Before the season began, I did a crystal ball version of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” You can read it here. In this article, I made some bold and not so bold predictions for the 2018 season. Let’s look at my predictions and how they turned out.
Most experts thought the Aggies were destined for a fourth place finish. Not me, here is what I predicted:
“Depending on how they fare against Wyoming and Colorado State, the Aggies could realistically be headed toward an 8-4 or 9-3 season. I expect Matt Wells to receive consideration for coach of the year and the P5 schools will likely come calling. I see a second place finish in the Mountain in the future for the Aggies.”
The Aggies exceeded expectations, finishing 10-2. They did compete for the division title, and they did finish second in the Mountain Division. They also benefited from a terrible schedule. Matt Wells won coach of the year and is now the head coach at Texas Tech.
Grade: A+, yeah, I nailed this one.
I knew the Wolf Pack would not compete for a division title, but their expectation entering the season was to improve and make a bowl game. They did that. Here is what I had to say about the Wolf Pack entering the season:
“I see a bowl game and a third place finish in the West in store for the Wolfpack.”
That is pretty much how things turned out for Nevada. They struggled during their non-conference games and improved as the season progressed. The victory over San Diego State was a testament to how the program has grown. The Wolf Pack will have a lot of question marks entering next season.
Grade: B+, the result was the same. How they got there was different.
It was worse than I expected. I saw some issues coming for the Rams entering the season. Let’s look at what I had to say:
“The Rams will have to overcome being one of the youngest teams in the country and hope to strike gold on the grad transfer market with KJ Carta-Samuels. The manageable conference schedule will allow the Rams to go bowling, but they will not contend for a conference title.”
I didn’t think the Rams had what it takes to hang with Boise State, but I thought an easy cross divisional schedule would keep them in bowl contention. Boy, was I wrong. Other than a victory over Arkansas, the Rams season was a train wreck. They lost to an FCS team and couldn’t seize opportunities when they had the chance (see the Utah State game). The Rams face even more question marks next season, as they are saddled to a bad coaching contract.
Grade: C+, their season wasn’t bad, it was ugly and then some.
I’m not going to lie, this was the easiest of all my picks. The Lobos were changing offenses, had to deal with a coach being suspended, and half of their roster was filled with transfers. That is not the recipe for success. Here is what I had to say about the Lobos entering the 2018 season:
“I expect the Lobos to finish 3-9, and Bob Davie will likely have coached his final game.”
Well, they finished the season 3-9 and gave their fans some false hope early in the season. Davie still has a job, thanks in large part to a bad contract and an athletic department that is a complete mess. The Lobos look like they will be relegated to the bottom of the Mountain West for a long time.
Grade: A-, I would have given myself an A, but Davie still has a job. Money matters at this level.
What do you think about my grades? I know I am leaving some teams out here. After bowl games, I will revisit the rest of the Mountain West. Next week I will be focusing on the Vegas Bowl and New Mexico Bowl; both Mountain West teams are favored.