Re-visiting 25 Bold B1G West Predictions
Anybody can throw out preseason predictions and not deal with the mockery that comes with them. Nobody ever remembers predictions.
Well, I went in a different direction. I looked back on the 25 bold B1G West predictions I made before the start of 2015 and provided a little bit of updated analysis.
1. Then — Wisconsin doesn’t lose a conference game until the regular season finale.
Now— Swing and a miss.
2. Then — Mitch Leidner and Joel Stave both throw for 2,500 yards.
Now — I might get one out of two. If I’m lucky.
3. Then — Iowa finishes ahead of Nebraska.
Now — Book it.
4. Then — Kirk Ferentz returns to Iowa City in 2016.
Now — Barring an epic second-half collapse, he’ll be welcomed back with open arms.
5. Then — As does every B1G West coach, including Bill Cubit.
Now — I’ll still say this one holds true. For the sake of Mike Riley, I hope it does.
6. Then — Wes Lunt plays his first full season healthy.
Now — So far, so good.
7. Then — And throws for more yards than any West quarterback.
Now — Tommy Armstrong leads now and with the way Nebraska’s defense is playing, he might get more opportunities than Lunt simply because of game flow.
8. Now — Minnesota, Northwestern or Wisconsin pulls off a Week 1 upset.
Then — Hey, Northwestern!
9. Then — Mike Riley doesn’t get to nine wins.
Now — Betting the house on this one.
10. Then — Ferentz does.
Now — Doubling up.
11. Then — Corey Clement gets his 2,000 yards.
Now — It’s hard to predict injuries, but this one will be way off.
12. Then —Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray combine for double digit interceptions.
Now — This won’t work out, partially because Boddy-Calhoun is still banged up.
13. Then — Jordan Canzeri takes over Iowa’s starting RB job…and rushes for 1,000 yards.
Now — One of my better calls. It happened because of an injury to LeShun Daniels, but Canzeri is well on his way.
14. Then — Nebraska throws the ball more times than it runs for the first time in eight years.
Now — A 190-179 advantage and an inconsistent defense suggests I’ll be right.
15. Then — Clayton Thorson earns freshman All-American honors.
Now — The quarterback for a team knocking on the door of the top 10 is certainly making a case.
16. Then — But Northwestern still misses a bowl.
Now — Or they can clinch one and nab a top-10 berth with a win at Michigan…in Week 6.
17. Then — De’Mornay Pierson El does not play against Wisconsin.
Now — He’ll play, and he might be Nebraska’s last hope to turn the season around.
18. Then — Danny Anthrop is the unofficial comeback player of the year.
Now — A midseason quarterback switch tells you all you need to know about the Purdue passing game.
19. Then — He and Jordan Westerkamp finish 1-2 in the West in receiving yards.
Now — Westerkamp is second, but Anthrop is a long way from catching Geronimo Allison.
20. Then — Minnesota does not take a step back in wins, despite the Big Ten’s toughest schedule.
Now — A step back appears pretty inevitable.
21. Then — No West team besides Wisconsin cracks the AP poll until November.
Now — Iowa and Northwestern begged to differ.
22. Then — Wisconsin finishes in the top 10 nationally against the pass.
Now — Ranked No. 33, but last week’s effort against Iowa showed that’s certainly possible.
23. Then — So does Minnesota.
Now — The Gophers haven’t done a ton of things right, but they are 14th against the pass.
24. Then — Purdue true freshman Markell Jones is 2015’s version of Justin Jackson.
Now — Right. On. The. Money.
25. Then — Wisconsin has the West won before the finale in Minnesota.
Now — The Badgers can still repeat last year’s post-B1G opener turnaround. But Iowa and Northwestern might have other plans.