Now we've had a couple days to hopefully calm down and regain some perspective after the OSU loss, I thought we could take a look back at the season in its entirety and collect thoughts and comments here.
Here's the 2012 prediction thread
The median prediction seemed to be 9-3.
In retrospect, thinking we'd beat Alabama was extremely optimistic, we just aren't at that psuedo-pro level of talent yet. But the other three losses were very winnable except for one fatal flaw in each. Notre Dame may have been the heartbreaker of the year. We were outplaying, even dominating them in most aspects but just couldn't get out of our own way. In the end, 6 turnovers sealed our fate.
The story of Nebraska was, of course, Denard's injury. We seemed to have decent control of the game until Bellomy was forced into a role he clearly wasn't ready for.
Ohio.... well, you know what happened.
On the positive side, beating Sparty and Iowa each ended embarrassing losing streaks. Gardner's emergence as a solid option has single-handedly reversed the outlook for 2013. Despite some slips here and there, it's pretty clear that the defense was no fluke and these coaches can turn out a stout defense even without elite talent.
The thing that struck me was how this season was a mirror to 2011. We won most of the close ones in 2011, we lost most of the close ones in 2012. 2011 the defense overacheived, 2012 the offense underacheived. We beat ND and Ohio in 2011 and lost to Sparty, in 2012 we beat Sparty but lost to ND and Ohio. One constant seems to be that we don't travel that well. That maybe the underlying story of 2012, all our tough games were on the road and we weren't able to win any of them.
Despite the some of the disappointment, I'm looking forward to one last game with (a hopefully healthy) Denard and these seniors.