Long time readers (God bless your persistence) will remember my former penchant for prognostication in this space. You remember, in my prior incarnation as a news and political junkie, I correctly predicted the GOP and Democratic candidates for 2004, 2008 and 2012, and picked the overall winner, about 18 months out each time.
Yes, I told you so. In most cases I even told you why.
We are more than 18 months out from the political conventions, caucuses, straw polls, ethanol subsidies and general calumny evoked when two states most people care about very little in off-years (there are no off-years any more) suddenly become primary. Hawkeyes and Granite; here we go again.
I have slacked off in every way, slothful in my writing, careless in reading, no longer trying to catch the scent of the political breeze. I have never been Republican enough for the Republicans or Democrat enough for the others. I absolutely abhor bumper-sticker religion, theology and politics.
And it has all been used against me, usually without basis, by persons known and unknown, who just like to find things to use against people. Alas, your pour soul is besmriched a good deal more than my poor, tattered reputation.
But, no matter.
I have some predictions.
2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Florida, coached by the redoubtable Billy Donovan, will find its way through the morass that is now March Madness to the Final Four and win it all. I predict this more out of habit than interest now. The One and Done Rule is a correct interpretation of Constitutional restrictions on restraint of trade. It is good law. It also ruined college basketball and has not helped the NBA, at least in level of play. I will barely watch the tournament. My bracket (habit, not interest) will be in tatters by Friday late and we will never see the kind of game produced by seniors who play together for four years. What you see now is “Up-Next” street ball, not basketball. As a purist and curmudgeon, I disapprove.
Florida will figure out how to win. If not them, or if you have to have a long shot, here is one; Memphis. Good coaching, guard play, not a super hard path there. I don’t think they will win it but they could.
Here is your 6-11 Matchup Upset. Nebraska over Baylor. Sorry, Bear People. Nebraska of the Big-10 (or fifteen or whatever) will win.
2014 American League West Final Standings
Anaheim Angels-They finally get something out of those huge contracts. LAA wins 92 games, loses 70 and wins the West
Oakland A’s-Set for the regular season grind, Oakland loses two starters to injury before the season even starts. They grind it out, find some young pitchers somewhere or other. They finish with 86 wins and 76 losses but do not rule the wild-card even.
Texas Rangers-Alas, woe, and evil tidings. Beltre is 34 and gimpy. There is a drought on and they cannot keep Fielder in veggies. Profar is unproven and whisper thin. Wash insists on batting Andrus (I love Elvis) in the two spot, not the eight spot. Derek Holland tripped over his dog, Matt Harrison has a bad back, Colby Lewish has a shaved hip and, well, you see. The Rangers, my beloved Rangers, Ryan-less are getting farther away from the World Series, not closer. They win 80 games this year, lose 82, and have a long off-season.
Seattle Mariners- 78-84. Or reverse the numbers and put them up on my Rangers.
AAAAANNNNNDDDDD, for the 2016 United States Presidential Campaign:
Democratic Candidate- Former Senator, Former Secretary of State and Former First Lady, Hilary Rodham Clinton. She will vie with the GOP candidate to see who can run the hardest against the record of Mr. Obama. She will claim not to know him and wonder aloud how “that man got into her house.” Americans will be harder to convince.
GOP Candidate-Former Governor Jeb Bush. He will run against Mr. Obama’s legacy and away from George W. Bush’s record. Americans who vote will remember his Dad, who was derailed by a very bad economy as a result of profligate federal spending by his predecessor.
After eight year of a Democratic White House, Mr. Bush will become the POTUS, as a result of voter fatigue, a less than robust economy and the most brazen of facts; Mr. Bush, who has a dad and a brother in the presidential line, will run as the consummate DC outsider. He will win narrowly, but win he will.
You read it here first.
Oh, and the Cowboys will not finish 8-8 in 2014. Pencil them in for 5-11 as of right now. Do not ask me where they will get five wins. I just don’t know.
Oh, I am not advocating any of these predictions. I would rather UT won the NCAA, Baylor beat Nebraska, the Rangers win 98 games and the AL West. I am OK with the Cowboys going 0-16, if possible for years.
As for the political predictions, I stand by them. It is more than 18 months out and a lot can happen, but I hold to these picks. If either one disqualifies himself/herself, or just wakes up one morning asking, “Why would I do that?” well, that just shows good sense to me.