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Re-visiting my 50 predictions for the 2023 CFB Season
Some large swings and misses in here
I put out my 50 preseason predictions for the 2023 college football season back in August, and now it's time to survey the damage. There were some hits! There also were some (rather large) misses. See for yourself below.
The prediction: Tennessee beats Georgia
The Result: I felt like Tennessee's offense was a couple of missed deep shots from having Georgia on the ropes last year, and I liked that they got the Dawgs at Neyland Stadium this season. Georgia held the Vols to just three points after the first quarter in a 38-10 blowout.
The prediction: Georgia still wins the SEC East
The Result: Look, I never said these predictions were 'bold.' Outside of a tight game against SEC East runner-up Missouri, Georgia cruised to their sixth division title in the last seven seasons.
The prediction: Georgia three-peats
The prediction: People overreact to everything that happens at Colorado, starting with the season opener at TCU
The Result: It'd be an understatement to say this was accurate. CU shockingly beat TCU, instantly became ranked, took over the college football world for a month, might partially be responsible for The Rock coming back to WWE for the first time in a decade, for the first time in a decade, made Dan Lanning play them like the national championship was on the line, and gave everyone something to yell about in the process. Love Coach Prime or hate him, Colorado Football was the arguably the biggest sports story of 2023.
The prediction: Jim Harbaugh coaches his last game at Michigan
The prediction: The Sun Belt is the nation's most entertaining conference
The Result: The Sun Belt had another fun season, but it's hard to say any conference was more entertaining than the Pac-12.
The prediction: Everyone falls in love with James Madison
The Result: 'Everyone' is up for debate, but JMU made so much noise this season that they got College Gameday on campus:
The prediction: Big 12 officiating screws Texas or Oklahoma in a crucial moment
The Result: Unfortunately, the Big 12 didn't go Survivor Series '97 Vince McMahon-Brett Hart mode on Texas or OU on their way out.
The prediction: Northwestern goes almost two full years without winning a game on American soil
The Result: Maybe the biggest pound-for-pound miss I had in these predictions. Northwestern not only won a game on American soil, but made a bowl, and were one win away from playing in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The prediction: The Heisman race is infinitely better than last year's
The Result: Honestly? It was more of the same this year. Jayden Daniels, Michael Penix, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Bo Nix were all good candidates –with Daniels being a deserving winner– but this was another Heisman race that lacked any real juice.
The prediction: Texas A&M's season makes or breaks vs Auburn on September 23
The Result: A&M's season broke when they got smacked in week two by Miami. They were 4-1 heading into October after wins against Auburn and Arkansas, but that loss laid the foundation for what was to come, and Jimbo Fisher's eventual firing.
The prediction: Northwestern-Iowa at Wrigley Field is the worst game of the year
The Result: Northwestern may have demolished my prediction for their win-total, but this game didn't disappoint in its ineptitude. The two teams combined for 339 total yards, 26 first downs, and 14 punts in the Hawkeyes' 10-7 win in what absolutely was the WGOY.
The prediction: Troy-James Madison is one of the best games of the year
The prediction: Penn State underwhelms
The Result: Is it fair to call another 10-2 Penn State season underwhelming? I think so, and I will. This was Penn State's best chance to beat Ohio State since 2018, and they got Michigan at home. They lost to both (again), leaving James Franklin a combined 4-16 in his career against the Buckeyes and Wolverines. They didn't look particularly impressive in any of their other ten games either, outside of their annual blowout of Maryland. This is a program that'll routinely qualify for the playoff under the new 12-team system, by the way.
The prediction: Neal Brown is the first head coach fired
The Result: This looked like a lock after week one:
But then something magical happened! West Virginia was one of the Big 12's most competent teams week-to-week, winning eight games for the first time since 2018! They would've won nine if not for that ridiculous finish in Houston, but Neal Brown did a great job this season.
The prediction: Clemson stomps through the ACC
The Result: Me on this prediction: