The theme of this post should be considered less “I told you so” than it is “preseason predictions are basically futile.” Each year, both the GSC coaches and I evaluate the GSC West and pick the division standings before the season. Each year, we’re both wrong. In fact, the “I told you so” angle is totally invalid for me this year, since I didn’t do any better than the coaches.
Sometimes I don’t always get around to evaluating my predictions, which makes them virtually worthless, but I’m going to try and do things differently as long as I can remember the things I chose to predict. For reference, full detail for the preseason predictions can be found here for both the coaches and myself.
The differences in the way the coaches do their poll (simply ranking the teams) and the way I did my projections (predicting an actual won-loss record) make it difficult to compare the two with any specificity, but I’m going to try anyway. Below, instead of using any kind of tiebreaker prediction I may have had, I lumped all the teams that I predicted to have the same record into one group. So, teams 2-4, since I had them all at 8-6, are all ranked #3 (the average of 2, 3, and 4) for the purpose of this evaluation. I did the same for the coaches, although their point system allowed for fewer ties.
Here’s how wrong we were about this year’s teams, in order of the final (actual) standings:
A few notes:
- My best prediction was Arkansas Tech, which had a lot of good incoming talent that either other coaches did not realize or that they thought was inconsequential.
- My worst was Henderson State, with a prediction of that 7-7 was actually a hedge against them possibly being even better. Clearly they were not, and it seems safe to say that the Reddies’ formerly strong program has officially hit rock bottom.
- UAM was probably my next big miss. Mike Pilgrim never played a game for the Weevils, and they still managed a winning record and the #4 seed without him.
- Even though I had a clear “saw it coming” moment over the coaches with Tech, they were more consistently right from top to bottom; they were closer on Harding, UAM, Delta State (even though I pegged their record correctly), and Southern Arkansas in terms of order of finish.
- I hit two records exactly: Christian Brothers and Delta State. Overall, though, I predicted more parity across the league, not seeing a clear bottom two in SAU and HSU. So, a few records were inflated over where I thought they might be, and Christian Brothers (over the course of the season, not right now necessarily) proved not to be the clear division leader.
All in all, it’s been a fun season, and we still have the conference tournament ahead of us.
For tomorrow I’m working on Log5 predictions for the GSC Tournament, which is nothing spectacular, but an interesting exercise each year. After that, I’ll have some recaps of tournament action.