I’ve been holding off on this review because I didn’t think the results would be that favorable. Then, as I started on it, I struggled with how exactly to grade my preseason picks. Let’s go down the conferences and then the West Region predictions and maybe it will become clear to me.
Starting with the ASC and things are going to go well initially. Both the conference and I picked the proper order of the ASC East Division. Now, I must admit that after I heard about the UT Dallas preseason injuries, I was thinking that UT Tyler had a leg up (pun not intended) but it wasn’t to be. Over on the ASC West side of things, the conference had UMHB winning the division while I had HSU with the rest of the ordering the same between the two of us. UMHB did indeed take the West Division followed by McMurry, Concordia and then HSU. I did correctly pick the conference tournament champion in UT Dallas before the season started so extra points for me. All in all, probably an A grade to the ASC Preseason Poll and an A- to me. I correctly predicted 8 of the 12 spots exactly correct plus the conference tournament champion.
Over in the NWC, I really struggled with the ordering between Whitworth and Pac Lutheran and in the end got it wrong, as did the NWC preseason poll. I had Puget Sound third as did the conference and they finished in a tie for 5th. I could go on but the bottom line is that the preseason poll correctly predicted 1 correct order for the 9 teams. I showed them by getting none correct. Overall it was just one team here (Pacific) or there (George Fox) that messed up the rest of the order for both of us but I will hang my hat on liking Pacific more than the conference. I’ll go with maybe a D grade for both of us, if you consider that we are seniors that really need this class to graduate kind of thing. Again, I got 0 for 9 on the ordering in the NWC.
Now to the SCAC and Colorado College just messed us both up. The SCAC conference and I had Trinity, SU, and Colorado College as the top three teams. The teams were correct but the ordering was not. The conference ended up getting 1 team in the correct order (TLU) while I only got Schreiner correct (1 for 8). TLU surprised me this year with their 4th place finish and I had Dallas a little too high in my predictions. I also got the conference tournament champion wrong with my prediction of Southwestern. Probably another D grade as my parents are thinking long and hard about a gap year now.
The SCIAC isn’t much better although both the conference preseason poll and my predictions had the top 4 teams but neither of us had La Verne in the 2nd spot. Whittier was the surprise team of the year as they were predicted to finish 7th (conference) and 8th (me) before finishing in a three-way tie for 3rd. In the end I got 3 out of 9 correct while the conference got 4 out of 9 correct. Not too bad considering the bad miss with Whittier. Oh, I also correctly predicted CMS as the conference tournament champion. With a nice professor, we might pull a C grade here.
The toughest prediction was the West Region and it’s only me this time. I had CMS, Trinity, Southwestern, Cal Lutheran (ouch), Colorado College (ouch), UT Dallas, Chapman and UMHB. I got 6 of the 8 teams but none in the right order. I missed on Whittier and Pacific Lutheran and had too much hope for Cal Lutheran and Chapman. Probably another C Grade here since I got 6 teams but really I got the teams I should have. No question that I’m going on academic probation but I can only do better next year, right?