News & ToursMay 7, 2009

Time to see if I should be going to Vegas

I do a lot of predicting on the blog here, so from time to time I think it's important to try to be held accountable for my prognostication—call it an APR for Campus Insider.

At the start of the college season last fall, I tried to foresee what would take place in several of the higher profile conferences. I figured I'd go back and find out how I did ... you know just to keep myself honest.

Today we'll look at my predictions for women's golf. Next week I'll do the same on the men's side. Anything italic is a correct answer; anything with a line through it was a wrong answer.

__ACC

__Predicted champion: Duke (Wake Forest)

Predicted player of the year: Amanda Blumenherst, Duke (shared with Wake Forest's Natalie Sheary)

Predicted freshman of the year: Mina Harigae, Duke (Catherine O'Donnell, North Carolina)

NCAA Regional bound: Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State (left out N.C. State)

Team on the rise: Wake Forest

Biggest question mark: North Carolina (Finished second at ACCs)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: Wake Forest and Virginia give Duke a run for its money at the ACC Championship.

Would shock me to see: Blumenherst not win medalist honors in at least four tournaments her senior season. (The three-time defending college player of the year has won only once in 2008-09.)

__SEC

Predicted champion:Alabama (Auburn)

Predicted player of the year:__ Cydney Clanton, Auburn (Candace Schepperle, Auburn)

Predicted freshman of the year: Marta Silva, Georgia

NCAA Regional bound: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Vanderbilt, Tennessee (Missed Mississippi, South Carolina and Kentucky)

Team on the rise: Alabama (T-2 at SECs)

Biggest question mark: Auburn (Won SECs)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: Any of five different school wind up winning the conference title when all is said and done.

Would shock me to see: Any individual player dominate like Stacy Lewis of Arkansas did last season. (Schepperle was a model of consistency but has no wins on her resume.)

__Big 12

Predicted champion:__Oklahoma State

Predicted player of the year: Jaclyn Sweeney, Oklahoma State (Caroline Hedwell, Oklahoma State)

Predicted freshman of the year: Caroline Hedwell, Oklahoma State

NCAA Regional bound: Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Missouri, Kansas (missed Colorado and Baylor)

Team on the rise: Oklahoma State

Biggest question mark: Texas A&M (Finished second at Big 12s but it was one of only two top-fives for the Aggies)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: Oklahoma State's Caroline Hedwell, the British Ladies Amateur runner-up, actually grab not just top newcomer honors but also Big 12 POY.

Would shock me to see: Anybody but Oklahoma State and Texas A&M seriously vie for the conference title.

__Big Ten

Predicted champion:__ Purdue

Predicted player of the year: Maria Hernandez, Purdue

Predicted freshman of the year: Milena Savich, Michigan (Vicky Villanueva, Ohio State)

NCAA Regional bound: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan

Team on the rise: Purdue

Biggest question mark: Michigan State (One win, five top-fives in 10 starts)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: Hernandez become the first player in 13 years to three-peat as the conference's POY ... she's that good.

Would shock me to see: The conference championship really be more than a two-team fight between the Boilermakers and the Spartans. (Really wasn't more than a one-team fight actually.)

__Pac-10

Predicted champion:__ Arizona State

Predicted player of the year: Tiffany Joh, UCLA (None chosen yet)

Predicted freshman of the year: Carlota Ciganda, Arizona State (None chosen yet)

NCAA Regional bound: *Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Arizona, **Stanford, California, *Washington, Oregon

Team on the rise: Arizona State ... no question about having a solid No. 5 player anymore.

Biggest question mark: USC ... how will national champs handle loss of two first-team All-Americans? (No wins but actually have better scoring average than a year ago.)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: Three different teams—ASU, UCLA and USC—be ranked No. 1 in the Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll at some point during the 2008-09 season.

Would shock me to see: The conference get fewer than eight bids to NCAA regionals.

__Mountain West

Predicted champion:__ New Mexico

Predicted player of the year: Jodi Ewart, New Mexico

Predicted freshman of the year: Kristen Schelling, UNLV (Malin Enarsson, San Diego State)

NCAA Regional bound: New Mexico, UNLV, TCU, BYU

Team on the rise: UNLV (Finished third at conference and never cracked top 25)

Biggest question mark: BYU ... Will miss departure of Juli Erekson. (Only two top-five finishes in 10 starts)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: New Mexico and UNLV separate themselves from the rest of the pack. (TCU finished second at conference)

Would shock me to see: As the conference celebrates its 10th year, anyone from Wyoming joining Jordan Lintz, the individual winner at the first MWC championship in 2000.

__Conference USA

Predicted champion:__ UCF (Tulane)

Predicted player of the year: Woori Shin, Tulsa (Linn Gustafsson, Tulane)

Predicted freshman of the year: Marika Lendl, UCF (Daniela Holmqvist, Tulane)

NCAA Regional bound: UCF, East Carolina, Tulsa, Tulane, SMU

Team on the rise: UCF ... The talent is there for the Knights to have break out year. (Only one top-five finish and a 63-102-2 head-to-head record).

Biggest question mark: Tulsa ... lost a lot of veterans from last year's team. (Only two top-fives.)

Wouldn't surprise me to see: SMU's Kate Ackerson single-handedly lift the Mustangs to a NCAA regional berth. (Ackerson's worst finish was a T-14 but the team could never finish better than seventh in any event.)

Would shock me to see: Tulane finish higher than third in its first year back since Hurricane Katrina; it will happen soon, just not this soon. (Look who won the conference title.)

__Big East Conference

Predicted champion:__ Notre Dame (Louisville)

Predicted player of the year: Cindy LaCrosse, Louisville

Predicted freshman of the year: Becka Huffer, Notre Dame

NCAA Regional bound: Notre Dame, Louisville

__Big West Conference

Predicted champion:__ UC Irvine (Long Beach State)

Predicted player of the year: Lee Lopez, Long Beach State (Jane Chin, UC Irvine)

Predicted freshman of the year: Lee Lopez, Long Beach State

NCAA Regional bound: UC Irvine, Long Beach State, UC Davis

Mid-American Conference

Predicted champion: Kent State

Predicted player of the year: Kirby Dreher, Kent State

Predicted freshman of the year: Kristen Hill, Akron (Mercedes Germino, Kent State)

NCAA Regional bound: Kent State

__Southern Conference

Predicted champion:__ Furman

Predicted player of the year: Blair Lamb, Furman (Stefanie Kenoyer, Furman)

Predicted freshman of the year: Maria Salinas, Chattanooga

NCAA Regional bound: Furman, Chattanoooga

__Sun Belt Conference

Predicted champion:__ Denver

Predicted player of the year: Stephanie Sherlock, Denver (No POY named)

Predicted freshman of the year: Karisa Akin, Middle Tennessee State (Belen Buendia, Florida International)

NCAA Regional bound: Denver

West Coast Conference

Predicted champion: Pepperdine

Predicted player of the year: Taylore Karle, Pepperdine (Danielle Cvitanov, San Francisco)

Predicted freshman of the year: Lisa McCloskey, Pepperdine

NCAA Regional bound: Pepperdine (Missed San Francisco)

__Western Athletic Conference

Predicted champion:__ San Jose State

Predicted player of the year: Erica Moston, San Jose State

Predicted freshman of the year: Jamie Yam, Nevada (Kayle Mortellaro, Idaho)

NCAA Regional bound: San Jose State, Fresno State, New Mexico State

TOTALS

Team champions: 9 correct, 5 wrong—64.2% success rate

POY: 6 correct, 6 wrong—50% success rate

Top Freshman: 6 correct, 7 wrong—46.1% success rate

Team on the rise: 5 correct, 2 wrong—71.4% success rate

Question marks: 4 right, 3 wrong—57.1% success rate

Wouldn't surprise me: 5 correct, 2 wrong—71.4% success rate

Would shock me: 4 right, 3 wrong—57.1% success rate

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