Back in early September, I wrote that I thought the league would finish in the following order:
- Oregon - stars align enough that they come out on top, Darron Thomas performs well at QB, BSC bowl
- USC - good team does well, but cannot play post season
- OSU - similar story to last season...solid team, start a bit slow, finish very strong, bowl
- Stanford - the scrappy team keeps scrapping and getting better, very good QB helps, bowl
- UW - Locker finally is consistent and the team surprises, wins enough to get to a bowl
- UA - comedown from last year and back to underachieving, might make a bowl
- Cal - late season fade comes earlier this season, no bowl
- UCLA - don't believe the hype
- ASU - sorry, not this year either
- WSU - sad but true, may lose 9 or more games
And here is how they actually finished:
- Oregon 9-0 in the league, 12-0 overall - my prediction was correct. And not only that, the Ducks went undfeated! BCS Natinal Championship Game.
- Stanford 8-1, 11-1 - not correct. I think my sentiments about the team were right, but I was wrong in that I underestimated how good these guys are and how the would roll so many teams. Orange Bowl.
- Washington 5-4, 6-6 - correct in terms of sentiment and bowl, not correct in terms of placement. I didn't think that the Huskies would climb to third place, but at 6-6 that's not too much for them to brag about. Holiday Bowl.
- USC 5-4, 8-5 - not correct. I thought the Trojans would be better than they were. No bowl.
- Oregon State 4-5, 5-7 - not correct. Injuries and new players in key positions doomed the Beavers to an inconsistent and ultimately losing season.
- Arizona State 4-5, 6-6 - not correct. I was right about how they played, but off by three spots in where they finish. Sorry ASU, not your year...again.
- Arizona 4-5, 7-5 - not correct. I'm one place off here, so not correct. But, echoing my prediction, UA did not play as well as last season, did underachieve by losing its last four games, but did make a bowl. Alamo Bowl.
- California 3-6, 5-7 - not correct. Their typically late season fade actually began very early this year. No bowl.
- UCLA 2-7, 4-8 - not correct. I got their placement wrong, but not the way they played. Thanks for participating in the season Bruins. No bowl. I look forward to August when you'll again be a trendy pick to finish near the top of the league.
- Washington State 1-8, 2-10 - correct. Progress was made - believe it or not - but still..two wins. No bowl.
Going strictly by order of finish, that's only 2 correct and 8 incorrect picks. However, I think if you factor in how the teams performed and whether they made a bowl or not, I think I did much better in guaging how the leage would go. Some of my picks were only one place off and most of the sentiments I wrote were correct.Surprises were USC, Stanford and Oregon State, and ultimately the league broke down in three groups:
- Oregon and Stanford
- Everybody but WSU
I think that'll change a bit next season, especailly with Utah and Colorado joining to make it the Pac-12...but that's getting way ahead of the game at this point.