Every year in late August, when a new college football season looms and possibilities are endless, nearly every single college football analyst is put on the spot. Everybody gets four spots, and they must fill those spots with four teams they think will be playing on New Year's Eve in the College Football Playoff.
Some pick the four teams that they think have the best chance at reaching the playoff. Others try to make a splash, and pick teams which they believe have a better chance than most so-called experts think.
Either way, Stanford — the No. 21 team in the AP poll — was a popular pick among that second group of experts. And less than half way through the first Saturday of college football, Northwestern made every single one of them look silly.
- Noted hot take artist Mike Golic of ESPN Radio had the Cardinal in his final four. Northwestern alum Mike Greenberg, his co-host, even warned him, "Northwestern could break your heart Week 1," but Golic paid no heed to his cautionary words.
To be fair to Golic, he owned up to it:
Congrats to Northwestern, well earned victory over Stanford...looks like one of my final 4 picks is done... That was quick— Mike Golic (@espngolic) September 5, 2015
- Perhaps most notably, Desmond Howard PICKED STANFORD TO WIN THE NATIONAL CHAPIONSHIP:
My pick for national champs, Stanford, just took pressure off of me for the rest of the season. Thanks Cardinal. #WellPlanned— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) September 5, 2015
Let's all laugh at him, just like the rest of the country is doing!
- Elsewhere at ESPN, both Craig Haubert and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy had the Cardinal in the playoff.
- Over at Sports Illustrated, Gabriel Baumgaertner liked Stanford to play Ohio State in the first semifinal
My College Football Playoff Prediction: 1#TCU 2#OHIOST 3#LSU 4#STANFORD #EarlyChoices— Anthony Becht (@Anthony_Becht) September 3, 2015
- Dan Rubenstein of SB Nation and the Solid Verbal (which recently announced a partnership with SB Nation) had Ohio State, Baylor, Auburn, and... wait for it... STANFORD.
To be fair to all these experts, everybody is wrong every once in a while. Heck, we all picked Stanford to beat Northwestern on Saturday.
But that doesn't mean we can't laugh at them for being really, really wrong.