Aging Like Wine or Milk? A Look Back at My Preseason Predictions

LightningDragon · February 24, 2023


By: Cole Mantell (@colemantell)

Right before Week One, we took a look at who might be an underrated candidates for some end of season awards. As Rivalry Week finishes and we look towards the postseason, it is always a fun exercise to see how it turned out. Going back to Week One, the originally the criteria was that someone could not have won a major award or been an All-American to be eligible. While not everyone who wins a major award this season will fit that criteria, I still will be grading myself based on two main factors. First, for the provided candidates, how likely are they to win the award. Second, I provided a description of what would be needed for someone new to win. I’ll also be grading myself on how accurate that description was. I’ll assign each prediction a letter grade, as well as reaffirm each likeliest candidate that I provided from Week One.

Most Outstanding Freshman

Week 1 Candidates: 

Notre Dame QB Charlie Sammons

Notre Dame HB Bode Dale

Auburn QB Baker Thomas

Michigan QB Sam Dobbins

Texas QB Avery Ware

Prediction Grade: D+

A rough start to this exercise. I named two Notre Dame candidates as the most likely winner, and completely ignored defensive players in the original prediction. This includes Oregon SS Benny Trill, among others. Hindsight is 20/20, but the lack of defense and reliance on QBs before Week One really hurt me here. My saving grace is Michigan QB Sam Dobbins, who is leading Michigan through a great season right now.

Most Likely To Make Cole’s Prediction True: Michigan QB Sam Dobbins

Most Outstanding Senior

Week 1 Candidates:

Kentucky WR Willie Hardigan

Kentucky HB Taylor Copley

Michigan HB Barry Beardsley

Texas OLB Tyler Detherage

Notre Dame WR Ralph Rodriguez

Prediction Grade: C

Not much better for the search for the best Senior. I’m going to give myself a little bit better marks for predicting it might be a wide receiver who wins this, considering the lack of candidates right now. Still, this should be maybe the most interesting vote with multiple candidates and no clear leader right now. Staying in the Michigan theme, Barry Beardsley is a name to watch here as well.

Most Likely to Make Cole’s Prediction True: Michigan HB Barry Beardsley

Most Improved Player

Week 1 Candidates

Michigan HB Barry Beardsley

Alabama HB Tavian Tyree

Auburn HB Kieren Ennis

West Virginia QB Tony Ellis

Florida QB Shaker Mayflower

Prediction Grade: B-

Michigan single-handedly so far is saving me from total ignominy. While it was an easy prediction to make, Barry Beardsely’s progress in the Michigan offense will get him a look at this award as well. This is a Quarterback heavy award, however, and both Kentucky QB Moses King and Alabama QB Cece Range are going to be candidates here as well. I also dinged some points for the fact I didn’t include any defensive players originally, even though there are a few who will get consideration.

Most Likely to Make Cole’s Prediction True: Michigan HB Barry Beardsley

Defensive Player of the Year

Week 1 Candidates:

Texas OLB Tyler Detherage

North Carolina CB Trevor Austin

Miami DE Cory Mucci

Georgia MLB Kirby Sierra

Alabama MLB Troy William

Prediction Grade: A-

This is easily my best prediction from Week One. We’ll start with Georgia MLB Kirby Sierra, who has been excellent this season and will get some looks at multiple awards. Add in the prediction a Miami player not named Jay Gates would be in contention (though it is Yost, not Mucci) and an excellent season from Austin (though more on special teams), and that is three great candidates. While not perfect, this prediction stood the test of time.

Most Likely to Make Cole’s Prediction True: Georgia MLB Kirby Sierra

Offensive Player of the Year

Week 1 Candidates:

Ohio State QB Logan Radloff

Illinois QB Dylan Shumate

Florida State WR Pablo Thompson

Miami WR Wren Chucci

Ohio State WR Gregorio Esteban

Prediction Grade: C-

Uh oh. Outside of Pablo Thompson, this prediction has not aged well at all. To be fair, Radloff and Shumate are good QBs, and Radloff in particular has taken down some school records this season. But like I said earlier in Week One, this is rarely the first major award someone wins. Speaking of Thompson, Florida State’s #1 has really done well this season. He leads the CFSL in receiving yards at the time of writing, and will be a candidate most likely. Still, this seems like an award for a Quarterback to lose. Then again, that was the prevailing theory last season too.

Most Likely to Make Cole’s Prediction True: Florida State WR Pablo Thompson


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