I don't make resolutions and I don't make predictions. Except this one: I feel certain that you will never again see Northwestern play Auburn in a bowl game.
Let's deconstruct this: Northwestern is playing Auburn in a bowl game. This just feels wrong on any of a number of levels. First of all, Northwestern is easily one of the finest academic institutions in the country. Auburn is, well, Auburn. And even though they are Mildcats no more, it is passing strange to see them playing in a bowl game. Against a year in, year out powerhouse football program like Auburn. Thus far, they are holding their own. And yesterday Stanford scared the bejeesus out of Oklahoma. Air Force and Navy won their bowl games too. With guys that have to really go to class and stuff.
Wow. This is not exactly the way the system is set up.
Now these insights into sports on this beautiful New Year's Day does not exactly make me the second coming of S. L. Price. But, and I concede this might be hubris, they beat the offerings in Wally Hall's New Year's Day column in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Here are a couple.
"The Hogs will win nine games next fall and play Texas in the Cotton Bowl." and "Dave Van Horn and the Arkansas baseball will again make the College World Series, although they might start a little slow." Of course, these predictions assume that many intangibles such as injuries, suspensions, and academic problems don't transpire. However, it is a safe assumption that the baseball Hogs will "start a little slow." Starting the baseball season in the frigid Ozarks will practically guarantee this as it does every year.
"The Indianapolis Colts will win the Super Bowl but the talk will always be there that Coach Jim Caldwell destroyed the last semblance of sportsmanship and gamesmanship in the NFL." Huh? If the Colts win the Super Bowl Jim Caldwell can execute a player at sunrise and nobody will mention it. Sportsmanship? In a league that features such luminaries as Al Davis and Bill Belichick?
And finally, this gem: " At least one of the women who had an affair with [Tiger] Woods will be involved in a project to write a book or movie script: One can only wonder how they got off so easy; they knew he was married." Not only are these two sentences migraine inducing, they may not be factually correct. One of Tiger's paramours claims she didn't even know who he was or anything about him. Secondly, the reason these chicks "got off"-and boy was that a poor choice of phraseology given the subject matter-is because carrying on with a married person is not illegal. It is most assuredly inadvisable but it isn't illegal.
Anyway, it is somehow comforting to know that some things evidently will not change in 2010. Wally will make completely unverifiable assertions, most of which exist within the confines of his infertile imagination, and most of which require minimal expertise in sports.
Happy New Year!