this week. The SEC playoff picture has mostly cleared up, with Alabama being the clear front-runner and Auburn and Georgia still holding on to a fighting chance. The remaining teams will play out their seasons as best they can, but most of them will not get into any overly significant bowl games. With no big topics to write about this week other than the Butch Jones firing at Tennessee – all you really need to know is that it was merited based on the team’s lackluster in-conference play this season – I figured I’d take a look back at each of the bold predictions I made in the recaps following the first 11 weeks of the season. After all, what’s the point of making these and then not going back and seeing how I did? Without further ado, here are the 11 predictions:
Week 1: Kevin Sumlin doesn’t last until midseason as Texas A&M’s head coach.
Week 2: Ole Miss finishes the season around .500.
Week 3: Mississippi State spends plenty of this season in the AP Top 25.
Week 4: Alabama will play a very close game vs. Ole Miss this week.
Week 5: Georgia runs the table to the SEC title game.
Week 6: Bold prediction: Both Alabama and Georgia will make the College Football Playoff.
Week 7: Bold prediction: A third SEC team sneaks into a New Year’s Six Bowl.
Week 8: Bold prediction: Mississippi State will finish the season with 3 losses or less.
Week 9: Bold prediction: Georgia and Alabama don’t move from the 1 and 2 spots in the Playoff rankings until the Playoff itself.
Week 10: Bold prediction: Missouri finishes best among the current 4-5 SEC teams.
Week 11: Bold Prediction: Peyton Manning gets the coaching job at Tennessee in the offseason.
I’ll start with the good predictions, which come from weeks 2, 3 and 7. Ole Miss currently sits at .500 with two games to go, which means the worst record they’ll finish with (presuming they don’t go to a bowl) is 5-7. Mississippi State has spent plenty of time in the top 25 this year, and this past week they proved themselves to be legit when they made Alabama sweat out a tough victory. Lastly, all three of Alabama, Auburn and Georgia look primed for a New Year’s Six Bowl, and there’s a chance two of them sneak into the playoff.
Now for the bad, which include weeks 1, 4, 5, 9, and 10. Some were decently bad, while others were just straight up horrible. In week one, following that awful loss to UCLA, I said Kevin Sumlin would be done at Texas A&M by midseason; it’s week 12, and he’s still there. In week 4, I predicted Ole Miss would play Alabama close in week 5. This was far and away my worst take: I checked the score, and Alabama won the game 66-3… it was never close. In week 5, I stated Georgia was going to run the table to the SEC title game, which looked good until last week when Auburn crushed them 40-17. In week 9, I thought UGA and ‘Bama were going to remain 1 and 2 until the final Playoff rankings came out; after that loss last week, Georgia is now 7. Finally, in week 10, I believed Mizzou would finish top-5 in the SEC because they got hot and were on a three-game winning streak. Missouri is currently fifth… in the SEC East, and tied for 10th overall with two weeks left in the regular season. If not for the Alabama-Ole Miss game, this would be my worst prediction.
Then there are the unknowns – weeks 6, 8, and 11. Mississippi State is 7-3, so they could finish the season with only three losses if they win out. Although it is more difficult now than last week, there is a realistic chance that, if other marquee teams lose, UGA and Alabama can make the Playoff. And who knows: maybe UT will actually hire Peyton Manning in the offseason. Overall, I’d give myself a C- for these takes. Depending upon how the undecided ones go, this could shift anywhere from a D to a B. Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to the last few weeks of the CFB season to see not only how some of these takes play out, but also how the SEC finishes up the year. There’s a lot of exciting football left to be played folks; I hope you enjoy all the best Week 12 has to offer.
All stats and info courtesy ESPN.
Cover photo courtesy gridironnow.com.