published Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

5-at-10: Look into 2013

Happy New Year, gang. Hope 2013 offers up a plate full of goodies to you and yours.

We'll go with a holiday list today, but since it's the new year, let's make some predictions.

First, though we need to continue our bowl picks. And let's be honest after a 2-2 Monday pushed us to 21-13, it's not like we can do any worse than Lane Kiffin. (And we have to admit, we found ourselves really pulling hard for Georgia Tech and really enjoying USC's struggles.) Wow, what a Sun Bowl debacle against Georgia Tech. According to ESPN, USC will be the first preseason No. 1 to finish the season unranked since 1964. As for today's game, motivation is the key. Will the favorites be focused on winning bowl games? We think Georgia plays well in the swan song for something like 50 defensive players. And of course FSU is any one's guess.

Today's games:

Oklahoma State -16.5 over Purdue

Michigan +5.5 over South Carolina

Northwestern -1.5 over Mississippi State and over the 50

Georgia -8 over Nebraska and over the 61

Stanford -5.5 over Wisconsin and under 49

On to our predictions for 2013...

In January, Alabama will beat Notre Dame for the BCS title, giving the SEC its seventh consecutive crown. Nick Saban will be a hot name in NFL coaching circles, but he will remain at Alabama. Some of his college colleagues such as Chip Kelly and Bill O'Brien will take NFL gigs. The Green Bay Packers will beat the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC title game. The New England Patriots will win at Denver in the AFC title game.

In February, Alabama will close quickly and have the nation's top class of college football recruits. The Patriots top the Packers in the Super Bowl as Tom Brady secures his spot on the Mount Rushmore of all time QB greats.

In March, Kentucky emerges from an up-and-down regular season as a No. 5 seed and rolls to the Elite Eight. Of the No. 1 seeds — Indiana, Michigan, Duke and Syrauce — only the Hoosiers make the Final Four, where they lose to Louisville in the national title game. The Lady Mocs will make the NCAA tournament as a 10 seed and fall in the second round

In April, Rory McIlroy edges a hard-charging Tiger Woods to win his first Masters. UTC senior Steven Fox will make the cut and finish as the low amateur, thus getting to sit in Butler Cabin with McIlroy and Jim Nantz on Sunday evening. Star Lotulelei, the mammoth Utah defensive lineman will be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Four Vols will be picked in the first three rounds: Cordarrelle Patterson will got 12th overall to the Dolphins; Dallas Thomas and Justin Hunter will be second-round picks; Tyler Bray will go to the Chiefs with the first pick of the third round. There will be 14 SEC players taken in the first round, including four Georgia Bulldogs and three Alabama players.

In May, the area teams will again dominate in softball at the Spring Fling. A torrid start to the baseball season sees the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Angels on record-setting paces. Lane Kiffin is fired at USC after rumors on another NCAA investigation start to swirl.

In June, Chris Paul is named the NBA MVP, edging Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. Durant and the Thunder beat the Lakers 4-3 in the Western Conference finals but lose again to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

In July, Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, setting off a huge British celebration that could even cause the Royal family to name the new baby Andy. (Or Andi if it's a girl.) After his failed experiment in L.A., Dwight Howard signs with the Atlanta Hawks. As NFL camps open, a slew of high-profile players retire. Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Champ Bailey and Charles Woodson and a slew of others will call it a career.

In August, Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida and Oklahoma start the college football season in the top five.

In September, a great baseball season ends with the Yankees missing the playoffs. The playoff field is highlighted by the Angels' record-setting offense and the Dodgers' record-setting payroll. The Butch Jones' era in Knoxville opens with wins against Austin Peay and Western Kentucky (although it's closer than expected). UT falls flat at Oregon and loses a close one at Florida.

In October, the Angels top the Blue Jays in the ALCS; the Dodgers beat the Giants in the NLCS. Each series draws record-low viewers and places behind three college football games and every NFL game in the Nielsen ratings. The Angels outscore the Dodgers to win the series 4-2

In November, Butch Jones gets his first SEC win at Missouri. Albert Pujols wins the AL MVP after making a serious charge on Hack Wilson's all-time RBI record of 190. Hitting behind Mike Trout and in front of Josh Hamilton, Pujols leads the AL in hitting and finishes with 175 RBIs. Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp stays healthy for the full year and takes home the NL MVP after a 40-40 season.

In December, after a crazy finish to a crazy college football season, the final BCS title game before the playoff does not feature an SEC team. Ohio State uses Braxton Millers' Heisman Trophy season to run the table in a less-than-stellar Big Ten and Oklahoma State finishes unbeaten in the Big 12. That leaves two one-loss SEC teams — Alabama and Florida — on the outside looking in. Georgia finishes 9-3 and goes to the Chick-fil-A Bowl; Tennessee goes 6-6 and is invited to the Music City, meaning that one game can really make all the difference in the world.

Thoughts?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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JonathanMCook said...

Gang,

Slightly under the weather so I'm doing this one at home.

Angels an't going to the win the Series this year. This is not open for discussion.

Lady Mocs I believe will make the Sweet 16 if Dupree can stay healthy.

Shulman finally gets the ax after losing in round 1 in the SoCon tourney.

What is the Butler Cabin? (I'm serious)

Serious follow-up inquiry, depending on how Steven does, will he get some air time even though he is still in amateur status?

No predictions on the pigskin Mocs? Or out of mutual respect you're gonna leave that for Frierson. Or just too early at this time.

This and That.

Enjoying reading about the up and coming HS players we have down here as well as how the DMN is covering the bowls? Personal wondering.

January 1, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.
jgreeson said...

JMC —

The DMNs are much appreciated. They do good work on a lot of topics, football chiefly among them.

The Butler Cabin is where the Masters winner is crowned and the low amateur gets some CBS face time in there. And expect Fox to get some serious air time at the Masters, the US Open and even the Open Championship.

Complete oversight on the football Mocs — the OC hire is big because the pieces are there to make a run at the Southern Conference title.

We'll say the Mocs go 9-3, 6-2 in the SoCon and finish second behind Georgia Southern and make the playoffs.

January 1, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.
chas9 said...

5er--Was travelling yesterday, so didn't get to comment on your speculating that the Uniblocker and UK triumph might have been big for me in 2012. Lucky guess. And as for today's prediction that KY will be a five seed in March, I say a three. Except for free throws they outplayed Louisville in the YUM Center. Good game, by the way. The Cats are growing up fast. And their Ws will pile up in the mediocre SEC.

Never bet on a Clemson game. Stupid Clemson. I went to bed when LS&U got the ball back with two minutes plus to go. I know Les rolls the dice, but three running plays... And I love games that feature flea flickers.

If the emotional baggage could be stripped away (not even Hercules could do it), would Johnny Volsfan today take Kiffin over Butch?

January 1, 2013 at 12:40 p.m.
chas9 said...

Roberto Cemente died 40 years ago yesterday. Spy, fec, and I are old enough to remember.

And Tubby has the Gophers golden.

January 1, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.
Astropig said...

I'm starting the Kiffen Watch right now. His team mailed it in big time against Tech. If he can't motivate his guys to play any harder than I saw yesterday,he'll go trick or treating as an unemployed coach.

Predictions : (Worth what you're paying)

The other USC (The one that beats Clempson on a regular basis these days) finally breaks through and wins the SEC.The 'Ol Ball Coach retires on top. Carolina has a year for the ages.

Tennessee makes progress and loses ground.The Vols will be better (especially on defense),but a bowl trip will turn on a single play,field goal or turnover.That's how thin the margin for error will be for Butch Jones & Co. next year in Knoxville.

Bret Bielma will find that "SEC Speed" is no myth.However, he'll look like Knute Rockne after the clown show that was the John L. Smith era in Pigville.

Vanderbilt will come crashing back to earth (and reality)in '13.The 'Dores will need a couple of upsets to go bowling.We'll probably see Halley's Comet again before Vandy has another 9 win season.

Auburn will have a better year under Gus Malzahn.The Tigers have 5 winnable games baked in and could go bowling (probably in the Music City Bowl).The Tigers will take their lumps,but will finally look competitive again.

Kentucky will transition from Basketball School in a football conference to Bigger Basketball School in a football conference and petition the NCAA to go to a bowl if the basketball team wins 30 games.The 'Cats will reach the .500 mark in the second week of the season against Miami (OH) and lose every other game.

Missouri will go bowling for the first time as a member of the SEC. They will find that Shreveport is no South Beach.

Texas A&M will win the west and Bama fans will throw a rock through Nick Saban's window."Fire Saban" websites will multiply to the point that the GoDaddy Bowl will increase the payout to member teams.(Just Kidding)

Florida will finish second in the east (behind Cackalacky)and the grumbling about Will Muschamp will start at a low boil.The Gators will hang around the top 10 all year.

Georgia takes a step back to rebuild and the ceiling is pretty low. If Aaron Murray goes pro,the Dawgs are gonna struggle.If he comes back,it could be the difference between 7 wins and 8-9.

Ole Missy and Mississippi State both finish 7-5 and one side (Black Bear fans) are thrilled.Doggie fans will start to wonder if Dan Mullen can get it done in Starkville.

SC wins the 2013 SEC championship in Atlanta 24-14.Jadaveon Clowney wins SEC player of the year and is deep in the mix for the Heisman.

The Mocs get all the bounces and have a special season.Russ Huesman wins SoCon Coach of the year award.Chattanooga gets into the playoffs and wins their first game in forever.

Happy New Year !

January 1, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

Master G:

You LOVE the draft, we know this. So where do you think once and never Vol DaRick will go in the draft?

January 1, 2013 at 3:07 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Georgia Southern, miffed after the Sun Belt did not call me, maybe, takes out its frustration on the rest of FBS,,averaging 50 points a game, throwing only 50 passes all year. McIlroy wins the Masters and the British Open but Mickelson wins the US Open, then announces he's joining a Trappist monastery.

Toronto wins the World Series, but with the exchange rate, they need 4.5 wins.

Never would have thought Tech would beat USC with defense. Kiffin is playing Stratego, PJ is playing double-board Risk.

January 1, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
BackupQB said...

Nice work on all predictions - lot to look forward to in 2013. Question for all - we're all fans of some team, right? Does it make you a bigger (better) fan to root against your fav team's rivals? Many fans today will "root for the conference" ... As a Johnny Vols Fan, I am channel surfing and rooting AGAINST the Bullies, Cocks, and especially the Dawgs! Is that wrong? Who is the truer fan - he who roots for the conference in bowl games or the guy who hates all conference foes? Disclaimer - this ain't sour grapes since my team sucks ... I've always felt that way (but I am struggling with cheering for the Irish next week).

June Jones

January 1, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Gang,

Nice job today, and we're going to use some of these questions in the mailbag Friday.

That said, has anyone noticed that the above picks are 6-0 heading into the Rose Bowl. And coupled with the Duke meltdown, Steve Spurrier going for 2 and missing it to allow Michigan to cover is another moment that is meaningless yet so meaningful.

Forgot the Orange Bowl — we'll take FSU and lay the points although we're a little cautious about whether the Seminoles show up motivated or not.

— 5-at-10

January 1, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.
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