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How did Team Speed Kills fare in predicting the 2016 college football season?

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Let’s use hindsight shall we?

CFP National Championship Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The curtain has dropped on the 2016-17 college football season. Back on Monday night, the Clemson Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in an instant classic affair down in Tampa in which it came down to the final second. Literally.

It seems hard to believe that this journey started five months ago when everything looked much more misty than it became. With that said, let’s take a look back at how the Team Speed Kills staff, at the time, thought the college football season would play itself out.

ACC, Big 12 and B1G predictions

Staffer ACC Atlantic Winner ACC Coastal Winner ACC Champion Big 12 Champion B1G East Winner B1G West Winner B1G Champion
Staffer ACC Atlantic Winner ACC Coastal Winner ACC Champion Big 12 Champion B1G East Winner B1G West Winner B1G Champion
Chris Novak Florida State North Carolina Florida State Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
Brandon Larrabee Clemson Miami (FL) Clemson Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
David Wunderlich Clemson Miami (FL) Clemson Oklahoma Ohio State Iowa Ohio State
Chris Dougherty Florida State Duke's Rival Florida State Oklahoma Ohio State Iowa Ohio State
Cam Newton Clemson UNC Clemson Oklahoma Ohio State Iowa Ohio State
Joe Billi Florida State North Carolina Florida State Oklahoma Ohio State Iowa Iowa
Anthony Santaniello Florida State UNC Florida State Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
Joe Clarkin Clemson UNC Clemson Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
Julian Council Clemson Carolina Clemson TCU Michigan Iowa Michigan
Drew Fowler Clemson UNC Clemson OU Ohio State Iowa Ohio State
Alex Gray Clemson Pitt Clemson Oklahoma Michigan Northwestern Michigan
Bryan Manning FSU UNC FSU Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
Niesha D. Clemson Miami (FL) Clemson OU Ohio State Iowa Ohio State
Jordan Rinard FSU UNC FSU OU OSU Iowa OSU
Jonathan Waldrop FSU Pitt FSU Oklahoma Michigan Iowa Michigan
Tom Stephenson Clemson Pitt Clemson Oklahoma Michigan State Nebraska Michigan State

ACC Atlantic: 9/16 = 56.25%

ACC Coastal: 0/16 = 0%

ACC Champion: 9/16 = 56.25%

Big 12 Champion: 15/16 = 75%

B1G East: 0/16 = 0%

B1G West: 0/16 = 0%

The most predictable conference through the first half of this look back was the Big 12 and it wasn’t even close. 15 of the 16 predictors picked Oklahoma to win the conference, and they proceeded to do so after going 10-2 during the regular season with a 9-0 record.

The ACC didn’t fare as successfully as the Big 12 as nine of the 16 predictors picked Clemson to not only win the ACC Atlantic but the conference as well. No TSK staffer picked Virginia Tech to win the Coastal Division and those who missed in the ACC went with Florida State, which wasn’t a horrendous miss by any means. FSU was a title contender after all going into the year.

The Big Ten... yeah. Things did not go as planned in the Big Ten at all. Nobody picked Wisconsin to win the Big Ten West, which at the beginning of the year wasn’t the craziest stretch since they had a rigorous schedule. Meanwhile, nobody picked Penn State either.

Don’t rely on TSK for Big Ten coverage is what we’re saying folks.


Pac-12, SEC predictions

Staffer Pac-12 North Winner Pac-12 South Winner Pac-12 Champion SEC East Winner SEC West Winner SEC Champion
Staffer Pac-12 North Winner Pac-12 South Winner Pac-12 Champion SEC East Winner SEC West Winner SEC Champion
Chris Novak Stanford UCLA Stanford Georgia Alabama Alabama
Brandon Larrabee Washington St USC USC Tennessee LSU Tennessee
David Wunderlich Stanford USC Stanford Florida LSU LSU
Chris Dougherty Washington USC USC Florida Alabama Alabama
Cam Newton Stanford USC Stanford Tennessee LSU LSU
Joe Billi Stanford UCLA Stanford Florida LSU LSU
Anthony Santaniello Stanford UCLA UCLA Tennessee LSU LSU
Joe Clarkin Oregon UCLA UCLA Tennessee Alabama Alabama
Julian Council Stanford UCLA Stanford Tennesseee Alabama Alabama
Drew Fowler Stanford USC USC Florida Alabama Alabama
Alex Gray Stanford USC Stanford Florida LSU LSU
Bryan Manning Washington UCLa UCLA Tennessee Alabama Alabama
Niesha D. Stanford USC Stanford Tennessee Alabama Alabama
Jordan Rinard Washington USC USC Tennessee Alabama Alabama
Jonathan Waldrop Stanford USC Stanford Georgia Alabama Alabama
Tom Stephenson Oregon UCLA UCLA Georgia LSU LSU

Pac-12 North: 3/16 = 18.75%

Pac-12 South: 0/16 = 0%

Pac-12 Champion: 0/16 = 0%

SEC East: 5/16 = 31.25%

SEC West: 9/16 = 56.25%

SEC Champion: 9/16 = 56.25%

So... yeah. Don’t come to us for Pac-12 coverage either.

The SEC was a pretty mixed bag for us as well. Picking an SEC East Champion didn’t go so well, as just five staffers tabbed Florida to win the division. Picking Alabama went a little easier as 9/16 staffers picked the Tide to roll to Atlanta. LSU was the trendy pick to uproot the Tide to start things off, so it’s not as if someone picked anyone outside of those two teams. The East too was a bit of a mixed bag despite all of that Tennessee hype.


CFB Playoff, Champion and Heisman predictions

Staffer College Football Playoff Participants National Champion Heisman Trophy Winner
Staffer College Football Playoff Participants National Champion Heisman Trophy Winner
Chris Novak FSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan Florida State Christian McCaffrey
Brandon Larrabee Clemson, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan Tennessee Dalvin Cook
David Wunderlich LSU, Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama LSU Leonard Fournette
Chris Dougherty Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame Alabama Dalvin Cook
Cam Newton LSU, Oklahoma, Clemson, Ohio State LSU Christian McCaffrey
Joe Billi FSU, LSU, Stanford, OU Florida State Dalvin Cook
Anthony Santaniello LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, FSU LSU Leonard Fournette
Joe Clarkin Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, UCLA Clemson Deshaun Watson
Julian Council Florida State, TCU, Clemson, Michigan Clemson Deshaun Watson
Drew Fowler Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Clemson Clemson Christian McCaffrey
Alex Gray Oklahoma, Michigan, Clemson, FSU Clemson Deshaun Watson
Niesha D. Alabama, Ohio State, OU, Clemson Alabama Leonard Fournette
Jordan Rinard Alabama, OSU, FSU, OU Alabama Dalvin Cook
Jonathan Waldrop Alabama, Michigan, FSU, Stanford Alabama Deshaun Watson
Tom Stephenson Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, UCLA Clemson Deshaun Watson

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that nobody was able to land all four playoff teams. In fact, not a single person picked Washington to go to the CFB Playoff at all. The closest that anybody got was Drew Fowler and Niesha Middlebrooks, who picked Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson to get to the playoff. Hats off to them!

Five staffers picked Clemson to win it all, so congrats to Joe Clarkin, Julian Council, Drew Fowler, Alex Gray and Tom Stephenson on their foresight.

And it comes as no surprise that no one was able to land Lamar Jackson as the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. None of the guesses were too off the wall at least.