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Faculty soccer end-of-year accountability: The great, unhealthy and ugly of predictions for 2022 season

You, the followers, need to have your calls for met. The faculty soccer offseason — or talkin’ season, in line with Steve Spurrier — is an excellent time once we all make predictions for the upcoming season after which get ripped to shreds by all of you who not solely suppose that we’re fallacious, however imagine we hate your staff attributable to long-held private bias. In the event you had that response, then this column is particularly tailor-made to you.

The world severely lacks accountability nowadays, however I will not stand for that. I write this end-of-the-season accountability story each offseason, condemning myself to a lifetime of despair attributable to my dumb preseason predictions, However, I do should pat myself on the again just a little bit as nicely.

We simply completed an unbelievable 2022 school soccer season, so here is my parting reward as we head into the brand new talkin’ season.

The ugly: A down 12 months for Michigan

In our preseason Huge Ten preview, I picked Michigan as essentially the most overrated staff within the convention. The truth is, I had the Wolverines third within the convention with little or no hope of creating the Faculty Soccer Playoff and even flirting with a New Yr’s Six Bowl.

All they did was win the convention for the second straight 12 months — this time with an unblemished document. It was a banner 12 months for coach Jim Harbaugh, and fairly frankly, one which I did not see coming. I am sorry, Michigan followers. I will not doubt you once more (except Harbaugh leaves).

The great: Texas A&M did not deserve the hype

The Aggies entered the season with questions at quarterback, uncertainty within the trenches and with a coach — Jimbo Fisher — who’s among the many most cussed within the nation. But, the media picked them to complete second within the division and so they really had three first-place votes. I did not purchase it. I mentioned they’d end fourth within the division and picked them as essentially the most overrated staff within the convention.

“The reality is that the quarterback scenario is questionable; banking on their means to take the highest off of opposing defenses by the air relies on hope greater than actuality,” I wrote. “Texas A&M additionally lacks skilled depth up entrance on the line of defense — one thing championship-caliber groups completely want in an effort to win at a excessive stage.”

Whereas I used to be proper in regards to the Aggies being overrated, I do not suppose anyone on the planet picked them to complete final within the West. It was that unhealthy of a 12 months in Faculty Station.

The unhealthy: Miami profitable the Coastal

A brand-new coach with a pedigree of success (Mario Cristobal)? Test. Up-and-coming quarterback with unbelievable upside (Tyler Van Dyke)? Test. These two issues would vault the Hurricanes to their second ACC Coastal title for the reason that division break up, proper?

Nope. They completed 5-7, missed a bowl and misplaced to Center Tennessee in the course of the common season. Granted, Van Dyke was hampered by a shoulder harm, so it wasn’t actually his fault. Nonetheless, I will not imagine within the ‘Canes till they show they will win at an elite stage.

The ugly: LSU struggling

I picked LSU to win the SEC West final season, which landed within the “ugly” part of final 12 months’s end-of-the-year accountability story. Properly, LSU made a return look to the part as a result of I believed the Tigers would go .500 and should catch a number of breaks to even get to that sixth win.

As a substitute, they topped Alabama in a thriller and gained the SEC West. Now, in my protection, I wasn’t alone on this prediction. However it was an excessive amount of of a miss to disregard. To go coach Brian Kelly, I am sorry. I will not doubt you heading into 2023, particularly with Jayden Daniels returning to take the snaps.

The great: Tennessee on the rise

CBS Sports activities HQ viewers heard from me all offseason that Tennessee was on the rise and rising as Georgia’s largest menace within the SEC East. Properly, what do ya know, the Volunteers completed second within the division — simply as I predicted. The truth is, I had Tennessee ending the regular season at 9-3 which was just one sport away from its precise document.

Head coach Josh Heupel has developed his program into one of the crucial harmful models within the nation, and it is clear that it must be taken very critically from this level ahead.

I had South Florida ending third within the AAC. Why? Here is my rationale.

“There’s this notion on the market that the Bulls are due for one more dreadful season after a 2-10 document beneath Jeff Scott final 12 months,” I wrote. “Do not fall into that entice. The Bulls return 19 starters, together with 5 on the offensive line and their whole again seven on protection.”

Properly…they completed 1-11. I repeat: 1-11. Scott was fired on Nov. 6 after a 4-26 document in two-plus years in Tampa and solely had one win over an FBS opponent (Temple in 2021). I want I may clarify additional why I had love for the Bulls, however I am unable to. I’m sorry for being so unhealthy at AAC predictions. I really am.

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