Re-visiting 25 Bold B1G East 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 East predictions I made before the start of 2015 and provided a little bit of updated analysis.
1. Then — The Ohio State quarterback does NOT lead the Big Ten in passing.
Now — Mitch Leidner has more passing yards than Cardale Jones. Mitch. Leidner.
2. Then — Connor Cook does, and finishes with over 4,000 yards.
Now — He’s not even on pace to hit 2,500. There’s no chance this one hits.
3. Then — Ohio State and Michigan State will be undefeated come Nov. 21.
Now — I don’t know why I thought this was bold in August. Now, it might be.
4. Then — Penn State has one loss entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
Now — Barring a miracle win against Ohio State, this won’t happen.
5. Then — Shilique Calhoun has more tackles for loss than Joey Bosa.
Now — Calhoun leads 5.5-5, but with the Spartans’ depth issues on defense, he could be relied on to make even more plays in the backfield to distance that lead.
6. Then — Kemoko Turay finishes just behind both of them.
Now — Or ahead of them, along with Joe Schobert, Carl Nassib, Anthony Walker, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Chris Wormley, Yannick Ngakoue, Tyquan Lewis and Nate Meier.
7. Then — All three Maryland quarterbacks start a game.
Now — We might already get there before the halfway point of the season.
8. Then — Indiana wins three November games to clinch bowl eligibility.
Now — IU actually won’t even need three wins in November to do so. I underestimated the Hoosiers.
9. Then — Jabrill Peppers scores an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown.
Now — Still working on all three of those. He hasn’t made the highlight reel plays, but he’s been huge for one of the nation’s best defenses.
10. Then — Cardale Jones doesn’t start a game.
Now — Well, there are some that believe he shouldn’t have.
11. Then — J.T. Barrett returns to form as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
Now — I meant to make this one a prediction for the 2016 season. My bad.
12. Then — Akeel Lynch finishes behind Ezekiel Elliott and Jordan Howard in rushing.
Now — Or a more talented freshman emerges and injuries prevent him from staying on the field.
13. Then — Only Michigan State and Ohio State exceed 20 points against Penn State.
Now — Or Temple and San Diego State will.
14. Then — Jim Harbaugh gets his first signature win…in Happy Valley.
Now — You can argue that BYU isn’t a signature win. Some might consider beating Northwestern on Saturday a signature win. Either way, Harbaugh will have his pick of signature wins by season’s end.
15. Then — Maryland doesn’t have a rusher crack 500 yards.
Now — Unless Brandon Ross gets injured against Ohio State, he should be able to get 95 more yards in seven more games. There ya go, Maryland.
16. Then — Christian Hackenberg wins unofficial comeback player of the year honors.
Now — The offensive line play has been improved, but Hack still never looks settled. I’m punting on this one.
17. Then — Indiana doesn’t have a receiver eclipse 700 yards, but Nate Sudfeld still throws for 3,000.
Now — A couple of 100-yard games and Ricky Jones will get there by Week 7. Dead wrong.
18. Then — Both Rutgers and Maryland will be eliminated from bowl eligibility by the Nov. 28 finale.
Now — This looks promising.
19. Then — But Hayden Rettig shows he’s the quarterback of the future.
Now — He did, but then he was pulled for the guy who got busted with a fake ID and missed curfew. Classic Rutgers.
20. Then — Ty Isaac emerges as Michigan’s feature back by midseason.
Now — If he does, it’ll be because De’Veon Smith can’t get healthy and Drake Johnson suffers a setback. There’s no shortage of backfield talent in Ann Arbor.
21. Then — Braxton Miller throws a touchdown pass.
Now — I mean, Urban Meyer has to figure out some way to get him the ball.
22. Then — Jason Spriggs cracks All-American honors.
Now — According to Pro Football Focus, he’s allowed one quarterback HURRY in 437 snaps. And he’s also paving the way for one of the nation’s top rushers. If the season ended today, he’d be in.
23. Then — Michigan has the most drastic turnover margin shift in college football.
Now — Surprisingly, the Wolverines are only 85th after ranking 121st in 2014. But with Jake Rudock’s improved accuracy and the way this defense flies to the ball, that number is trending in the right direction.
24. Then — Michigan State keeps the Buckeyes within single digits.
Now — A safe a bet as any is that these two teams will play a close game.
25. Then — But Ohio State runs the table and doesn’t relinquish its unanimous No. 1 ranking.
Now — This wasn’t very bold in August. It could be in October.