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 Stassen.com.
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 Stassen.com 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.
The Grab Bag
- Graham Spanier’s criminal trial got under way yesterday.
- Dan Murphy previews Michigan’s trip to Rome.
- You can vote for Nebraska’s student section for Student Section of the Year here.
- Interesting story on graduation rates among men’s basketball players who played in the tournament compared to other students.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.