Rice Is Rolling Over in His Grave

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Posts Tagged ‘prognostication’

Stewart Mandel Still Likes Arguing with Himself

Posted by biggusrickus on December 10, 2009

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A Brief Reminder That Terry Bowden Is Not To Be Trusted

Posted by biggusrickus on September 18, 2008

Headline for this column:

Bowden: Ohio State will be ready…and win

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A Preseason Mindbender

Posted by biggusrickus on July 17, 2008

Kirk Bohls wrote an article for the Austin American-Statesman with this headline:

Summer football mags can predict, but how well?

When reading such a headline one might assume that the article will examine past predictions by preseason magazines and compare them to the actual outcomes of those seasons. And that, my friends, is why you should never assume. Instead we will be taking a look at an article predicting the accuracy of predictions for the upcoming season. That’s right, it’s a prediction article about predictions. Welcome to the world of metametacriticism.

Preseason football magazines.

This is the opening paragraph. No shit. You feeling that dramatic tension? You could cut it with a spoon.

Are there three sweeter words in the English language, other than “insurance covers that”?

I don’t want to undercut his awesome joke, but here’s a list of some three word combinations I prefer:

  • More beer, anyone
  • Paging Dr. Love
  • Superman dat ho
  • Fourth and dumb
  • Desperately Seeking Susan
  • Rollercoaster of Love
  • Ticket to Ride
  • menage a trois
  • I love you
  • Condoms are optional

Frankly, nothing quite beats such mindless, summertime reading.

This is a judgement call, but really? Nothing beats it? You write for a living. Surely there’s something out there that you prefer to hastily assembled lists and team profiles and what not. This is like choosing People magazine over “The Grapes of Wrath.”

After spending half the night Wednesday perusing three football periodicals, we offer our scorecard of some of their strongest predictions or opinions on the upcoming season. So get out your No. 2 pencils and score along at home. (Why didn’t No. 3 pencils ever catch on?)

Which is worse: a) that he’s “scoring” preseason predictions, b) that he wants us to join in the madness, or c) that No. 3 pencil joke? I think I’m most offended by c.

1. Missouri, Sporting News writes, will have two Heisman candidates in quarterback Chase Daniel and receiver Jeremy Maclin. Spot on.

Remember back in the last paragraph when he said he was going with their strongest predictions? Well, he thinks the college football equivalent of “the sun will rise tomorrow” is strong or bold or whatever.

2. The surprise teams, Phil Steele’s 328 trillion-word magazine says, will be South Florida (true), Clemson (false, an annual underachiever), Texas Tech (true), Auburn (false because Will Muschamp’s gone) and Penn State (true).

I want to take this opportunity to point out that Steele’s magazine is not hastily assembled and has quite a bit of good, in-depth analysis. It stands alone in the world of preseason college football magazines. Now, on to Bohls. There’s nothing of why he thinks the trues are true, but take a gander at those falses. Clemson: “an annual underachiever” and Auburn: “Will Muschamp’s gone.” This is bad metacriticism, and I should know because I’ve been producing bad metacriticism for months. First, the only reason Clemson can even be thought of as a surprise team is because the expectation is that they will not play to their capabilities. Second, the past performance of teams is not predictive of their future successes or failures. Third, losing one fucking coach is going to keep Auburn from being better than expected? A better argument would be that they’re breaking in a new offensive system, and I’m not even sure whether or not I agree with that one. Fourth, dick joke.

4. Florida has the nation’s most explosive offense and is ranked ninth by Sporting News. That rating is nuts. Steele has the Gators No. 1. But Sporting News also places Texas Tech a lowly No. 20. That’s crazy. This could be the Red Raiders’ breakout year.

So many things:

  1. 9th is a pretty high ranking.
  2. Teams are also expected to play defense.
  3. 1st seems a little high for Florida and closer to crazy than 9th, inasmuch as preseason rankings should be thought of in those terms. Since: They’re fucking predictions, and will turn out to be wrong at least as often as right.
  4. Texas Tech could also go about 8-4 like they usually do.
  5. You just bagged on Clemson for past performance. Why do you give Texas Tech the benefit of the doubt?

6. The top NFL prospect is Oklahoma offensive guard Duke Robinson. False. We’ll say Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher or South Florida defensive end George Selvie.

Why false? Why those two guys? Answer me!

8. Phil Steele lists his Heisman favorites as Tim Tebow, Chris Wells, Pat White and Chase Daniels. Wrong. No way Tebow repeats. Wells won’t be flashy enough. White doesn’t have enough help. Daniel really could win, but Missouri better beat Illinois out of the box, or you can kiss the trophy goodbye.

Again, so many things:

  1. “No way Tebow repeats”?! Even if he accounts for, like, 8,000 touchdowns again?
  2. “Wells won’t be flashy enough.” What does this even mean? Was Eddie George flashy? Rashaan Salaam? Chris Weinke, now there was a flashy player.
  3. Seems to me that White not having help would help his chances should WVU have a good enough season to keep him in the race, which is obviously assumed by his inclusion.
  4. Daniel could win it, but only if they don’t lose to Illinois. An occurrence that even Ron Zook would not predict. Though he does predict a lot of improving.
  5. You don’t maybe want to include three dudes to replace the three you summarily dismissed?

9. Sporting News calls Colorado’s Ralphie the league’s best mascot. You hear that, Bevo? Sic ’em.

Everyone but Texas fans probably think Ralphie is better than Bevo. Hell, I’m guessing a plurality of Texas fans would agree. Though if Bevo is actually trained to attack on command I’d give him the nod. Because that would be awesome.

10. That magazine says West Virginia rookie Bill Stewart will better the 11-2 mark of Rich Rodriguez last year. Not a chance. He’s overmatched.

That remains to be seen. When last we saw him he was inspiring WVU to beat an Oklahoma team with more talent. So based on that, I’d say there is a chance he could improve upon that 11-2, all other things being equal.

12. Lindy’s accurately suggests Syracuse’s Greg Robinson has made predecessor Paul Pasqualoni look like Bear Bryant.

Well, that’s a fucking bold…prediction? Fuck the heck?!

And skipping to the end:

22. A heads up to fans. There are no more 5-yard face mask infractions (all 15 yards) or sideline warnings. Previously, a team could receive two warnings, but now a 5-yard penalty could be stepped off with the first infraction. Call it the Chris Jessee rule.

Not a prediction. Not related to preseason college football magazines. Why is this here? And that’s all for our look at preseason metametacriticism. For the record, I predict that games will be played, won, and lost. Some teams will have good years. Some will have bad years. And I will critique at least 37 Dennis Dodd columns.

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