Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Our 2013 BIG, BOLD Predictions

Boomer and Gainer hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas and are looking forward to a great new year.  2012 brought many changes to this blog from covering all the sports to just focusing on Ohio.  Gainer even went full time, left the blog, came back part time, and is now back on board because he is a sell out who can't focus on anything for more than a few months.

Thankfully Boomer was here to bring you coverage several times a week and for that Gainer is thankful!  We really enjoy bringing the Ohio biased coverage to whomever still reads this blog (Gainer's mom, etc).  What does 2013 have in store for the Rock?  Who knows!  The Cavaliers haven't even won 10 games on the season, the Browns once again failed to make the playoffs, the OSU football team went undefeated but was bowl ineligible, the Blue Jackets aren't even playing, and baseball is in full throttle offseason mode.  Thankfully the Buckeyes basketball team is currently ranked #10 in both the AP and Coaches Polls.  And heck, the Bengals even made the playoffs so maybe they'll get some love here...I could barely type that last sentence with a straight face.

As an Ohio sports fan, you know it's rough when you are happy enough that your least favorite teams aren't making the playoffs (cough Steelers cough) instead of celebrating a berth with your favorite team.

Anywho, check out our BIG, BOLD Predictions for 20-thirteen

Alabama vs Notre Dame

Gainer:  I can honestly say I don't think Notre Dame has a "Fighting" chance in this game.  I'd like to see a close game for TV sake but it would not surprise me to see the Irish throttled by the NFL machine Alabama Crimson Tide.

Bama 28-ND 10

Boomer: It's been one of those program "revival" seasons for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, finishing the season as the only (bowl eligible) undefeated team in the land at 12-0. The Alabama Crimson Tide are on the verge of becoming a "Dynasty" (3 BCS Titles in 4 years), and would extend the SEC's dominance, the conference's 7th-straight BCS Championship with a win over the Irish on January 7th. I would love to see the SEC run finally come to an end, especially against Notre Dame of all teams, but in the end it's hard to go against the pursuit of a dynasty.

Alabama 24, Notre Dame 14

Ohio State Football

Gainer:  Coming off an undefeated season and the entire offense basically coming back, Urban Meyer's system will be fully implemented.  Look for a dynamic spread on the field coming from both throwing and running with potential Heisman candidate Braxton Miller from the quarterback position.  The linebackers and secondary should be strong as well but they will need to replace the entire defensive line.  I expect the Bucks to be a preseason top 5 team for sure, possibly as high as #2.

Boomer: A bitter-sweet 2012 season for the Buckeyes, as they accomplished their goal of running the table and finishing the season undefeated at 12-0. However, with the bowl ban, the Buckeyes were out of the National Championship conversation all season long. Fast Forward to next fall, agreeing with what Gainer mentioned, a manageable schedule, and another "Urban" recruiting class; expectations in the capital city will be at an all-time high. A top three team in the polls starting the 2013 campaign.

2013 Playoffs

Gainer:  In the AFC, I am really not in love with any particular team.  All the "elite" teams have shown weaknesses throughout the season.  However, currently, my money is on the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos to represent the AFC in da Super Bowl.  In the NFC, I actually like the Falcons to make a run (finally) and set up a rematch of the 1999 Super Bowl XXXIII (33 for the morons out there) when John Elway won his final game 34-19 over Chris Chandler and Jamal "Dirty Bird" Anderson.  Atlanta 31-Denver 24.

Boomer: Again, agreeing with what Gainer mentioned, each of the 6 teams representing the AFC in the playoffs this season, all have noticeable "weaknesses". After shaking off the "rust" Peyton Manning has guided the Denver Broncos to a "Peyton-like Indianapolis Colts" season and I like the Broncos heading to the Super Bowl out of the AFC. As for the NFC representative in the Super Bowl down in the Big Easy, like last year, give me the Green Bay Packers. With the Titletown squad bring back the franchise's 5th Super Bowl trophy to Lambeau Field, in another Super Bowl rematch (see Super Bowl XXXII). Green Bay 28, Denver 21.


Gainer:  The Bengals are a guaranteed six seed and will most likely lose on the road to the New England Patriots.  They could really use some help at WR to complement AJ Green on the outside!  The Browns once again spend another offseason deciding whether or not to replace the entire front office, coaching staff and their current QB situation.  My money is on a new GM, head coach and a veteran QB (Alex Smith anyone???) to be brought in to compete in training camp.  Hard to envision Colt McCoy back on the roster too.

Boomer: For the 1st-time in franchise history (non-strike seasons) the Bengals are headed to the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive season. However, it will be another one and done, once again losing in the 1st-round. This current squad is young and have been impressive at times the past two seasons (jealous of their success), and even though Marvin Lewis' career record hovers around the .500 mark, it doesn't look like he will be going anywhere anything soon. As for the Browns, the 2012 season was another losing/lost one with youth & inexperience all-around the field, as the team's record could have looked a little better had the ball bounced their way a number of times. However, with a fresh front office, that will include a new coaching staff (once again), the Browns will try and build around the young talent that they have acquired over this past year, and shoot for that elusive 8-8 mark in 2013.

Final Four

Gainer:  To me there is not a dominant team out there like last year's UK squad.  Duke seems to be the most well rounded but haven't yet started conference play, we won't really know teams' cahones until then.  But I will pick a final four which includes Duke, Louisville (defense wins championships!), Kansas, and Indiana.  Butler is my mid-major dark horse because they are always primed to make a run for some reason.

Boomer: In the early stage of the season, a number of big time programs have provided us with some entertaining games. As conference play gets under way, the main objective will be getting a berth into the 68-team NCAA tourney field, and see what happens. As like in recent years, it's usually the team that gets hot late that goes on to win the crystal ball. Give me Michigan, Missouri, Syracuse, and Cincinnati in the Final Four down in Atlanta this spring. With Creighton as my mid-major dark horse getting as deep as the Sweet 16.


Gainer:  Currently, there are five Big Ten teams in the top 15 and Michigan State is top 20.  That's a deep conference and unlike last year when OSU had arguably the conference's top player, OSU is more of a win-by-committee team this season.  I expect OSU to max out around the Sweet Sixteen this season.

Boomer: So far this season, the Buckeyes have managed to beat the cupcakes on their schedule, while losing their only two marquee non-conference games (at Duke by 5, vs. Kansas by 8). Heading into Big Ten play, this team needs to find a game plan around scoring-machine DeShaun Thomas, if they want to finish in the top three or four in the league this season. I see the Buckeyes landing between a 4 to 6 seed in the Big Dance, and getting as far as the Sweet 16, for the 4th-straight season under Head Coach Thad Matta.

2013 Finals

Gainer:  Christmas Day really showed us why the Thunder and Heat might be the best bet, again, for a Finals match up.  Lebron and Durant are the two premier players in the league.  I think the Clippers, if healthy, could make a decent run but I'd like to see them make the West Finals first.  Memphis, San Antonio and even a healthy LA Lakers team scare me out West.  In the East?  The Knicks? YEAH RIGHT.  Miami shouldn't have any problems with any of the East teams as currently constructed.  Like last year, I'm picking OKC over Miami in an epic 7 game re-match.

Boomer: As my love of the NBA has diminished over the last couple of years, (LeBron's departure & the current status of the Cavs) I'll come back around to follow/watch the playoff's this spring. With that said, the Lakers have been a big disappointment so far this season, with the squad they put together over the off-season. While the NY Knicks have been a feel-good story up to this point. As the season grinds on, it will all come down to playoff seeding and potential matchups, as I see a number of teams being "Championship" worthy. Give me the Miami Heat out of the East, and the San Antonio Spurs out of the West. With the Spurs ruining LeBron's NBA Finals party once again (see, 2007 NBA Finals) and denying the Heat of winning back-to-back NBA Titles. Spurs in six.


Gainer: Year 3 into the post-Lebron era, the Cavs are struggling to find consistency.  They have about 7 quality players including Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao but need to win more now to understand what it takes to bring your A game every night against the world's best.  At age 30, Andy is a hot trade piece and come February I honestly think he might be gone if the Cavs continue their horrid non-winning ways.  This will allow for a stronger development in players like Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller while bringing in more core pieces to grow with Irving and Dion Waiters.  See you in the lottery come June!

Boomer: Agreeing with what Gainer is saying, this team has young players in every position and as their record might not show it, have been a competitive bunch at times this season. In the NBA, winning is what matters the most and as the Cavs look like a 20-25 win team this season, a player like Andy Varejao, should be traded and allowed to play for a Championship contender. The pieces are there, but unfortunately, the wins are not, maybe next year. Fingers-crossed they win the NBA lottery this spring.


Gainer:  No season thus far and while frustrating, I try to find the silver lining.  Games are cancelled through January 14th which have caused the cancellation of the Winter Classic and the Columbus hosted All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena.  I expect a season and it to be 48 games and go through the end of April.  I really like my Penguins in a short season because of their offensive potential.  They will take Lord Stanley in 6 games over...wait for it...the defending champs, Los Angeles Kings.

Boomer: The NHL has been in a lockout.  Hadn't noticed.  That's how much I care about this league. The fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years is a disgrace to the NHL & to the die-hard fans that enjoy watching dudes skate around slapping pucks with sticks. I, personally, wouldn't care if they tried to have a shortened-season or if they just cancelled the entire 2012-13 season altogether. If they do come back, give me the Montreal Canadiens over the Calgary Flames in 7 games for an "all-Canadian" Stanley Cup, where hockey belongs.

Blue Jackets

Gainer:  The most likely scenario is truly a 48 game season.  That's roughly half a normal season!  Knowing that, the CBJ really could be in a good spot.  If you look at the standings at the normal 40-50 game point in the season, it is much different come the final 82.  If the CBJ can get off to a halfway decent spot, they could be hanging around in an abbreviated 3.5 month season.  However, no higher than an 8 seed and most likely will finish 12th or worst but I can dream right???!!!!!!

Boomer:  Not having a season, might be a blessing for CBJ and their fans. In a 48-game season, the Jackets could finish around the .500 mark, where that puts them in the standings, I don't know, but the worst thing about this is the cancellation of the NHL All-Star Game that was going to be hosted by the Blue Jackets in Columbus at Nationwide Arena, which would have brought in some $$ for the capital city.

World Series

Gainer:  It was super frustrating to watch the lame Giants win their 2nd World Series in 3 years this past fall. So in hopes of derailing a 3rd championship, I'm going to go with the Washington Nationals and a better prepared staff handling Strasburg.  The American League, to me, is not nearly as strong as the National League (look at the All Star games the past couple years) but I am definitely liking a team from the AL East to represent.  I'm leaning towards Toronto and the huge moves they have made this offseason but I still like Detroit with their pitching and added bats.  Give me a Nationals World Series victory in 5 games over the Tigers (again).

Boomer: A number of big-time moves so far this off-season, will lead to some interesting storylines for the 2013 MLB season. The SF Giants winners of the last two of three World Series, will pitch for "Dynasty" status, as for their So Cal brothers from LA (Dodgers & Angels) will look to live up to expectations following their spending sprees this winter. Hmm...a tough decision now with the addition of an extra Wild Card team in each league new from this past season. We have seen a Bay Area Series, a Subway Series, why not a Freeway/Hollywood Fall Classic come October with the Dodgers representing the NL and the Angels representing the AL. I see an Angel in all of us (some how as I type this sentence, my arms are out to the side flapping like angels wings), with the Halo's "bash brother" of a lineup hammering the Dodgers in a 5-game series.


Gainer:  The Reds are coming off a BIG TIME disappointing divisional round exit after being up 2-0 on the eventual champs.  They are really going after it this year when they traded for Choo and if Chapman can be an effective starter, they have a legit shot.  However, I am just not sold on Dusty Baker getting it done.  The Indians themselves have been busy having hired Terry Francona as manager and signing free agent Nick Swisher.  The team now must decide if they should trade Cabrera at SS, Perez at closer, and possibly Masterson at starting pitcher.  I like the deals they've made this winter though and in the crappy AL Central, like they say, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

Boomer: The Reds are one of those teams I look at for this upcoming season, and think it doesn't matter what they do in the regular season (winning the NL Central, would be nice) it all comes down to winning in October for this current Redlegs squad. As for the Indians, their main objective is finishing a 162-game season strong, as they have faded fast down the stretch the previous two years. With a new skipper in the dugout and a couple new faces, can the Indians find a way to compete all-season against their AL Central foes?