USC v Colorado
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Fans around the country demand accountability for preseason predictions that, at the time, insult your team, your coach and your intelligence. Well, that's what we hear on social media anyway. If you are one of those fans who have that reaction to preseason predictions, this column is for you.

Accountability seems like a lost cause these days, but it's that time of the year to bring it back, pat myself on the back and make fun of myself for many of the stupid things that I said prior to and during the 2023 college football season.

It was a wild year in the greatest sport on Earth that included twists, turns, surprising wins and devastating losses. It's that time of year when I look in the mirror, grade myself and give college football fans what they demand -- end of the season accountability. 

The ugly: Michigan's run to the national title

Come at me, Michigan fans. I deserve it. I picked your rival, Ohio State, to win the Big Ten East, Big Ten championship and CFP National Championship. To make matters worse, I picked Alabama to beat Michigan by double digits in the Rose Bowl and Washington to upset your beloved Wolverines in the national championship.

"The wrong team is favored here ... in a very big way," I wrote. "Never doubt Alabama coach Nick Saban with a month to prepare, especially given that he can finally fine-tune the offense to fit quarterback Jalen Milroe's strengths after adjusting on the fly during the season. Milroe presents unique challenges to the Michigan defense due to his arm and his vision as a runner – something that he has steadily improved upon during the season. This will be an upset ... and a blowout."

I got ratio'd on X (formerly Twitter). I'm still getting ratio'd. I deserve to be ratio'd. 

The good: Florida State's rise to power

I picked the Seminoles to go 11-1 in the regular season, win the ACC Championship Game and earn the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff. At the time, I got ripped to shreds by fans saying their success late in the 2022 season was to a weak schedule rather than a sign of success to come. 

It turns out I was wrong about Florida State ... because the 'Noles were even better than I imagined. Sure, the undefeated season and ACC title didn't result in a CFP appearance, but that was more a product of circumstances and how the landscape of the season evolved than anything else. And, yes, the 'Noles should have been in the CFP despite the injury to quarterback Jordan Travis (who I picked to win the Heisman Trophy).

The bad: LSU winning the SEC West

It's remarkable that quarterback Jayden Daniels won the Heisman Trophy and produced a statistical season comparable to former Tigers starter and 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow ... and LSU was still out of the division title race in early November. Why? Because its defense was an abject disaster and it lost two of its first six conference games.

If LSU just had a mediocre defense, it probably would have topped Ole Miss, Alabama and rolled into the SEC Championship Game with a chance at the CFP -- even with a loss to Florida State to open the season. Instead, the Tigers were a laughingstock.

The ugly: Ryan Day as Coach of the Year

Prior to the season, I thought the Buckeyes coach was still the class of the Big Ten, Sure, he had lost two straight to rival Michigan, but that was definitely going to change with -- as I predicted above -- an undefeated season and a national championship in 2023.

"Day was within one missed field goal in the waning seconds of last season's Peach Bowl semifinal, and he will finish the drill this season," I wrote in August. "The Buckeyes are loaded at the offensive skill positions, and the system is set up for either Kyle McCord or Devin Brown to slide right in to the starting QB job with ease. If the defense can hold up its end of the bargain, and I think it will, Day will lead his team to the national title and earn himself plenty of postseason hardware."

Wrong. Day lost to Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines ... again ... and is now in a vulnerable position headed into the new 12-team era of the CFP. It's hard to imagine Buckeye fans tolerating a coach that has allowed Michigan to become the class of the Big Ten, even if that coach is able to earn a spot in the CFP.

The good: USC was, in fact, overrated

The Trojans were ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP Top 25 despite lingering defensive concerns from the 2022 season. That isn't something that happens out of the blue. It's a coaching problem. Lincoln Riley is one of the most stubborn coaches in the country, and it's clear now that he neglected defensive fundamentals yet again.

"The Trojans were picked to win the Pac-12, but I'm not sure why," I wrote in August. "[Claeb] Williams is back, sure, but the landscape of the conference doesn't lend itself to the reigning Heisman winner leading them to Pac-12 glory. Why? Considering the quarterback talent elsewhere in the conference, virtually every USC game will result in a shootout. Defensive fundamentals have been sorely lacking for coach Lincoln Riley dating back to his Oklahoma days, and that was the case in Los Angeles last year as well. Plus, the 1.50 turnover margin -- the best mark in the nation -- is unsustainable and unlikely to carry over from year to year."

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner ... me.

The bad: No faith in Alabama

As mentioned above, I picked LSU to win the SEC West. However, I also picked Alabama to lose to Texas, Ole Miss, LSU and the SEC Championship Game to Georgia during the week leading up to each contest. One out of four ain't good, but it's not the worst. After all, that loss to Texas was rather predictable considering the talent on the Longhorns roster and the uncertainty the Crimson Tide had on offense at the time. 

The other three ... well ... I deserve to be roasted, Tide fans.