Hits and (Many) Misses: Reviewing Our 2017 Season Predictions
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Hits and (Many) Misses: Reviewing Our 2017 Season Predictions

November 30, 2017

Prior to the season, the Hail Varsity Staff published our season predictions concerning win totals, statistical leaders and some over/unders. As you can probably imagine, there were some pretty bad whiffs. However, we nailed some of them as well.

Let’s take a look back at those predictions to see how Greg Smith, Derek Peterson, Brandon Vogel and myself fared. 

Welcome to Whose Guess Is It Anyway?, where everything was a bad prediction and the points don’t matter.

Regular season Wins

GS: 10

DP: 10

BV: 8

JP: 9

Actual: 4

Brandon was the closest to the actual total and he guessed twice as many wins as what Nebraska finished with. The best line of the whole post came from Greg, though.

Smith: “The catalyst for me going double-digit wins is Bob Diaco, not Tanner Lee. Diaco’s impact will be felt immediately.”

Welp.

No points for this one.

Record against Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State

GS: 1-2

DP: 2-1

BV: 1-2

JP: 1-2

Actual: 0-3

Once again, we all missed on this one. All four of us had Nebraska beating Wisconsin and Derek thought Nebraska would beat Ohio State as well. No points.

Upset Watch

GS: Minnesota

DP: Purdue

BV: Arkansas State

JP: Minnesota

Actual: Northern Illinois, Minnesota

Finally, we have a hit! Greg and I both highlighted Minnesota, although I didn’t feel great about it. Nobody picked the Huskers to lose to the Huskies, though. One point each for Greg and me.

Leading Tackler

GS: Chris Weber (96)

DP: Joshua Kalu (93)

BV: Joshua Kalu (84)

JP: Chris Weber (97)

Actual: Chris Weber (87)

Kalu did miss three games, but he was still only fifth in tackles per game, finishing with 47. Greg and I both picked the right player while Brandon got the closest to the number and was the only one who didn’t go over. Points for everyone but Derek. 

Better Year: Offensive or Defensive Line

GS: DL

DP: DL

BV: DL

JP: DL

Actual: DL

The defensive line wasn’t great by any means, but the offensive line was a disaster. Points for everyone.

Offensive MVP

GS: Tanner Lee

DP: Tanner Lee

BV: Cole Conrad

JP: Tanner Lee

Actual: Tanner Lee? Stanley Morgan Jr.? J.D. Spielman?

It’s hard to pinpoint one offensive MVP on a team that struggled so much offensively at times, but I know it’s not Cole Conrad. Lee, Morgan and Spielman all looked like stars at times but also had rough patches. I’ll award a point here for the Lee guesses because of the amount of responsibility he had on his shoulders with the lack of run game and adequate pass protection.

Defensive MVP

GS: Joshua Kalu

DP: Joshua Kalu

BV: Chris Weber

JP: Chris Weber

Actual: Chris Weber

It’s tough to pick any one standout on one of the worst defenses in Nebraska history, but “nobody” wasn’t really an option at the start of the year. Ben Stille showed some serious flashes, but I don’t think he saw enough snaps to be called the most valuable player on the defense. Carlos Davis looked like a master early but his play tailed off a bit. I’m going with Weber by default. Points for Brandon and me.

Biggest Surprise

GS: Tyler Hoppes

DP: Eric Lee Jr.

BV: J.D. Spielman

JP: Carlos Davis

Actual: J.D. Spielman

A lot of people were high on Spielman, but I don’t know that I saw anyone who thought he might flirt with the school receiving record as a freshman. Props to Brandon for this pick.

Now, time for Over/Unders.

3,568 yards for Tanner Lee

GS: Over

DP: Over

BV: Under

JP: Under

Actual: Under (3,143)

Points for Brandon and me. I think we all underestimated the rust factor that Lee had to work through early in the season.

0.5 running backs with 200 carries

GS: Under

DP: Under

BV: Under

JP: Under

Actual: Under (Devine Ozigbo, 129)

This one was easy. Perhaps Tre Bryant could have gotten there had he stayed healthy, but even with him out there I’m not sure how much Nebraska would have been able to establish the ground game with how the offensive line played for most of the season. Points all around.

0.5 receivers with 40 catches

GS: Over

DP: Over

BV: Over

JP: Over

Actual: Over (Stanley Morgan, 61; J.D. Spielman, 55; De’Mornay Pierson-El, 45)

This was another easy one based on Mike Riley’s history and the talent on the roster. The interesting thing is that none of us mentioned Spielman by name. All of us expected Morgan to pass that mark easily, so that made it an automatic over. Greg didn’t specify, but expected more than one to get there. Brandon and I both mentioned Hoppes (didn’t get to 40 but did break the record for receptions by a tight end with 34) and I tossed out Pierson-El as well. Another round of points on me.

Two special teams touchdowns

GS: Under

DP: Over

BV: Over

JP: Under

Actual: Under

J.D. Spielman returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown on his first touch as a Husker. Since then, zilch. Points for Greg and me.

Final Tally

We were all pretty terrible with some of our predictions, but according to my totally unbiased scoring, I was the most accurate prognosticator on the staff with eight points. Greg was right behind me with seven points (but I feel like that statement about Diaco should count as -5, at the least), then Brandon with six and Derek with four.

Hopefully we do better next year.

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