Calls and Picks Sure to Go Wrong
by Rob Scichili
Quick back-story: I’ve been dubbed the “Reverse Barometer” by my circle of friends, many of whom work in the sports industry. I have an uncanny knack of making predictions and calls and having them not just go wrong, but go extremely opposite. We’re talking dozens of these from over the years.
Some examples: Spurned by a 4-0 preseason and a “tip” I heard from Mort on ESPN, I claimed that the 2008 Detroit Lions would “contend for the NFC North.” They went 0-16. In 2009, I lost a bet (15 lunches to 1) when A&M (coming of a blowout loss at K-State) beat Tech in Lubbock, 52-30 (I thought I was “safe as a kitten”). And there’s always the time I picked San Diego and New Orleans to meet in the Super Bowl (in the second week of November, 2002) when leading their respective divisions. Neither made the playoffs.
You get the picture. It’s a gift. And it continues to entertain my peeps.
So, that said, here comes the first installment.
Cowboys Over/Under on Season Wins: 8.5. I’m taking the over. I like the Cowboys’ schedule. It sets up nicely and I have them going 10-6 and winning the NFC East.
Super Bowl Pick: Seahawks over Broncos
Surprise Team of the NFL: Chiefs. They will make the playoffs.
Big 12 Champ: TCU
Surprise of the Big 12: OU struggles to score points (by Sooner standards) and finish 3rd or worse.
Texas: A yawner 7-5 season. Mack “retires” at the end of the season. Gary Patterson and Art Briles are contacted. Patterson says no, while Briles joins Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin as the top candidates. (No, Nick Saban is not coming to Austin. Just stop.)
SEC Champ: Alabama (Georgia East Champ)
Surprise of the SEC: Tennessee (Bowl bound and whispers of a 2014 East contender come calling)
Texas A&M: 10-2 regular season with a win in the Capital One Bowl over Wisconsin. Rumors of Kevin Sumlin being wooed by the NFL swirl in January, but he stays in Aggieland.
Heisman Trophy: Tajh Boyd, Clemson.
National Title Game: Clemson over Bama
What you Should Look for this Weekend:
Cowboys – will get surprised by the Chiefs, who will hand the Boys their first loss of the season, 31-30. Jamall Charles runs wild, going for 121 yards and three touchdowns.
Longhorns – Bounce back with a 38-27 win over Ole Miss. The firing of DC Manny Diaz and the return of Greg Robinson inspires the Horns to actually tackle opposing running backs this week. Texas finds its running game.
Aggies – Drop a heartbreaker to Bama at an unreal atmosphere at Kyle Field, 42-38, keying on three A&M turnovers. AJ McCarron takes advantage of a couple of short fields and Bama’s D comes through when it counts. ESPN spends the next 72 hours blaming Johnny Football’s off-season for the loss, even though he keeps A&M in the game throughout.
Frogs at Red Raiders – TCU takes care of business with a 27-17 win in Lubbock on Thursday night. Frog defense dominates. Tech’s talented team is a little too young but shows flashes of what is to come.
OU and OSU – drop non-conference opponents (Tulsa and Lamar, respectively) fairly easily at home. Expect distractions all week (and longer) at OSU with reports of payments to players being uncovered from past seasons.
SMU has a bye this week. I predict no football to be played by the Mustangs on Saturday.
If you happen to be in Vegas this week, my advice is to take any of the above predictions and bet the opposite in the sports book. Large.