Friday Forecast: Can the Huskers Get a Win and a Broken Chair?
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Hot Reads: Looking Back at 2016 Predictions

March 24, 2017

College football fans have already gotten “way-too-early” predictions for 2017, but I guess it’s still too early for predictions that are not too early. Make sense?

What I’m saying is that the appropriately timed predictions, the predictions that don’t have to sort of sheepishly explain themselves in the title, are a couple of months away. So let’s look back at last year’s predictions.

You may recall that McIllece Sports ranked the Huskers seventh last year and gave Nebraska a 46-percent chance to win the West Division. In 2014 and 2015, McIllece had the second-most accurate predictions of the outlets tracked by

In 2016, McIllece, which also had Tennessee at No. 1 and eventual national champion Clemson at No. 11, ranked eighth out of 20 outlets in accuracy. Phil Steele, the outlet that probably touts its accuracy the most, finished 10th in the tally.

That’s sort of the double-edged sword of making interesting predictions. You can take the chalk and be pretty accurate, but anybody can do that. If you want to step out and put Tennessee at No. 1 or USC at No. 25, it may cost you in the end-of-season accuracy rankings (admittedly something maybe only I look at each year).

But please keep making those predictions. I’m already looking forward to seeing the McIllece rankings for this season. Nebraska’s not going to be very trendy in any of these rankings, and the Big Ten West will probably default to Wisconsin. But below the division gets interesting quickly. I suspect the Huskers will trend somewhere between third and fourth in the West.

Don’t panic, though. Nobody had last year’s Big Ten champion picked to finish higher than third in its division and only three of 20 predictors had Penn State even that high. Everyone else was picking the Nittany Lions fourth.

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