2012 Season Wrap-Up: Snap Judgments in Hindsight

Al Messerschmidt

Thirteen games' worth of reactions, all of which proved to be less than accurate.

We all know the NCAA football season is really only a series of one-week seasons. To wit, our perceptions of our team can swing violently based on that week's performance. Example: compare how you felt after the Georgia, LSU, and Florida games. It was a three week span that highlights how impressionable and reactionary the average college football fan can be. "We're a contender! We're still pretty good! We're awful!" Indeed, it's impossible to truly grasp what a team is all about before that last gameclock shows triple donuts, but it's every bit as impossible not to spend the season spouting rash commentary when the stakes are so dern high.

All the hardware has been doled and the whistles have fallen silent til late summer, so now we look back at the 2012 campaign and reflect on how silly and presumptuous a fanbase can be. Here are 39 things people probably said during or after each game that proved, for better or worse, to be erroneous.

Vanderbilt (W, 17-13)

"That Dylan Thompson kid's a disaster. Burn Nosovitch's redshirt, pronto!"
"Ace Sanders only averaged 5 yards a return. Another year of futility in the punt return game, I guess."
"Marcus is back! Surely his injury troubles are behind him."

ECU (W, 48-10)

"Dylan Thompson threw for 330 yards? Not bad, but against a lesser opponent. Doubt he'll play any meaningful minutes."
"Touchdown, DeAngelo Smith! Call me crazy, but I think he's our breakout receiving threat in 2011."
"A 48 point outburst—wow! We definitely won't exceed that point total this season. Especially not next week."

UAB (W, 49-6)

"DJ's fumble return was sick! That'll be his highlight of the year."
"Hopefully Connor Shaw can get healthy this week, and then no more injury trouble."
"Welcome to Columbia, Shaq Roland! His first of what are sure to be many touchdown receptions this season."

Missouri (W, 31-10)

"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."
"Ace Sanders' return was insane! I guess lightning strikes once for everyone."
"Missouri's better than they looked—they'll have a solid season."

Kentucky (W, 38-17)

"I can't believe we're down 17-7 at the half. No way we'll hang with Georgia next week."
"Ace Sanders: 3 punt returns for -3 yards. Guess last week was a fluke."
"Kentucky's better than they looked—they'll have a solid season."*

*Haha just kidding no one said that

Georgia (W, 35-7)

"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."
"21-0 after one quarter? That's great and all, but I get the feeling this one's a close game before it's all said and done."
"VICTORY! Nothing can stop us now!"

LSU (L, 23-21)

"Wow. LSU will be unstoppable next year. Unless, like, ten of their underclassmen go pro!"
"Les Miles is a terrific football mind. This will pay dividends come bowl season."
"This is surely the low point of our season."

Florida (L, 44-11)

"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."
"Credit to Florida. This is surely a team that won't lose to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl in what, based on the spread, will be the biggest BCS upset ever."
"At this rate, I wouldn't be shocked if we lost to everyone else but Wofford."**

**You know someone totally said that. Probably your hyper-pessimistic uncle, or my dad, or in the case of my cousins, both.

Tennessee (W, 38-35)

"Poor Marcus. It's a good thing ESPN will have the decency not to plaster the disturbing photograph of Marcus' displaced kneecap all over ESPN.com because that would be a disservice to readers and Marcus alike."
"I hate to say it, but I think Derek Dooley's about to turn the corner with this team."
"What a forced fumble by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."

Arkansas (W, 38-20)

"DJ Swearinger just got a personal foul. Well, at least he won't get another one."
"DJ Swearinger just got a personal foul. Well, at least he won't get another one if he manages a pick six on the next play."
"DJ Swearinger just got a personal foul after that pick six. That's probably it for the season, though."

Wofford (W, 24-7)

"We only scored 24 points against Wofford. No way we score more than that against Clemson."
"Oh man, and Connor Shaw looks hurt. We're meat against Clemson without him."
"If Clowney couldn't go this week, how am I supposed to believe he'll be a factor against the Tigers? So long, winning streak."

Clemson (W, 27-17)

"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."
"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."
"What a hit by Clowney! I doubt you'll see a bigger one this season."

Michigan (W, 33-28)

"First down? There is absolutely nothing that could make me feel better about that call."
"I can't wait to watch what's sure to be a domineering performance from Manti T'eo, thus validating the multiple awards he received over Clowney."
"Off to get my free Bloomin' Onion, from which I will experience no gastrointestinal consequences!"

Look for some actual season wrap-up posts in the upcoming weeks. Go Gamecocks!

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