Takin’ on Sports: A look back at our preseason college football predictions and a look ahead to the College Football Playoff

Recapping the season and best guesses on the playoffs.

College football bowl season is upon us, and what better time to look back at our poignant prognostications from before the season.

Conference predictions


TD: Clemson was such an easy choice is hardly worth discussing. I honestly don’t know where the next challenger to their throne will come from, but I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.

Blaine: Anyone and everyone picked Clemson. They really need some worthy opponents. When you’re favored by 24 (or more) points in your championship game, there’s no challenge and it’s a joke. No one believed in you, Dabo. No one other than everyone who picked you as pre-season champs.

Big 10

TD: Swing and a miss on Michigan. I knew Ohio State would be good, of course, but I don’t know if anyone thought they’d be the best team in college football. The Wolverines improved as the year went on, but still got run over by the Buckeyes. You got to think the powers that be at Michigan are beginning to question if Jim Harbaugh is the man to get them back to the promised land. Likewise for Penn State and James Franklin, who just can’t seem to get over the hump and make the playoff. This line from my preview of the Big 10 made me laugh: ” I hope, like, I don’t know, fucking Minnesota wins the conference.” Well, almost.

Blaine: That Michigan pick of mine was a bust, but look: they hung in there so much longer than they had any right to be. I really didn’t see Ohio State being the best team in the nation, but here we are.

Big 12

TD: Oklahoma was another easy choice, given the lack of true contenders around them. Baylor was a nice surprise, but didn’t quite have the guns to win the conference. Texas… lol.

Blaine: I picked Oklahoma, but it was obvious. It was hard to get that one wrong, though Jalen Hurts and the Sooners had to do some impressive things to get the championship, including two wins against a scrappy Baylor team that took them to overtime in the second meeting for the Big 12 Championship.

PAC 12

TD: I really thought it was Washington’s year, but with Chris Petersen’s surprising retirement, it makes you wonder what went down in that locker room this season. Oregon was a late season slip-up at Arizona State away from making the CFP, but alas they’ll settle for the Rose Bowl.

Blaine: My prediction on Clay Helton being fired didn’t come to fruition, but that’s not because they didn’t try. Something tells me that Helton is there only because Urban Meyer couldn’t be roped in to USC. Oregon did get the PAC-12 belt like I thought, but it was almost anyone’s to take ’till the last few weeks.


TD: I’ll eat the crow and admit I was completely wrong about LSU. That offense really made the leap and led them to an undefeated regular season and SEC crown. I’m interested to see if they can keep it up once Joe Burrow leaves. There’s no telling what would’ve happened had Alabama had a crazy run of bad injury luck, but that’s football. Georgia clearly needs to make improvements on offense if they want to make the leap.

Blaine: Blame me. I jinxed Alabama by picking them to win it all. (Of note is that last year I picked Georgia.) I did think that LSU would be better than they’d been of recent years, and that played out.

College Football Playoff

TD: I got Clemson right, and that’s it. Michigan and Washington were big misses. Alabama ran into the above mentioned bad injury luck, but still had a shot even after Tua Tagovailoa went down for the season. As for the teams that did make it, I think we’re in for the most exciting edition of the CFP since the inaugural one in 2014. I can make a solid case for all four teams. LSU’s offense is seemingly unstoppable, but they have struggled on D against prolific passing attacks. Ohio State might be the most complete team in football, but falling into an early hole like they did in the Big 10 Championship is not an option. Clemson didn’t look that impressive against a weak schedule, but the same thing was said last year and they showed up big time en route to a National Championship. Oklahoma is the weakest of the four teams, but on their best day that offense can outscore anyone. LSU should beat the Sooners, but if Lincoln Riley can come up with the right game plan for the Tigers’ D, Jalen Hurts could go 3-0 as a starter against LSU. Clemson and Ohio State is gonna be great, but I think the (other) Tigers’ lack of quality competition this year will bite them in the ass against the Buckeyes, who had a few battles along the way. In the title game, I like Ohio State over LSU in a thriller.

Blaine: I had Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Oklahoma and was half right. What I predict for the actual playoffs of Oklahoma vs LSU in the Peach Bowl and Clemson vs Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl are going against my logic. Any football fan this year would think that with the way LSU and Ohio State are playing, they’ll win those games. I actually like a little superstition this time and say that since Joe Burrow won the Heisman, LSU will drop their first game of the season. I like that Hurts is familiar with playing against them and he’s won close and big games this season already. As for Ohio State, they’re the best in the country, but I think Dumb Dabo has his Tigers believing that “poor us” bullshit. I say Clemson gets the win with the more experienced quarterback — as far as the national spotlight goes — and that Clemson goes on to win it all again. But I could see any of these four teams winning out. It’s a hard one to predict.

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