Crystal Ball Report Card

AS PROMISED LAST summer, we here at <I></I> —unlike most other "pundits"— are back to face the music and revisit our preseason prognostications, warts and all. And at first glance it would appear our crystal ball could have used a tune-up.

How bad did we do? Well, let's just say on a scale of one to ten, we were a Buddy Teevens. Or, if you're feeling charitable, maybe a Karl Dorrell? Maybe we're being a bit rough on ourselves, you be the judge.


But instead of focusing on our pratfalls, which you'll soon see with your own eyes, let's turn an all-seeing eye toward those few moments when our vision was supernaturally accurate.


Proving that we knew our own house better than we knew our Pac-10 neighbors, we predicted the Washington State finish exactly (9-3, 6-2). Feel free to pause and reflect on that uncanny accuracy. We bolstered that vision with prophetic bull's-eyes like "…defense ultimately carries the day" and "…underrated Erik Coleman will explode upon the scene." Can you say honorable mention All-American? Erik can.


Speaking of Coleman, we seem to recall a few shouts of "homer' from Montlake-way when we selected the safety and his teammate, corner Jason David, as one-half of our preseason All Pac-10 defensive backfield. Turns out we were right on the mark with those selections, as we were with seven of our All Pac-10 defensive picks and five on the offensive side. Further, every one of our preseason selections—other than former Cougar back Jermaine Green and injured Oregon guard Joey Forster—achieved at least an honorable mention nod when the final ballots were counted.


Of course, notably absent from our preseason team were two Cougar first team picks, linebacker Will Derting and kicker Drew Dunning. Guilty as charged on those, but we plead "no contest" on the Pac-10 offensive player of the year. After all, outside of Troy, who knew who quarterback Matt Leinart was just four months ago?


But one thing nearly everyone knew was the fate of Arizona. Two words were running through our mind when we calculated the Wildcats' forecast for 2003: John Mackovic. And that simple formula led us to predict a Zona record of 2-10, 1-7—bingo!


More protests rained down from our dogged friends when we envisioned a rather humdrum 4-4 conference finish for the Huskies, which, as it turns out, was another well-thrown dart. We were far too generous bestowing a 7-5 overall record on UW, but even the most ardent Husky-hater didn't see Nevada opening up a big ol' can of whup ass on the purple and gold.


But enough with the backslapping, time to fess up. Following is the final Pac-10 standings with our preseason prognostications in crimson:


USC     7-1, 11-1;         5-3, 7-5

WSU    6-2,  9-3;         6-2, 9-3

UO       5-3,  8-4;         2-6, 5-7

CAL      5-3,  7-6;         3-5, 5-8

OSU     4-4,  7-5;         7-1,10-2

UCLA   4-4,  6-6;         5-3, 7-5

UW       4-4,  6-6;         4-4, 7-5

ASU     2-6,  5-7;         6-2, 9-3

SU        2-6,  4-7;         1-7, 2-9

UA        1-7,2-10;        1-7,2-10


For a look back at our complete preseason All-Conference selections, visit this link:


And should you be wondering how the Crimson Seer fared in his sixth and final season of weekly Pac-10 Picks, the Mystic One finished with a 51-27 record for a 65% accuracy rate.


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