I really need to stop doing conference and region prediction posts. Either that or stop doing end-of-the-year report cards. Here is a look back at my predictions and the conference polls of each conference as well as my prediction for the West Region as a whole.
In the ASC, my predictions and the coaches poll didn’t disagree much at the start of the year. The coaches had LeTourneau ahead of Belhaven and Concordia ahead of McMurry where I had these pair of teams switched. In the end, looking at the ASC East first, the coaches nailed the Belhaven/LeTourneau ordering as Belhaven actually finished last in the division behind Louisiana College. So, that’s 3 teams in the proper order for the coaches with two misses. I only got 2 teams correct with a different order for the bottom 3 teams. Over in the West Concordia and McMurry actually tied but Sul Ross State finished ahead of Howard Payne, which means both of us got 4 in the right order with two misses. Overall, I have to give the edge to the coaches in the battle for the ASC. To make matters worse for me, I had UT-Dallas winning the conference tournament, which was actually won by UMHB.
The NWC ordering prior to the year had more divergence between myself and the coaches although we both had Pacific Lutheran correctly winning the conference. Whitworth and Pacific finished 2nd and 3rd, which the coaches got correct. I was more down on Whitworth (curse you Jessica Schmautz!) and had them in 6th. The rest of the ordering didn’t match for either of us so that’s 3 right for the coaches versus just a single correct placement for me. I knew there was another reason why I hate the Northwest Conference.
The SCAC coaches and I almost matched on our preseason predictions. The only difference was the coaches had Dallas and JWU tying for 7th while I had Dallas followed by JWU in my predictions. In the end we both got the first three right but TLU surprised us both and sort of messed up the ordering in the middle. Dallas did finish in front of JWU (well in front) and, in fact, Schreiner actually forced newcomer JWU into last place. If I’m kind, and factoring in the 5th place tie between Austin College, Centenary and Dallas, I will give the coaches and myself 5 matches out of 9 teams. I’ll give the edge to my predictions, however, as I had the courage not to list any ties, which I’m sure we can all agree was sort of cowardly of the SCAC coaches. I also got the pick of Colorado College winning the conference tournament correct.
Down 2-1 and needing to force a 5th set against the coaches, I turn to the SCIAC. We both had CMS winning the conference and the coaches even had Cal Lutheran finishing 2nd. My predictions had Whittier in the second spot so big whoops on my part. It’s looking bad for the good guys as there was a three-way tie for third in conference between Chapman, La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer. We each had two of the teams correct in that 3rd through 5th placement so the coaches are up by one going to the bottom of the bracket. As it turns out, our predictions were identical starting with the 6th place team and with Redlands surprising us both we only get the Caltech prediction correct. That’s 5 correct for the coaches out of 9 and only 4 for me. A sad 4-set defeat for D3VbWest as my fans are now questioning the leadership of the team.
Taking a quick look at my West Region predictions, I did get 6 of the 8 teams although the ordering was slightly off. Cal Lutheran and La Verne were the two I missed where I had Pacific Lutheran and Southwestern. Once again the coaches couldn’t come to an agreement and even attempt to pick the West Region ordering so a sad forfeit for them.
I’m all about lessons learned so come August I need to be more respectful to the traditional powers as there seems to be a reason they are traditional powers. My apologies to Lewis & Clark, Whitworth, Willamette, Dallas, Cal Lutheran and Pomona-Pitzer as they all exceeded my expectations this season. Now, there are some teams that really owe me an apology for messing up my predictions but they have other (more important) issues to get handled first. That’s fine. I’m not petty. I can be the bigger person here.